Saturday, 4 October 2014
SHARKYS OZ 7in7 FINAL LEG - VENUS BAY TO STRATFORD - DAY 2
Distance: 212.6 kilometres
Average speed: 26.3 kmph
Maximum speed: 70.6 kmph
Temperature Minimum - 6.1 degrees
Temperature Maximum - 33 degrees
Metres climbed: 1431
Ride time: 8hrs 4min
Wind: Similar to yesterday and light winds that were sometimes on the nose but mostly behind us.
Road Kill by Nick 'Cougar' Bourns and Katrina 'KatPandaBalls Cousins
11 Wombats, 1 Shingleback lizard, 1 Brushtailed Possum, 1 Fox, 6 Dirty Rats, 1 red-bellied black snake, 1 Wallaby, 1 Robin, 1 Parrot, 2 eastern grey kangaroo, 1 potentially dead, 12 awful smells from dead animals, 1 awful smell from Roger 'Diesel' Hawley
Category Jersey won by: Nicole Bourke, who had every reason to not start this event when her husband MadDog had to withdraw due to an injury sustained while playing Rugby. Nicole and MaDog have raised over $10,000 between them. Congrats Nicole and thank you for being such a beautiful lady who is so passionate about all things Smiddy and the Mater.
Guest Speaker tonight was Ross Andrewartha and he told us his reasons for coming on this ride due to losing close friends to cancer and wanting to do his part in the battle against this disease. Thank you Ross.
Rosco has a booming time
Day two of our epic journey started with a bang, literally a bang on the head for our first up Smiddy rider in Ross Andrewartha. To get out of the caravan park required a person, that person being Jessica Ebelt, fanning the sensor with her hand constantly to keep the boom gate from coming down. All the riders got through successfully bar one. Our old mate Rosco was last through the boom gate and down the boom went and down Rosco went as it collided with his helmet. The good news is that old mate was up quick as a flash and poor Jess felt terrible, although no fault of hers, just bad timing. I hung back and waited for Ross and we quickly caught up to the peloton who had slowed down on hearing an incident had happened. Now when the Smiddy peloton rolls we ride two abreast and the right hand lane moves up constantly and crosses over into the lefthand lane of riders. What this means is that each rider gets a small amount of time to have a chat. I was behind Ross and I got to hear the same story 13 times as he told each and every rider his close escape from the boom jaws of death. Nice work Rosco.
A fresh start on a beautiful misty morning
My how the Victorian country can turn on the weather. Yesterday I went through 4 bidons (water bottles) of liquid over a 200km cool day. Today my bidon count was 8 as the day panned out to be much warmer than yesterday with a top of 33 degrees. But back to that roll out at 6am as the temperature nudged 6.1 degrees. The early start was due to a 210km day in front of us and what a corker of a morning it turned out to be. The sun was just rising and the golden skyline was mesmerizing and stunning. The cow bell was rung by Mark Trembath for improving on being the last one ready on day one roll out, to being the first one ready this morning. Then after the Boom gate incident we rolled out of town and were privileged to witness a fog cloud hanging over the many long lakes that we rode beside. Simply sensational and if any of the riders were not impressed by this sight then they obviously were still asleep on the bike because they shared with me last night!
Great weather and a whoopingly fun descent
Just for the record there is no such word as whoopingly but it does sound like a lot of fun right? And for most that is what descending is all about. Enjoying the lack of pain associated with going up the buggers. Anyway we have been gifted with favourable conditions these first two days, which has been most appreciated by the group. We could be battling headwinds and rain but the weather gods are in a good mood for now and we are taking advantage of it. The group are already riding as if they have been together for weeks, not just two days. It was a reasonably flat ride today except for the middle section of the course where we climbed up to 423 metres. The descent was fun and was a go out your own pace section that was enjoyed by all. I teamed up with my old 7in7 sparing partners Mick Farrag. Steely thought it would be fun to sit on the back and do no work at all and then attempt to drop us at the end to take the glory. But Farragio (Mick) was having nothing of it and put the Steel beast in his place. A few quick ones to finish with; Mark Trembath is Mr T, Christian Killeen is Killer, Ron Steel is Man of Steel, Steely, the yellow flash and finally, Russel Conway is Rust Bucket Russ.
Anyway I am going to finish here and hightail it to the end of the day where we got to to do extra 2 kilometres thanks to John and Matt in the lead car insisting that we see the same street 17 times. The huddle was done by first time Smiddy rider in Paul Hogan from Sydney and just in case you are thinking Crocodile Dundee Hogan, it is not, but a much better improved version that actually enjoys staying with his wife, not wrestling crocodiles and detests carrying large knives that stick into his hips while walking through the city.
