Thursday, 16 October 2014


Sawtell Beach To Casino - Day 12

Stats by David 'Stinky' Colahan
Distance: 197 kilometres
Average speed: 25.5 kmph
Maximum speed: 59 kmph
Temperature Minimum - 8 degrees
Temperature Maximum - 33 degrees
Metres climbed: 1879
Ride time: 7 hrs 39 min
Wind: Not much wind all day except last 20km's when we had a small tussle with a headwind in Casino)
White Horses: 74
Wishing Wells: 4
Ornamental Windmills: 4
Crappy NSW Roads: All of them!

Road Kill by Nick 'TinkerBell' Bourns and Hava Mendelle
2 Turtles
15 bad smells
2 snakes
2 lizards
3 kangaroos
7 bags of bones
1 Echidna
1 Drop Bear
1 Big Announcement about an announcement that will be announced tomorrow.

Video by Liam
Want to see what a day in the Smiddy peloton is like on the road? Well thanks to our old mate Liam Cavanagh or Cav. You can by following this link to see what he has come up with for day 12 (Sorry no link at this time, please just do a search on uTube if keen)

Category Jersey won by:
Ron Steel, besides being my best mate for 30 years Ron was one of the original 3 that did the first Smiddy ride up to Townsville, he has since completed 5 Smiddy Challenge events and this 7in7 event will be his third after helping me to complete the Darwin to Katherine and Katherine to Esperance leg when there was just 4 riders involved.

Guest Speaker
Was Sarah Creals, who talked about losing her favourite Auntie to Melanoma, along with two close friends to cancer, leaving behind little children. Sarah also spoke about her own personal battle with skin cancers on her scalp that required plastic surgery. Her first Smiddy event was the 2012 Brisbane to Townsville Challenge. She also completed the 7in7 event last year, and now this final leg to Brisbane. It is her way of trying to do something now so that more kids don't have to grow up without their parents. Thanks Sarah for the energy that you bring to every Smiddy peloton.

I would like to dedicate this blog to the riders and road crew of 7in7. Without you I swear my dream of riding around Australia would not have been possible. From that first year when I rode up to Cape York with my only company being Captain Kev and Cameron Single who rode with me from Cairns, and a fine man by the name of Shane Butler, who joined Kev as part of the road crew. To the present day and the awesome bunch of people that I have had the pleasure of riding with over the past 12 days. Plus of course all the riders and road crew from every year in between. A big shout out to Cap Kev for being as stubborn as I am, but in a driving-support-type-of-way, to see the job through to end for 7 long an hard bloody years. You are one of the strangest but nicest person on this Earth!

A wrap of the day in 200 words
Another 200 kilometre day stretched out in front of us as we rolled out smack bang 30 minutes behind our scheduled 6:30am leave time. As body's tire so do minds, and getting up and getting ready gets that little bit harder each morning. The crew are exhausted but 3 days of riding still beckon. The stage today from Sawtell Beach to Casino looked easy on paper after what we had been through these past 11 days. But as always, nothing is as it seems and the never-ending rollers kept hitting us low and hard. For me personally, the last 4 days of riding I have touched on some of the best form I have felt in years. But as per usual, this accounts for nothing in this game of endurance riding. 11 days of hard riding behind us and the late nights came crashing down on me today. I was unusually quiet in a hope-nobody-notices-type-of way, and of course everyone noticed. But as I found out I was not alone as many of the crew were in the same boat.

But somehow we got through another long and arduous day, thanks in part to our incredible road crew and their fancy dress antics and boundless amount of infectious energy. And of course to the stubborn riders, who are as determined as I am to see this journey through to the finish in Brisbane. Anyway we get into Casino and the honour of the huddle went to the two Brothers, who I should point out are actually not Brothers, but they should be as they are inseparable in the peloton and both share the same brute force physique. Toddy and Chambo started this journey as strangers and have become good mates over the past 5 days on the road. Thanks lads for doing that for me.

So now onto a few highlights from today to finish.

1. At afternoon tea all the road crew were decked out in the fancy dress attire and cheered the riders in. They are a welcome sight anytime but especially then as the NSW roads were taking their tole on us, and along with it being hot, we were all ravenously hungry - imagine that? Smiddy riders being hungry! The yummy cups of fruit salad and custard were devoured instantly. Thank you beautiful road crew.

2. Killer needed a night off from being the MC tonight so good old Mick 'Farragio' stepped up to the flat and delivered a fine performance. So fine in fact that Killer might get another night off tomorrow whether he wants it or not! Nice work mate and most appreciated by all the team.

