Wednesday, 16 March 2016

2016 New Zealand Smiddy Challenge - Day Three

Day three - Reefton to Greymouth

Ride stats

Total distance: 176.97 km
Total riding time: 6 hours 52 minutes
Total lapsed time: 8 hours 50 minutes
Minimum temperature: 7 degrees
Maximum temperature: 17 degrees
Maximum wind gust after lunch: 45km/h
Calories burnt: 3090 which equates to 6 Big Macs or 15 Perkynanas

Road kill count:

1 feral cat
1 Weka
6 UFOs
84 roadside waterfalls

Today it rained. It rained all day. Today Smiddy spirit, teamwork and mateship got us through what was an epic day on the bike for riders and an epic day for road crew. 

Today we were silly, we were funny and we laughed at everything including the rain. Today we counted waterfalls that gushed down the side of the mountains like we were counting chocolate eggs after an Easter hunt. Today was made up with so many moments that will stay with us long after we fly home but some I have to share.

1. David 'the captain' Hill was extremely worried as we were riding to morning tea that Saos would be soggy. They weren't and he upset Sammi-Jo as there was no way the Smiddy A-team road crew would serve soggy Saos.

2. Sir Kevvy decided the new Smiddy camping dunny needed to be tried out and the driest place was under the tent at morning tea. Luckily he was only pretending!

3. Amanda had a spare pair of dry socks in her day bag which she was so happy to put on during the lunch break. The only problem was she had left her shoes out in the rain and they were full of water. This earnt her a Perkynana nomination.

4. The singing - John Denver's greatest hits, all Simon and Garfunkel's hit songs, and a bit of George Michael.

5. Maria as she was riding up a climb and being helped by Ken. She couldn't understand why it was so hard and she was working so hard until she looked down and saw she was still in her big chain ring.

6. Sir Kevvy who spent all day drying his slightly damp shorts on the back seat of the car only to have a rider in their sopping wet cycling kit sit on them.

7. Ken hiding in the back of the catering van out of the rain at lunch helping himself to the end of day recovery food. The riders called this the Qantas club.

8. Captain David who was found hiding in the back of the road crew car pretending to be a day bag so he wouldn't have to ride after lunch.

9. A rider, who shall remain nameless, who commented after lunch that if the road crew really wanted to support the riders they would offer to ride their bikes to Greymouth. This person didn't have the balls to actually say this to the road crew.

10. Myself who very confidently predicted the weather for Day 3 - rain between 6 & 8am but clearing as we got closer to Greymouth. Followed by a comment at lunch time "well at least there is no wind" then we rode into an incredible head and side wind and the rain was horizontal. Needless to say I've been sacked as the weather person. 

To finish an incredible day on the bike we had dinner at the local Paroa hotel in front of a roaring fire with lots of good red wine. The food was beautiful and the company even better.

The Perkynana award was a joint award to myself for the weather forecast and to Jillian who said on the radio before morning tea that the rain was clearing. We were both so very wrong but luckily the riders were forgiving.

Tonight the Smiddy teamwork jersey award was given to Tim Russell who has supported the riders over the 3 days and become a ride leader. Thank you Tim!

Tomorrow we don't know what the weather forecast is as everyone is too scared to predict it. But  it doesn't matter as we only have to ride 120km up a little hill called Arthur's Pass. There has been a rumour that it snowed her last night! 

~ Cherie

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