2022 Challenge in the Tropics

Day 1 Blog—28 April 2022

Day 5 Blog - 25 March 2023

Swansea to Hobart

Written by: Mark "Sharky" Smoothy

Daily Stats

Distance: 144 kms
Average Speed: 22 kph
Climbing: 1706 metres
Moving Time: 6:35
Temperature: 10 min / 23 max

The final days charge into Hobart saw the two pelotons clock up their allotted 700 kilometres of riding and 8000 metres of climbing over 5 days. It has been an epic week that has seen both rider groups bond with their fellow team mates and help each other accomplish that shared goal.

As always none of this would have been possible without our amazing road crew, who work quietly in the background making things seemingly happen at ease. I'm sure the reality is quite different but from the riders prospective they are just always calm, collective, always smiling and happy and no request is ever too much, that is unless you ask Garath to do something. ?

There are so many stories that happen in each of the pelotons and it's impossible for me to convey them from both peloton perspectives. So I thought I might just finish this blog with a few observations of life on the road for any Smiddy peloton.

Things I think we will all miss

  • Rolling into a break where the road crew has either put on a mouthwatering morning tea or those delicious wraps for lunch.
  • The infectious enthusiasm and smiles of the road crew no matter if at 6 in the morning or 10 at night.
  • That beautiful sweet road noise that a peloton makes, the hum of the tyres on tarmac, the clicking of changed gears and the constant chatter as you rotate throughout the rider group.
  • The comaraderie and friendships made during these endurance events, which always bring out the best in people.
  • The positive energy that everyone produces when they do a Smiddy event.
  • I'll even miss all the riders and crew that pay out on me, not realizing I'm deaf and can't hear a word they are saying. I just laugh along anyhow...
  • Having to go home and do my own washing and cook our own food. Road crew you spoil us.
  • The sound of the cow bell as it sends us on our way, and wakes up everyone still asleep not involved with the event.
  • Thawing out in the sun at our first morning tea stops.
  • The belly laughs at the nightly functions
  • The absolutely stunning scenery that Tasmania puts on.


Things I think we all won't miss

  • Bollards on the bike path
  • That first time you sit on the saddle in the morning
  • That alarm clock going off
  • Those constant aches and pains that endurance cycling brings on, no matter young or old, although mostly old, as I'm finding out.
  • Close misses by impatient drivers trying to overtake the peloton when they shouldn't pass
  • Seeing our ride mates getting sick or injured and having to sit out a session, or in Bardo's case the entire ride due to his unfortunate fall.
  • Going home and having the Smiddy blues. Serious unhappiness at being separated from our constant companions for a week. (Best way to fix this is to sign up for Adelaide Challenge next year!)


Positive Energy

Time to wrap this out. Prior to this blog all the thank you's to all you special people would have been done. So let me finish with saying this: what you do by participating, volunteering and being staff in this and any Smiddy event, not only is a benefit to those people going through their cancer journey, but it's good for your soul as well. Feel very proud of what you have achieved and allow yourself to soak up some of that feel good energy then pass it onto your family, friends and co workers.


David Smiddy

But most importantly to me is that the energy you produce helps a man by the name of David Smiddy. Losing his Son Adam in 2006, then his Wife Maria in 2015 to cancer is the cruelest act that no one should ever have to go through. But just by being here and doing what you do infuses David full of enough positive energy to get him through to the next Smiddy event.

That is worth more to me than all the money in the world. You give that man hope for a future that his grandchildren Jakob and Harper will grow up in a cancer free world.