Wednesday, 2 September 2015

2015 Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge—Day 5 Blackwater to Clermont

Day 5 highlights written byZane, Ian and Jayden

Stats of the day read by Dave “Stinky” Colahan supplied by Habo

Elapsed time – 11 hours 4 minutes
Moving time – 7 hours 20 minutes
Average speed – 26 km per hour

Fastest Speed – 55 km per hour
Total distance – 190.5km
Vertical gain – 764 m
Min temp – 16 degrees
Max temp – 35 degrees

Road Kill Count by Michael Zinc:

1 Cat
2 Echidnas
13 Kangaroos
4 Bad smells
8 Bags of bones

Category Jerseys

Spirit Jersey: Jennifer Penfold, for her determination and hard work on the bike.

Team Jersey: Terry Smoothy, for his support of Sharky over the years and involvement as Smiddy Road crew.

Mateship Jersey: Malcolm Frizzel, for his noted mateship with fellow rider Boydy

Guest Community Function Speakers-

Tonight, riders Ross West and Mark Quarrel spoke about their reasons for joining the Smiddy Peloton. Ross spoke of his long friendship with Sharky and despite Sharky’s annual pestering for him to join the Smiddy Family he had finally succumbed to Sharky’s wife Alyssa’s plea. Mark lost a close family friend and the realisation that his friend’s infant daughter would grow up not knowing her father inspired Mark to try and do something to help fight the battle.

Account of the day

Day 5 of the challenge is often the sheep in wolves clothing the climbing is long behind us and the distances are all under 200 km, so today should be a piece of cake… however, this wasn't the case.

We were dropped at the Village on Blain by our Blackwater Billets for a full buffet spread which any 5-star resort would be proud of. On mornings like this we feel guilty when we say goodbye to our billets after their warm hospitality we rarely get time to sit down and have a good chat, but rest assured we do appreciate their amazing support and generosity. Mick Farragio upheld the Smiddy tradition of kicking off the day with a double choc ice-cream cone.

We rolled out from the Blackwater PCYC 20 minutes late at 6:20 with a balmy 16 degrees on the thermometer. The morning bell to get the peloton underway was rung by long-time Smiddy Supporter Lynlea O’Neill. As the group departed Blackwater, spirits were high after a warm bed, good feed, overcast conditions and slight tail wind at our backs. Our first stop of the day was at Comet where lead vehicle driver Kevin Stemm and his navigator Mia had a disagreement about how far away he had parked from the peloton. It was also at this stop where Sharky and Habo took a selfie yelling in jubilation as the flash went off, with Habo then telling Sharky you can’t actually hear anything in a photo. Sharky appeared a little upset by this news. After a short stop we rolled on again with Emerald in our sights only to make an unexpected stop when rider Claire Schneider came down—thankfully she had no injuries and would later return to the peloton after morning tea. After a quick discussion about the importance of looking after your mates and fellow riders we then pedalled on to Emerald where we visited the Denison State School and we were welcomed by the students in a fence line guard of honour. After enlightening the children with our sun safe message we were treated to morning tea provided by former Smiddy rider Errol Rosenblatt’s wife.

With stomachs full we then made the right hand turn towards our next destination Clermont. We still had 110 km to travel and the headwind was making its presence well and truly known. The peloton battled these headwinds for the next 50 km before rolling into Capella for a well-earned lunch. The teamwork shown exemplified the Smiddy spirit as we soldiered on towards Clermont. The next 55km weren’t hell but it was certainly the address next door, with comments such as ‘I think I just lost my soul on the road’ due to intensifying headwinds and heat. With 10 km to go the peloton stopped for a quick afternoon tea and we were on our way again. With the finish line in sight Smiddy Train 2015 ignored Stinky Dave’s instruction to take it easy and light work was made of the final kilometres.

Arriving into Clermont an hour behind schedule at 4.30pm we were greeted by a large crowd of supporters. The supporters included students from Saint Joseph’s and Clermont State Schools who embraced Smiddy crazy sock day and managed to raise $140 and $250 respectively. To the riders’ delight we rolled into the back of the Commercial Hotel where we were met by hot food and cold beers. A big thanks to Roger and Mari Lyons of the Commercial Hotel for their continued support. Once our stomachs were full and thirsts quenched the Smiddy huddle was formed with Aunty Marie leading the huddle on her Birthday (happy birthday Marie) with rider Glen taking on the all-important duty of the Smiddy chant.

The nightly function at the Clermont community hall saw riders and billets enjoy a great dinner provided by Morne, Dawid and Anna from Glencor. Riders were surprised with messages of support from loved ones being displayed in a slideshow presented. Another Slideshow recapping the first 10 years of the Smiddy Challenge highlighted how Sharky’s adventure has now become something so much more. The slideshow demonstrated that Smiddy is more than just a charity organisation—it is a close knit family that only those who have been a part of can understand. A special mention must also go to Jackie Martin for her tireless work and dedication to Smiddy. Finally in breaking news road kill consultant Booba Aka Mick Young is taking industrial action for his unfair dismissal. By the final day of the challenge Road Kill Deputy Luke may have to add Zincy to the list if Booba is not reinstated and a public apology made. 

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