Friday, 30 September 2016


Stats for the day by Brett Goebel
Distance: 199 kms
Ride Time: 8 hours 8 min
Ave Speed: 24.8 km/h
Max Speed: 71 km/h
Climbing: 2275 metres
Min Temp: 16 degrees
Max Temp: 26degrees

Road Kill by Roger
1 bag of bones, 1 Turtle, 2 dead magpies, Steve Richo Richmond got hit by a magpie, but it's not on Strava so it didn't happen and Diesels Garmin.

Guest Speaker
Julie Andrews tonight shared with us her Smiddy story and how the loss of her Brother in 2004 and her Godmother this year affected her and made her passionate about helping Smiddy and the Mater search for a cure.

Category Jersey
Was won by Julie Andrews for being so selfless and putting herself in the van at times today so as not to hold the peloton up. Also for her passion for fundraising and for just being a beautiful lady who wants to help where she can.

Welcome to the first blog for the inaugural 4 Day Smiddy Challenge. This new ride on paper looked to be a cracker of a course. As I sit and write this at 5:30pm in the small town of Woodenbong, which is located close to the QLD/NSW border, with a cruel 199 kilometres in my legs, I can ascertain that day one lived up to the reputation bestowed on this event on paper.

With not one word of exaggeration, it's just not in my nature, we were treated to climbs so steep that nose bleeds were a common occurrence, headwinds so strong that the top section of Mt Lindsay was blown over our heads and landed with a thud in the paddock that had 16 cows in it - true story, dirt roads so rough that holes swallowed half the peloton before the other half even noticed, and I kid you not, tar roads and wooden bridges that rattled our bikes and bodies so hard that fillings were dispensed from riders teeth and bikes were reduced to just the frames as the wheels packed it in and rolled off into the paddocks.

I was the last to arrive into Woodenbong after the final long arduous 72 kilometre climb to finish off a bloody tough day in the saddle. Okay it may have been 7.2 kilometres but it felt like 72, so I'm calling it 72. Anyway I arrive and there are bodies and bikes spread out across the lawn, collapsed bodies on the steps that lead up to the pub entrance and a spattering of schooners soothing parched lips. I quickly joined them as I wanted to be part of the definitive Smiddy portrait, and besides that I noticed Liam was doing video shoots of the group and I wanted to be part of the movie action and grab my two seconds of fame. After ten minutes, warm bodies started to cool down and a movement was started by one rider and the rest of us lambs followed, to be engulfed by the warmth inside the comfy country pub.

Now I am so excited about what happened next that I have skipped the entire day out on the road as I can't wait to share with you this most exciting news. Okay for those of you out there reading this that want a road report this is for you. Exciting news to come very soon. Can you wait?

We had egg and bacon rolls thanks to UQ pool and Andy Loney and Jeannie and her awesome soon to be husband, who's name I can't remember and Jeannie is going to be reading this and will kill me when I go back to work next week and Michelle Herlaar. Thanks heaps awesome human beings! We got to have two team photos, one without Alex King and one with Alex King... I'll let him explain where he was... Captain Kev gave Andy Loney the honour to ring his infamous cow bell that has been in the family for over 2000 years, or was that 100? Anyway we dodged the thunderstorms that hit the entire world overnight and once again, in true Smiddy tradition, we rolled out right on time at 5:45a.m for our stated 5:30a.m start. Our small and elite, 20 strong peloton of Smiddy 4 day trail blazers sprinted out of the University car park at the same pace as day one of the Tour De France. Heart rates soared, lactic acid hit leaden legs immediately and the first crack of the day happened by an unnamed rider in the first kilometre. But don't worry we got the pace under control after the first 142 kilometres and all will be good when half the peloton can't get out of their swags tomorrow morning.

81 kilometres was covered in quick smart time and a great average of over 27 kilometres an hour. Our morning tea stop at the Beaudesert Race Track was devoured in record time as 19 of the 20 riders fell face first into the food. The 20th rider missed out as there was just no face falling room left. From there we hit the first 250 kmp/h headwind as we made our way to our lunchtime stop at Running Creek at the 128 kilometre mark. Now the team at Smiddy are delightfully wicked some time and in this case they planned a lunch stop just before the climb up to Lions Head. 72% gradient climb, combined with belly full of food, end result; there was as much spew on the roads from the riders as there was cow shit on the roads from - yes you guessed it, the cows... Nice work team Smiddy. Love your work.

A regroup at the top, a few photos taken and baby wipes handed out freely to clean what was left of lunch off the riders jerseys. Team Smiddy plan for everything so nice touch with the baby wipes guys. The descent down after climbing to the height of Everest was disappointing as it went down for 500 metres and then continued to climb. Finally when we got to the descent it was so rough that dental and bikes did what I have already touched on above.

Getting to afternoon tea was an adventure in itself, again more roads that made the Paris/Roboix race in Europe look like a walk in the park and that headwind increased to 275 kmp/h. It was at this point that the Mt Lindsay thing happened. A huge thank you to the trouble that the road crew went to in putting on this afternoon tea for us. They decided that us riders MUST have shade, so the pop up tent was erected and 8 of the 12 road crew were given 30 seconds shifts, two on each corner, to hold the bloody thing down. The road crew not holding it down were free to do other important things like sit on each corner of the tarp that was put out for the riders day bags. With dedicated road crew like this I can't wait to see what lies ahead for the next three days.

So finally back on the bikes, 30 kilometres to go to get to Woodenbong and our ever faithful headwind is now messing up our hair at 300 kmp/h. Then that 72 kilometre climb and me coming in last with Brucey Baby Frazer and Stephen Richo Richardson pipping me on the line. Man it was close!

So there you have it, are you happy now? Can I tell you my most exciting news now please? Okay for the first time in 11 years of Smiddy events we had our huddle inside the pub around the pool table. Now how Australian is that. My only mistake was giving the honour of taking the first day huddle to Roger Hawley and Bretty Goebel. Half an hour later they were still telling their life story and the riders and road crew arms were cramped into permanent hugging position. Which is not a bad thing if you like hugs.

All in all we had a most amazing day, a tough one for sure, but that is Smiddy, it would not be a Smiddy event if the word tough did not come into it. Sure a few of the riders had to jump into the van, but hey it was always a short stay and they live to ride another day. From what I saw today I can honestly say each and every rider put their heart and soul into completing today's stage and you could not ask for more that that.

A special mention to the Richardson family, all six of them, which included two really cute little boys with tiny Smiddy shirts on them, who followed the peloton for the entire day. Thanks heaps for your support, not just for Brad and Stephen but they were rooting for all of us out there as they continued to pop up in the most obscure locations.
Road crew were once again bloody ridiculously awesome and I loved that at afternoon tea they had to move camp due to stirring up a bull ants nest thanks to Brooke doing burn outs in the hire van!

Tomorrow we have some special guest bloggers and all will be revealed tomorrow. I can say this though, they are world class and can actual write sensible stuff, unlike yours truly.

Take care.


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