Statistics for the day:
Distance: 77.1 km
Ave speed: 25.6 km/h
Max Speed: 70 kmp/h
Elevation climbed: 888 mtrs
Ride time: 3:00:00
Min temp: 14 degrees
Max temp: 26 degrees
More Smiddy Firsts!
How many times can a Smiddy FIRST happen over one weekend? Well let me tell you it seems to be happening on a regular occurrence on this 4th edition of the Smiddy Noosa Challenge. Yet again we have had another Smiddy first and produced the shortest ever day on record in ten years of Smiddy events. Now before you faithful and understanding readers of this very mature blog start thinking that the entire Smiddy clan has gone soft, I can assure you it is anything but.
Why Soften A Smiddy Tour?
What we recognised was that not everyone wanted to ride 200km days in succession, imagine that? So a toned down Smiddy tour at Noosa was our experimental baby and what a huge success it has been. An easy day, followed by a hard day, back to easy and then tomorrow a Mother of all 130km hard day with a 10km climb up to Montville to sort the men from the boys and the calves from the sheep and the bees from the fleas and anyway you get my point right?
The Cow Bell & On Time
So today's ride of just 77km's was by no means a walk in the park with 888 metres of climbing involved on what was meant to be our flat recovery ride. With the honour of the cow bell going to road crew legend Lesley Ray, who has been volunteering for Smiddy events for 8 years now. Lesley was touched to be asked but gingerly rang the bell as politely and as quietly as she could due to yesterday's complaints.
Now something went horribly wrong this morning as at the precise moment Lesley rang the bell I looked down at my watch and nearly fell off my bike in shock, for we started exactly at 6:15am, not one minute before, nor one minute after but spot on 6:15am. What this means is that we now have another Smiddy first to boast about in this blog, and that gets me excited. So I am honoured, although somewhat bewildered, to say this to you tonight; today was the very first time ever in Smiddy history that we have actually started an event at the actual scheduled time. It was down-right scary and is just not on and I pray it never happens again!
We also had a special guest rider who is doubling as our bike mechanic for the next two days in Ben Hola from Brisbane. Thanks Ben for giving up two days of your valuable time.
Sharky's Bladder Story
Now back to more serious blog talk and once on the road our first scheduled yellow room stop was not until 42km's into the stage of just 77km's. Now my bladder has been trained to last up to an hour at the most and 8km's out from North Arm I pulled to the side of the road and I was not alone as two other riders joined me in Stinky Dave, (who sees everything) and the worlds best blog reader outerer (Sharky made up word) in Mark Craig. Not long after we caught back up to the riders we pulled over at our official loo stop. It was here that a rider and a pole got along famously and Steve Bardsley got off his bike in the quickest fashion possible by falling off his bike as he tried to unclip. He was not hurt at all, just his pride and one rider was upset because Steve would not stay laying in the middle of the road until a photo was taken! Ten minutes later as we rolled out for our morning tea stop in Eumundi 98% of the peloton helped get rid of all the freshly cut wet grass in the field by taking it with them in their cleats.
Was That A Monkey Or A Shark In That Tree?
The run into Eumundi was heaps of fun with a few roller-coaster type hills. On one particular fast downhill the group had split up and was greeted with a fallen tree that was definitely a traffic hazard to cars coming the other way. I think Kevvy wondered what I was doing when he saw me stopped by the side of the road and pulling this tree off the road. Kevvy please know here and now that it was not another toilet stop for my old man bladder, nor was I rescuing any fallen Koala's.
The Impressionable Dr Koala
Speaking of Koala's we have a man riding with us and his nickname is Dr Koala, Gary Leong got the nickname, not because he is cute and cuddly like a Koala, which indeed he is, but because he is a Paediatric Endocrinologist and Child Obesity Expert and the name Dr Koala was adopted to get the children to feel more at ease. Gary is a wonderful kind-hearted man and we are so happy that he has chosen not just this Smiddy event to grace us with his presence, but our Challenge ride to Townsville in September.
Choo Choo Photo Shoot
Anyway we all got into Eumundi safe and sound to a wonderful morning tea put on by the road crew. It was here that David Smiddy greeted all the riders and it was not long before the ten girls in the peloton had him posing for photos in the train that was built for kids to play in at the park. Next Phil Anderson got in on the act and I couldn't help myself as I jumped in beside Smiddy and forced him to put his arm around me as I asked him to pretend that he actually does like me... I'm joking okay? Surely by now you get my sense of humour?
Sao Bandit Strikes Again!
