What a difference 12 hours make; the wind made an exit stage left, while the sunshine and light tail winds made an entry stage right. Our second day on the road was a beauty, the kind of day that reminds you of why cycling is your chosen sport. It was a day that felt good to be alive while surrounded by your Smiddy mates.
Reminiscing Smiddy Riders
The 6 am roll out saw a brisk 5 degrees greet the peloton and some of the old school Smiddy riders from past events reminded anyone that would listen about the year it was minus 3 degrees, the year that it rained, the year that the road melted and so on and so on. But 5 degrees is still cold enough and as you good cyclists know, once you are moving and the windchill is factored in, our hardy group of riders this morning surely braved temperatures of minus 20 degrees! Surely...
Ben Pearson Can Project His Voice
Over the last two days I have spent time in the the lead car, and this morning at precisely 6:15am, I was fortunate enough to witness the amazing Ben Pearson respond to a call that Kevvy made over the two way radio. "Ben just checking you have reset your trip metre back to zero?" Ben's enthusiastic response was "Sure have Kev." Now nothing amazing about his response except that Ben forgot to grab the two way and was talking into thin air. It was hilarious and Ben said to me he was hoping because I am a deaf barsted that I didn't hear. Sometimes my hearing miraculously does work at the most opportune times. Nice work Ben!
Brocky Yates Can't Play Cricket
It was in Allora, at the first yellow room stop of the day, at 26 kilometres, that the great Rocky Brocky Yates showed us why he is a cyclist and not a bowler for the Australian cricket team. You see, old mate Lofty asked for a nutrition bar, Megaburn I think... And Brocky tossed it at Lofty from 10 metres away and it hit our soon to be very popular Physio student, Ella Kenafake square in the head, luckily she had her helmet on and Brocky apologised and was most embarrassed. Ella is kindly volunteering to do the 8 day Challenge, under the tutelage of our head physio in Kylie Baldwin, who also rode with us this weekend.
Push-up Bob - Hard Task Maker!
Morning tea was awesome for one reason; Well two, firstly road crew Andy Loney was by the side of the road doing push-ups, while Push-Up Bob stood above him shouting at him to do them properly, get all the way down, and this is what our road crew do while waiting for the riders to arrive. Nice work Bob keeping the crew in superb shape for their Challenge events ahead. The second thing, but probably the most important thing, was the amount of food, most of it home baked, thanks to the riders love ones cooking up and storm, and it was all on display for this sumptuous feast at morning tea. Thank you love ones, thank you road crew, you all deserve another set of push ups. Bob get to it!
Lunch Is Best If It Stays In Your Guts!
The 15 kilometre descent back down the great dividing range had everyone smiling at the bottom. Mainly, well because going down hill is fun for most right...? And it also helped that the temperature change was a good 6 degrees warmer at the bottom and a few layers of clothing could come off. The run into lunch at Laidley was up and over the roller coaster hills and after filling our bellies full of more food than you could poke a stick at, we were then invited to go at our own pace over the Laidley climb and descent to the regroup spot at Grandchester. Anyone silly enough to race their mates over this section were rewarded with a gastronomical delight of their lunch being deposited inside their throat once again but from within.
Vomit and Afternoon Tea
After the regroup and the vomit was cleaned from our jerseys, no names will be mentioned here Habo, and we set off for our afternoon tea at a great rate of knots. The tailwind saw us whisking along at a 30 km/h average for great chunks of time and before Bob could get his team to do an extra set of push-ups we arrived into Limestone Park at Ipswich to yet again more food. Bucket loads of it. It just never ends. Smiddy riders always gain kilos. Ride 200km a day and put on weight. Pretty cool hey? But don't worry girls, the push-ups work it off as I hear Bob is going to start making the riders do them as well. Phew...
Goodie Bags and You Guessed It, More Food!
The final stretch into UQ and the riders could smell home and the pace increased yet again, and before you could say, "Bob please no more push-ups!" Here we were at UQ finished by 3:45 in the afternoon with bright daylight shining down upon us. Two hours earlier than the day before and just 10 kilometres less at a 207 kilometre day. Krista did a marvelous job as she took us through the final huddle. The 8 day Challenge riders were presented with their bag of goodies for their event in just 4 weeks time. While the 4 day riders will get their gifts closer to their event in October.
And just for good measure the riders were invited to consume yet more food as everything that was left over was on display across 17 tables and an area bigger than a football oval. Yep our road crew make sure no one goes hungry on a Smiddy ride!
Lastly thank you riders, thank you road crew, thank you to their families for letting us have all these amazing individuals over this awesome weekend of character building glee.
Lastly, lastly our apologies if you don't recognize any of them when they come home 10 kilograms heavier. Blame it on the road crew!
Big hug to all.