2022 Challenge in the Tropics

Day 1 Blog—28 April 2022

Day 1 Blog - 28 April 2022

Palm Cove to Cape Tribulation

Written by: Ben Hargreaves, Claire Schneider, Alicia Newman

Daily Stats

Distance: 145 KM
Average Speed: 27.0 KM/H
Climbing: 887M
Moving Time: 5:17 Hours
Temperature: 21-39 degrees

Palm Cove to Cape Tribulation via the Daintree ice cream shop

Welcome everyone to the day one blog for the 2022 FNQ Smiddy Challenge.


Palm Cove provided a sensational sunrise back drop for 60 riders and 22 dedicated road crew to roll out. The finely tuned Red Peloton team captained by Stinky Dave Colahan rolled out first at 6.30am on the dot with the patriarch of Smiling for Smiddy, Sir David, taking up the honours of ringing the roll out bell. Unhappy about this terrible break in Smiddy tradition of never rolling out on time, long-time Smiddy Rider, Rowan Foster decided to take things into his own hands by calling a mechanical at the 0km mark.  After a “quick” tyre change, the Blue Peloton was on the road.  


Whilst the weather was in our favour and the rain had disappeared, a short section of course had to be re-routed due to recent flooding. No one was complaining about the total KM reduction! The detour did however take us past a stunning north Queensland homestead that could rival any Mater prize home.


Morning tea at Café Maria’s Mossman roadside pop-up did not disappoint with the Road Crew working their magic yet again and putting a spread that including the famous Mossman sausage rolls, Jenny’s renowned melting moments, and of course the famous Smiddy saos.


After morning tea both pelotons kept rolling north. With spirits high – and a decent tail wind at our backs – we made it to the Daintree River ferry in no time. A quick ferry trip across the croc-invested water of the Daintree, and the peloton was confronted by the biggest climb of the day: the trek up to the Mt Alexander lookout.  With elevation gain of close to 200 meters and a gradient ranging between 8%-14%, the 3km climb definitely tested some tired legs. For the riders who stopped at the top to take in the view commented how lucky we are to ride in this part of the world.


Having conquered Mt Alexander, the riders enjoyed a rapid downhill section through the majestic scenery of the Daintree rainforest to arrive at the best ice cream shop in Far North Qld: The Daintree Ice Cream Company. In true Smiddy tradition, ice-cream was consumed before lunch. Special thanks to David and team at the Daintree Ice Cream Company for hosting us.  David has a special connection to Smiddy having resided at Kings College at the University of Queensland in the room across the hallway from Adam.  Thanks for the ice-creams and sorbet David! And thanks for being such a generous supporter of all things Smiddy. 


After a quick peddle through the rainforest, both pelotons safely arrived at the beautiful Daintree Culki Beach where riders and road crew celebrated the day with the traditional “Smiddy huddle”. We are positive there has never been a more spectacular location to do a Smiddy huddle.


Tonight the Riders and Road Crew are being housed at the beautiful Ferntree Rainforest Lodge. With the riders and road crew now relaxing in the pool, or enjoying a well-deserved massage in the rainforest, we take this opportunity to offer special thanks to our family and friends that support us in so many ways, including our fundraising efforts. To each and every one of you, we say thank you.