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 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

Australian N/E is flooded and Sth Austalia is under "Fire Ban" so there are a lot of uneasy people out there trying to make the best of the cards dealt them.

Controversy rages in New York as they try to clear up after the storm and hopefully when the next dump arrives there will be less aggro to contend with.

Here in the Zillertal there is a foggy start to the day with little snow recently so slogging up the various pistes on skins is not as much fun as when the sun shines and you can view the surrounding terrain, coming down on Telemark is not as much fun either as the surface feels like it is bulletproof.   My balance is better but cutting across ice in the telemark position with tired knees is no joy.

Hope that 2011 is a better year for all.

 

 

Dec 29, 2010

YOU PAYS YOUR MONEY & YOU TAKE YOUR CHANCES

This Christmas we are seeing a repeat of the lack of consideration that is offered to their clients by Big Business ! Whenever and wherever you have paid for a service too many times the organisation takes the attitude that you can FIGHT as hard as you are able to get recognition and perhaps reimbursement for the inconvenience you have suffered for failure to receive the standard of treatment you anticipated when paying out. Compensation rights are definitely unlikely to be even considered in the current climate.

Airlines and Airport Authorities are currently pointing the finger at each other and the passenger (meat in the sandwich) suffers. CNN , BBC , RT.com ,et al are interviewing and broadcasting the comments of stranded passengers, fortunately there is monitoring/editing so that we do not see those who would decry the pathetic efforts of the management teams of those facilities that create the mayhem that the travellers are suffering.

Moscow Airports suffered from Power Outages and we are entertained with Video of passengers expressing their dissatisfaction by beating up a storm on whatever came to hand. There were further reports of staff being abused and roughed up , also they stormed through the Passport Control Area, something we are not hearing take place in the UK & USA thankfully.

Why is it that when things go awry there is no one able or prepared to assist with information that those inconvenienced can put to use. Seems to me that losing your seat because the flight is cancelled is not the passengers fault and certainly does not deserve being told to leave and rebook by the internet or through the telephone. So many of the passengers are in transit with the same airline when they receive this off hand behaviour, it is the same airline so there is no excuse to leave their client sleeping in a terminal without food, water or facilities. When there are several airlines involved then there should be just as much consideration of the passengers needs.

Hearing that passengers were turned out of a terminal building in London Heathrow because the staff wanted to go home was typical of the lack of consideration afforded those stranded by the airport staff, not only that but they were told they had to go to the other terminal after security had already been advised NOT to allow in any that were not flying with Airlines departing from that Terminal that day. In the middle of the night passengers were left standing in the street with nowhere to go and no shelter through no fault of their own. How many of these unfortunates were women, children or even “Disabled passengers”?

Health and Safety issues it appears do not apply to International Flights so having flown for several hours from outside the USA passengers are then welcomed with delays of several hours caused by waiting to move from the runways to deplaning facilities at the terminal. Can you imagine how many of these passengers are then caused to miss their connections and thus will have to rebook somehow and endure some of the inconvenience that tens of thousands are already enduring. Deep Vein Thrombosis is a deadly health event and is most likely caused by air travel and the lack of movement over long periods of sitting. Hardly likely the Airline Staff will allow people to wander around the aircraft to loosen up their limbs and restore circulation . Having had 6 months of recovery from Embolisms caused by lack of movement coupled with possible dehydration I think there are going to be an increase of health issues for those travelling this year. Doctors will likely save some of those lucky enough to consult but too often people are unaware of the symptoms and carry on until they collapse. I went 4 days with severe pain before seeking treatment thinking I had a pinched nerve whilst actually suffering pneumonia and the scans then turned up the embolisms lodged in the lungs.

When i wonder if i am being unkind to those working in the airline industry i only have to think about what Putin , the Russian Prime Minister is saying about the Russian Airport Situation. Maybe Cameron will bite the bullet and get on with acting against those responsible for the continuing difficulties British Air travellers are experiencing.

Another entertaining situation was continous reporting on CNN of a broken down Mass Transit bus either propulsion problem or just unable to get unstuck on a corner in down town New York. Perhaps not so amusing to the owner was a Snow Plough that was pulled out of a problem but continued to crash into a parked SUV until that was also forced into impacting another parked car.

When this continuing fiasco ends I hope there will be International Legislation to protect the rights of the passenger. Meanwhile I have no plans to fly anywhere soon.

Whilst all this bad weather is hitting the northern hemisphere , Australia is now being saturated by a cyclone and Queensland is being flooded in various areas and this looks a lot more severe than earlier floods in Victoria and Sth NSW during December.

Happy New Year to all .

Dec 23, 2010

FATTY'S 10lb CHALLENGE

Livestrong this time last year was fortunate to receive a considerable boost by the efforts of "Fatty and his followers", he gave up a number of bikes as prizes to help him meet a challenge he had going with Johan Bruyneel and Radio Shack Team.

This year he once again set his followers a contest that generated about 2000 comments before the starting date. Towards the end he gave in to the request of a lot of these people and started a fund raiser with more prizes attached for a young cancer sufferer,Andreas Knickman, and todate about $15000 has been raised. The generosity of his following is to be applauded.

Below my comment to the blog which had 155 before i started the post and 224 when i finished typing and my two fingers effort was not that slow.


" Comment by Skippy | 12.23.2010 | 2:44 pm

CONGRATULATIONS Everyone who commented , some failed to make the weight but succeeded in their honesty and i hope Fatty sets aside some prizes to reward them ! Looking at the comments these past several weeks has been entertaining and visiting some of their blogs rewarding.
Those who made the weight loss generally lost about 5-7 % of their starting weight so there is a good chance for them to hold on to most of their acheivement. Diet has contributed to their success and additional training regimes could be turned into New Year Resolutions thus continuing the good work todate but more importantly enhancing their lifestyle.
AS i stated at the outset i was already in the minimum weight range and whether i ski tour, ride the trainer or work the rower i have to keep topping up to avoid dehydration. Coming back to the house after 2hrs slogging the skis uphill i am saturated and that is even after regular liquid consumption during the exercise.
Whether jonw9, Oldchainrig or nh_joe agree, my take is that All of you deserve a BIG PAT ON THE BACK !!

HAPPY FESTIVE SEASON to you All."


Further i tweeted Fatty

" @fatcyclist think you should set aside some prizes for the "honest " folk who admitted to missing the 10lb! Honesty always deserves reward ! "

Well i am at a point where i eat lunch after several hours of training and then decide to do another session and 30 mins later i am feeling the effects of dehydration or fatigue. Currently sunny mornings are slogging up the piste on the "skins2 for a couple of hours then telemarking back. My knees really let me know it when i drop into the Telemark position.

BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON.

Dec 19, 2010

GARMIN TO THE RESCUE

Never thought that a Garmin unit would act as a witness to an accident ! Black Dog Cycling blog detailed just such an occasion

http://blackdogprocycling.com/why-every-cyclist-should-ride-with-gps
No fun hobbling around after your bike has been destroyed and you a basket case from some A**hole's thoughtless behaviour. Not sure if i will rush out to buy a unit but those of you in possession will do well to keep this info in mind.

Another item i picked up that i thought amusing is about traffic lanes in New York

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/19/opinion/20101219_mccall_opart.html
Hope you also find this item amusing.

Dec 18, 2010

NAMING and SHAMING

Short entry to highlight the need for cyclists to help each other !

Because of the snowy weather in the UK The Cycling Silk posted twice today and both were well thought out meaty entries which all serious cyclists would do well to read and consider. Certainly there were items that reminded me of my Feb posting on miscreants that caused me aggravation.

Follow this link to my blog item: today

February Cycling Silk 1 Cycling Silk 2

Hope you all give some thought to these items and either get back to me by email skippi@ausi.com or
leave a comment if you choose you can also sign on as a follower for updates.

I can see no reason why this idea will not work in any and every country where there are cyclists that wish to help each other. There are of course some blogs already in existence that do as Martin and use a camera and one that comes to mind is "I pay road tax".

Dec 11, 2010

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Consistent snow is the outlook this weekend which gives me a chance whilst watching the Alpine Ski Racing to review some of the news from the past week.

Jon Vaughters wrote an interesting article about Sponsorship and Team rankings mid week and then this morning I read that Pegasus( new Aussie team) are not only missing out on the Pro Tour Status but possibly the Pro Continental ranking also. Racers of the calibre of Robbie Mc Ewen could well be side lined by this decision and this will defeat the Sponsors prime objective for setting up the team , which was apparently to contest the Grand Tours in 2011. There is something to be said about BMC Team‘s approach to the Pro Tour in that they started out as Continental and worked their way up through Pro Continental to Pro Tour Status. Sponsors are all interested in “Return on Investment” no matter what else they say and gravitating to teams that are constantly in the news and presented on TV is the main objective of any commercial decision. Since 2000 when I visited John Morris in Sydney and told him that “Australian Tourism” should sponsor a team, I have been waiting to see an Aussie team at the Grand Tours, but it is looking bleak for 2011 at this time.

Contador continues to be in the news as Spanish Sport in general is having a successful period, but with the latest Police Raids and confiscations the tide of sympathy even in Spain must be turning against him. An article about an Italian Cyclist caught my eye because the Italian Authorities are going after the whole family. Lampre are unlucky to have had several Cyclists over the years become casualties of their desire to take short cuts. Gerolsteiner was a team that collapsed because of lack of sponsors due to several of their roster who were either thought they were too smart to get caught or too greedy, and each of these individuals blame all but themselves.

