Held in memory of Adam Smiddy, who passed away from an aggressive melanoma aged 26, Smiling for Smiddy delivers inspiring challenge events where individuals and communities alike can band together to raise funds for cancer research at Mater, the Smiddy way.
Thursday, 8 June 2017
2017 Alice to Darwin Smiddy Challenge - Day 3
Stats for the day
Ride time: 6 hours and 42 minutes
Average speed: 28.5km/h
Max Speed: 42.4km/h (except Matthew English 130km/hr)
Min temp:4C – whoever claimed it was
13C was bullshitting
Written by Matt English
Last night we rolled into Devils Marbles Hotel where we were
treated to an amazing BBQ dinner and cold beer thanks to Jess and the crew
there. A couple of the guys were glad to have a chance to get upgraded to
“business class” landing beds in cabins rather than another night in the swags
– especially given what’s to come.
Sharky once again treated us to another blog post – setting
the standard rather high for the rest of us who have to follow – with his
hilarious recount of Day 2 on the road.
Brooksy picked up the Spirit jersey for being so jovial and
trying to keep the peloton motivated throughout the day, and it worked! It was
great to see him share a few words about his reasons for riding. We also heard
from Chalkie Chooky, depending on who you are, who told us about his credit
card ride from Brisbane to Mt Isa in honour of his mum Gloria and raising $7500
along the way. Kudos to you mate, you’re a champion and we’re proud to know
In the mixed cabin, some of the ladies weren’t so happy with
the business class upgrades given that a couple of snorers kept them from
their beauty sleep. We also heard Sharky and Ron got up close and personal
sharing the double bed in room number 69 oops sorry room 9. But I can vouch
theywere very discrete as I heard
nothing above the thunderoussnoring.
On to the topic at hand – day 3.
Things got off to a good start when commander in chief,
Brooke Rose, kicked in the swags of a couple of workmen shethought were Smiddy riders having a sleep in.
Perhaps it was payback for their late night antics while our riders tried to
catch a few zzzz’s and she wanted to make a point not to mess with the Smiddy
Peloton, but she should have taken Johnsy, also known as the Enforcer because
if there’s ever any trouble and you want to sort out the bad guys, he’s the best mate to have by your side.
We rolled out under the stars at 6.15am, an improvement on
the morning before, after Kevvy put us all on notice that we weren’t living up
to Smiddy expectations, so we were all a little on edge and keen to pull our
socks up during the day ahead.Thanks to
Jess from the pub for coming out to see us off and ring the cowbell.
To start the day, I’d like to mention a few wardrobe
malfunctions – Lesa was going for the Wauchope fashion stakes with her bicycle
print leggings as a replacement for her bike knicks which were still in the
laundry. They looked great - but they were quickly abandoned as they weren’t
very functional, as most high fashions aren’t.
Secondly, we had Yorkie – who I’ve nicknamed Ice Man because
he’s always cool, calm and collected and is the perfect wing man for any Smiddy
rider - before the sun came up he was trying to discard his Priscilla outfit,
leaving it strewn along the highway in true Priscilla fashion, however he did
make up for it by adorning some additional Priscilla elements and to be frank,
he rocked that outfit and did real justice to the Priscilla legend.
And after following Ice Man in the peloton today, I’ve got a
confession to make - of all the guys on the Smiddy tour, he’s my main man
Then onto Devils Marbles… Although I would like to note
(after all the fuss), we could have slept in for at least an extra 20 mins –
but it was a truly spectacular sunrise, which we’ll all remember for the rest
of our lives because of its rustic beauty and the fact it was shared in great
company including our new mate Len who made a donation to the Smiddy cause and
joined us for a group photo with the sun warming our faces.
Again Geoff Ney, now known as Hi Tech, came to the rescue
showing us how to take panorama shots on the I Phone and share them on Airdrop,
Facebook and any other program you could think of! And more impressive is have
you seen his bike seat?
From sunrise it was back on to the highway as we continued
north towards Stuart Memorial.
When we passed Bonney Creek – we spotted water which was
pretty cool after seeing so many dry rivers and creeks.
The road crew snuck in another sneaky surprise with the
placement of an I love Smiddy t-shirt on an termite nest right before the
McClaren Creek bridge before another sneaky one popped up just before Tennant
We were a sight to behold in Tennant Creek and we noticed a
crowd mingling around the pub, bank and Centrelink, but suddenly all eyes were
upon us as we passed through town – I guess a few of them might have thought we
were martians heading to the big smoke from Wycliffe Well.
Just outside Tennant Creek at Sharky’s Rest Stop Flik earned
the honour of becoming Dusty #4 (ouch!).
It was then on to our lunch stop, Lake Mary Anne, a beautiful
oasis in the desert and again, the road crew did a fantastic job in preparing a
beautiful lunch spread of meat and salad wraps. Priscilla had some competition
in the beauty stakes when three peacocks – followed by a couple of prancing
roosters – descended on the Smiddy lunch break.
After a speedy stop at Three Ways, we continued north
(surprise, surprise). Thankfully, the wind was beneath the peloton’s wings a today
and helped us most of the way but when turning East the crosswind did prove
challenging on occasions but everyone had a fantastic ride and overall we were
blessed with perfect conditions and Day 3 can best be described as First Class
Travel from Wachope to Stuart Memorial.
We also made a quick stop at Phillip Creek Station for
afternoon tea, where a rogue camel toe made an appearance. And guys we do mean
an ACTUAL camel toe.
Rumour has it that after the afternoon break, Sharky thought
his water was a little more flavoursome and for a second thought it tasted
pretty shitty – and his mind quickly flicked back to how he’d filled up his
bottles on top of the chemical potty.
The last 28km from Phillip Creek Station was a smooth, steady
ride into Stuart Memorial. I did drop my water bottle and David Lawrence –
Dusty #1 – had to call on his speedy reflexes to duck and weave out the way!
Thanks to David and Ian for sharing their reasons for riding
as part of this afternoon’s huddle. It’s fantastic to hear why and how everyone
came to be part of this great Smiddy team.
I also loved the chance to be on the radio today and get an insight
into how much effort, concentration and responsibility goes in to directing and communicating with
the Stuart Highway Traffic to keep us all safe. Awesome work to Kevvy, Stemmy,
Brad and Ben, and Brooke R.
As you go through life you exist in tribes.When you start at school you have a tribe of
mates there, then uni or a job brings another tribe and then married and have
kids and have another tribe – and that one is usually about your wife’s tribe –
so I think a good thing that Smiddy does is, not only a great cause for cancer,
but it also introduces you to a wide diversity of people that you wouldn’t
necessary come across in your day-to-day tribe so it’s quite refreshing and
inspiring and I am very fortunate to be considered part of the Smiddy team and
to have met so many great mates.
I think it’s been really rewarding for everyone involved in
the friendships that you develop along the journey – from the training rides
through to real deal Alice to Darwin Day 3.
And through this journey and mateship that we share, we are
all challengingourselves stepping out
of our day to day comfort zones. Through my experience as one of the more
elderly guys on the tour as you get older, most people’s comfort zone narrows because
they want to make their lives more comfortable and predictable whereas those
people like the Smiddy tribe who continually look to expand their comfort zones
and keep challenging themselves, will forever stay young – and hopefully