Friday, 10 June 2016


DAY 5 Roadside Camp to Coober Pedy

Blog By Kirsteen and Janet
We dedicate this blog to Professor Rick Speare and his loving family.

Distance:202 km's
Average:26 km/h
Max Speed: 36 km/h
Climbing:425 metres
Riding time: 7hrs 43min
Temp Min: 8 degrees
Temp Max: 17 degrees
Wind: Crosswind morning/Tailwind evening

A day in the Peloton on a Smiddy ride always gives you time for reflection & today was no exception.  The theme of gratefulness has been on our minds. The last time we wrote the blog was in 2013 on the Brisbane to Townsville challenge when the 3 Powerpuff Girls from Townsville were so weary in Clermont we could hardly process our thoughts. Tonight we are probably no better and are only 2 missing our 3rd Powerpuff Girl.... We did offer Johno an honary membership but he politely declined- can't think why.

Our day (not at Bon Bon) to Coober Pedy started with an amazing cooked breakfast from the amazing road crew. Time was of the essence as we had to make up our kms from the day before. As in previous days the weather forecast sounded promising. With optimism in our hearts roll out was on time and we were sent on our way with the traditional bell ringing by Cath a fellow north Queenslander.

There were a few riders sadly sitting out the days festivities in the sag wagon due to a variety of ailments, aches and pains and the mysterious case of a pair of missing cycling shoes. Now for the cycling uninitiated you can't ride your bike with funny pedals without special funny shoes. So for one rider a frustrating day indeed.

Gone with the wind
Now the wind was teasing us with a tantalising taste of a tail wind but it was erratic to say the least. The vista from the bike was kms of semi - barren wasteland, beautiful in its own way. Again we were tested with side winds and the occasional head wind for good measure. A few things also  went flying - water bottle , a hanky - which landed in a wheel,a pseudo snake and a few tempers.

After lunch we saw a return to a peloton yeehaa with speeds nudging into the 40's. This was not to last with the return of you guessed it -the crosswind!

Shortly after 5pm we rolled into Coober Pedy and after feasting on fine Italian dining we are all underground for the night. Our cosy environment makes us grateful to be out of the cold and wind. Tomorrow is another day,  big one of 237km to back up our 200 km day today. We pray for the weather gods to take pity on our weary bodies and we are reminded of all the things we are grateful for.

Grateful to wake up cosy in our swags to the beautiful stars this morning.

Grateful for the wonderful road crew that look after us all so well. Be it cooking breakfast, laundry, massaging and patching us up , we are eternally grateful for all you do for the riders.

Grateful for packing our gear up and grateful to Trevor our wonderful mechanic.

Grateful for the Ya Ya  Sisterhood of the Travelling lycra pants. Our peloton has a cohort of strong female riders. Their spirit has been tested in many ways by the elements but they have all remained strong - that is the Smiddy way. We are grateful for their company and friendship.

Grateful for the weather yes really! Because without it we wouldn't know we could be driven to the brink and how strong we can be. We wouldn't have the opportunity to feel alive although at times battered by the elements.

Grateful for the friendships and connections that happens because of Smiddy. On Sunday night a message came to Kirsteen from Carleen. Someone she met in Africa. Carleen wanted to make a donation and mentioned her friends were here to! Carleen sent a hug to Denise and the connection was made. Late in 2013 they had met previously at the school of St Jude in Tanzania. How amazing is the Smiddy family that joins us all together.

Everyday we see mateship, sprit and teamwork on this adventure and for that we are humbly grateful.

Signing out
Janet, Kirsteen & Johno.

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