This week I commented on Contador and suggested that either UCI boss Pat Mc Quaid bite the bullet and bring his desire for 4 yr suspensions to reality or resign and allow a stronger personality to get the job done. Seeing that CONI the Italian Organisation taking a firmer stand about doping came as a surprise but I hope that they will continue to prosecute families and supporters in the future instead of their previous wishy washy defence of their “Sporting Fraudsters” ! High Profile Athletes are the idols of the young and impressionable and thus when they behave badly we have a new generation of “copycat behaviour” which is detrimental to all regardless of the sport. Having been somewhat of an oddity since 1998 I have had access to some of the Prime Movers In Cycling and have advocated more Drug Testing and Longer Suspension periods since I first visited UCI offices in Lausanne during 1999. What effect I have had on their thinking is obvious in that nothing appears to have changed since then except the names being suspended and the drugs and methods they use.

Sporting Fraud is a Criminal Activity whether by individual or by team it deserves being treated by draconian measures, the athletes involved and their “handlers” are petty thieves and just as you would lock up a burglar or drink driver these miscreants deserve a spell behind bars. Fact is the prisons are full so being locked in the house with an Ankle Tag Electronic Device for 4 years causing the family grief would save the community money and serve as a warning to any athlete contemplating similar activities. Andy Schleck was 2nd at the TDF but I know that IF “pistolero” is suspended he will not wish to wear No 1 at the Start of the TDF in July 2011. Most of the prestige in winning the TDF is being able to make that triumphant Lap of Honour on the Champs Elysee on the final day, being deprived of that by the likes of flandis must have been hugely disappointing to the eventual winner.

Over the years I have written to various Heads of State to ask them to call for a Moratorium from prosecution on the Drugs Question, “Drip, Drip, Drip “ seems to be the order of the day , pass the 10 year cut off period and then put your hand up to usage when there is no longer risk of prosecution. Continually hearing of these criminal activities does not encourage the public to believe that the fight against drugs is being waged let alone won. Several countries have put penalties for “Sporting Fraud” into their legislative powers in recent years but there are too many out there still awaiting the end of their 10 years to get their transgressions out in the open. Proclaiming a World Wide Moratorium for all SPORT with a time limit and then the removal of the current cut off point will cause many a head line but should put an end to this blight with which Clean Athletes have to contend . Those with the skeleton in the cupboard will face a bleak future with Draconian sentences when found out if they refuse the “Olive Branch”.

Cycle Safety is another area that needs far more attention, too many cyclists are being bullied by those who most likely also rode a bike whilst growing old enough to earn the PRIVELEGE of a driving license. What is it with these people who fail to leave their starting point with time enough to arrive safely at their destination. Life isn’t about how much aggravation you cause as you spend your day and it certainly doesn’t require causing others harm. The Cycling Silk Blog recently has come to be a series of items about a thug who the authorities refuse to investigate let alone censure.

English authorities handle formal complaints from the public with an eye to how much time and resources they will use in resolving the matter. Being presented with Video evidence by a prominent member of the legal profession and treating this material with disdain sends the wrong message to the rest of the cycling community. When you or I get on our bike we wish to be treated equally and fairly by road users and deserve to be penalised for transgressions but when the authorities treat cyclists as a lower form of life then all the encouragement by politicians for us to get on the bike are frustrated.

Martin Porter QC is not only a cycle commuter but cycle racer and with his knowledge of the law deserves more respect from the authorities he is attempting to involve in prosecuting the miscreant who not only abused him but threatened to kill him., currently he is looking for action by the head of the English Criminal Prosecution Service with the support of a variety of cycling organisations.

Dec 8, 2010

Larry King Live

Larry is a favourite of mine for many years. Whenever I have access to a channel that shows his programme I will make the effort to organise my day to view his outstanding programme material.

Most occasions these days you will find me on the Taxc trainer or rowing machine with the volume turned up so that a can hear what is being said. Rarely does his show content disappoint and even today his producers were able to reorganise the programme content so as to catch up with the sad news of the death of Elizabeth Edwards whom I have enjoyed watching with him in past years. This remarkable lady has been let down badly but got on with her life and became an inspiration to other big C victims. When Lance tweeted about Elizabeth earlier in the week it did not take much effort to realise to whom his tweet was referring. Big C has become the scourge of modern society and organisations such as Livestrong are playing catch up as they seek to assist sufferers.

Larry , as you finish up your series of LKL, I hope you will make the effort to remind your viewers of an inspirational segment of the population, these are the Paralympians. This segment is growing due to the need to fight “The War on Terror”. Organisations such as “Wounded Warrior Project “ in the USA and “Help 4 Heroes” in the UK need the exposure only you are able to provide.

Chris Reeves was a guest in past years, as was the Scientist (Stephen) and Stevie Wonder recently but there are others out there who are as yet undiscovered but are victims of Iraq, Afghanistan and earlier conflicts, that are working hard to represent their country once again but this time as participants in international sports events (Paralympics being the ultimate).

Alex Zennardi returned to car racing after his life changing event but there are many who are unaware of his desire to represent Italy with the Handbike at London 2012 Paralympics. Michael Milton in the early part of the century was the International Sportsman as a result of his efforts at Salt Lake 2002 Winter Paralympics, he has continued since as a Para Cyclist at the Summer Paralympics also.

Looking for an international flavour, then there are many : Pierangelo Vignati (Italian Paracyclist), Fabrizio Macchi( Italian Paracyclist), Laurent Thirionet ( French Paracyclist) and Zavier Ochoa (Spanish Paracyclist), Oscar Pistorious (Blade runner (South African Para Athlete), Laurie Stephens (USA Para skier), Dame Tanni Grey-Thomson (British Para Athlete) and Louise Sauvage (Aussie Para Athlete). Teams also deserve recognition and an outstanding example are the “Voralberg Para Team that raced the “Race Across America” in recent years.

Mike Tyson who was recently on your show would agree that there are many of his ilk that support Paralympian Athletes in their endeavours. I had the pleasure to meet up with Alberto Tomba at the 2008 Bormio Ski Finals Week, that weekend he organised some of the Italian Paralympian Ski Team to be hosted at the event. Bode Miller often talks of events to which he has invited a para friend.

Qatar in winning the Football World Cup plans to build Prefabricated Stadiums for those events and some of these could be easily converted to contain other sports events. In trying to find out whether Qatar has a Velodrome I discovered they have a track team and that they have both Men’s and Women’s UCI Road Race events in the early part of the year. One wonders if there will be a bid for the Summer Olympics to be in the Middle East in 2020 or 2024 with Qatar being the focus of a combination of countries providing the facilities.

Qatar Airlines would enjoy increased exposure through this initiative, but since so much Hotel Accommodation will be required in 2022 it seems likely that many more World Events will be sought to justify an expansion of the existing hotel facilities. With a combined bid the hotel accomodation of nearby City/States would help absorb the massive influx of visitors to the region.

Qatar should give some thought to becoming a centre of excellence for "Paralympic Sport"since all the stadia they will build will require "Wheelchair Access" and the Adaptive Community is the fastest growth area in Tourism. Any Qatar Airline tickets they have to spare i am sure i can put to good use as i get around to visit the various Pro Tour Events each year.

PS Please check my profile as there are other websites worth visiting and of course i would appreciate comments since there is so much going on out there that i am as yet unaware !

Dec 7, 2010

SAVE HERNE HILL VELODROME



This important British Cycling Facility has been ignored for too long ! Will some of you out there make an effort to preserve your history ? Brad W. claims this as the starting point of his cycling career and yet i have no idea of whether he wishes to see it preserved. 2012 is just around the corner and yet it was unusable on a saturday in Sept.2010 when i was there. The meeting scheduled was cancelled because of overnight rain . 2010 and nothing is being done to encourage a new generation of Brits to compete against the Aussies, of course you are happy to win the odd cricket test, is that all that counts?




Southwark Council has decided to allocate £2m to projects related to the 2012 Olympics and to this end are using the services of Tony Doyle MBE a former World Track Champion as well as Tessa Jowell MP.

Over several years i have had occasion to visit Herne Hill Velodrome and see how run down it has become. 2012 is just around the corner and this important and historic facility is subject to inclement weather currently but can it be left like this when there is the likelhood that prior to the OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC events Athletes from all over the world will need to train/warm up for their events. Do you imagine that they will be pleased to arrive and find it closed due to the track being wet from overnight rain ?







Currently there seems to be some problem about ownership or that is the reason i have heard for the lack of effort to put this Historic site back in order, i know of people like Wally Happy who run events there to try and raise monies and i am sure there are funds coming from other resources BUT uncertainty and indecision will not get the job done.







September time was the last occasion i was there and that days meeting was cancelled because of a wet track, Cyclocross continued throughout the day but can you imagine what would happen if World class/Olympic Athletes were relying on using the existing facilities.

Southwark Councils initiative is subject to "Final Approval" next year, "BOLLOCKS" !

GET ON WITH THE JOB NOW !!!

PS Suggested to Lance Armstrong (by tweet, a great mate of Tony Doyle) that he together with Nike, Radio Shack, Trek & Livestrong could get together the funds needed to renoate this Historic site.
Perhaps there may even be enough to allow cover so that the track is dry all year around ?

Dec 3, 2010

Cynthia Banham

Coming up to the anniversary of the starting of this blog i was delighted to find an article about "Aussie Troops" whom like the US & UK media are rarely reported !

In the past year i have sought info on these courageous people who are starting their life once again after serving their country. Help4heroes and Wounded Warrior Project are orgs. i was aware of but regardless of whom i asked was unable to find a similar org. in Australia. Whilst there are ONLY 45 as reported by Cynthia's article i am sure there are many more that should be considered as part of this segment of the population and qualify for the assistance being offered.

