Friday, 22 April 2016


Noosa Via Cooran and Lake Macdonald

Statistics for the day:
Distance: 107 km
Ave speed: 25.6 km/h
Max Speed: 82 kph
Elevation climbed: 1020 mtrs
Ride time: 4:10:01
Min temp: 22 degrees
Max temp: 33 degrees
Road Kill By Jeff McKeon 1 bag of bones, 1 possum, 1 snake, a dead car, 4 bad smells and 3 unknowns.

Welcome to the 2016 edition and fourth annual running of the popular Noosa Smiddy Challenge. Now you all know I love a Smiddy first and in this case it was the first time that on the first day of the Smiddy Noosa Challenge, we rolled out of the RACV Resort on day one instead of from Brisbane. And get this... We did not start until 9am, another Smiddy first. Most of our days start at 6am or 7am at the very latest. The later start allowed those riders that lived in Brisbane the chance to drive up in the morning. Now the great Phil Anderson is once again onboard for the Noosa journey, his fourth year in a row with us and Phil openly admits the toughest thing about Smiddy events is the early starts.

Phil stayed with Alyssa and I on the Wednesday night in Brisbane and we had him out of bed at 4:15am for a 5:30am river loop with some guest riders that started from Smiddy Park. So we were off to a bad start, but let me assure you we are back in the good books thanks to a day lounging around the RACV resort pool at Noosa, and without a care in the world, relaxing and sipping on cocktails as he worked on his Smiddy tan. On top of that he got a massive sleep in this morning. Yes Phil is back to being pleased to be a Smiddy athlete. That of course is bound to change when we roll out tomorrow at 6:15am for day two, but sshhhh, we'll keep that secret between you and me and hopefully the big Skip won't get wind of it.

So it was, with our late start, that we had 10 superbly fit and extremely beautiful and talented female Smiddy riders, all trembling slightly with a nervous anticipation of their first day on the road. 27 handsome male riders made up the numbers and while we were simply stunning in our good looks, not one of us came close to the unimaginable George Clooney beauty of our Captain Kevvy, with his flowing locks of grey hair and majestic beard that hangs down to his belly button these days.

So with Phil and Kev happy the first day on the road was always going to be a good one.

Now before I go any further it would be remiss of me not to mention another group of people that happily give up their time to put up with the atrocities of having to stay in this terrible 5 star resort! I tip my hat to these guys and girls known as the Smiddy Road Crew. A big shout out to Geesvey, Sammi Jo, Kevvy, Lesley, The Stubbs Man, all Smiddy volunteer repeat offenders. Our only newbie is this really short guy that goes by the name of Domonic Sullivan. A Mater Foundation employee who I can guarantee, after volunteering over this weekend, will be signing up to not volunteer, but to ride up to Townsville with us in September and you heard that here today and straight from the horses mouth. Welcome on board Dom and oh by the way, no pressure mate!

With regards to the Smiddy staff, Christian Killeen deciding he actually needed to spend a weekend at home with his family, which meant that Cherie got to step up to take on his position of Captain of the Peloton. After day 1 I am giving her a 8 out of 10 but expecting her to score full marks by day 4. Lastly the delightful Krista has put her cycling shoes in the cupboard and put on her road crew hat, and along with Wendy I know the girls are going to have a hoot of a time looking after the riders.

Just before I get into the days ride I would like to single out three exceptional ride volunteers in David Colahan, Dale Heaps and Michael Cooper. All 3 lads have given up 4 days of their time to help look after the safety of the peloton. A huge thank you to all the people mentioned above.

As I mentioned above roll out was at 9am and in typical Smiddy fashion we were right on time as the clock ticked over to 10 minutes after 9... Captain Kev delighted Jim Ramsay by asking him to ring the cow bell and before you could say Bob's your Uncle the Noosa ride was under way and Tamara Vella from Mackay, being the big kid that she is, asked me; "Sharky are we there yet"? I would never be that immature and say that hey Tamara?

Somehow we managed to suck up six hours of time to ride 107 kilometres but the important thing is that we rolled back into the RACV Resort, safe and sound, albeit a tad sweaty, after a leisurely start to the tour.

To finish see my highlights of the day below:

1. Geevsey gets number one for going for a ride this morning from 6am and at 7:30am I get a call from him asking me if I can get Kevvy to rescue him. A popped spoke didn't stop him but the puncture a few kilometres later did. Probably best he sticks to driving the lead car.

2. While on Geevsey I may as well throw in a Geevsy/Stubbsy double, our lead car duo, when the road crew bible was blamed for a wrong turn. It would not be a Smiddy ride without Geevsey taking us on a detour. Nice work boys.

3. We had a few firsts today and first spotted calf chainring mark goes to Karen Short. She rubbed it off it was noted but sorry Karen you are number one!

4. First fall today went to John Daly While going up the 3km Cootharaba Road climb his bike decided it was not going a wheel length any further and it bucked him off his bike like a Bronco Bull. Full credit to the big fella for picking himself up and getting the job done. John also had the dubious honour of taking out the second fall of the day when he touched a wheel and down he went and for that one he had the pleasure of spending van time with Kevvy.

5. While talking about John, it was a unanimous decision to award John the mate-ship jersey award, which was presented by Phil Anderson, for accepting his fate and staying in the van for the remainder of the ride. While John could have ridden after fall number 2 he was thinking of the rest of the peloton and wanted everyone to feel safe.

6. In another Smiddy first today we had our shortest day in Smiddy history of 107 kilometres, which was not a bad thing as we were back at the resort with plenty of time to sip on cocktails with Phil Anderson by the pool.

7. In an unbelievable first we had a rider, who's name will remain anonymous as Allan Rielly would be embarrassed if I read out his name, who began the ride wearing a 'Spirit' jersey. These jerseys are only handed out in extremely rare occasions and when the question was asked how he acquired one his answer was; "It arrived in the mail."
So tonight at the barbecue function at RACV, I awarded Allan Rielly the Spirit jersey award for being the first Smiddy person in history for getting a Spirit jersey by unsolicited means. Nice work mate! Who at Smiddy got the bribe?

8. Andrew Baker and Sharon Greenhill won the KOM and QOM for that 3 kilometre climb today. If they can back it up and win the 10km Montville climb on Monday a special award awaits the pair... What could it be? All will be revealed in Monday's blog

9. The lunch today put on by the road crew was it's usual culinary world famous delight, but they also arranged a spectacular spot by Lake MacDonald. The day was hot and humid and the water looked so inviting but there was eating to do and plenty of it! Us riders take our job seriously when it comes to eating. Cafe Maria banner at lunch was the highlight for me today.

10. Steve Bardsley tonight shared his reason how he came to do his first Smiddy tour. A touching story beautifully told.

11. Milkshake and a Muffin to go please... At pee stop number two at a quaint little town called Cooran, a rider was spotted drinking his milkshake and munching on his muffin at the back of the peloton due to his order arriving just as the riders rolled out. Another rider spotted this delight and snatched the last quarter of the muffin and shoved it in his mouth and was heard to comment, this is still warm, yum!

12. Phil and Sharky were nearly crushed by a drop bear today at lunch. I am still too traumatised to tell the full story. See photo for details.

That's all from me so until tomorrow.


Yes I know we both need a haircut and a shave! Especially that dangerous Drop Bear!

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