Friday, 5 September 2014

2014 Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge - Day 6 - Clermont to Belyando

Day 6 Journal-Clermont to Belyando crossing
Written by the Road Crew –

Elapsed Time - 8.20
Ride Time - 6.04
Distance - 176 @ 29 kph
Elevation - 670
Min Temp 7. Max 38

Road Kill Count
142 Bags of Bones, 81 Kangaroos, 34 Bad Smells, 3 birds, 1 cat & 6 cars.
A  later than usual start saw the peloton take off at 7.40am with clear skies and favourable winds following a fantastic night with the Clermont Community who once again opened their homes, hearts & wallets to support Smiling for Smiddy.
Claire Bear Schneider rang the cow bell and local truckie Jay led the peloton out in his Kenworth with captain Kevvy as co-pilot working the CB Radio. Thanks also to Clermont’s local QPS member ‘Sarge’ who provided assistance with the traffic on the roll out of town.
Meanwhile the road crew worked together to prep the day’s morning tea and lunch and made final phone calls and prepare for the long stretch from Clermont to Charters Towers with only the Belyando Roadhouse in between for 400kms. We were happily surprised when Beale’s IGA Clermont donated our grocery order and Blu Mac Bakery once again donated our muffins. Donations were also received at last night’s dinner from many locals and businesses.  The Clermont community is absolutely amazing with their continued support and generosity.
Glen needed truck repairs and we are grateful to Lochy Burnett who opened up his workshop for Glen to make the necessary repairs. Lochy also donated the diesel to fill the truck. A big thank you to Loch and for your generous donation towards the Matt Marshall leg waxing fund.
Anna, John Martin (previous rider) and Sammi-Jo visited three schools to talk about sun safety and were grateful to accept almost $400 in donations. Anna was happy to learn that Christian had collected her phone, shopping and licence along with various other items.  John joined us for the day with a couple of cameras and his car to whiz up beside you to take many happy snaps.
Morning tea saw the team arrive only a couple of minutes before the riders. Our organised team had everything ready to quickly serve and everyone was on their way again in twenty minutes. The road crew is now operating so efficiently that we had even packed up and were on the road before the riders left.
The riders are a bit concerned about the effects of Megaburns and the after Megaburn. Considerations have been noted and duly filed.  But in all seriousness Megaburn have been a long term supporter of Smiddy and we simply could not do without their ongoing support which fuels the Smiddy peloton all the way to Townsville with their range of Bars & Energy Drink Mix.
The peloton was in good spirits and moving well with continuing tailwinds helping the riders arrive at the lunch stop at Elgin Downs station entrance right on time. With limited shade at this roadside stop, the setting called for all vehicles including our family travellers, Debra and son Robert and Mick and Cath and Sue to form up vehicles “Circle the wagons style” to roll out awnings and provide some much needed shade.  We really appreciate the help from our riders’ family members who have unselfishly helped with food prep, laundry and support in so many ways.
Returning rider Stephen “Jenno” Jennison took the sun safety message to a new level, mistakingly using sunscreen as chamois cream to ensure no burning in the nether regions. Always thinking Jenno.
Traditions were upheld with a team photo on the mound and then David Smiddy asking all riders to carry their day bags for the next 19kms in recognition of the 2006 original challenge riders; Sharky, Ollie and Ron who carried their back packs for their entire trip, and as usual the entire group threw the bags on their backs without question.
After a brief drinks stop at afternoon tea, the team were met with a large herd of very hungry cattle grazing on the long paddock. The dry conditions have seen the drovers driving the cattle for the past three months some 90 kms in search of suitable feed. It’s a small insight for many riders of the trials of remote land owners during drought conditions.
This may have caused concern, however, our trusty drivers, Stemmy, David, Mia and Kevvy under Stemmy’s instructions led the peleton slowly but surely by forming a reverse Smiddy Flying ‘V’. All riders avoided the imminent bovine threat.   Captain Kevvy who was brought up on a cattle property used his strategies to dodge cattle dung coming off the bike wheels.
15kms from Belyando saw the Hog Cup Challenge with everyone performing well considering the distance already travelled. Tom Tom and Melissa were once again the first male and female across the line with us all cheering them on. Sharky came in 3rd in B Grade!! Thanks for letting us all know Sharky.
The huddle was completed for the day and refreshments were served to our deserving riders and road crew. Due to the earlier finish, we had time to catch up and learn more about each other over a quiet drink or two (or 8 or 9 or 10 – hey Brucey Cope).
We all enjoyed dinner at the roadhouse, followed by a new tradition of dessert being served by road crew. Jelly, ice cream, custard and fruit salad was enjoyed by all.
Our evening briefing was conducted with the day’s stats  etc but due to the lack of internet access in these parts accurate details are not available.
The Teamwork jersey was presented  to a true team person, Kay Smoothy. Kay is patient, kind, giving and extremely capable. The Spirit jersey was presented to Zane Williams and the Mateship jersey was presented to Dan Upton.
Yasmine and Garath spoke about their reasons for undertaking the 2014 Challenge. Both have been personally confronted and challenged by cancer in the past months but continue to fight the battles.

Our respected and judicious smiddy rider Dr Bruce then delivered a wonderful reading of the prior days action with wig, tartan mini and sports bra (well endowed too), in the chilly evening air.
Belyando is always a magical place for the smiddy peloton. With just the riders and road crew and no formal functions or activities it is a chance to unwind and relax among the groups new found friends. Many also enjoy a quiet drink as the sun sets over this oasis in the desert with roadtrains running by the nearby road. The blue skies quickly give way to a magical starlit night as the chat banter continue well into the evening.

This year we were also joined by occasional smiddy post ride member Bruce Cope.  Bruce ensured the team was well entertained for the evening with his antics. 
The road crew would like to finish off the journal with a rendition of our new war chant -

We are road crew, yes we are
We have come from near and far
Adam Smiddy  Adam Smiddy
Morning,  noon and night time too
We will get the food to you
Adam Smiddy   Adam  Smiddy
Why we do it, can you guess
‘cause Smiddy riders are the best!
We loves ya!
Road Crew Rocks




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