Saturday, 23 April 2016


2016 Noosa Smiddy - Day Two

Noosa Via Kandanga & Cooroy

Statistics for the day:

Distance: 145 km
Ave speed: 24.4 km/h
Max Speed: 74.1 kmp/h
Elevation climbed: 1883 mtrs
Ride time: 5:55:00
Min temp: 14 degrees
Max temp: 30 degrees
Road Kill: 5 cane toads, 1 possum, 1 kookaburra, 1 duck, 2 snakes, 1 turtle, 3 bag of bones and some random smells, 1 lizard, 1 goanna.

Roll-Out and Jo Stewart Makes a Welcome Return
We all know Phil Anderson was extremely excited about the roll out today being at the merry time of 6:15am. But someone even more excited was a blast from the past in Jo Stewart. Her last time in the Smiddy peloton dated back to 2009 when flexi-teller machines and street-lights were first introduced to Queensland! Or thereabouts... That event was called the Half Smiddy, and it was a grueling and torturous 5 day event that took in over 15,000 metres of climbing and 900 kilometres throughout Northern NSW and South-East Qld. It has taken this long for Jo to recover and she was welcomed back into the peloton the most honourable Smiddy way when Kevvy invited her to ring the cow bell to start day two's epic 145km hilly stage. Jo has also been a loyal sponsor to Smiddy for 9 years through her business Tineli Clothing. So if any of the riders have any complaints about the bike kit Jo is happy to answer any of your queries.

So let's hook in and get to the fast facts from today's ride. Basically we left right on time at 6:25 for our scheduled 6:15am start. Jo's bell ringing woke up all the non-riders at the resort and we were on our way and left the carnage and anger to be directed to our beautiful understanding road crew. Nearly six-hours riding time later we rolled back into the RACV resort and proceeded to wake up all those same people again that were taking their afternoon kip with all the celebrations that only a huddle can muster... It was the least we could do.

So that's it in a nutshell, and for the record a few memorable moments may have happened throughout today, and that is best captured in my highlights package below.

Sharky's Highlight Package Extravaganza Bonanza

1. Just for fun Killer mapped out today's course to take us up the same 3km KOM climb as yesterday. This was so much appreciated by the riders, especially those that love to not climb steep mountains. Now the comment of the day definitely goes to Andrew Baker, who as we know collected maximum points yesterday for this climb. Only this time he got his butt spanked by Dale "Gorgeous" Heaps. But according to Andrew's logical conclusion that Dale is actually just a mediocre ride leader then that cancels him out from being a contender in KOM points.

2. Yesterday I forgot to mention old mate Rob 'Sparky' Bright left home without his helmet. But thanks to the generosity of Geevsey, Rob got to wear his sweaty old helmet that dates back to the 70's and was more like an old hair-net than a helmet. The local bike shop that Jo and her husband Greg owned picked up a sale that afternoon of a new helmet. While Rob was welcome to continue wearing Geevsey's helmet and I know he was too polite to say this, but we suspect the smell of Geevsey's helmet was just too overwhelming.

3. While we are kicking the man while he's down lets keep the ball rolling with yet another Geevsey/Stubbsy double act when they decided the riders need more hill training as they drove right past our scheduled loo stop at Cooran. What will day 3 bring?

4. Back to Andrew Baker again, who was egging me all day today to pay out on his mate Sparky about the helmet. Well it's your turn again sorry my friend and for the life of me I still cannot believe you actually confessed this to me yourself. You see on that KOM climb, Andrew was astounded when Dale told him this was the very same climb that they had done yesterday. He questioned Dale repeatably, "are you sure mate?" And was not convinced until he verified it with 16 other riders that it was indeed the very same climb as yesterday.

5. I believe that in the women's KOM that is was a dead heat for 1st between Tamara Vella and Jo Stewart after an agreement was made to split the $1 million dollar cheque.