Years ago i was fortunate to be involved with Legacy a truly inspiring organisation but felt there must be more dedicated orgs. to assist these service personnel. Legacy is a remarkable organisation and each year has a fund raiser when amongst other activities you are able to buy and wear "Pins" of a variety of sizes and colours although then they gave recognition to the size of your donation(keeping the sellers honest/upmanship? who can say) and as i went to and from work that week i sold off the tray and was invited to a committee lunch to recognise my efforts.

Not my place to comment on Government Policy but i will say that ALL the troops deserve recognition and those injured/disabled deserve better treatment than being ignored by those who should know better. Seeing that there are 4 of this number striving to serve their country once again as Paralympian Athletes backs some of the comments i have made in earlier blogs. To those i wish success, regardless of whether they medal they are role models to us all.

Yesterday i tried to add comment to Cynthia's article but when i tried today i find that comments are closed. WHY? In that article there is a link to the Economist article .I now add a further link for the comments related to the economist articleThere is a blog fatcyclist.com who this week received over 1000 comments and it was only about losing 10lbs, cynthia may not have time to read the comments but this is an important issue and the public pay taxes which should be put to use to improve the lot of these TAXPAYERS so that they are able to rejoin the community once again. Think what the 45million spent on the failed World Cup bid would have achieved if allocated to the facilities needed by these Returned Service Personnel

Would appreciate comments on this issue but also more info on any organisation in Australia raising funds to assist these Service personnel adjusting to their new way of life.

Nov 15, 2010

ULM Germany

After the TDF i called in on a Ski Buddy from the mid 1990's living in ULM area. His partner had recently moved out and his house was in need of extensive renovation.

The roof was missing tiles , the water was cut off so water is being piped in off the neighbouring house through a hose pipe and there are other less serious issues needing attantion.

I always knew that George was a good cook but hopeless at getting going on practical issues. Fortuneately he is reasonably fluent in english so communication should not have been an issue.

One demand i made in July was that the internet be connected so that i could deal with my communication issues, well a variety of excuses ensued through until i moved in after returning from the Vuelta in early October. Since the beginning of the residency i have chopped the winters wood ,cleared the garden of falling leaves and chestnuts spending mornings before going riding the local roads on the wintery afternoons. Fortunately i have not had to put in much time on the tacx as though cold and bleak there has been little rain.

The past two weeks has seen 70+ hrs of my time digging a trench 12m long by 1.4m deep and 1.2m wide to accomodate the new water pipe. Can you believe the local regs(DIN 4124) call for Wood hoardings using 5cm thick wood at each end of the trench which is mainly solid mud not unstable loose soil. Topping all this is the lack of Plans to show where the Electricity,telephone,television cables are buried and in addition there are no plans for the existing Water and waste pipes. Regardless of all this effort not only has "Prof. Workshy "decided to short change me on recompence but offered the opinion that the work was good exercise . He also revealed that he was in no hurry to connect the internet since he is in the process of changing telephone suppliers. Thought i should have bought a "stick" since i have 2 for Austria.

Well any of you wondering why i have not added to my blog recently will now see the difficulty i have had baring in mind the nearest internet cafe is about 12km away with parking difficulty both for car and bike. Those of you who helped me out during the TDF and Vuelta will i hope be patient as i plan on return to Austria to set to work reporting on those events. I had also planned to have thanked some of my "Sponsors" during the past year by this time but lack of facilities has deferred that task also.

Currently i am seeing little interest by "Para Athletes " in joining me next year so i think that any efforts next year will be directed to assisting another segment of the community. Sad to think that these people do not wish to help themselves.

Recently i have offered a few "comments" to SBS Cycling Central and Roads.cc amongst other blogs. Georgethecyclist.blogspot.com offered me the opportunity to join his latest jaunt in Turkey but after reading his recent blogs i am in two minds as to which situation would have been the more enjoyable way of passing the last few weeks.

Sep 29, 2010

Christian Van de Velde

Looking at Twitter today i see that Chris V. is involved with a new charity www.savealimbride.org which has been supported in the past by George Hincapie.

About 1% of the population is born with limb deficiency so this is an important charity although it is based in the Baltimore area. With the Paralympic Games less than 2 years from now it is important for people to support any organisation which helps athletes to participate .

The World Road Champs are on in Melbourne currently and i recall when they were in Salzburg and shortly thereafter in a NZ road race Paul Crake became a statistic and now uses a wheelchair as primary transport. Alex a friend in Jenback was at his wedding last year so was able to tell me that Paul is adjusting to his new life style.

Too often we forget that Wootton Bassett "Repatriations" are only the visible tip of the casualities returning to the UK from work in "Harms Way", and Sport plays a growing part in the rehabilitation of these service personnel. Over the past year i have tried to encourage "Help4Heroes and Wounded Warrior Project" amongst others to take my "Relay idea" and see if they can get support for a "Team of Disabled/Adaptive Athletes " to ride the route of the Major Cycle Tours to publicize the need for more Sponsorship of "Para Athletes". At these events there are numerous journos looking for a story and "Free Publicity" goes begging whilst the people i speak to consign my idea to the "Too hard basket"!

Anyone who is able to help me get through to those who can assist please email me on skippi@ausi.com

Sep 24, 2010

WHERE IS THE HELP

During the past year i have been trying to interest many organisations in helping "Disabled / Physically Challenged Sport" because whilst i enjoy doing things in my own way i am aware that MORE should be done for this section of the community !

When you find yourself in Wootton Bassett watching a Cortege pass you are only seeing a part of what is happening for our security. The price paid by these individuals and their famillies is enormous but the real story is the returning Service personnel who are rarely mentioned but are transported into a new "Lifestyle" by their involvement in their chosen profession. When "Signing up " for the "Forces" rarely do the individuals realise the significant chance of being "retired unfit for duty". These people go from hospital to rehabilitation and sport plays a major part in this thus there are many who seek to excell and even find themselves on the path to serving their country once again in a new way.

Paralympic 2012 is even closer than we realise, many formar athletes are still in training after Beijing2008 and there will be competition for the limited places in National Teams.

WHAT can you do to help these Aspiring individuals?

Sep 10, 2010

Burgos

Paid my money to stay somewhere in Burgos and because i did not produce immediately the "Camino Passport" at 1830hrs, a little after 2000hrs i was bombarded in Spanish( the english speaking receptionist had gone home) and i was given my money back and put on the street !

This is the way that the "pilgrims/guests" are treated at the Albergi Pelogrini in Burgos?

Let me tell the story later (using a friends computer for access) but even though you have the credentials that they require , if it is not in your hand expect this unhelpful "Spanish Behaviour"!

BE WARNED !!

Sep 6, 2010

"2005 Vuelta" taught me a lessonn which i thought was "UNFORGETABLE" but here i am again relearning history.

Today i pulled up at a service station east of the "Vuelta"rest day city and enjoyed a meal equally as good as the 780 peso edition in 2001 near Oviedo, but this time it costs 8.50euro ! Peopled by Romanians this place was 6km from Tarragona and eaten at 1500hrs so will last me the day.

Early morning i set out to solve some bike problems but found the usual "Give me MONEY syndrome" in Tarragona, not able to carry the tools i rely on "Goodwill" which sadly is no longer available in "Espana"!

Even as i write this blog i find that the memories generated are enough to encourage me to head for the beach !

"Disabled/Paralympic Sport" counts for nothing here in "Espana", but before logging on i let a lady use the computer whose partner`s son is "Cerebal Palsy" and so is in a sheltered home these past 30 years! Their Daughter was a friend of George Hincapie a cyclist now attached to "BMC" cycling team. "Go figure" the co incidents that you will come across as you progress through life.

Last time i was in Tarragonna was a Saturday and the start was in the Marina but a few kms down the road the weather took a turn and we were cycling in cms of torrential rain on the road, more like cyclesurfing than cycle racing, arrived at the finish with a transfer to Valencia arriving there in time for midnight. Most people arrived here after Midnight who went to the finish but i shortcircuited to Valencia and caught a lift North with a truck and the last 100km with a Russian who would have made "Schumacker look for a new job"!

Attitudes have changed in Espana these past years, now "Accom. Providers" charge people more money, taking the attitude that "IF YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL THEN YOU DESERVE TO BE RIPPED OFF"" Right!! you have to travel from home so you can afford to pay "PENALTY" for all those who stay home because the economy has tightened and think twice about visiting Clients/Friends, as telephone is cheaper ! WRONG ATTITUDE HOTEL OWNERS !!! Encourage more travel by offering better "SERVICE", perhaps lower prices also !

My baggage travelled to a "Sponsors" hotel, i visited to advise that i had arrived, at the hotel i secured "Recom" to neighbouring "Hostal(Cheaper form of Accom)" was told my "Driving license(photoI.D.) was "Nuisance Value to their " Son (the Computer Whiz.) so i went elsewhere and found cheaper accom w/out being "hasselled" about I.D. at 22hrs. WHO loses? I am better off by 20euros a night, but who wants to stay with the "Idiots Who say that you are a "PROBLEM"!

By the way i am in Espana riding my bike and the "Hostal " wanted to leave it in the street as "THEIR FLEA PIT" is so clean that a "Clean bike is not allowed in the room ! WHY am i here? I am riding the route of the "Vuelta"! Where do i leave the bike? Not where it becomes some "chancers " property ! THink i want to spend more time in Espana? YOU ARE right the benefits are outweighted by the liabilities, sunny weather is great but "Hassells" are not "welcome" !

