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.
Monday, 28 August 2017
2017 Towsville to Brisbane Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge - Day 1
2017 Townsville to Brisbane Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge riders and road crew.
Written by: Adrian Cross and Alicia Newman
kilometres Ride Time:5 hours 5 minutes Ave Speed:29 km/h Max Speed:54 km/h
Elevation: 338 metres
Min Temp: 12 degrees
Max Temp: 40 degrees
The kick off dinner at the Sun Hotel was a
welcoming sight to enjoy a beer at the sponsor’s home – thanks Bottlemart!
highlight of the night was the riders and road crew receiving hats in memory of
Auntie Marie, who many of us remember as a kind and gentle women and key member
of many road crews and Emma Betts, Serge's wife, who lost her battle with melanoma and will
be missed by many in the peloton. To meet their families and acknowledge the
hard times they had experienced means that this year’s Challenge hats will be
worn with pride.
The red Spirit Jersey was given to Serge in special recognition of
his lost love, Emma – Serge, you have an extended family now and we will be with
you all the way.
Day 1 saw an early breakfast and riders signing
in. It was nice to see some of the Townsville families and friends attend the
early morning roll out – thank you. The bell, traditionally rung by David Smiddy on Day
1 of Challenge, was this morning given Maria’s sister Rita.
Nerves, normally reserved for our first time
riders, seemed to have taken hold in our senior riders who had a little mishap
as we rolled out – Christian, we are not sure your safety briefing and
acknowledgement of said senior riders was warranted! But those involved are all safe and sound!
Perfect clear skies, a soft SW breeze and a
police escort, thanks David, had us out of town and rolling along the highway
in no time. I think the return riders had told the peloton about the CWA
morning tea that awaited us at Woodstock.
Every year these lovely ladies put on
a spread that would rival any three hat restaurant, we cannot thank them enough for
the delights that awaited us this morning. However, It would seem Boisey did
not read his day card as he smashed down 10 quiches and 8 brownies thinking it
was lunch, maybe that was thanks enough for the ladies.
With nervous discussions commencing post
morning tea regarding our first challenge, to climb the Mingela range, James
and Adrian saw an opportunity to draft behind Stemmy, only to be blown away
with diesel dust to amusement of Garath. It would seem that 400 km did not slow
James as he and Adrian tied for KOM and Pagey is our Queen. Well done to all, this is no doubt a taste of things
Lunch, as always was the standout, as the
road crew yet again provided an amazing spread to cater for all dietary
requirements – it was nice to be introduced to each of the road crew and, of
course, our chief smart arse, David Smiddy. We look forward to sharing our time
together and know we as riders could not do this without each of you.
The peloton was bonding and it was a quick
50km to Charters Towers as everyone was keen to wash the dust off and have a
cool beer on the green grass at the School of the Air.
At the Day 1 Smiddy huddle we heard from Ken and
Damo and their reasons for being here. These guys will guide us for the next
few days and will become known as the SBS Smiddy commenters – Tomalaris and
Liggett. Thanks guys!
On a personal note, many of you have asked
about our matchy matchy green – this is to honour of dear friend Ian and his
family. Ian passed away in 2014 and at the request of his children we wear the
green and take the nicknames Shrek and Princess Fiona – thanks to Matty
Thank you also to Charters Towers Rotary club, the
first of many community dinners we will enjoy over the coming days.