Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Day 5 Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge - Blackwater to Clermont

Kindly brought to you by Team Townsville (Bruce, Tracey, Paul, Helen, Ray and the two Davids)

This blog is dedicated to Jeff Schneider and his daughter Claire, a 2014 Smiddy rider here to “finish the ride”.

Stats of the day – courtesy of the Smiddy Challenge Rainman – “Stinky” Dave

Elapsed time:  9 hrs 23 min
Moving time: 6 hrs 42 min
Average speed:  29km/hr
Total distance:  194km
Vertical gain:  1095m climbing
Min temp:   6 degrees C
Max temp:  30 degrees C

Most used words: “Slowing” and “bump”

On the 5th morning of their travels the cyclists and their steeds awoke in the beautiful land of Backwater, rich in community spirit and generosity. At The Village on Blaine lycra-clad cyclists mingled with high-vis miners to feast on fuits, cereals, hot food and even an icecream buffet for those willing to test just how far their lycra could stretch.

With bellies full, and crazy socks high, the cyclists departed to the sounds of the cow bell played by Lynley O’Neill (who was subsequently rewarded with a Kevie Kiss – life doesn’t get better than that!). But no bell was loud enough to drown out the team’s groans as they once again mounted seemingly razor sharp saddles with seemingly paper-thin rears.

We pushed out on the highway, which to many seemed to be made of quick sand, as weary and aching legs warmed up for another day. There was much jostling on saddles as cyclists attempted to find their “sweet spot”.

After three hours of rolling hills we rode 25 minutes late into the welcoming arms of the students and staff at the Denison State School. This was a very special occasion for the Smiddy riders as the welcoming screams and endless offerings of high-5’s created an air of celebrity for the riders and crew.

As the riders sat amongst the excited students, Anna and Sharky spoke about the significance of sun safety and the Smiling for Smiddy story. This was followed by the students judging the best Crazy Socks in honour of the Inaugural Crazy Sock Day. Adorning muscular calves were an array of colourful and creative sock wear including Mel, Tom and Megz’s tartan knee highs and mini skirts, Cracker’s zinc-painted masterpiece of Adam Smiddy, superheroes (Batman, Robin, Captain America, Wonder Woman), football socks, and Ben’s (aka Archie’s) candy striped French Maid frills (matching his ginger and white complexion perfectly). Of course the stars of the fashion show were the crew from Townsville with their Captain America socks.

The traditional face painting contest saw a variety of artistic skills resulting in painted faces with the winning duo receiving a pair of Captain America socks. Sharky was presented with a generous $200 donation from the school.

Morning tea of home cooked goodies was served to us courtesy 2013 Challenge rider Errol Rosenblatt and his lovely wife Jo. Sammi Jo and her team of 10 identical clones continued to work their magic and cyclists again mounted their bikes held together by rock tape, zen spray and lashings of chamois cream (it’s surprising no one has slid off their slippery saddles – although many probably wish they had).

 As the days rolls by the code of conduct has changed. Public lubing is now acceptable behaviour, and groaning whilst doing it becomes a shared ectasy.

With the wind gods finally on our side with the spinnaker was raised, and combined with a new Smiddy first, business class was formed and the trip to Capella done in near record time. A brief stint to Capella High School occurred to spread the word about cancer prevention. Dr Phil spoke with the students about the importance of cancer prevention. Donations from the school were presented to Sharky and gratefully received.

The bumps and potholes in the road to Clermont were flattened with the knowledge that once again, Roger and Maree Vine from the Bottlemart Commercial Hotel in Clermont had a couple of cold ales and a few nibbles waiting for us. Just in time, the locals were called in to escort us out of the beer garden to meet our billets for the night. A quick shower and change of clothes resulted in 44 sweaty riders and 13 road crew looking somewhat human again before heading off to the official duties for the evening, the fundraising dinner at the Clermont Community Hall.

 A hearty meal and a couple more cold drinks meant that the arms were loosened to allow for some vigorous bidding for various item including $700 for 2014 Smiddy Jersey signed by Anna Mears, $500 for Signed Cricket Pads by Matthew Wade and $850 for locally made wooden side tables

During the evening we were privileged to hear from Jack Coward and Claire Schneider as they spoke about what Smiling for Smiddy meant to them and why they were doing the challenge. Their stories touched all of our hearts. Claire presented all riders with riding caps in memory of her dad Jeff Schneider, a great man and mentor to Claire.

Jack requested for all Smiddy riders to sign his “Teamwork” jersey in exchange for a personal donation of $200 to add to his almost $8000 hero page contribution. Well done Jack for your fundraising efforts and your efforts on the bike today as you conquered your first full day in the saddle in well-deserved style.

The Smiddy riders were also surprised with a special presentation of messages from loved ones back home bringing a tear to many an eye. As Smiddy riders we are privileged to ride with such “awesome” people but are even more privileged with the support from our families and friends. Thanks Anna, it was just the pick up we all needed.

Schindler’s List (presented by Jarrod and Megz)

The list for day 5 is a follows.

19 Kangaroo’s 1 being a Joey

1 cow

2 snakes

13 bad smells

11 bags of bones

Krista voice gone missing 

Hannah, Yasmin, Melissa’s Butt

Day 5 Jersey Recipients 

 Spirit: Ian Cope and Brenton (Copey) Cope – uncle and nephew, you couldn’t find a pair of better blokes.  Copey, a mate of Adam’s, rides every second year and this year convinced his uncle to join him.   Together they have raised over $18,000 a remarkable effort from some remarkable men.

Teamwork: Adrian Cross – fondly known as Shrek, Adrian is a work horse who simply never stops.  Upbeat, friendly and always keen to get involved he is a deserving recipient of this jersey.

Mateship: Joshua Stemm – “The Joshua Tree” – Part of the Stemm family, Josh has taken to Smiddy like a duck to water.  Flying in just a few days before the Challenge from Dubai.  Always smiling and good for a joke his banter is very much appreciated in the group.

We were treated to a special poem from Sharky, an “Ode To Clermont”, written as a tribute to the tireless work of the Clermont community members.

 This is more than just a bike ride. Until you have participated in the Challenge and become one of Maria and David’s surrogate family, not just for 8 days, but for a lifetime, you will not understand. Thank you Maria and David and thanks to Sharky for allowing each of us to become part of your life, in memory of Adam, who was obviously one hell of a bloke.













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