Vuelta Espana has become a smaller event to that i remember visiting in 1999 and will continue to lose prestige whilst those supplying "Service" to the event think "SMALL" ! There are some with this Event Who deserve recognition for the efforts they make to encourage the "Public" but whilst you have Media saying there is no "News Value" in broadcasting about "Disabili" but there is value in interviewing "Politicians"!

Aug 18, 2010

PRODUCT REVIEW : DIGEUS : Computer Product

Product Review

Just recently I was asked to do a product review, perhaps because I mention the difficulties I have with access to the internet. Each time I log on it can be a lottery as it comes in at 20bit/sec but at other times it will be at 1.3m/sec but usually that is with items I do not wish to d/load.

When trying to upload the blog content I usually walk away and do some other job for a few minutes since I have given up o waiting for the computer to do the job most people expect of it.

Vista 7 or 8 whichever the computer is using seems to work reasonably compared to some other computers to which I have had access, but to the best of my knowledge there is room for improvement.

The product offered to me

http://www.digeus.com/products/systemoptimizer/system-optimizer.html

Has asked for a review but apart from reading what is on this page I am unable to offer any advice since I am a computer newbie and blog to help publicize “Adaptive/Physically Challenged Sport“!

Should I receive this product as offered I may well see how much better the computer performs and if it does as stated then I will be able to do a better job of keeping my readers entertained with my news and views.

Of course I welcome Cycling Product to review as this is an area I am very familiar with and any “Travel Offers” also will gain credible reviews.

Aug 14, 2010

TOUR PERSONALITIES : FATHER AND SON at TDF

Chug across to "www.TourdaFarce.blogspot.com & or SKIPPYblogging.blogspot.com" to read this item !

Aug 12, 2010

DURA ACE CHAIN

Yesterday i changed the chain on my "Grand Tour bike", you know the "pink one" ! This chain was put on in april 2009 when setting up the bike before the "2009 Giro d'Italia" after the frame had been repainted by the cowboys who could not be bothered to supply "touchup paint" but also cheated the guy who handled the job for me. When i delivered the frame in 2008 the paint job was "Gratis/promo", yea so why advertise £60 jobs and charge £153? Oh , only some jobs are £60? Misleading advertising? Well Bristol cowboys you are getting plenty of free advertising of the sort you CANNOT buy ! Congrats on a lousy job! Guess how many people have seen the bike by now and how many more know this story "Word of mouth" as well as in print/media !

The chain survived until i was riding in the "Chain gang" back from Trieste to Jesolo" on the Sunday evening after the stage and powering up the big hill driving 56 on 11 at about 35kph standing on the pedals to stay in the group which was composed of "Dilitante/race standard youngsters" ! The chain link opened and i sat down in time to avoid a spill and got spat out the rear like a "fruit seed"! Several locals including a mt/biker tried to help close/replace the link, even put in several that i carry as spares to no avail. WEll after an hour out came the thumb back to the start.




Monday morning i pulled up short of the start and found a really helpful Italian Bike Mechanic after about a dozen false starts, most wanted to help but did not have "shimano parts"! This guy guaranteed his work would last the life of the chain, it did and longer ! You see it survived 2009(11+km) and even though i was told in april to replace the chain after having it measured i decided as everything was working more or less correctly, to continue but carry a replacement and links in case of breakdown.

Well this season passed satisfactorily until 3km from the top of the Madelaine when the chain broke as i was nursing it to the top after a link opened. Luckily for me i had stopped alongside some English guys who had their trailor parked beside the road and whilst i drank a cup of coffee they fixed the chain. Days later, the friday night , i was entering the town of Rodex when they hollered "Skippy" as they drove around the roundabout on the bypass of the town, sorry guys if you did not hear me holler back !

I had been at the finish of the Etappe on the Mende airfield when the first storm struck early in the evening and having descended into the town was heading out for the next day's start at Rodex when the heavens opened once again. Having spotted the "Presidential Motor cycle squadron" in a tyre repair shop on the way out of Mende i headed back to their sheltering point. These guys are really friendly and some make the effort to speak English but have over the years gone out of their way to help where they can. During the hour or so we were there they supplied me with sandwiches and water so that the time passed quickly enough and i was entertained with stories of their careers and other news surrounding events observed at the tour.

When i left shortly before them as the storm had passed i had over 120km to go to Rodex so whilst waiting for a lift they passed on the way to their hotel. The first lift was about 30km and dropped me in time for "El Diablo" to pull in to offer a lift and drop me close to Rodex , my destination. Whilst driving Didi also supplied refreshment and although he does not speak any english we muddle along with my deutsch vocabulary , suffice to say the time passed quickly.

On my way into the town of Rodex i realised there was a YHA nearby and stopped to speak with a gentleman whose wife then took me on a guided tour until we found the Hostel closed for this period, I wonder who pays their bills if they do not want to be filled by tour visitors? Yves wife took me into Rodex town centre and then decided to offer me accom for the night. These strangers had a flat attached to their residence which left me self contained but they also sat me down to dinner and breakfast with a menu that would be the envy of any that were staying in a 5 star hotel. Single Malt scotch was an unexpected surprise as an aperitif as i rarely treat myself like this at home , seems a waste to open a bottle for myself these days. As i continue to mention in my blog entries this is the best part of the Tours, finding people such as this family who invite "Complete Strangers into their homes and treat them as Family" and this is why i continue to make the effort to support "Disabled Sport"

After the tour i was in Belgium to recover my car then over to the UK to visit a variety of friends. Sundays are always with a Cycle club somewhere, and this time it was with "Seamons Cycle club " out of Altrincham who decided to head for the hills outside Macclesfield. Even going out there the chain started skidding through but on the climb whenever i put effort into a higher gear i got a bruised knee when the chain skidded through, on the flat it was holding on the 56 ,11 but 42,11 etc was the problem as there was not enough tension any more.

Well yesterday i made the change and after 2 "Giro, 2 "Tdf, 2 "dauphinee a lot of trainig kilometres i figure that the chain which came from a Team bike must have in excess of 15000km and likely 20k usuage. I clean the chain as often as i can and use "wd40" like products rather than oils which tend to collect road dust/dirt and soil upholstery when in a vehicle.

Shimano would recommend replacement about 5k but teams change much earlier but regardless i hope this blog confirms the excellence of "Dura ace Products" which i continue to enjoy. The new "Dura ace Chain" is not working well on the 42 ,11 but runs smoothly enough elsewhere so there are some adjustments needed before i get back to trouble free riding before the Vuelta.

SBS CENSORSHIP

Currently based in Zillertal in Austria i am unable to see or follow Cycling in Oz unless i go to the internet. One of the sites i have to follow is SBS Cycling CEntral Blogs which has a variety of items each month, some are informative and are worth sending comments.
Comments that are below standards required do not deserve repeating, but many times i have sent in items shown below that are censored out and not printed. I keep all comments that i contribute to a variety of sources and i know that "Googling " will find them also once printed.
Personalities come into this as well since in 2004 "Thommo" told me "I have no time on my Tour de France program for "Disabled Sport"!", he had time to show me in the background on several clips none of which i had been happy to hear about in the light of his "Censoring the reason d'etre"!

Fact is i rarely spend time with "Journos" who want to do anything other than help/report on "Disabled/Adaptive/Para/Physically Challenged Sport". I only do interviews with Media as i come across them , i will not make appointments since it limits my movements, who would walk away from a meeting with "King Albert 2 of Belgium to meet a Journo who may either not be there, running late or not use the item because something more important has come up.
Each Grand Tour is an investment of my Time, Money and energy and i go into it with hopes of contributing something but realise that i am not important enough to make a difference !

Judge the comment to the article for yourself !


Original Comment.

"EQUIPE is a great source of info for any sport whilst in Europe, better if your french is fluent or a mate can help you out !
Anyone with new Lance book able to help me out by scanning pages 185/6 to skippi@ausi.com and if there is someone that has graham Obree's "Flying Scotsman" please forward the ref's there please !

Unlike the "mention" i do not get involved in "Money " but spend my time reminding Athletes, Sponsors, Organisers, Fans and others that more needs to be done to fund the Para Athletes so that their families do not have to carry the burden of their efforts to represent their country in International Competition(even in local comp.s they have huge expenses) and elsewhere !
My efforts are voluntary and the recognition, hospitality and thanks i receive from Para Athletes & their Families & Friends whilst at the Giro,Tour & Vuelta make the considerable expense and time spent worthwhile.
Still would like more support to help these amazing athletes to get a "Relay Team " going for future Tours starting now with the "Tour Downunder" !
IT CAN BE DONE !!
Follow @skippydetour and google Skippyaus , Skippydetour & Parrabuddy and sign on as followers but also look at the Aust. Paralympic Site and see what you can offer to send the best team to LOndon 2012 and show why Australians are the best !"



2nd effort

"PLEASE ADVISE WHY THIS COMMENT IS UNACCEPTABLE !!

No one else seems to have bothered with YOUR article

"Equipe is a great source of info for any sport whilst in Europe, better if your french is fluent or a mate can help you out !
Anyone with new Lance book able to help me out by scanning pages 185/6 to skippi@ausi.com and if there is someone that has graham Obree's "Flying Scotsman" please forward the ref's there please !

