Day 5 - 6 May 2021
Atherton to Cairns
Chris & Nathan
Day 5 - we made it here together!!!
Distance: 114 kms
Average speed: 25.5 kph
Climbing: 900 metres
Moving Time: 4:27
Temperatures: 10 min / 34 max
As we rose in the morning, we had already ridden more than 550km’s and climbed approximately 5,600m whilst also enjoying many many magnificent descents. Come 7am, we rolled out of Atherton for our final ride together. We have viewed so many amazing sights during our travels and today would be no different. Credit must be shared to the event planners who managed to lead us on another scenic tour where we stopped to view FBT (not fringe benefit tax, but f****** big tree - Curtain Fig), waterfalls and the amazing Lake Eacham which is a volcanic crater that was created more than 2,000 years ago by two massive explosions of superheated groundwater.
To add to the excitement we were greeted by a couple of roaming dogs taking on Stinky Dave until Krista unleashed her bark at the dog. Just to keep us on our toes Don and Sterlo decided to lay their bikes over during a controversial wrong turn.
It has been pretty clear all week that people have been striving to get into team gold which was obviously the elite peloton. This is an impossible task for outsiders as it is a fortress tightly guarded which leads us to explain the two attempts today. Firstly, at Malanda Falls we split back into our original two pelotons. As peloton two were about to depart, Simon appeared from behind a tree pretending to have taken a phone call. We couldn’t put him on the bus so we had to escort him to morning tea.
The second attempt was a very last ditch effort for glory by the very own Doctor Dan himself where he faked a mechanical to try and sneakily slide in to finish with the gold peloton.
Following morning tea we made our way to the top of Gillies Range for a safety briefing ahead of the truly awesome decent that was ahead of us. The safety briefing was necessary as we were about to descend 800m over 19km’s with 263 corners. We were fortunate to have the two QPS vehicles (in addition to our road crew) guarding us front and back during the entire descend as there was high risk with cars and trucks cutting the tight corners. Depending on your speed, if you were lucky you would also catch a glimpse of the mountainous view and possibly a small waterfall here and there.
The completion of the awesome descend lead us to Gordonvale where we enjoyed a fantastic pub lunch at the local Bottlemart before our final 30km leg to complete our journey to Cairns. Just when we thought the day was done, Gary who has gone under the radar all week took on the curb to get the attention of television crew.
This leads us to the end of the Far North Queensland Smiling For Smiddy event. As two first timers it has been an amazing experience for us and to be in the huddle for Sharkies final words was a really special privilege. As Sharky said, we are all here for our own reasons. That could be raising funds for cancer research, being here to support others or maybe you are here to remember someone who you have lost. Either way, we are all here to carry on the Smiddy tradition of mateship, spirit and teamwork for those near and fear.