2021 FNQ Smiddy Challenge

Day 4 Blog—5 May 2021

Atherton to Ravenshoe Loop


Janet Curran & Wendy Muir

Happy birthday Jenny Frazer!!

Distance:            160 kms

Average Speed:  22.6 kph

Climbing:            2489 metres

Moving Time:      7:05

Temperatures:     9 Min / 32 Max

Day 4 started with a delicious cooked breakfast prepared at the Big 4 Caravan Park at Atherton. A cool morning at 17 degrees was made even more beautiful with the enormous Cairns Birdwing Butterfly paying us a visit. Rolling out of the accommodation onto our first climb, which bought us above the carpet of mist that blankets the tableland hollows, Michael Fellows was bought to a photographic climax and quickly got to work snapping the amazing scenery on offer.

The new single (Golden Brown) peloton was learning to roll together which was not helped by an undulating terrain. After some careful guidance from Kevvie & Krista we became a slave to the rhythm which bought us into Millaa Millaa Falls for our morning tea with a million dollar backdrop of the Millia Millia Falls flowing strong as ever thanks to the recent rains.

Rolling out from morning tea two new pelotons were created for the upcoming climb of Old Palmerston Way. The joy of division was those who thought they could, and those who were wiser. They departed on the misty mountain road not to meet again until a hearty lunch at Ravenshoe.

Michael Fellows was caught out reading Cycling Weekly; obviously trying to pick up a few tips. Our always sharp dressing photographer expansive wardrobe a safari helmet straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Upon seeing Michael Fellow, Andrew Baker decided to adventure into his own safari straight into the long grass after misjudging a sweeping bend, but with his talented skills managed to ride straight back into the peloton with a few grass seeds in his jocks.

It was lovely to see long term Smiddy supporters from the north Cath & Mick McDonald pop into Ravenshoe to surprise the peloton & road crew for a lunch visit. Although not road crewing this time, they still continue to fundraiser for Smiling for Smiddy all the way from Ingham.  The lunch at Ravenshoe (Queenslands Highest town) was well received after the long but stunning Old Palmerston Way climb, that included some fun and fast downhills to start before climbing through beautiful rainforests for over 10 kms and eventually coming out to reveal rolling hills dotted with fat happy cows and majectic wind turbines spinning quietly in the gentle breeze.   

After lunch there was some further climbing from the highest town to the highest road in Queenland taking the riders to an elevation of 1162 metres above.  Stephen Russell, in his youthful exuberance was a little too excited on th prospects of being at the highest point of the day and ready for the coming descents, overshot the turn off a short highway stretch.  But it has become apparent it was all a plan - knowing that he would be the only person on that Strava segment thus gaining his only KOM.

Krista ‘Pagey’ Page used her rarely heard Mum voice at the peloton today. General consensus, the children were once again well behaved. As Forrest would say ‘And that’s all I’ve got to say about that’.

With all the riders on the right track - the two pelotons were able to enjoy a series of fast open downhills - the benifits of reaching the highest roads in Queensland.  And after a 120 kms of roads trending upwards a fast finish was well in order.

Each peloton rolled back into the Big 4 in Atherton to a warm welcome and congratulations were shared all around on the longest and biggest climbing day on tour.

The Smiddy huddle was lead by Neil Brown & Wayne Messer from Alpha Sport. They thanked the riders & road crew for a fabulous day on the road. Stewart Webster added his personal heartfelt thanks to the crew for getting him here & encouraging him on his first ever Smiddy Challenge.

It has been voted that Rob ‘Brighty’ Bright need to reconsider his Smiddy Spotify playlist as it wasn’t well received. His retro taste in music is shite.

These stories are based on hearsay, as Wendy spent the day becoming close friends with Mrs Washing-machine & Mr Dryer and absolutely no time with the peloton, while Janet had a sleep in. Oh.........Neil finished the day trying unsuccessfully to slice his finger off with Jenny Fraser’s mandolin.

Thank you to our volunteer support crew for sharing their stories of the day.

We love road crew!!