Unlike the "mention" i do not get involved in "Money " but spend my time reminding Athletes, Sponsors, Organisers, Fans and others that more needs to be done to fund the Para Athletes so that their families do not have to carry the burden of their efforts to represent their country in International Competition(even in local comp.s they have huge expenses) and elsewhere !
My efforts are voluntary and the recognition, hospitality and thanks i receive from Para Athletes & their Families & Friends whilst at the Giro,Tour & Vuelta make the considerable expense and time spent worthwhile.
Still would like more support to help these amazing athletes to get a "Relay Team " going for future Tours starting now with the "Tour Downunder" !
IT CAN BE DONE !!
Follow @skippydetour and google Skippyaus , Skippydetour & Parrabuddy and sign on as followers but also look at the Aust. Paralympic Site and see what you can offer to send the best team to LOndon 2012 and show why Australians are the best !"

Seems like each time i try to help the Aussie Paralympians some SBS "nobody" censors the item !

Copy of this message will be found elsewhere and will not reflect kindly on SBS policy towards "Disabled Sport" !

The above also sent direct to SBS management who will probably "Bin it" since they never Ever replied to previous input, so what's new?

Living in the Austrian mountains i have an internet connection that runs at 20bits/sec most of the time but will d/load unwanted items at 1.3m/sec, go figure !

Aug 2, 2010

TOMO BLOG COMMENT

THIS IS A COMMENT ON A "TOMO" BLOG

Tomo and i do not see eye to eye about "Disabled Sport/Paralympians" thus he rarely adds my comments to his blog regardless of how favourable i am to the subject !

In 2004 at the TDF he told me that "i can't find time on my program to talk of "disabled Sport" , it is irrelevant when reporting the Tour!" 15% of population are irrelevant? Fortunately for Aussies the Tour Coverage happens in out of business hours time slots so All get to see the terrific work that France Tv does each day. In europe the majority of coverage is watched by those at home which is biased by the number of people with "disability of a variety of causes" that tune in ! SEPTEMBER 2004 the Aussie Paralympic Team was trying to emulate their successes in Sydney 2000 and even in July their efforts could have been enhanced had the "OstericH" not had his head stuck in the sand !

Shame on those who belittle ANY "disabled person let alone those aspiring to serve their nation ! Those returning from Military Service Abroad face new challenges and Sport is one area for them to recover their self esteem as they attempt to build a new life. Already we are seeing Service personnel aspiring to competition in London 2012 Paralympics , contact your National Paralympic Website to see what you can contribute to their success !

French TV throw huge resources at the TDF because it is a sporting icon and they want to showcase France in the best possible light to keep the 75million visitors coming each year to all parts of france whether for holiday or business!

SBS on the other hand are frugal and initially were 3 now somewhat larger. Given that 4 hours coverage a day is reported there is no excuse for not mentioning or supporting "Disabled Sport/Paralympians"!

This was the 13th riding of the TDF route for me and daily i met with and was offered hospitality by the families of Paralympic Athletes of both Summer & Winter Events. Some of these generous individuals remember and recount previous meetings taking their time to introduce me to some of their local dignitories with anecdotal stories of how my efforts have helped them and their colleagues.

Tomo time and again tells me he has no time for "Disabled Sport" on his program, still tries to be friendly when we meet as eventually he will realise that the 15% of the population suffering Physical & Mental disability deserve respect !

This item can be found by googling TourDaFarce, Skippi-cyclist or Parrabuddy, you will find more there also.

Tour operators who do not bring "disabled" to the TDF should be ashamed of themselves, it is not about the 100% profit on each seat with little or no effort required, it is about " a fair go" an old aussie tradition . Paralympians who have served their country deserve a "Cost seat" and no doubt will inspire your clients rather than "turning them off"! People like Peter Brooks and Micheal Milton could even travel for free with the amount of business they would attract for you!

Time to prepare for next year so send out those invites now as Milton's agenda fills fast, whether i ride the 14th depends on "Sponsorship" since i want a Relay team Of "Disabled /paralympians" passing the baton as they ride each day the same route as the Racers!

Finally, Cadel's day passed when he let his frustration out on the idiot that interfered with the race , like "chaingate" that was the pivotal moment in his career. His World Championship win is the thing he will be remembered for by ALL PROUD AUSSIES !

Jul 26, 2010

M.Le President Nicolas Sarkozy

Yesterday i finished riding the route of the "Tour de France" for the 13th time in honour of "Handisport and it´s Athletes and those connected and sponsoring these Amazing Athletes!

Had i been a frenchman i am told that M. Chirac earlier and certainly yourself would have honoured me with the "Legion of Honor" for services to sport and Handisport in particular

I did not set out in 1998 from Dublin for any other reason than to help find "Sponsors" for the British Disabled Ski Team but France TV discovered and broadcast the story and turned it into "The Australian helping Paralympic Sport".

The media impact was huge and in 1999 i rode a larger programme starting with the "Paris-Nice" in march. Whilst in Paris i visited the "Assembly National" where i met Fabius Laurent amongst other dignatories at the computer exposition taking place at the time. On other occasions i have met him at the "TDF Village Depart ", one occasion was when the Arnold Schwartnegger circus was there to promote his new film.

Britain has an N.G.O. cazlled "Help for Heroes3 ,USA has "Wounded Warrior Project" & Australia has "Legacy " amongst others that i know of but i am unaware of a French Connection/ N.G.O.. With French personnel of the Army and Gendarmerie serving in Afganistan there is a need for a similar organisation to be created possibily under your "patronage".

Having spoken with Generals; Colonels, Commandants , Captains of the Army , Gendardermie , Sapeurs Pompiers i am aware that there have been service personnel Lost or Retired as a result of Service both overseas and in French Territories.Those who lose limbs are generally retired with support from the state but occasionally some continue in service. one of the aids in rebuilding their self esteem and lives is sport. Some of them go on to serve their country once again in a competive role in International competition.

2004 i was a volunteer at Athens Paralympic and met "Gerhard Schoeder" at the conclusion of a cocktail party at Deutscher house honouring his visit there. The question uppermost in his mind was why Germany/Deutschland was not winning Paralympic medals. I was able to tell him the story of Klaus Lungerhausen who won two silver para medals in Sydney 2000n but due to lack of training and sponsorship from government and private sources was unsuccessful at these games. He had brought his family for their holiday as he could not expect success through the lack of support and preparation. Throughout the intervening years he had continued training but lacked resources to lift the level to achieve the Gold Medals he sought.

When Paralympic Athletes receive external support they excell but when they have to rely entirely on their own resources they are limited in their time commitments and even then their family lose out.

M. President your task is to issue an EDICT that compells A.S.O.(society of Tour de France) to have Paralympic events on the course the Racers will use prior to their competition. This will allow the Tour Spectators , Media and Others to see Paralympians and Disabled Champions from Franch and other Countries in action. This will allow ALL to consider their abilities and encourage sponsors to come forward to fund their future competition prospects.

With Paralympians coming from other countries at their own expense there will be strong and entertaining competition such that the Media would wish to broadcast and will give France a strong boost in the estimation of the world sporting community. Seeing these athletes in action will inspire other "Disabled( house bound currently)" to take up sport thus broadening their horizons getting them back into the community and perhaps back to the workforce where they can contribute to society rather than having to rely on society.

There are many unfortunate to be at home through Accident or Health issues that can be inspired by participation in sport to rejoin society in a more active way.

ONLY YOUR EDICT can change the entrenched regime currently in place at A.S.O. passed from Jean Marie Leblanc to Chris Prudhomme. M.Prudhomme has made little progress from JM´s refusal to permit para athlets visibility; People remember the Ochoa brothers competing in the Kelme Team at the 2001 TDF but in Oct 2001 they were In an accident that Zavior survived with Cerebal Palsey and now competes for Espana as their champion when he is not the Paralympic and World Champion.

YOUR INTERVENTION for the 2011 Tour de FRANCE will ensure that the "Le Tour" becomes an even greater jewel in France´s Sporting Achievements.

With thanks for your help !!

below is an email/letter from "Elysee"

"

Monsieur,



Votre message est bien parvenu au Président de la République française qui m'a confié le soin de vous répondre.



Soyez assuré de l’attention portée par les pouvoirs publics au développement et à la médiatisation du sport paralympique.



Aussi a-t-il été pris connaissance de vos réflexions.



Avec ma considération distinguée.





Le Chef de Cabinet

Cédric GOUBET "



Probably a standard letter modified for the subject matter, Nicko doesn't read the blog but if Carla is reading then i am sorry i missed meeting you in Paris on the 25th, hope you take an interest in cycling so that "M. Laurent Thironet" has the pleasure to show you some cycling tips and his collection of Paralympic Medals.

Jul 22, 2010

Found this in the Irish press!

Seems like i am not the only rider frustrated by events!

Nicolas Roche is fast becoming a force to be watched at Major Tours.



"If John Gadret is found dead in his hotel room in the morning, I will probably be the primary suspect. The 31-year-old French climber has been a team-mate of mine at Ag2r for the past two years.

Although we never had more than what you could call a workmanlike relationship, we never had any reason to fall out or take a dislike to each other over the past two years. But after today's stage, as he sat beside me on the team bus I had great difficulty in not putting his head through the nearest window.

Today was yet another really tough mountain stage, with the summit of a massive mountain coming just 20kms from the finish.

At 25km long, the ascent of the Port de Bales is one of those climbs that is too hard to rank and is classed as an Hors Category climb. If anyone was going to attack the leaders today, this is where it would be.

As usual, the Saxo Bank team of yellow jersey Andy Schleck set a fast tempo on the climb and the peloton began to lose riders out the back door.

I knew that if I could hang on going over the top, I could take a lot of time out of some of the guys in front of me on the overall classification and move up a few places from my overnight position of 14th overall.

