Sunday, 6 September 2015


Day 8 highlights written by Stinky Dave aka David Colahan

Stats of the day by Dave “Stinky” Colahan

Elapsed time – 7:55
Moving time – 5:10
Average speed – 26.9 km/hr

Fastest Speed – 71.2 km/hr
Total distance- 139 km
Vertical gain – 500 m
Min temp - 17 degrees
Max temp – 31 degrees

Category Jerseys

Teamwork:  Ryan Chapman & Kevvy Enchelmaier 

Spirit:   Mark Quarrell, Jason Boyd & Kevvy Enchelmaier

Mateship:  Rowan Foster, Oliver Bodak, Ron Steel & Kevvy Enchelmaier 

Account of the day

After a great night’s sleep on the green, green grass of Charters Towers School of the Air, we were woken to the sound of sizzling bacon, sausages, eggs and ... PANCAKES, all put on by the Charters Towers Rotary Club, coordinated by long time Smiddy supporters John and Anne Clark.

There was a real buzz among the group as we knew that we only had one more ride to get to our destination.  The peloton looked extra classy this morning as we all made our way to the start in our brand new rainbow socks - another memento of our beautiful Maria. 

Killer reminded the group that we still had some riding to do and that the most important job we had today was to get the whole group safe and sound to our loved ones waiting for us in Townsville.

Ann Clark rang the bell and we were away, joined by some local riders for the first few kilometres out of Charters Towers.  Let’s just say that Killer’s talk didn’t kick in straight away.  As the enormity of what we had done dawned, there was lots of happy talk and celebration in the peloton for the first few kilometres, before we settled down to business.  We also had a very special guest in the peloton today, as Clair and James, aka Schneider Rider and Schlippery, finally escorted Big Jeff aka the Sandbagger in to Townsville – a journey he was so keen to complete two years ago.

There was a slight reverse tailwind early, but the peloton made good time to the first yellow room stop of the day, where we surprised our young physio, Blair with a small gift.  Blair has worked tirelessly for the last eight days making sure that many tired bodies were held together and out on the road.  On behalf of all the riders, thanks again Blair.

As the day progressed, the reverse tailwind picked up, but there was no way it would dampen the spirits of this group.  We rolled into morning tea and as is the norm on day 8, we were all over the magnificent spread of food like a plague of locusts – devouring anything in sight. It’s hard to believe that just seven days ago, we all (well most of us) stood patiently in line and queued up to get the delicious food lovingly prepared by the road crew.

Even though the road crew make delicious food, returning riders know that on day 8, it’s best to eat as little as possible at morning tea.  Why you may ask?  Because 47 km down the road is the most amazing lunch ever.
The ladies of the CWA at Woodstock lived up to their reputation, with another fine spread of cold meats, salads and amazing desserts.  Some Smiddy veterans upon arrival at the hall, refused to find a seat and conveniently staged a fake “conference” near the food table so that they could be first to enjoy the delicious spread.  Shame on you David Smiddy, Row, Rusty and Stinky!

After lunch, more kilometres, more reverse tailwinds before a visit to a Bottlemart hotel for a quick drink and photo.  Then four kilometres more, and we were rolling in to the Mercure Hotel cheered on by family, friends and loved ones.  There were spontaneous hugs between the riders and road crew as we celebrated all the achievements and emotions that come from 1600 km and 8 days on the long road from Brisbane to Townsville.

Even though this is my 5th Challenge the lessons I learn along the way are always the same.  The Challenge teaches you that love, perseverance, spirit, mateship and teamwork can help you achieve anything you set out to do. Sure the riders learn these lessons out on the road – but they apply to all of us and to everything we do in all of our lives.  I’m sure I’m a better person, better husband and better parent as a result of my Smiddy experiences – that’s why I keep coming back.

Tonight we celebrate with family, friends and loved ones.  Something we've also been so painfully reminded of this year is to hold on to those we love, and make every moment count.

I also learned this year that the snowmen smell like carrots.

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