Average speed: 27.2 k/h
Time: 4 hours, 56 minutes, 10 seconds
Elevation: 1267 m
Temp: min 1C; max 19C
Max speed: 70.6k/h
Category Jersey winner: Nathan Jacobson
Written by Prue Mowry & Monique Clarke
At last night’s gathering we heard the Day 2 blog from Ross Noye and the Day 3 blog from Scott McGeever.
There was an excellent Q&A session with Andrew Friebe and Phil Anderson and Matthew Crook shared his reason for joining the Smiddy ride. The Category Jersey was awarded to Carl Airey and the Perky Nana award to Brendan Whipps for reasons we won’t revisit.
The day was off to a great start with Prue and I feeling very honoured to be asked by Kevvy to ring the cowbell as the riders rolled out at about 7.30 am.
The riders slowly climbed the long, windy and oh so cold, Lindis Pass and we were lucky enough to be able to follow the riders descent which was both exhilarating and terrifying.
We visited the Tarras School for our morning tea break. The school has all of 16 students. Krista and Christian chatted to the children about what the Smiddy ride is all about and the importance of being sun safe and Phil spoke about his career as a professional cyclist.
We were also treated to a traditional Maori song from the students, who no doubt enjoyed the break from their classes to greet and meet the riders.
From there it was back on the road to head towards our final destination of the day—Wanaka.
Prue had the chance to ride with Kevvy behind the Peloton, where she witnessed the true mateship that bonds the Smiddy riders at various times with Paula, Tim and Matt Muir all giving a helping hand to other weary riders.
There was also a flat tyre and several stupid drivers, but most importantly the chance to observe the skilled moves of the road crew to keep our riders safe.
Arriving in beautiful Wanaka we were welcomed with a beautiful sunny afternoon and we all came together for the Smiddy huddle beneath the trees before enjoying a well-deserved lunch.
Lunch preparations were temporarily marred by the discovery that Wendy had left the cutting knives behind at Tarras School. Fortunately, Ant came to the rescue and sweet talked the embroidery club ladies into lending us a knife. Said knife was returned and we waited patiently for Anthony to stop flirting with the ladies, who were clearly enjoying his company.
Prue and I have so enjoyed this excellent adventure to date. We work for Russells and Steve Russell generously allowed us to take a week away from work to be part of the Smiling for Smiddy road crew.
During the course of the last four days we have laughed so hard and so often and cried almost as much with a hefty dose of ‘goosebumps’ moments thrown in.
This experience is something we find hard to put into words. The genuine gratitude that has been shown to us, and all of the road crew, by the riders has made this adventure all the more worthwhile.
It will be sad to say goodbye to all of the wonderful new friends we have made to go back to our everyday lives, but we take with us fantastic memories that we will talk about for a long time to come.
Thank you for having us.