Halfway up the climb, I was riding pretty comfortably in the Contador and Schleck group and some of the guys ahead of me like Basso and Kloden were beginning to struggle. As most of the other team leaders were left on their own, I was looking to move into the top 10 overall and still had Gadret with me for support. Or so I thought.

Six kilometres from the top of the climb, just as the pace began to increase at the front, I punctured a front wheel. I pulled over to the side of the road and as Gadret was riding behind me, I asked him for his wheel as he rode alongside.

This is a perfectly normal request if the team car is not around. To save time, a team-mate will often give his team leader a wheel or even his bike if necessary. I have done it plenty of times over the years, as have most cyclists, amateur or professional, at some stage in their careers.

As our team car was No 11 in the cavalcade and it would take a lot of time for them to get to me through the streams of dropped riders, I asked Gadret -- who was there to help me -- for his wheel. I couldn't believe what happened next. He just shook his head and said 'Non'. At first I thought he was joking, but soon realised he wasn't when he kept riding past me.

As my team manager, Vincent Lavenu, in the car behind shouted into Gadret's earpiece to wait, I took my wheel out and waited for a new one. All the time the group -- including Gadret -- was riding up the mountain, away from me.

After what seemed like an eternity, I eventually got a front wheel off the yellow Mavic neutral service car. Because the Mavic cars have to service any rider that needs a wheel or is in mechanical difficulty when their team car can't get to them, they don't have their wheels set up to fit everybody's frames instantly.

My wheel change took way longer than normal as the mechanic unscrewed the wheel's skewer to fit my front fork. At this stage, I was like a bull. I hopped back on my bike only to discover that my new wheel had been put in at an angle and was rubbing off the brake blocks. I leaned down and opened my front brake and, fuelled by rage, started passing groups on the climb.

All I could think of was getting to the finish as quickly as possible. Rage alone though, wasn't going to get me back up to the front of the race. Unbelievably, Gadret had attacked Schleck and Contador near the top, even though there was a group five minutes up the road and he had absolutely no chance of winning the stage.

Vincent was still screaming in our earpieces, calling Gadret every name under the sun and telling him to wait for me on the descent and help me claw back some time on the long run in to the finish. Gadret, though, just ignored him and kept riding.

Encouragement

There were loads of Irish flags on the climb and the encouragement from the fans, some of whom were wearing GAA jerseys, spurred me on even more. I flew up the last kilometre and having passed lots of riders on the way up, I found myself on my own on the descent. I nearly killed myself on the first two corners because in my state of rage and frustration I had forgotten that my front brake was still open.

I had to tighten it as I was descending, which slowed me down again. I spent the rest of the stage on my own, chasing like a madman. I didn't know who I had passed or who was in front of me. I could see world champion Cadel Evans up the road and was fixated on catching him next but the line came too quickly.

I had finished almost eight minutes behind stage winner Thomas Voeckler but more importantly, I lost between three and five minutes to some of the guys that I should have put time into and dropped three places to 17th.

My team-mate Lloyd Mondory had also been in the early break and did a fantastic job to get fourth on the stage. Lloyd is a sprinter and this wasn't his type of stage at all, so to get fourth was a tremendous ride and even though I was angry at Gadret, I was really happy for Lloyd.

After the stage, I reminded Vincent that Gadret was on the team for another two years, and that I hoped he never asked me for anything again, because I would not forget today for a long time. Gadret finished three minutes ahead of me and now lies just two places and two minutes behind me. He is the first French rider overall. Maybe he wants to be the first Ag2r rider too.

By the time I got onto the team bus, Vincent was already in the middle of a blazing row with Gadret.

Although I wanted to smash his head in, and had visions of a baldy French climber exiting through the windscreen, I let Vincent do his job as team manager and said nothing. I got off the bus as quickly as possible and travelled to the hotel in the team car. I couldn't stand to be near him. I will have to keep my hands in my pockets at the dinner table.

Although I am too angry to have thought about it properly yet, I will possibly have to go on the attack now to gain back the time I lost today. If I want to finish in the top 15, I have two options.

I can hang in there on the climbs and hope some of the guys in front of me blow up like they did today, or I can get in an early move and try to stay away to the finish, taking back a bit of time.

I know a move like this can be suicidal and can cost you a lot of time, but I want to finish in the top 15. I'm 17th, so I have nothing to lose.

Looking forward to seeing a strong result that will make your Old Man proud!

Jul 15, 2010

PRESIDENT SARKOZY ARE YOU READING

Wrote ¨Sarko¨a note which i published on ¨fatcyclist¨for backup!

Too busy meeting and greeting to look for ïnternet cafe s¨!

Thankyou s are due all those people who have helped me at the Giro, Dauphinee and the TDF but as i am using another's internet i will keep it short!

Staying in the homes of some really inspiring people who have lavished excellent hospitality on me! Wish i deserved this kind consideration and it will be hard to repay the kindnesses extended at all of these events!

Amazed to bump into the Norwegian Para skier(who i first met in Hintertux in 1998), in the street of Morzine on Monday, to find another Para Skier on his hand bike on the top of the climb from Sisteron today, to visit the home in Die of another and get news of many that i met at the Sestriere Winter Paralympics 2006.

Riding the course with the pack is ¨deja Vue¨but shows that the ability to meet and greet is still there.

Those of you who i told to send 10 euro to your National Para committee when shooting my photo: DO IT TODAY !!

Cannot begin to describe the last two months activities in detail, but then you would not believe me anyway!

Read www.george the cyclist.blogspot.com and www.fatcyclist.cpm and you may get some feedback!

Jun 4, 2010

BLOG COMMENTS

15/06/10 recently as i travelled through Torino to the "Dauphinee Libere" i stayed with my "Host" at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. He told me of the difficulty to "FolloW" and we then sorted out the problem, we thought! He and a neighbour both signed on but i only see one there at present.

Apologies to all those who have experienced the same difficulties but if you do please send me a comment or email me at skippi@ausi.com because it is important for me and those needing "sponsors" that we get this sorted so that good results will come along !On the right hand side of the blog there is now a "Follow " button please persevere !


Following items lifted from my “Facebook Wall entries” in reply to numerous emails generated by an item appearing on “Eurosport TV” in various parts of the world. Thanks to Ken H. I will post the video when it downloads correctly to my computer, at present audio but no visual.

1/4 Those who know me will have seen the "Old fart in a yellow rain jacket"being pushed along at the finish line of the Giro d'Italia last Saturday on Eurosport TV! Emails from around the world have asked for an explanation so here goes!

Each day that i ride the full route i try to ride to the finish line but not cross on the bike as that i feel is for the Race winner!

2/4 Security these last years are adamant that if i do not ride across then they will remove me, the way i came. Some of these Uniformed guys think they are still part of the "Goose steppers" and behave like them!

Saturday i started out from the east side of the Passo Tonale rode over the top and as i passed through the finish area the security guys knocked me off the bike and roughed me up for previous occasions.

3/4 Sunny weather and getting this crap start but i continued down to the entrance to the Passo Gavia which was blockaded by the Forest Police so i went through the car park and onto the road higher up as did some other bike riders. At Bormio i collected a number of Promised items and 30 mins before the race start set off down the route to Tirano and waited there for the racers to pass.

1/4 Weather continued sunny until the racers passed then as i headed to Aprica and Edolo the clouds and rain arrived ! By the time i passed Edolo the rain was heavy and going up the climb of Passo Tonale to the finish line was hazardous. In the final kilo the rain eased and as i got off the bike the "Thugs" moved in again so i made a meal of the hassling hoping that the camera would see the "Thuggery"! At Aprica the previous evening there had been Photographers happily snapping away although I did not see their results as yet.

During the past several weeks we have been entertained by reports of “Mini B/Bracket motors”! Does anyone think that Cancellara needs an assist to bury Boonen(sour grapes ,methinks) in the race up that slope even if the motor was capable of 140rpm!

Cozybeehive.com comment!

Interesting article and i will be adding "cozybeehive.com" to my blog(Parrabuddy)!
Evening of the rest day of Giro at Brunico i was talking to the Mechs at a few of the Teams some of them having seen Cassani's report. Laughable was the most prevalent comment.
Over the years i have watched frames being built into bikes outside team buses which entertains the Media and public alike. Some will even pick up a variety of items as the mechs. work. Do you really think that a Pro. would consider using this "Toy" except when paid to do a "parody".
Even i would not find value in this "toy" except as extra weight for a faster descent!
Cassani is someone i meet regularly and i am sure there are others that find him "evasive" and his reports "suspect"! Not even sure he knows all that he has claimed to have seen.
Last year at the Giro i had a drink with him, Paulo & Auro and offered my bike as a backdrop on his evening RAI TV report. Istead of "Disabled sport" and the bike decals getting publicity as agreed, he attacked the position of the "San Marco Carbon Saddle". Position for me is comfort during 6 - 8hrs each day and this year i find Bettini using the same saddle albeit in a slightly different position.
Had a few laughs with Pat Mc Quaid on Plan Corones about this story as well as "mr worm's exposures", 4 years pass and we are still reading "same old, same old" , time to move on to the real racers and those currently are coming from Australia to fill their wardrobes with a variety of Coloured shirts!

Another comment added to "Cozy"!

