HELP ME TO SUPPORT THE PARALYMPIC ATHLETES

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 16, 2009

FATCYCLIST and BLOGGING

THE CYCLIST ON THE ROAD ALONGSIDE LANCE IS KNOWN AS FATTY!

he has raised $136000 for two charities in a little over two days.




THE $US1million "SKIPPYS LEGACY " still available to establish the "PARRABUDDY FOUNDATION".

In the past months I have been looking at a variety of Cycling Blogs to gain an insight as to what people are saying and enjoying.

People return to interesting and action packed blogs. I hope what I am offering will prove entertaining and worth visiting regularly. During 12 seasons of riding the routes of the various cycle tours that I have chosen I have met interesting and entertaining individuals throughout Europe. My primary objective has always been to motivate others to help “Disabled /Paralympic sport” in their own way. Each individual has their own perspective on how they can contribute to their community.

Returning to the blogs I am following, the outstanding example is “Fat Cyclist”. this guy has had a rough time these past couple of years with personal tragedy in his family. He has risen above the grief and continued to work at helping others.

Two weeks ago he sent a humorous letter to Johan Bruyneel which I picked up on Twitter and then went to @fat cyclist and to his Blog/fatcyclist.com. I will let you read and enjoy at your leisure as repeating here will not do the story justice. I watched the thrilling action with amazement! Fatty as he is known by his followers met the challenge thrust on him with an adroit skill few possess. It is an envious situation that “Fatty” found himself in as a result of the help of his team. “Fatty” motivated an instant result by his generosity and the lives of his followers, the beneficuaries of his fundraisings and the onlookers such as myself have been enriched as a result! Johan Bruyneel has risen to the occasion also in the way he received Fatty and arranging a range of “goodies” in addition to what Fatty had anticipated.

I have met many members of the “ Radio Shack Team” in their previous teams and his first report of the Saturday evening bears out my good opinion of them all. Nevertheless I envy the opportunity he had to go one on one in their space.When on the tours I have met the cyclists and their support staff in a variety of locations and generally they have been preparing for the upcoming days work.

Occasions have arisen when I have been able to have a reasonably relaxed chat. Chris horner at the “tour de Suisse invited me into the team Pullman he was curious about what I was about ,how I got around and where I stayed. As I was leaving I said “remember when you are standing on the podium tonight say “aider handisport” as this is the French speaking area of Switzerland, he laughed. Later that evening at the hostel I saw the last 25kms on tv and was able to see the TV interview after. Chris was not good with his French and certainly forgot what I predicted he should say! When I saw him the next day he was laughing as I congratulated him and asked if I thought he had enough on his plate trying to remember to mention his sponsors let alone speak in French!

Being on hand at the finish of an etappe can be a real thrill particularly when an aussie is on the podium, lots of people take the time to offer congratulations and ask what the particular rider is like up close and personable. Knowing my way around the back area I am generally able to get into a position to voice my approval of their success on the same day. A particular case was Dave Mc kenzie in the Girod’italia some years ago. I had finished the etappe and arrived in the finish area near the large TV screen. When it became apparent that dave was out front I got out the aussie flag as he went through the finish area for the first circuit. Some locals saw this and invited me up to their balcony to join their party. Plenty of time for food,drink and sign language, of course the flag was on the railings and then the cameras were focused on the party . Before leaving the finish area Dave acknowledged the group much to their pleasure.

I then excused myself and went looking for the “doping control” shook hands with dave , collected a team cap which he autographed and went back to the hosts of the party, who were thrilled with the souvenir. Later that evening in another town that was the next days start I found that I was staying in the same hotel as the Giro motorcycle route checkers. They were very complimentary about the result buying wine to celebrate the occasion.

