Distance: 235 km's
Ride Time: 8:26:56
Ave Speed: 27.8 km/h
Max Speed: 74.6 km/h
Climbing: 1990 metres
Min Temp: Minus 2
Max Temp: 24 degrees
A week ago Smiddy rider Shayne Ritchings was all set to front up for his first Smiddy Challenge event. He was meant to share it with his best mate in Scott Manning, a journey they had both planned, fundraised and trained together for years since they completed the Midi Smiddy a few years ago. An accident at work resulted in a broken hand and his dream was crushed. The whole crew feel for Shayne and hope this dedication helps to ease the huge disappointment he is going through at this very moment.
Road Kill by Chris Sydes and Serge Simic
5 Roos, 1 dead mullet in a tree, couple of bands smells from Habo's bottom we think, 1 enchilada, few bags of bone, 2 foxes, 1 flat bird and 1 rabbit.
When threatened with the sack Sydsey just cheered! They have improved as you can see by the count above but gee even I counted 12 dead rabbits. Should we give them one more chance? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org And while you are at it if you wish to pass on any messages of suppor to your fellow rider or road crew member please drop me and line and I'll be sure to read your message out to the group.
Cow Bell Sends Peloton On Their Way
The travelling Smiddy road show left Nanango at 6:10a.m. The starting temperature was three degrees. Cameron Habermann told me at morning tea that his Garmin told him that the temperature dropped to minus two at that coldest point of the day as the sun rises. Garmin's never lie so it must be true. Captain Kev gave Colleen Penny the honour of sending the riders on their way with the ringing of the cow bell.
Mr Smiddy Runs A Tight Ship
For ten years I have rolled out of Nanango but on this 11th year, I opted to hang back with the road crew to see what actually happens after the riders leave the show grounds. First up the bike racks were broken down, then the swags, night bags and day bags were all loaded into the one truck. Mr Smiddy supervisors the whole process with the eyes of an Eagle and immediately I was the first person in trouble for not rolling up my swag properly. Thankfully another rider, who has bag number 33 (all the riders and road crew are allocated numbers for their bags and swags) and forgot to fasten the Velcro strap that ties the grab handles together and Mr number 33 was in even bigger trouble than me!
Last night David specifically addressed the riders asking that this task be completed. I fear what will happen to number 33 and will keep you informed as this awesome story unravels.
Terry Tucker Truck Sacked - Enter"Funky Ladies Fun Truck"
With the truck loaded I was allocated a seat in the formerly named Terry Tucker Truck, which I have re-named the "Funky Ladies Fun Truck". You see, this catering truck is now driven by Brooke Rose and Sammi 'Chinese Ninja Assassin' Jo So', and these girls are a load of fun. At the moment they are talking about partners, work, attempting to sing a tune occasionally, will they beat the riders into Goomeri and of course road kill. Brooke just ran over road kill that was clearly dead but she wanted to be sure that there was no suffering going on by the object that already resembled a furry pancake! I assured Brooke that the double-dead-road-kill was indeed not breathing and had ceased any life about a week ago. She seemed happy with that. We also discussed how bad our road kill counters were last night in Sergio and The Man that you would want by your Syde! We have said they get a second chance tonight to redeem themselves and if they are not up to scratch then both of them would get the sack! Don't mess with the Funky Truck ladies I say...
Thank You Mark Gaedkte
Just before leaving Nanango Brooke drove me to the Laundry Mat to see our local host in Mark Gaedtke. Due to a family commitment he was unable to attend the dinner last night for the first time in 11 Challenge events. I wanted to say hi and thank him prior to our departure. Kindly Mark once again offered to not only pay for the service but was there helping Wendy to get the job done.
The Screaming Assassin
With 20 kilometres to go to get to our morning tea stop at Goomeri the girls were a little concerned that had not caught the riders yet. Conditions were once again perfect, although cold, there was no wind and it was a brilliant clear dazzling bright morning that reminded us of why we live in Queensland. With 15 kilometres to go we stumbled upon the peloton and what a beautiful sight it was. Not often do I get to see the peloton from this perspective and I must say It was impressive. As a rider we hear Sammi Jo scream stuff at us as she whizzes past us. This time I got to experience those same screams up close and personal, and my right ear drum copped a downright flogging.
Catering Crew In Action
Once in Goomeri the crew leaped into action. Andy Loney, Allan Smiddy (David Smiddy's Brother from Toowoomba and Jenny Frazer (Wife of Smiddy rider Bruce Frazer) had already arrived and set up the bike racks, the day bags were laid out in numbered order and with the arrival of the 'Funky Ladies Fun Truck' the yummy treats were quickly assembled in preparation for the hungry riders.
With a 235 kilometre day on the cards all the stops are done in quick fashion. Kevvy is pedantic with his timing of the breaks and he needs to be to ensure the peloton arrive into Eisdvold before dark. So morning tea was dispatched faster than Maxwell Smart asking the chief if they could use the dreaded 'Cone Of Silence'.
I have been back in the lead vehicle since morning tea and all of the above has been written while in the company of Mick and Mel and old mate Smiddy rider Ian 'Rambo' Mallyon from Emerald. Last year Ian was meant to ride and had to pull out due to contracting very nasty virus. This year he hurt his back five weeks out from Challenge while Ten-pin bowling with his family. No cycling in all that time and a back that still has not healed 100 percent has resulted in Ian having to spend time in the van at times. He is looking forward to day four when the terrain flattens out a little as the hills hurt him big time. I believe he got his nickname due to the Sylvester Stallon resemblance and in his footy days bouncing the opposition into the air like rag-dolls.