Musseuw(king of belgium cheats?), yes met him whilst he was escorting clients after his retirement.
Have you seen the blog and my thoughts that "Cheats get 4yrs unless they make Public confession and the sentence can be reduced to 2yrs!
"Tagged in the house banned from "ALL cycling related business activity" is the way to go! They are Social Pariahs, with no redeeming features so keeping them from corrupting the sport in any manner is my take on the situation.
Professional Racers remaining in the sport are at a disadvantage against those who have had an "enforced holiday" and so return fresh to collect "plaudits and prize money"!
Do the Crime, Serve the Time but no longer be allowed to compete in the "Pro Tour Races is another disincentive to Cheating your way to "Fame & Fortune"!
This year has been disillusioning to many Genuine Clean Racers as the fickle fan base welcome back those who have had the 2yr holiday.
Problem is that there are still those like FRei who think we the public will accept their unconscienable behaviour.
Past years the Giro had a 8pm programme i would attempt to appear on or have the wheel with the decals on display there, saw the way "Prima Donna Cassani" would deal with people and at Salzburg worlds rode with him as we circuited looking for stories, treated many with distain and was put out when Italians asked me to introduce my friend, so he even rubs Racers up the wrong way!
Cancellara/Saxo bank build their bikes in full view of the public and i have been the recipient of "used parts" as they renovate the existing race bikes. Each racer has good & bad fitness levels during the season and if Fabian targeted his fitness levels and had Stewie tow him to the point where he could do the business on Tom then "Well done Stewie"!
Basso had my mate Silvo tow him and Cadel over the mountains and i told Cadel several years ago that this "Maestro " was a real asset as Damiano will vouch.

As you can see I have a lot to learn about “blogging”as the computer is once again doing it's thing to my English when I try to correct an error in spelling.

Presently working on a new “Blog” which will cover my exploits at the “Tour de France 2010” but will only be available to those registered as “Followers”. Those already “bookmarked“ on “Parrabuddy” need only to go to the “Nav bar” and press “Follow” the others will have to visit “Fatcyclist.com & Cyclocosm.com" whilst entertaining themselves in their employers time, since there will be no input to Parrabuddy!

May 31, 2010

CONTROVERSY

Now that the “Giro d’Italia” is over it is time for the "UCI" to take off the “Velvet Gloves” and get out the “Knuckledusters”!

July sees the start of the “Tour de France” and we ALL want to see a “Clean Contest” by the Racers not the “Pharmacists”.

Only the “UCI” will be able to act fast enough to get results and make them stick in the “Short Window of Opportunity” that now exists!

My belief is that “UCI” should issue a “Proforma Letter” to each team invited to the “Tour de France” requiring that each Racer and Team Employee participating sign and return said “Letter “within 7 days .

This letter will state that the person signing will at the risk of loss of 5yrs salary and suspension from ALL Cycling Industry Activity for 4 yrs unless they cooperate with All Bodies Sanctioned by the “UCI” in any or all the investigations proposed as a result of “Recent Disclosures (whether there is any merit in those disclosures has yet to be determined)" by persons known to the media because of their former association with the Cycle Industry.

Those choosing not to sign this Letter will not be able to participate in the “Tour de France” and perhaps may risk indefinite suspension from “Racing Activity” whilst investigated and perhaps cleared of any suspicions arising from this refusal.

ALL those associated with the Cycle Racing Industry whether as Racers, Team Employees, Sponsors & Suppliers and Event Organiser’s Employees future employment prospects are at risk whilst the “Suspicion of Wrongdoing” continues to lurk in the shadows. Certainly in the past there was a “Culture of Wink, Wink” but the “UCI Blood Passport” has dealt a blow to most of that activity.

Strong even Draconian action is required now, 12 years of “Feeble Actions” must come to an end and “Positive , Preventative Measures installed!

Those signing the “Letter” should then be able to concentrate on their preparation for the “Tour de France” , left in “Peace” by the MEDIA and the relevant Authorities until AFTER the conclusion of the “Tour de France”! There is “smoke” but the “fire” that the Media want to “Fan” into a “Bushfire” can wait until August after all most of the “speculation” is just that, “rumour, innuendo, whisper, speculation”. Reality is that 1% of truth is wrapped in 99% of innuendo and that is what the media sells! The media for the most part is “Self Employed” and only paid for published effort and backed up by a “Legal team” who will publish retractions when they are forced on their clients!

In the past I have made suggestions to Hein Verbruggen and Pat Mc Quaid both at their offices in Lausanne, Aigle and elsewhere and also at the various events that I have come across them. Whether my ideas are fresh or my version of others thinking I cannot say but all in the Cycle Industry will want to see a “Level Playing Field” without the “Pharmacists contribution”!

Comments welcomed and perhaps pass your version of this “Idea” to “UCI”!

Vaughters /Slipstream have issued their call to action last night and I am sure each Team’s will follow in the next days!

May 26, 2010

GIRO ITT St Vigil

Time being of the essence i have copied in my comment to fat cyclist which details some of the action on tuesday


"Yesterday on the ITT on the giro the racers were followed up the hill by motorbike with the mechanic riding pillion with 2 wheels and in somee cases a complete bike, of course you will have seen Arroya°s support running up behind him with the bike in the last few hundred metres!
Rode the course with Damiana on monday and as he was taking it easy, using little energy, recovery ride pace i was able to stay within shouting distance until the concrete & gravel then forget it time.
Racing the route alone i missed the turn and descended 2km before the light flashed on and arrived back to find the road closed so walked the last 5km of the course,cintinually overtaken by racers who looked like they would rather be somewhere else.
At the arrival most of these racers looked gaunt and pretty much done in so i reckon today will be a slow/late arrival. i will start at Cloz after visiting Fondriest shop in Cles and the Passo Tonale in lieu of the Passo Palides which i have done before.
Lovely photo of the runner!"

Monday i rode into St Vigil looking for the Team Hotels after finding BMC in Brunico, i found Gianni Motta resting in the sun then discovered Lampre team hotel just as Damiano was about to set out. Permission granted i rode with him and a colleague as well as 3 guys from "Fisi:k(saddles,etc)" wonder when they will deliver on the promises made. The first 45 mins was warming up ride then we started into the course but thankfully at a pace i was able to handle. when we returned to St Vigil i found a few riders lazing in a variety of cafes whilst awaiting lunch.

After lunch caught up with Mat Lloyd and then El Diablo in St vigil , ithen went to another area east of Brunico where the bulk of the teams were staying. There i caught up with Richie Porte amongst others. Amazing what some of the team support staff had to say ablout the "worm".

At the arrival area on the Plan yesterday i shared a few laughs with Pat Mc Quaid about the previous weeks cycling entertainment, you could hardly call 4 years of "same old, same old", news?

Times up , now off to the Tonale and then Peio to see the RACE arrival!

May 21, 2010

WORM CRAWLS OUT

AS I start this blog entry the Giro is 87km from the line and they have just shown video of the worm on Deutsche Eurosport in a split section with the race where real racers are earning their living by suffering long distances and for the most part unseasonably cold and wet weather for this section of Italy.


Most of the commentary since the start of this transmission has featured an incident in 2006 which should have been long consigned to the dustbin of history as of no interest to cycling or the encouragement of sponsorship. However ever since a certain Jan was accused of engaging in “Unsporting activities” the Germans in particular have tried to distance themselves from the sport.

Last week in the Cuneo area I was fortunate to ride with Eric Zabel as I have done many other times in past years. One occasion that comes into sharp focus is the Vuelta Rest day in 2001 at Barcelona
Most Spanish teams stayed in the same neighbourhood so the were about 50+ in the group including yours truly. Training on rest day starts out at a moderate pace through the suburbs and as we were going along I got my leg pulled unmercifully as there were any number of the racers who knew my story and wanted to know why I support “Disabled Sport” even though some of them remembered me from the 2000 Olympic in Sydney.

Not sure who started it but I had paper thrust under my nose and the request for autograph, “are you kidding” I asked but the straight face answered their family had seen me on TV so were asked to oblige. Well I went to the back of the group and tried to do the bike autograph, I was then doing like Stephan Roche as I wobbled down the road. This got to be a bit of a joke as some of the Telecom boys joined in as well. Later the group broke up into several sections and together with Telecom I rode up to the observatory behind Barcelona . Returning to the hotel in the traffic a little fat local hopped out of his car with a tyre iron to threaten the Telecom guys, Eric broke out in laughter as did the others , the lights changed and we took off bemused as to what the rabbit was raving about..



Back to the return ride to Cuneo, following Eric was a long haired Italian looking guy in a red uniform letting Eric ride point. I saw them coming towards me and having seen Eric in Savigliano early that morning was surprised so turned as quickly as I could to chase but was 150m behind so was red lining to catch the draft. After I got on I found that the pace was uncomfortably high so with a strong wind in the face decided to draft rather than chat.

Now here’s the thing that stands out, we were easily going faster than I have ever gone with him on “Rest Days” regardless of the head wind, closer to 40kph if not more. This amazing guy is not racing and yet he is pulling us both along quite easily ,and he is not named by the worm as a user. The next day with Moser, Motta, Bettini & Fondriest started out at a lower tempo but the return trip was equally as fast again Maurizio is not named by the worm. Fact is he seems to have a grudge against his countrymen and US Cycling and their connections but then he was looking for attention at the Tour of California and caught the attention world wide.

What a sad day it is when “helping someone” in past years is rewarded with this type of behaviour. As I was growing up I was taken to the beach and would build sandcastles and at home like other kids would throw mud at the wall hoping some would stick , well we all know that Media Circles have deep pockets and access to teams of lawyers so what’s a little mud between reporting on Iraq and World Cup Soccer?

Earlier this week I thought it was “April Fools day “as I caught an article about tiny motors being buried in the frames of bikes. YUP there are those who think that a bike can be assisted by a tiny motor! Where do you hide the batteries that are needed to transform the power of the athlete into mechanised assistance?

