Sunday, 26 April 2015



Stats for the day by Stinky Dave
Distance:128 km's
Average: 24.2 km/h
Max Speed: 69 km/h
Climbing: 1645 metres
Riding time: 5:16:45
Temp Min: 14 degrees
Temp Max: 24 degrees

Third year and a brand new last day
This year's Noosa Smiddy day-four ride was a totally new affair. For the past two years we have let the riders loose to go at their own pace over the official Noosa Century course. But thanks to a change of date by the organisers we were free to go and design our own epic finish to what has been one of the most memorable and pleasing experiences for this event. Killer came up with another cracker of a course that included stupid amounts of climbing, treacherous descents, rough and smooth roads to boot, scenic views nearly -and I stress nearly- as beautiful as my new Wife Alyssa! And the crowning glory of the day was the epic dirt section at the end of the ride that all the riders either loved or hated with a passion. I could not have been happier!

Cooran and coffee here we come
One thing that we know will help riders forgive us for punishing them day in and day out for multiple days, is if we throw in a day that involves coffee. Not the instant type but the real thing. Well today they got just that, and I can nearly guarantee you that not one person in the peloton had visited this quaint little village outside of Noosa called Cooran. The one exception to that rule is our course designer and reconnaissance man in Mr Killer; who does actually have a real name of Christian Killeen, but Killer is so much more exciting and makes you think twice about crossing him. Anyway the one and only Clooney's cafe in the town were pre-warned that 40 thirsty riders would be descending upon their cafeteria at 8:15am this Sunday morning. Now every morning we have traditionally left 'right on time', by leaving late by exactly 15 minutes! This mornings roll out (sent on our way by our youngest official road crew person ever in 13 year old Georgia Buick) was no different as our 6am start saw us leave at 6:15. Ironically the only place were we were not late, but exactly 15 minutes early, was Cooran, for yes you guessed it, our one and only designated coffee stop! There is a message here but I will leave that for you to decipher...

A huge thank you to the owner Chris and her two staff Vicki and Foebe for coming in early to help keep up with the demand for coffees, muffins, brownies and gluten free mudcake.

Mount Pomona Climb
Now prior to getting to Cooran, first the peloton had some fun going up and over the Pomona climb. Traditionally used in the Noosa Century ride and a great one to race your mates up. Boasting rights trophy was the prize for first to the top, and there was a healthy bunch of testosterone laden males keen to win it. Oh and to be able to say, "I beat Phil Anderson". The only issue with this is that Phil, now a healthy fit and trim 57 year old, refuses to slow down. The front pack riding with Phil, consisted of about 15 riders and as each crest came on the three-kilometre climb, it continued to dwindle in numbers. Until there was only one; the great, the one and only, the awesome, the amazing and the bloody stubborn mongrel that still knows how to put the youngest of riders in their place. He was the first Australian to wear the Yellow jersey in the Tour De France way back when Captain Kev was still in nappies. That year was 1981 and that man was Phil "Skippy" Anderson. I could not have been happier! The wind at the top was amazing and on the descent you needed to hold on, enjoy the mountainous views and stay upright until the shelter of the trees below once again protected you from the rebellious winds.

Cooran to Noosa
Getting back to Noosa from Cooran saw many more climbs being negotiated and still many new untraveled roads for the peloton. Killer had excelled and the rolling nature of the course was truly exceptional in that it was Challenging but rewarding at the same time with its constant whoop-arse descents. While the riders were tested, and I am sure at times cursing, I could not help but recall the offer they were given by Cherie and Killer just prior to roll out of a shorter option of 85 kilometres. Not one person put up their hand and from that time on they accepted their fate regardless of what the course threw at them.

The Dougy Chuddle
It was at the 85 kilometre point of the ride that our old mate Doug had an emotional break down. On very little training he came into the event determined to do the entire ride under his own steam and not once accepting a push up any of the constant climbs each day. The little fella, with the biggest of hearts, pushed and pushed, his body willing, but his mind eventually cracked. Scotty came over to me at the break and told me Doug was in a bad way and could we gee him up somehow. "Bloody oaf mate, leave it with me," was my reply. The rider group was called over and Doug was placed in the middle, we surrounded him with our road crew and then the riders encased him in the great Smiddy hug that I coined 'The Chuddle' (combination of a huddle and a cuddle) back in 2011 when we introduced it for the Challenge that year.

We then chanted Dougy's name as we rose and fell in rhythm, until a crescendo was reached and Dougy felt the love of all present. I know it sounds kind of corny, but after four hard days of riding the riders and road crew just do it without question. The bond that is formed by day three of the ride is something pretty special. Nothing that is asked of the group is considered crazy, and if it helps a fellow rider than it is absolutely worth the silliness or effort required. Of course Doug was embarrassed but I know it meant the world to him. As there was a lot more climbing to come Doug quietly hopped into the car with Kevvy and sat out the next 20 kilometres. He rejoined us for the remaining ten kilometres a most rejuvenated man. The peloton was complete with Doug in it and we could not have been happier.

The final huddle
Kevvy and Geevsey were given the honour of taking the huddle thanks to their selfless efforts to look after us out on the road. Emotions were at their usual all time high for the end of yet another most successful and emotional Smiddy event. The group that came together were mostly strangers on day one, but best of buddies by the end of the tour. As always, it is hard saying goodbye to people that you become so close to over such a short period of time. But I just tell myself that the lure of another Smiddy event will eventually pull them back into the fold and I will get to ride with them again.

Thank you to each and every rider and road crew and their families, donors and supporters for making this such a successful event. We are in awe of your support of Smiddy and the Mater Foundation and forever in your debt.

You now have a month of grace before I will share with you more tales of Smiddy heroes when the three-day Midi Smiddy begins.

Until then take care.



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