PARRABUDDY.BLOGSPOT was started to help find a way for “Adaptive / Physically Challenged / Paralympic Cyclists ” to enjoy riding their bikes on the Daily Route of the famous Pro Tour Race Routes such as the “ Giro d’Italia " and the " Tour de France " !

Through lack of support i have been unable to achieve that goal and unless people decide to assist there is little chance that my 19th season will be any more successful !

London 2012 Paralympics was amazing for ALL , not just those participating but those who followed via the Media !

Since 2009 several other Blogs have been created to cover various other subjects !

Below is a guide to their separate purposes :

In the main Parrabuddy is about “Adaptive / Physically Challenged Sport” and Health Issues.

Skippi-cyclist is about personal issues and Road Safety Issues.

SkippyAus is about matters relating to Oz and some personal memories from my life there.

Tourdafarce & Tourdafrance are about matters relating to the Pro Tour , Racers and some personal experiences during my various visits to ride the Pro Tour routes .

Skippy (blogging) is about a variety of issues on the Internet .

NOT ALL postings arrive in their correct area but I will generally try to separate my views on Doping and Sporting Fraud from Road Safety Issues .

Comments ARE WELCOMED since this shows that those reading are interested in the subject matter ! Enjoy comments made to other blogs so wonder why only " anonymous " posts here !

Over the period of these "Blogs" I have had visibility on Twitter as “Skippydetour” and on Facebook as “Skippy Mc Carthy” where Google usually advise postings on the Blogs as they occur .

When any of you visit these Blogs I hope I am able to add value to your day and provide a source of information if not inspiration . Please consider asking your friends and contacts to add their support as many of the Para Athletes are struggling to find the resources to compete in Events at regional Levels let alone National Levels .

You the reader have the possibility to help these Amazing Athletes in your own way and contacting your National Paralympic Internet Site for relevant info is a good start !

Dec 17, 2009


Over the next few entries I will try to cover meetings with key people in the cycling circus. I have had contact with many of the European tour organisers, some of the world tour organisers as they appear at the “Giro or Tour, Heads of State and Ministers of State.

Cycling people like Miguel Induran, Charlie Gaul, Marco Pantani, Giovanni Pinerello, Pedro Delgado and Jimenez in cycling circles, Cricketers like Shane Warne,the Waugh brothers and Alan Border. Runners like Haile Gabrielle Sellasee and Rosa Motta. Rowers like Steve Redgrave,Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell & Tim Foster , Peter Haining & World Rowers at the 1998 world champs at Leverkusen , Olympians like Rosa Motta, Prince Albert of Monaco & Roger Bannister.Film stars like Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton and together with Elizabeth Taylor in Oxford, Curt Jurgens, Arnie the Terminator at TDF & the Sheens whilst living in Sydney,and Tennis stars the like of Tim Henman and Boris Becker.

Paralympians such as Michael Milton, Alex Zanardi, Pierangelo Vignati, Fabrice Macchi, Klaus Lungerhausen & Laurent Thiorenet. All amazing characters in their own way. i was a guest of the "French Paralympic Committee" at Sestriere 2006 at a dinner in honour of Sir Phillip and Lady Joycelen Craven.

At Atlanta, Sydney, Athens & Torino i have been a guest at "Club France, Casa Italia, Deutsch Haus amongst other venues.

Most of these events came about by sheer chance others I contrived to be in the area that allowed to me to meet them again.

Enough of the ravings of this old fart, back to the purpose of the blog.

The whole purpose of these blogs is to help build a bridge between “Paralympian Athletes and Sponsors". I have met and cycled withthe Oachoa brothers whilst they were with Team Kelme on several occasions. These days through road rage/mayhem there is only Javier who has returned from the tragedy to ride at the highest Paralympics level.He represents and wins medals and championships for Spain. Having come from a team he was well placed to receive the necessary support to get started once again.

But what of the Troops that return from active duty in war torn hot spots. Some of these people at a young age have to live in a new life and learn new skills that once they took for granted. These people in past years were pensioned off as quickly as possible to obscurity by a seemingly ungrateful government. We all hear of stories of these people living off the streets after the Korean and Vietnam
Wars. These days there is a better way and I know of “Help for Heroes" as a result of reading of "Major Peter Parker” and in the USA there is "@wwpinc/" amongst other care organisations. At the moment apart from "Legacy" I have not been advised of an Aussi connection but would appreciate an update .

Sport is a great way to build "Self Esteem" and as mentioned in an earlier episode i have come to know "Daniel Coulthard”.In May 1998 I was in Sestriere at the Pragelato Nat. park on a camping holiday and went to Briancon for a ride. I finished up bringing back a new bike that looked like a BiancHi but was a near copy. The price was ridiculously cheap so walking past was not an option. Somehow I managed to get both bikes back to the UK. But whilst there I started out on the Saturday morning to ride the Col Montcenisio and Col d’iserain into Tignes to stay with friends. On Sunday I cycled to Albertville , Grenoble, Briancon and Sestriere back to Pragelato.T wo heavy days and it was a relief to arrive back as the light was failing as had my energy. Bear in mind I had made 300km trips in the UK on previous weekends so I knew I was good for flat road endurance but this was a baptism of fire in the real world of the mountains I was seeking to join.

During my preparations for TDF 1998 I cycled Richmond Park and I came across this Barbadian who was training for his own events. On learning of my plans he begged me to let him join in but I was intent on my own solitary plans. i was not sure of my own ability and as i was joining others i was unable to help. Another day I was riding with Peter Haining when we joined Daniel and rode as a group for a time. After a while Peter urged we pick up the pace again,so I asked him to take a look at Daniel and then a second time to note the pedal action. It was only at this point that Peter realised that Daniel had no legs below the knees. The first time I saw Daniel training I had the same difficulty and so was not surprised that this disability was so easily overlooked.

Daniel was at Paris as I mentioned and the following week we rode again and I explained to him that the only way for him to tackle a tour was to have a backup driver with all the equipment and to make the whole trip work he would have to have build his endurance so as to ride more of the etappe each day .At Athens Para road race he did not finish the race so it was as well that he did not try to ride the Tour unassisted.

My plan for the tour would be to have a relay team in action!
Each day we would start with a tricycle or/and hand bike for the maximum publicity and after 5-10kms pass the baton to a tandem/road bike for the next kms where the baton would pass to the next riders. Before the feed station back to the start team through for 5-10km as conditions allow and then on a flat arrival back to the starters or all on the bike. Mountain arrivals would require the strongest riders as the support by vehicle would not be there due to road closures.

Apart from the disabled/physically challenged riders it would require able bodied volunteers to ride and assist in the organising of all logistical activities . The press would be all over the story so there would be need for laison there as well as camp organisation and buying supplies.

It is apparent that the numbers would quickly make for unworkable unit unless all involved work together. The benefits to all would be enormous as I am sure that they would become personalities in the own sphere of influence. This is why personalities would be have to be taken off and left at the door so to speak.


N.B. the photo was taken by Ken Hardacre @8WristBandman(twitter) currently hospitalised by the big C. the bike was in the front of the monaco hotel the day Lance greeted me on Eurosport etal. Send ken a tweet for the full story.

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