Friday, 1 September 2017

2017 Townsville to Brisbane Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge - Day 5

Written by: Michelle Gray and Krista Page

Firstly, thank you to Sharky for asking Krista and I to write the day 5 blog. We are honoured to be asked.

Thank you also to Ross, Annette and Maison Munroe for hosting me tonight in Biloela. Your hospitality has been second to none; from the amazing hot shower; lovely welcoming bedroom; cheese platter; Great Northerns and Chardys, and for allowing me to write this blog in your car. It's all very much appreciated.

Thank you to all community of Biloela for your ongoing support for Smiling for Smiddy and Mater Foundation. We certainly couldn’t do what we do without your community spirit and support, so you have our sincere thanks for having us all in your homes, comfy beds and for washing our sweaty lycra for the past nine years. 

Don and Di Morris have headed up the local community when it comes to all things Smiddy in the Biloela and Thangool communities. Thanks so much for arranging and organising this afternoon, this evening and, in advance, tomorrow morning. What a turn out this evening has had! 

Bronwyn and Noel Bates from CS Energy also get our thanks. I’m told Noel is a great performer after a few drinks, so I am personally looking forward to Noel on karaoke a little later and some spins on the dance floor. On a more serious note, both Bronwyn and Noel have worked tirelessly to organise this evening, the host families and to build awareness of Smiling for Smiddy in the local communities. They have held many committee meetings leading up to our roll in this afternoon. Thank you to everyone else who is on the local 'Smiddy Committee' regarding this evening and tomorrow!       

Last night saw us roll into Dingo and we were split across a few venues; the Dingo Roadhouse and Motel and the Community Hall. We were treated to a feast of roast beef and roast pork and crackling (for all the pig lovers) and an amazing medley of vegetables.

The night's Spirit jerseys were awarded Helen and Nicky, our amazing physio team. Thank you both for your smiling faces and caring natures when we pull into morning tea and lunch to receive a fast and furious overhaul to get us back on our bikes in record times. Well done ladies.

To the gorgeous Jules Andrews, thank you for sharing your very personal story regarding your baby brother and family, as well as your Smiddy and health and fitness journey. Jules, you're a busy mum of four and run two businesses, and I call that bloody #AMAZING .

Thank you to Justin from Dingo for his amazing hospitality, dinner, brekkie, bar service, and impromptu taxi service. Special mention also goes to the interesting fellow who loved his Bundy and Cokes and stood right in the middle of our speeches. Not sure if he is a #Smiddy recruit, however he was a weird cat all the same. 

Last night 76 of us legends populated a town of 49!  I hear there were a few farters and snorers and sleep talkers in swags in the Hall. Some people retired to the great outdoors but alas, the sprinklers going off during the night made for a broken and wet sleep and there were quite a few yawns this morning.

Day 5 on this morning’s dance card was 205ks…  Beaut morning for a 205k road to Biloela.  Departure was 610am, true #Smiddy style we were 10-mins rolling out, thanks Kevie.   A few sore bods, none the less it was go, go, go and peddle, peddle, peddle.   First stop at the 37ks mark at Duaringa where we started hitting our first real hills & my inner voice kicked in, I LOVE HILLS I LOVE HILLS… 

Justin from the Dingo Hotel was given the honour of ringing Kevvy's cow bell this morning for his absolute primo hospitality. We also farewelled Rambo at this stop, who was with us for the past two days and dashing Derek.

The antics on the road today included several cattle grids and who doesn't love a good vibration through the handle bars? We also enjoyed a wholesome and delicious morning tea was at Baralaba which was 106 kilometres in and by Joe, there were some starving humans among us. Some riders commented that they thought Kevvy's stopwatch may be set on 'fast mode' as it was a fastttttt 20-minute break, (I had to agree).

Along the way we picked up Cameron Habermann who will ride with us for a day and a half. Thanks for joining us.

There were multiple 'wide loads' on the roads today and the amazing Queensland Police Service, Kevvy and the gang worked overtime on the wireless to ensure we were all safe and well. Thank you to our police escorts. 

The pushing ‘Hand of Smiddy’ was very apparent today and a big thanks to those chaps in the peloton who lent an enormous hand and draft to many. All riders rode very well today, many finding the cross winds both mentally and physically challenging. 

At the back end of today many embarked in the 'I’m not a toad, I’m king of the road' Cup, aka The Bilo Cup, which is a 12 km sprint race which starts 24 kms out of town.  I am pleased to announce that the gorgeous Ken Woods secured the esteemed trophy with James 'Slippery' Schneider in 2nd and Mick Young rounding our 3rd place. Well done chaps. 

Lunch was in the town of Banana at the 156 km mark and we had a lovely impromptu visit from the gorgeous kids from Banana State School. Photos were taken, faces were zinced and a sun-smart session was shared. The road crew also dressed up as clowns and their cray cray antics were a welcome relief for many taking the focus off our sore backsides.

A cheeky green frog perched himself in the loo rim of the public toilets, which unfortunately gave me severe stage fright and I wasn’t able to wee until Jen Penfold got in there and removed it from the toilet. Thanks Jen, I’ve sent your resume this afternoon to Terri at Australia Zoo.

A truckie pulled into lunch and parked his big rig and offered us a cash donation while another road train driver shared with Kevvy over the two way that he has two boys aged under 15 years in Lady Cilento Children's Hospital and that he thought we were all amazing. The randomness of donations and stories like these certainly make our sore backsides worth it and really drives home why we are all doing this.

Thank the road crew for your amazing efforts again today.  We know you all get up at 'stupid o clock' to prep for the day ahead with us 'elite athletes' and you keep us all amazingly fed and hydrated and serve up endless smiles, hugs, pats on the back and high fives which are bloody priceless.  Thank you all. 

This evening’s Huddle speakers were the gorgeous Ange Clarke and world renowned pro-cyclist Tony Pratt who both knew Adam Smiddy and worked with him at the PA Hospital.  Pratty spoke beautifully about their memories of Adam and their ongoing support to Smiling for Smiddy and to cancer research funded through the PA Hospital.  The more the merrier we say.  Thanks both for sharing. 

In a Smiddy first today there was actually no-one that joined the 'dusty club'. What’s the dusty club?  No, it is not those riders who are hung over and can’t ride, because our bodies are temples and that sort of behavior is not in our DNA. The dusty club is for those poor unfortunate riders that cannot navigate the dirt tracks and unsealed roads without coming off their bikes one way or another. Well done everyone!

In parting, thank you again to the Biloela community and those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, including the local Rotary Club and the Thangool State School, you rock our world! Thank you.

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