I try to put something back into cycling as I get around. At this years Giro d’italia I was passing out “Livestrong wristbands to people I came across in wheelchairs, some I handed out, some I whizzed out as I raced past with a call of “Aiuto Disabili”.Livestrong had a party of volunteers giving out the wristbands at the start and finish areas but even though I asked them to pay attention to the “disabled “ as they drove the route it was not always easy for them to be prepared to slow down and hand out an item. A couple of times people have come up to me and told me of seeing me doing this on previous days, goes to show how many people follow the tours in their own way.

The Caravan vehicles at the “Giro d’italia “ are not as numerous as the “Tour de France” but they are more friendly and more approachable both at the start and at the finish. There is also the sponsors villages at both ends which are accessable for the general public.In past years particularly on the flat I have found as they pass me they passed out food and water to keep me going. In the towns they slow so it is not as easy to make my way through, particularly when they are stationary. Many of the workers are ski instructors in the winter as I am so this helps the connection particularly those who work with “disabled sport”.a lot of the workers return year after year so it is a pleasure to see them as it helps make a favourable connection.

When I was at Torino 2006 Winter Olympic I was waiting the passing of the “Olympic torch” a car came to a screeching halt and I found myself in a bear hug with one of the “Giro staff”. He arranged for me to run with the “torchbearers” for a period, which did my feet no good as I was wearing steel cap boots and my “Dryasabone coat” with the aussie flag hanging off my shoulders. About 10km later after their rest stop I hobbled off back to my friends appartment. Through these guys I was invited into “Casa Italia” once again.

On the first Sunday evening at “Casa Italia” I was introduced to “Sergio “ the Major of Torino. On arriving back at the appartment Ricardo, my host mentioned that Sergio’s office had been in the front of his building for a number of years. When I mentioned on another occasion this story to Sergio he immediately named Ricardo and arranged for him and Giovanna his wife to be guests on the final evening. Before leaving Torino I was introduced to the “Mayor of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan”, he was in his motorised wheelchair entertaining the public on the handover of the “Paralympic flag”.

In 2005 I was cycling into Torino and saw an Aussie team cycle jersey ahead in the traffic so I chased him down through the traffic. When we got talking it was Ricardo who had been given the shirt, as the story progressed I finished up with an invitation to overnight in his apartment. He fed me and took me to a party where I met some of his mates in a typical Italian party.

Next morning he rode with me towards Navarro on my way to Milano and the conclusion of that “Giro”. As we parted he extended the invitation to stay during the “Olympic period”. between times I had him visit in Kaprun where I was skiing and wintering that year.Last year he was on the Petit St Bernard pass but we missed each other in the crowds and I was pushing to get to Bourg St Maurice before road closures. That day I had to be in Bourg to try and catch up with Alain a Paralympics cross country skier whom I had not seen since the previous year when he handbiked up the major climb on the route to Cuneo. Again no luck with the crowds so I had to cycle to Albertville, chamonix and Martiney to collect the car which had been abandoned by the driver.

In the years of riding these tours I have found that transport is more of a hassle than value. Rarely have I been able to rely on a driver for more than a few days since noone is prepared to commit to the full 4 w/ends. 10 tdf transport free were really so much easier to enjoy. The first tdf in 1998 I was supported to some extent by an Englishman who wanted me to return to Pau when the repair job to the bearings that he half did on the cheap failed. I continued through to Albertville before I saw him again, subsequently I saw him in Pontalier.

He later dumped some of my gear in the campsite there, the valuables I am still awaiting as the problem happened in France the Sheffield police were not interested. Each time I have seen him since he decamps before the police arrive. During the 2004 Vuelta I had my Athens Olympic shirt lifted by the Frenchman with the megaphone. Whilst in the shower he substituted the shirt with a toilet roll, he also does a bunk whenever he sees me after I had the polizei to the Verona youth hostel during the world champs.

Over the years I have been invited into so many homes to eat or to sleep and as said before I do try to email, write or keep in touch. Sometimes it is frustrating to get close to their home and find that time has run out due to not riding at strong enough pace but on other occasions a landmark flashes past that gives you deja vue. To all those kind people out there once again my heart felt thanks.

Another ramble down memory lane closing for the moment!

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