Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge—Day 4 Biloela to Blackwater

Day 4 highlights written by – the 2015 road crew

Stats of the day by Dave “Stinky” Colahan
Elapsed time – 11:26
Moving time – 8:36
Average speed – 28 km
Fastest Speed- 63 km
Total distance-  239.6 km
Vertical gain – 1057m
Min temp - 2
Max temp – 30

Road Kill Count by Michael Zinc:
  • 23 Bag of Bones
  • 31 Kangaroos
  • 6 Birds
  • 1 Frog
  • 1 Cane Toad
  • 5 Rabbits
  • 1 Pelican
  • 1 Polar bear
  • 1 bloody red smear
  • 1 chicken (in the form of a Red Rooster box)
  • 30 bad smells – some animal some animalistic humans
Category Jerseys

Spirit Jersey: Chris Sydes

Team Jersey: Cameron Schembri and Blair Milne

Mateship Jersey: Ray Smith

Guest Community Function Speakers
Claire and James Schneider and Oliver Bodak 

Account of the day

Stinky Dave wanted the inside scope on what really happens on road crew because, while at the Thangool dinner when Lesley and Kelly were talking about their really bad skinny flat white experience in Monto and their really good bacon and egg burgers, his interest was piqued. He deduced from this that road crew just swan around all day. Stinky Dave, this insight into a day in the life of road crew is for you … and your 53 mates.
The day for road crew typically starts about an hour and a half before roll out but the crew were excited to have a sleep in to 4.45 this morning, thanks to our wonderful hosts providing breakfast.

Once again the community of Biloela displayed their generosity by providing warm beds for around 70 people, who for the most part they don’t know. Not only do our wonderful hosts open their homes and their pantries; they get up early in the morning ferrying us all to Don and Di Morris’ old shop for a warm farewell. As is tradition, the strains of the lone bagpiper playing Scotland the Brave sent the cyclists off on yet another gruelling 240 km day to Blackwater.

Road crew thanks most sincerely Don and Di Morris, Dave from Foodworks and Tony from Biloela laundromat for again helping us to take care of the cyclists. We truly couldn’t do this without them.

Now back to the inside scoop …

Day 4 nearly started with disaster when Wendy, Glen and Kay headed off from Don and Di’s.  Wendy noticed a cool breeze coming through the car and a light on to suggest that a door was open. Glen and Kay convinced Wendy that all was well until Glen looked out the back to notice the hatch back door was fully opened. Ever looking after the riders the road crew drove back to make sure nothing had fallen out.

And to further prove what goes into looking after all of the cyclists, long term hosts Noel and Bronwyn shared with road crew that they did a complete sweep of the house to ensure that Sharky had not left anything behind, declaring that they have chased the Smiddy vehicles many times before.

The riders left with Stemmy, Mia, Captain Kev and Lesley while the remaining road crew stopped for the obligatory skinny flat whites and sausage rolls at the bakery.

Kay and Kelly left first to do yesterday’s laundry and get yesterday’s Blog and photos back to the Mater Foundation’s fundraising communications team.

While the dryers are spinning at the laundromat, the rest of the crew are making their way to the first stop to prepare morning tea. Okay, so today it was leftover Home Baking from Thangool State School but wasn’t it beautifully arranged on the platters. Come to think of it we are wondering if we can find schools to do this all the way from St Lucia to Townsville. To be fair, this isn’t standard, mornings are usually spent chopping, cutting, slicing, dicing, spreading, wrapping, arranging and plating up various culinary delights under the watchful eye of Chief Food Stylist Bec.

The highlight of morning tea every year for both riders and road crew is meeting Kevvy’s mum and dad, Gladys and Noel Duthie. Gladys in her late 80s and Noel 94, this year gave Kevvy a donation of $350, $250 which is from their savings and $100 from the local card game. They also gave the riders a box of oranges and grapefruit, saving the road crew yet another shopping trip.

Stemmy our trusty lead vehicle crew member thought he would give riders something else for them to do at morning tea when the lead vehicle was bogged as he pulled over to the side of the road to let another vehicle pass and they helped him out.

The riders set off from morning tea and the crew pack up the left over cake and head off for the lunch stop.

Hearing ‘rider down’ is something that all road crew fear and just before lunch exactly that happened when we discovered that half the Tasmanian contingent (one rider) had gone down. Luckily no-one was seriously hurt although a bike will never recover … at least not on this trip. Ollie, if you wanted to ride with David Smiddy in the Taj Mahal all you really needed to do was ask.

Being on road crew can be a waiting game at times and as the crew wait to prepare lunch, entertainment is required.  The Smiddy Assassin, Sammi Jo provided massages to road crew members and Marie entertained the group when she suddenly declared, the older she gets the closer her bladder gets to her eyes.

In the meantime Peter and Bec Knight took on the role of Smiddy Angels placing balloons and signs at the half way mark for riders.

Today’s lunch menu was corned beef and salad wraps and the crew decided it was time to start a new Smiddy road crew tradition – an annual Challenge wrap off.  Two teams of three formed for a practice run of a race to make the most wraps in the shortest time. The official competition is tomorrow.

After lunch David, Kay, Glen, Lesley, Kelly and new road crew member Ollie, head to Blackwater to unpack riders’ bags and laundry. Glen, Lesley and Ollie shot some hoops in the PCYC and it is declared (by Lesley) that she still has it going on.

Another afternoon tea, another fall and oops, there goes the other half of Tasmania wiped out! Tim Smith, we heard you might have been showing off!

We think this is a pretty good road crew but you know, no Smiddy Road Crew is ever going to be complete without our Maria. We’ve felt her presence; we’ve heard her laughter; and we’ve thought about her every day. Huddles are that bit harder but we know that she would be very happy knowing how we’re looking after our 2015 Smiling for Smiddy cyclists.

And now, to honour Maria, here’s Bec with the catering stats:

  • 1200 Saos
  • 240 eggs
  • 300 litres soft drink
  • 15kg lollies
  • 60 loaves bread and wraps
  • 160 tomatoes
  • 500 packet chips
  • 4 kg peanut butter
  • 20 watermelons
  • 500 bottles Powerade
  • 8 kg grated cheese
  • Plus lots of healthy greens and home baking.

Special acknowledgements for the Blackwater community:

Lynlea O’Neill and Don Forbes (Village on Blain) for looking after us all; Scott Evans and the Blackwater  Mine Workers Club for providing dinner; and all our wonderful hosts.
Day 4 ended with another great meal and good company and the road crew still talking about Glen’s version of Little Things from the night before.  

We hope that gives you an insight into a day in the life of the road crew. If you think we swan around all day, we’ll take that as a compliment. We’re happy looking like beautiful, graceful swans, but know that under the water the legs are going madly, looking after our wonderful cyclists.

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