Marco Bugnotti made a comment as a member of the UCI that was reported in Cyclingnews.com which I thought summed up their attitude to the Media’s interest in this subject. Looks like it has been overtaken as a matter of speculation by the worm!



Two grand tours on the go and both with Aussies wearing the leaders jersey with 20+ Aussies vying with each other to achieve recognition the rest of this week will be great viewing. Another thing I notice regularly is the Columbia team spends consistently more time on the front of the peleton than other teams, is this my imagination or is this fact.



Perticara has been passed with a 6min lead for the breakaway and it reminds me of Linus running out of steam before the finish in an earlier etappe, disappointing to see someone have “Hitting the Wall(usually in marathons) syndrome” in a bike race and within the final kilometre.

PLEASE IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG click the “FOLLOW” on the navbar and LEAVE a COMMENT as “Sponsors react to interaction and I cannot help “Disabled/Physically Challenged Athletes without their support! Helping Para Athletes is why I make this blog available!

May 18, 2010

GIRO 2010 REPORT 2

Each year as I ride the various Pro Tour Cycle Races I am amazed by the “Kindness” shown me by complete strangers who choose after a request to set up camp on their property to go further and offer use of their facilities and even invite me to sit down with their family to eat not only evening meal but breakfast also. Some times they give me food and drink to take away with me and can be quite insistent there even after showing that there is already enough but that the offer is appreciated.

Tuesday evening in Fossano I found the home of Maurizio & Giovanna by chance simply as it had vacant ground attached. Spoke French with Carlo who gained permission for me to camp . As I was setting up camp I was invited in for the evening meal with the family, a simple meal but welcome. I contributed some wine which only Carlo was drinking with me. After Grace a variety of dishes were offered and the conversation was in a variety of French, English & Italian. There are 11 children in this remarkable family and not all were at home during the meal. Various other people came and went in the course of the evening and after a shower I retired to the tent with an invitation to breakfast.

This family has two disabled children , one with speech difficulties and the other is wheelchair bound and severely incapacitated. Feeding required great patience so you can see just how generous these folk were to offer a complete stranger such a warm welcome. Humbling experience to find people such as these surmounting their difficulties to help others.

Wednesday found me in an area near Tortona as I was looking to ride the Novaro-Novi Luguri route in the morning. Stopped a road cyclist to see if he could translate a request to a Caravan rental yard but was no help so had a go myself. Householder passed me to her sister who having lived in the USA was reasonably fluent and handled the intros and location of the tent. Working on the site were a Pakistani and a Indian who as I set up the tent insisted I join their meal. Kitchen facilities left a lot to be desired but the meal of soup and sausages and veg Asian/Indian style caused no ill effects. They surprised me in the morning by bringing me Indian coffee and delicacies for breakfast, totally unexpected. Neither would accept thanks for these efforts which knowing that they were working for low wages shows how generous people can be to strangers.

Thursday night after setting up the bike for the next days at the park Hotel in Piacenza I headed east towards Modena but decided on a roundabout to try a farm signposted. Several houses to choose from and so as luck would have it knocked on the only door with English speaking residents. The daughter answered and the mother invited me in for coffee whilst contacting the foreman of the farm. He put in an appearance and recommended setting the tent in a barn where the trucks are parked in winter. Once that was sorted I was invited into dinner which was very generous and tasty. Leah is from the Philippines and the children I think were all born in Italy certainly the youngest only spoke Italian and was absorbed by his computer As the daughter worked her face book photos on another , the other daughter was watching the TV amongst other things. Morning once again was a sit down breakfast with the family before I headed back into Piacenza to meet the owner of Vivo sports store.

Since I couldn’t ride the bike comfortably around the Team Pullman parking area at the Fidenza Village start area later that morning I decided the best and safest option was to head back to Zillertal to recover from the injuries of Thursday’s accident. Driving was no problem as I was placing no weight on the muscles but walking was a parody of a 80yo drunk shuffling along. With access to Eurosport I have feasted on Australian Sporting Success these past few days .

Bob Hawke a former Prime Minister also a great sports fan on the day Alan Bond won the America’s Cup declared any employer penalising workers that day was a “Bum”! Well this past week has been just as thrilling for me.

TO ALL AUSTRALIAN SPORTS PEOPLE , THANKYOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS, LONG MAY YOUR SUCCESS CONTINUE !!

May 17, 2010

GIRO 2010 report 1




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WHAT does one have to do to get a result??

Posted comments on “Cyclocosm Blog” in the past days and people are visiting but as to whether they will come again or not I can’t say as they did not “Comment” and they avoided committing by hitting the “Follower” button !

By now many of you know I was skittled last Thursday on the Giro route before arriving in Novi Liguri that day, I made it to 10m from the finish line some hours before the racers but the same “Officious A$$h*L*” turned me away and guess what he was waiting for me when I came in through the back door a while later. When you watch the TV you can see all those people walking around with a piece of plastic on a tape hanging around their neck walking around the same area with no purpose in mind, truth is 90% do it on the off chance they get on TV so their “reli's” can call them on the ’phone to say they saw them on TV!

Bruised up as I was I was in no shape to persevere against 4 retired Carabinere so called it a day and headed off for Piacenza as there were people to catch up with from previous years Giros. On the way there stopped off at a bar to watch the action over the last 20 kms. Don’t think I have met Pineau yet but was talking to Tyler Farrar about his father's condition on Tuesday when I led the Garmin team through Savigliano to the start point for the TTT on Wednesday. Rode through with them to the relief road roundabout where I dropped back for them to do their training run . During the next 5km I was behind the team car and as 5m of space would appear some cretin would pull along side and gradually ease right until touching was a possibility. When alone I would belt the glass with my fist but that could result in their attacking the other riders with serious consequences so I would ease off and the next cretin would repeat the performance.


After the team stopped for a conflab we all set out again and I dropped out on the outskirts of Cuneo when I spotted “Eric Zabel” coming the other way with a friend. Turning around lost me 150m and so it was serious work to catch and hold them and there is nothing wrong with "Z" these days, if anything he pedals harder in training now that he is no longer competing. That 25 km was constant unremitting red line with little chance of conversation so I still do not know who the 2nd guy was. At a guess an ex racer in less good condition.Eric was point the whole time and as The OTHER showed no interest in going point and I was struggling with the wind even though we were drafting effectively i held the rear. On the outskirts of Savigliano I gave a cheer and eased off expecting to find them in the main square having a coffee.

As I was heading out of town later I came across the Milram Team and again led, through the lanes to the main square where we started down the TTT route,

Linus who everybody had been waiting on asked me if I would mind not joining the training. Whilst we were awaiting him I had already told the others of my run with Eric so I was quite relieved to avoid a repeat effort.

Wednesday I joined up with Moser,Motta, Fondriest and Bettini to ride the TTT Route, yes they were all world champions and yes have cycled with them all over the last few years. During the Giro these guys are employed by Bank Mediolanumto ride with their clients, how the clients get selected beats me as they come in all shapes and sizes as well as ages. For any number of years I have been asking them to include “Disabled Riders “ but to no avail, occasionally as last year there is a pretty young lady amongst the group, she had raced in the Italian Ladies Team but missed Sydney2000 much to my disappointment since I had showed that team the race route in Sydney. On the way to Cuneo the pace was relaxed about 36km but on the return trip after dropping half the group and only Maurizio involved the pace went above 40kph and into the wind on another route as the TTT course was one way only.

After lunch I headed down the course to watch a little of the action before heading off to set up for the next day’s effort of Novaro to Novi Liguri.

Following is an extract that i posted to "Comments" on Cyclocosm blog.I follow this blog in recent times as i think this Guy has a good grasp of the Racing scene

"Pascal is a” larger than life Mechanic with a heart of Gold”! Really touched that you have chosen to give him a high profile on your blog as he has helped me so many times in the past years!
Countless occasions he and other mechanics have come through with advice, parts and support, in fact these “Pro Tour Workers" are the reason i can keep going even in the worst conditions.
Thursday evening after the afternoon crash on the race route before it arrives at Novi Liguri i arrived at Park Hotel , Piacenza where 3 teams were overnighting. Many of the racers and support staff saw how badly knocked up i was and were sympathetic and amazed when i got on with the job of putting the bike back into 100% condition so as to be able to ride race route in the morning if possible. Lampre Team guys were joshing me throughout and to them i am called “JOHNNY” a long story for another day.
Friday i was back at the hotel before going to the start of the race where i rode around the parking as i could not walk with the whole right side spasming if any weight was applied to my right leg and shoulder, strangely enough i could bear the pain of pedalling, little choice though.

After greeting Liquigas, Garmin & Lampre Racers the night before i was able to catch up with Carlos,Cadel, Stephano,Vino and of course Lloydie amongst the many i have come to know through the years. Even gave John Murphy the request to say “Aiuto Disabili” when he was on the podium but he has now gone home so i hope he remembers to do so elsewhere!


These past days at “home “in Zillertal have been painful but full of “Aussie Sporting Success” yachting(the pink lady), car racing(Porsche & F1) and Cycling (Lloydie & Cadel ’s Victories ) so time abed has passed quickly enough.TODAY Gossie!!

Next week in the Dolomites regardless of the pain as i ride the climbs since i will be accustomed to it by then and i hope the weather changes for the better as looking at today’s etappe with Vino in skillet at 67km to go tells me i am not missing the unusual may weather in Italy.
AGAIN THANKS TO ALL THE PRO TOUR MECHANICS FOR HELP & SUPPORT !!


WORK IN PROGRESS SO "FOLLOW" AND SEE THE RESULTS !!