It was also here that the Sao bandit struck yet again, even with Krista and Wendy guarding the Sao's as if their lives depended on it. Somehow, even while under extreme scrutiny, 4 Sao's remained that had their toppings removed. Once Sammi Jo found out she was livid and vowed to spend all her remaining savings of 2.2 million dollars, (poor lady is down to her last pennies) on a private detective for tomorrow's stage up to Montville.
Coffee For One Please
The entire two and a bit hours leading into morning tea the ongoing joke (of course started by Geevsey) was that I was to shout everyone coffee for morning tea. When I got to Eumundi I made a bee-line for the coffee shop, I then stooped down real low like I was only a little kiddy, I then gave her my best puppy dog eyes and handed her the only money I had which was $5 and said: "Excuse me Mam but how many coffees can I buy for this as I am obligated to shout all my friends?" I walked out with one coffee. The moral of this story is that I do care for each and every Smiddy rider here and that I did try. Later when I got back to the RACV and pulled out my room key my credit card fell out of my pocket. "Darn it!" I thought, "I forgot I put that in there"... True story.
Smiddy Saves The Day
So now that we had David Smiddy as part of the road crew some control was finally instilled into the troublesome road crew. I like Smiddy for his calming influence and how he can get everyone to step in line and get the job done. How we got through the past two- and-a-half days without him I will never know. So David, a big welcome to you and in all seriousness thank you for taking your role so seriously! :)
Morning tea done and dusted and one last 3km climb up to a giddy altitude of 159 metres, followed by a whooping seat-of-your-pants decent that saw all the riders grinning with that adrenaline rush that only riders will understand. After the regroup we were on our way and a scant 15 minutes later we were all back at the RACV resort, some of us in mild shock at returning before 10:30am! The huddle was taken by three ladies that are thick as thieves and inseparable as only close friends can be. Thank you to Rae Faulkner, Karen Short and Lesa Beasley for stepping up after I gave them far too much advance warning and for sharing with us your reasons for riding and being part of the Smiddy peloton for Noosa 2016.
Family Time Or Crazy Time?
This year's event has attracted many family members that have come to stay with their Smiddy rider and it is for this reason as well that we have thrown in two shorter days. The remainder of the day was theirs to do as they wish, although road crew did put on a great barbecue lunch down by the water at Noosaville from 12:30pm. Quite a few turned up for this while others headed to the beach, or went shopping or just lazed by the pool at the resort sipping on cocktails while the kids tried to empty the pool. Other crazies, who will remained unnamed, went for a 2 hour walk while dressed in ridiculous show pony outfits. But each to their own I say... Right Smiddy?
Kevvy Has An Afternoon Kip
As I write this blog back in my doing-it-tough-for accommodation room at the RACV resort, Kevvy is asleep in the other single bed. He is snoring now and not so long ago started talking in his sleep. Because of my poor hearing I could not quite catch what he was saying but I did pick up the word Red and the word Glass. If anyone can help decipher please drop me a line.
Yacht Club Celebrations
Tonight the normal Smiddy celebrations continued, only this time at the Yacht Club at Noosaville. All the usual Smiddy traditions ensued that included the Road Kill count by Jeff McKeon. Stats by Stinky Dave. Blog reading by Shark and Co in Jim Ramsay, who was given plenty of notice so that he could prepare. No Need to thank me mate.
Guest Speakers On Night Three
Our guest speakers were John Daly and Tamara Vella, who both shared their reasons why they ended up on their chosen Smiddy journey. I wish I could reproduce each speakers words in this blog but as I can't please know they are inspirational and remind us all the real reasons we are onboard these events. We all love riding out bikes but their stories remind us all that a bigger picture is at stake. Hearing these guys and girls share their innermost painful stories is both heartbreaking and enriching. If they can do it anyone can!
Geevsey Interview With The Champ
Tonight was Phil Anderson's time to tell his journey of a professional cyclist to charity cyclist. Geevsey did the interview as we sat and absorbed every word the great Skip had to say about his stellar career. We are indebted to Phil for donating 4 days of his time each year to join us in the Smiddy Noosa Challenge and help inspire others to raise funds for research.
Special Category Jersey Goes To:
And lastly the special jersey presentation tonight went to Clive Eakin, Phillip Good and Allan Rielly. All three guys represent the quiet achievers in the peloton, they just get in there and get the job done with as little fuss as possible. Clive also came on late to this event thanks to Phil's encouragement and all three have surpassed their fundraising total of $2k.
With one day remaining of this tour I have one more chance of getting a blog to you that is under a thousands words. On this shortest of days I failed you badly by writing spot on 1974 words!
Until tomorrow, take care.
That's now 1983 words.