3. An update on Russell Wilson after I spoke to him last night. He is still in Tamworth hospital and sounded better but he has yet to convince the doctors to release him. I know he is getting better when he jokingly said that in the morning he would be jogging by his bedside when the doctors were doing the rounds in the hope they would release him. He really wants to be there for the finish on Saturday he said and wanted to convey to the riders and road crew a good luck message.

4. Last night after the proceedings at the Bottlemart Hotel in Casino, Steely was working on his computer at the desk in the hotel room, while I was sitting on the bed working on this blog. It was 11pm when Ron shook me awake. He said he had fallen asleep at the desk, did the old head nod thing that wakes you up, turned around to tell me he was going to bed and noticed I had fallen asleep at the keyboard. I set the alarm for 4am and am now finishing this blog after a short but good 5 hours sleep.

5. I asked my good friend Katie Dick to write a few words of her experience over the past 12 days. It has been a pleasure hanging out with you Katie and showing me the stuff I knew you were made of.

A day on the bike - Its a funny thing. After a good feed and good sleep, each morning you are able to wake up feeling fresh. Sleep seems to be the best medicine in a trip like this. sadly this feeling doesn't last all day. The highs and lows come and go like the storms that pass through the snowy mountains.

After 12days on the bike fatigue has set in. Up until now each day has brought on a different pain and a new joy. For me i seem to only be able to concentrate on one at a time. First I focus on the amazing sunrises. We have seen some beauties. It is such a peaceful time of day. It's you, your mates, your bike, and nature at its best, with the whole day ready for you. Then you start to feel your body and how it is reacting to this endurance event. For me, it was the knee, then the achilles, then the bum, now the quads are screaming out with the lactic acid build up as genuine fatigue has set in. But the great thing about this event, is that you keep going no matter where your head is at. Everyone has moments. Ups and downs, and as you roll past one another, you start up a new conversation, or look up off the road and see this amazing landscape we have the pleasure of witnessing, and with this a new lease of energy is drawn upon.

Today I wanted to sit with kevie. He was just 20m behind in a comfy van. It would be so easy to 'tap out', and say im done. But you don't. The encouraging words from the riders next to you give you strength to keep going. A few noticed my pain and straight away offered a gel to keep me going. The simple coping strategy on this ride is; food, food, food. And to believe that you can and will keep going.

Id also like to say a big thanks to sharky for believing in me and all the riders on this trip. I meet him years ago when I joined UQ Triads. He was my triathlon coach. I was a social athlete, never sacrificing too much fun for training, but he saw my potential. And through little comments here and there has always given me the confidence to enter races/events I never thought possible. This is one such adventure. Without his encouraging words and genuine belief in what is possible for each individual I know I would not be the person I am here today. And I love this adventure, and I love that goals/dreams do come true - by sat 3pm we are all proof to that.

Have so much more to say, but not tonight as sleep is the best medicine. So goodnight, and I hope tomorrow is another cracking smiddy day.


Thanks Katie for those words and finally this blog is done. I have added the information below if any of our supporters would like to attend our function and finish celebrations on Saturday please read the information below.

Cheers from Sharky

Hundreds of people, thousands of kilometres, hundreds of thousands of funds raised for cancer research; Sharky's Oz 7-in-7 has certainly been an epic adventure that will finally come to an end next Saturday the 18th September.

We'd love you to join us and the rest of the Smiddy family as we cheer in Sharky, Captain Kev and the Smiddy peloton as they complete the final stage of this journey of friends.

Join us at UQ Aquatic Centre, St Lucia, Brisbane, from 2pm. Be part of a very special Smiddy huddle and enjoy afternoon tea with some great people.

Celebrations continue at the UQ Pizza Cafe from 5pm where we will enjoy a light supper and a beverage or two, as well as some very special presentations. Tickets for the supper are $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available here>>>

Zinc up for Smiddy - as you know we're passionate about sun safety and one of the iconic images of the 7-in-7, is that of Kate and the boys zinced up to the max as they made their way down the West Coast. Show your support for Smiddy by zincing up Saturday.

Supporting the peloton - as with all Smiddy events the 7-in7 is being conducted according to strict police guidelines. With this in mind we ask that riders or vehicles do not join the peloton as they make their way into Brisbane. Of course cheers, signs and banging pots would all be hugely appreciated.

If you have any questions or would like any further information please contact Anna on

We look forward to seeing you there.

The Smiling for Smiddy Team

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