Thursday, 9 June 2016


DAY 4 Woomera to Roadside Camp

Blog By Sharky

Distance: 147 km's
Average: 20 km/h
Max Speed: 25 km/h
Climbing: 339 metres
Riding time: 7hrs 21min
Temp Min: 4 degrees
Temp Max: 16 degrees
Wind: Crosswind/Headwind 50km/h
Windmills: nil
White horses: nil

Thank you to Ollie Clissold for last night taking on the extreme stress of writing the blog on a day that reminded us why we love to ride our bikes. Ollie had the blog written by 5:30pm thanks to the early arrival of the peloton into Woomera at 3:30pm. I was immensely jealous.

Your messages of support were very much appreciated by the riders as they were read out tonight In Coober Pedy. Keep them coming as they make a difference

After yesterday's run of amazing weather it was back to the hard yards as we rolled out at 6:40am in blustery wind and rain.

Day 4 was 205 kilometres and took us from Woomera to Bon Bon, which is just a rest stop by the side of the road. But things took a turn for the worse, when at the 147 kilometre water and toilet stop, the tough decision was made to cancel the days stage.

All day the riders were battling ever increasing crosswinds that were as strong as 50km/h and gusting even higher, which saw the peloton averaging just over 20km/h. Basically at the 147 kilometre point it was already 3pm, and realistically to cover another 63 kilometres would see us finishing well after dark. Once the decision was made, the riders had to leave their bikes where they were and bodies were ferried to the newly relocated and closer campsite 30 kilometres down the road.

As many road crew vehicles were used as possible to shuttle the riders, but many riders were left behind and had to seek shelter where they could out of the wind. By the time the last of the riders were brought to the camp it was close to dark and there were some very cold bodies that needed some serious warming up.

The road crew worked furiously to set up camp and prepare food as the riders got changed into warm clothes. No one bothered to even have a camp shower as it was just too windy and cold. A fire was our saving grace and it was there that we congregated tonight to eat and continue on with a few of our traditions. The huddle was completed after we had all eaten and was a Smiddy first around the campfire. Matt Muir was given the honour of doing the huddle due to being involved in a crash at around the 135 kilometre mark. Thankfully it was a low speed crash and will be a little sore but in good spirits and is definitely riding tomorrow.

I will finish now by saying how proud I am of the peloton that they all just accepted the decision that was made and set about helping make the process run as smoothly as possible. I was not surprised as they are Smiddy riders and made of the right stuff. None sweat the small things in life and are grateful just to be alive. We choose to be out here doing what we are doing. Having cancer you don't get a choice. These tough days I dedicate to those that can't do what we are absolutely privileged to be able to do.

To put this day into perspective; in 10 years of Smiddy events, today and a part of a stage in Tasmania in 2013 was missed due to inclement and dangerous weather. The important thing is that everyone is safe and still in good spirits going by the laughter around the campfire tonight.

Another Smiddy first tonight and this time by me. At a touch over 600 words this is the shortest blog I have ever written!

Tomorrow our beautiful Townsville ladies in Janet and Kirsteen will be delivering the blog as I look forward to another night off and a bit more sleep.

Take care.


1 comment:

  1. To Sharky, Raymondo, Mick F, Killer, Capt Kev and the rest the riders and support crew. It sounds tough and brutal and again i tip my hat to the spirit and teamwork of the entire peleton (which includes the road crew!). You know that what you are going through is "character building" and you know that someone somewhere is doing it tougher going through treatment, or their loved ones are standing by helpless watching the treatment. Your work will not only make you a better person, if at all possible, but in the future may make some one elses life that little bit easier. I'm with you in spirit my smiddy family!
    SMiddy Smiddy Smiddy!

    Mick Brady