Lunch At Ban Ban Springs - Mr Smiddy Does It Tough
It was here that my time in the car ended at the 135 kilometre mark. This left me with exactly 100 kilometres to complete my goal of completing at least that distance each day. This lunch stop was a significant one for David Smiddy last year, as it was where the rider and road crew caps, in honour of Maria Smiddy and her recent passing in May, was recognised. Smiddy that day handed out 75 caps and received a heartfelt hug from each person. Today the big man struggled at that lunch stop as I spotted him spending some time alone. I spent a little time with David and tried to ease his pain. Whatever I offered never seems enough but I also know it helps and he is so appreciative. He is a good man Mr Smiddy and we are so incredibly lucky to have his support, his love and his blessing each year for this ride to continue.
Just before we rolled out David made sure he paid out on Youngy for being rider number 33 and not doing up his bag this morning.
After that good hearted ribbing gee it was good to be back on the bike with the peloton being as welcoming as ever to this half day rider! They seemed to have accepted the fact that I will be floating in and out of the peloton throughout different times each day and I am most appreciative of their support.
No Right Turn At Gayndah
Every year we get to Gayndah and we take a right turn and cross the bridge for the last 76 kilometres into Eisdvold. This year we went straight ahead. Christian 'Killer' Killeen admitted he always wanted to see where that straight ahead road went, and guess what? That road ended up in Munduberra, cut five kilometres off our normal 240 kilometre route and from today, will officially be known as 'The Killer Short Cut'. Climb after climb after climb greeted the riders, with one beauty measuring 18 percent gradient. I am now no longer the most unpopular man in the peloton with that mantle being handed over to Killer. Yippeeee! On the plus side, after ten years it was pretty awesome to ride a different stretch of road and I was extremely happy to be on the bike for it.
After another scrumptious afternoon tea in Munduberra put on by our road crew, the course went back to the original Burnett Highway for the final leg of 37 kilometres into Eisdvold. The peloton rolled like a well-oiled machine for that leg and arrived with enough daylight to snap a group photo at the 'Welcome to Eisdvold' sign. For some riders 235 kilometres was their longest day ever in the saddle.
Huddle and Nighttime Activities
Andrew Hancox and Joseph Moore, as best mates, teamed up and took on the huddle. Andrew told of the loss of a good mate to cancer just over a year ago and how he was doing this ride in honour of his mate. Joseph was there to support his good friend Andrew. Thanks lads for doing such a fine job.
Tonight Scott Manning stepped up and shared with the group his story of doing the ride in honour of his dear Father, who passed away this year from cancer. To also lose his best mate Shayne, who was out of this event with a broken hand has hit the young man hard. Thank you Scott for your dedication to the Smiddy cause and we can only hope the ride will help ease some of the pain you are going through in your heart.
Tonight two riders were awarded jerseys for their teamwork and friendship within the peloton. James Schneider and Chris Sydes. For the past two days these guys have pushed to the utmost of their ability those riders who have been struggling on the hills. Great work guys and thanks for showing everyone the Smiddy spirit through your actions.
A huge thank you to the Eidsvold Lions and Peter and Bernice Anderson and their band of loyal helpers, for once again providing a great barbecue dinner for all the crew. For the past five years they have done this and also provide a barbecue breakfast at the Showgrounds for everyone in the morning before roll out, which is very much appreciated by all the crew. Tonight Bernice informed me her husband last Tuesday,suffered a heart attack. We wish Peter all the best and hope for a speedy recovery.
Also thank you Captain Kev for the fine job you did in reading out the blog tonight.
A Brief History of Eisdvold Below
Originally founded in 1848, the town takes its name from Eidsvoll, Norway where the European settlers, Thomas and Charles Archer originated. They established two large stations, Eidsvold and Coonambula. Archer Homestead, the home of the pioneering settlers, rests on the banks of the Burnett River - just as it was over 100 years ago. Situated 8km west of Eidsvold, the homestead can be viewed by appointment.
In the 1880s, Eidsvold was a bustling gold mining town supporting a population of over 2000.
Marvel at the hard work and effort put into the historic stone pitched bridges located west of Eidsvold on Camboon and Eidsvold-Cracow Roads. The bridges are no longer suitable to take traffic, however they still stand, honouring the people who toiled to make them the memorable feature they are today.
The attractive Ceratodus rest area just north of Eidsvold on the A3 Burnett Highway - the "Country Way" - houses memorabilia from the old Ceratodus railway siding days. Ceratodus is the name given to the unique lungfish found in the Burnett and Mary Rivers.
A cairn to commemorate the Traylan Native Police barracks takes pride of place in the grounds.
Several local buildings display artistic murals depicting the lifestyle and history of the district.
The Eidsvold Historical Complex is home to a fine collection of historic buildings, including the Knockbreak homestead, Riverleigh Cottage which houses memorabilia including the Eidsvold Soldiers' corner, a display of photographs, medals and equipment from the various wars, traditional owner's artifacts, slates and desks and other school equipment and a manual telephone exchange and the original Clonave homestead.
The museum also houses the George Schafer Geological Collection and the Schultz and Duncan bottle collection.
One of this country's true icons, R.M. Williams, was born in South Australia and in the early 1950s moved to "Rockybar", a property west of Eidsvold. Some of his descendants still live in the district to this day. The R.M. Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre is currently being developed to honour this great Australian, showcase his achievements, reflect his passion and promote rural job opportunities through education and skills development.