Paul did an excellent recount of the day and besides doing the Smiddy chant 6 times instead of 3 he performed the huddle faultlessly and with much passion and emotion. Thank you Paul.
To finish with here are my top 10 memorable moments from today.
Sharky's Top Ten Highlights
1. William "Billy Never Short of a Word" Bruce kept repeating this verse to anyone who would listen: Sodium Potassium Pump opening up the calcium channels and that produces the action potential for your muscle contraction. Please note that while this may come in at number 1 it is by no means my number 1 all time most favourite top 10 highlight. I just believe it deserved a mention due to being so confusing and it was impressive he could actually remember it.
2. This tour has quickly developed into a Smiddy tour of nicknames. First we have Ryan "Mini" Hicks. Sarah Crealy has been nicknamed Cereal as all the letters are nearly in her last name. Another name was given to her but to protect the rights of all women I cannot repeat it here. But know that it was given to her by Katrina? While on Katrina she is not only KatPandaBalls but also Christened by Sarah as Slag Face. Captain Kev has picked up and additional name thanks to getting cranky twice already in 2 days, Kev 'Cranky Stick Man'! Brad Scrivo has picked up the name B-Rad. Mick Farrag is now Farragio, after his Italian American incredibly good looks! Roger Hawley is now Roger 'Hawling' thanks to hawking everyone to 3km/h faster whenever he goes to the front of the peloton. Ross thanks to his boom gate incident has been renamed Boom Boom!
3. Christian 'Killer' Killeen, our ever faithful leader of this journey, asked Russ to pass on to each rider as he rode past to make sure they were eating and drinking. Killer did not know about Rusty's Drill Sargent voice. Rusty is so loud he can deliver a message that reverberates from the rear of the peloton to the front. Job done and dusted by the great Rust Man as each and every rider, out of fear, began to drink and eat as if their life depended on it. True story.
4. Matt Marshall had an excellent idea at lunch, he approached me and asked what I thought about running a race around the grass oval of the footy field. I was all for it of course and was spewing that I did not come up with it myself... Anyway it was a voluntary 1 lap 600 metre race over the very spongy grass that covered the field. 3 girls volunteered, Sarah, Katie and Melissa, who were given a 100 metre head start over ring in road crew member, the very fresh Tom Hagenson, who was on Kratzo's bike, Paul Hogan, Roger Hawley and myself. The rest smartly so stood back and watched, quietly amused. I am happy to tell you that the great Tom has finally been beaten in a race when he failed to catch Katie, who collapsed over her handlebars, relieved to have won but wondering if there was a price to pay. A huge thank you to Russell Wilson, who kindly donated $50 to the winners fundraising page.
5. Seeing Katie tonight struggling to stay awake during the formalities!
6. B-Rad showed us tonight why he has earned his new nickname when he pulled out the Sax and played a tune that he dedicated to Maria and David and all the riders present on this trip. It was heartfelt and sensational and much appreciated by everyone that witnessed it tonight. Thank you Brad.
7. The unbelievable support from the Lions in Stratford, who not only supplied dinner and lodging for the majority of the riders, but organised lifts to the showers at the local footy club and tomorrow will see us on our way with a cooked breakfast. The apple pie and ice-cream they served up after the roast dinner was the best I have ever tasted.
8. For 8 years now I have seen a multitude of Smiddy road crew members come and go. While some do a Smiddy road trip just once, others are here for many, many years. None will ever beat the passion of our lovely larrikin Captain Kev, but that does not matter. For all that come on board do so with the right intentions, and this current crop of newbies are no different. I wish I had the words to describe what amazing people these guys are, but nothing I say would come close. So for now I am giving you all a hooray on behalf of all the riders and a heartfelt thank you for the enthusiasm that you bring to this Smiddy event.
9. Meeting Mark Trembath's Mother and 2 sisters today in Yarram was a real treat for me and I know for Mr T he found it hard to leave them as the ride continued on after a short 15min water and yellow room stop.
10. Lucky last I have reserved for road crew member Nicole Arrowsmith, who is settling in well to this Smiddy moving chess game on the road. This afternoon she was convinced by Russell Wilson, an avid runner for the past 41 years, that it would be a good idea to go for a run. Nicole agreed but I hear say that she did it only because she wants to get fit for when she enters the 300km Noosa Smiddy event next April... Nice work Nicole and can't wait to welcome you on board as a Smiddy rider next time!
If you are reading this and maybe a little inspired and wish to make a donation to your favourite rider please go to www.smiddy.org.au and look for the Final Leg link and there you will find a search button to seek out any rider involved.
Also any messages of support are welcome to my email address of firstname.lastname@example.org and I will read them out each night to the crew.
Thank you for your support.