Smiling for Smiddy – an epic 9 day journey from Townsville to Brisbane

August 26, 2019

DAY 1 – 141 KMS
Townsville to Charters Towers
Team Torque started with an easy roll out of Townsville to a favourite stop at the CWA Hall Woodstock for an early morning tea, before taking on the Mingela Range and crossing the mighty Burdekin River. They then made their way into Charters Towers, a beautiful old gold mining town, where they were hosted by the local School of the Air community.

DAY 2 – 198 KMS
Charters Towers to Belyando Crossing
Today, Team Torque go ‘off the grid’ as they make their way to what is often referred to as the spiritual home of Smiling for Smiddy. What laid ahead was 400 km of open road with little civilization in between, apart from the tiny roadhouse at Belyando. It was here that the Smiddy ethos of Teamwork, Spirit and Mateship came to the fore. They camped under the stars and sampled a different way of life in outback Queensland.

DAY 3 – 176 KMS
Belyando Crossing to Clermont
As the team continue south towards civilization and towards the amazing community at Clermont, who have been hosting Smiddy pelotons for over a decade. But before they can enjoy the hospitality of their hosts with a community dinner there are some hard kilometres to be done through the outback highways!

DAY 4 – 203 KMS
Clermont to Blackwater
After three days on the road the peloton will be bonding together as they make our way into the heart of Queensland’s coal country. Out there everything is big, including the hearts and personalities in the local towns, and Blackwater is no different. Tonight they are being treated to another big community dinner.

DAY 5 – 180 KMS
Blackwater to Baralaba
From Blackwater they ventured east along the Capricorn Hwy, where they will get to see just how big things are out there in coal country. The road is frequented by wide load trucks hauling the big gear that services the mining industry. However it’s only a short stretch along the Cap as they head onto the back roads towards Baralaba and the Myella Farmstay. Tonight it is just the riders and road crew at this little country oasis, where they will be treated to true country fare.

DAY 6 – 116 KMS
Baralaba to Biloela
After a nice sleep in and hearty country breakfast the crew set off on their shortest day, but one of the most important. They have many kids waiting for them at several schools including Goovigen with a student population of just 12. At Thangool the local P&C roll out an almighty spread before they head back into Biloela for the final school visit. Tonight they enjoyed a community dinner and festivities at the Thangool Race Club with new friends and old. Tonight will be a celebration of everything Smiling for Smiddy represents.

DAY 7 – 202 KMS
Biloela to Mundubbera
A solid 200 kms awaits the team as they make their way out of Biloela and up on to the ranges. Two climbs to undertake before reaching morning tea and another school visit at Monto. However after the first stop the roads are more undulating making their way through prime cattle country along the quiet country highways and back roads. Tonight they enjoy a quiet dinner around the camp fire pit telling the stories of the day. They nearing the final destination now, and while they are keen to see loved ones back home, they also know they will soon be saying goodbye to new Smiddy mates.

DAY 8 – 223 KMS
Mundubbera to Yarraman
Today is the longest and will be the most challenging. All riders know they have the strength to make it. They’ll have the chance to take in some quaint little towns as they divert off the highways onto country lanes and old timber towns—joining the fully sealed South Burnett Rail Trail at Wondai and meandering along the old railway to Kingaroy—the peanut capital of Queensland. From there it’s a short roll to the finish at Yarraman, where it is just the riders and road crew for the final time enjoying the company of friends new and old.

DAY 9 –177 KMS
Yarraman to Brisbane
After eight days the finish line is so close—but there is still some work to be done before our riders are re-united with their loved ones. The day starts with a fast run out of town and down the Blackbutt Range, before they settle into a regular rhythm through the undulations of the Somerset regions, making their way to Kilcoy before heading onto the country lanes. Brisbane is closing fast, and soon they will need to switch to city riding as they make their way through the suburbs. Enjoying a final stop for lunch before making the last push home through to Mater Private Hospital Brisbane and awaiting support crew.

They did it!
1600 kms in just nine days. It’s time to celebrate with your fellow riders, road crew and supporters, and as we reflect on what they have achieved—not just the physical feat but the funds raised for life-saving cancer research at Mater.