6. Morning tea was at 70km's at a town called Kandanga. The riders were fanging out for food as it had taken us three hours of hard hilly riding and two million calories were burnt, and that was just by the female riders! It was near mass hysteria as riders scrambled to get off gloves, bike shoes and helmets and get their hands washed before being allowed to touch the food.

7. Morning tea again and it was here that my day bag mysteriously disappeared. Miraculously it was later located hanging from a flag poll at half mast. I have no idea who the culprit was of this immature act Geevsey.

8. At morning tea Sammi Jo was bewildered as to why a few odd sao's were without their usual tomatoe and cheese toppings. At first she thought her beloved road crew had inadvertently missed them. But as it kept happening she quickly cottoned on that one of the cheeky riders just does not like sao's but likes the toppings. To date no-one has owned up but detective Sammi will not rest until the culprit is caught.

9. Lunch today was held at Cooroy 124km's into today's stage. The road crew went all out as each rider was rewarded with their very own Chicken Noodle Lunch Box. Very yummy and appreciated by all.

10. Doing it tough today were Jennifer McMinn, Steve Bardsley, Stephen Cooper, Jeff McKeon, Kris Ramsay, Cameron Gilchrist, Michael Cooper, who had a Migraine and Lesa Beasley. All needed time with the soothing Captain Kev, but all regrouped after lunch and got the job done.

11. Ben Inglis today was voted the sweatiest man on any Smiddy tour ever. And for that he was awarded getting paid out in front of everyone today during the huddle. Congratulations mate, a fine achievement!

12. Ben again and tonight was awarded the special category jersey for completing today's stage while under most duress, at times having to walk up some of the climbs but refusing to give in. The poor guy was sweating so much that at one point he passed a dried up river bed and it filled so quickly with his sweat that a flash flood nearly ended not his life but half the peloton. Yes Ben totally earned today's award.

13. Congratulations to the following riders for completing their longest ride to date, Mathew and Kate Vella, Rae Faulkner and Cameron Gilchrist.

14. The Brother duo of Michael and Stephen Cooper who did a splendid job of taking on guest huddle speakers and sharing their reasons why they came to be in a Smiddy event.

15. I am happy to say that Dominic Sullivan was so blown away from the groundswell of support from all the riders and road crew yesterday, that he logged on last night to enter the Smiddy Challenge ride to Townsville but did not commit because he said he left his wallet at home! Why does that sound familiar?

16. Geevsey was spotted today actually wearing his mandatory fluro vest for a scant 35 seconds at one of the regroups.

17. Most improved Smiddy girl rider goes to Belinda Grimwade. This young lady did the Challenge event up to Townsville many years ago and needed a lot of pushing. What happened to that girl? Belinda is so strong now that soon she will be the one doing the pushing. Nice work Bel!

18. Our guest speakers tonight were Tony Halfhide and Lesa Beasley. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your stories of what brought you to Smiddy and reminding us all how important this whole journey is in giving hope to those that need it the most.

19. Phil Anderson today shared with a select few riders, most of them women, his very secret pro-athlete way of resting one leg on the rear wheel while stationary. This famous stance dates back to the 80's in Europe when he first earned his nickname 'Skip' as the French found his real name to hard to pronounce.

20. And last but not least one last chance to pay out on our mapping expert, especially as he is not present, but is hopefully reading these blogs, Christian 'Killer' Killeen, was the most popular person in the world today when we turned onto a 3km dirt road, which was immediately followed by a 2km climb that not even the crazy organisers of the Giro in Italy could have conjured up. It was here that Ben was spotted walking and causing flash floods. I have a sneaky suspicion that Killer was laughing inwardly when he added that to the route when there was a perfectly good hot mix road that we could have used. Nice touch mate!

Whoops I have inadvertently, once again written far too long a blog. Oh well with tomorrow's stage another Smiddy first of just 77 km's surely I have a chance to redeem myself and keep the words down to under a thousand?

Until then.


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