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 !

Jan 7, 2010

JAN ULRICH

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this is a copy of a painting from "ART4RACING"


I came across Jan several times before I got the chance to ride alongside him. Giro del Trentino of 1999’s final day had it’s Arrivo in Arco so the teams’ hotels were in that area. After riding the route and watching the finish I headed down to the team Pullman parking area. Having stocked up on some goodies I saw the “Telecom guys “ heading out so jumped on the back , asked one of the guys if OK and got the shrug, so worked my way through to ride alongside Jan when the gap was there. Not too sure how much he knew as he asked if I was the Aussi and how I enjoyed the giro and where I stayed, etc. when he found out I was staying in Arco he asked why I was riding this way, seemed bemused that I was adding to my daily total kilometres , as he asked how my muscles were doing. Would you pass up the opportunity to ride 20km out of your way with one of the legends?

Jan’s brother worked as a mechanic with the team and was a little more difficult to talk to at first but as time passed and I was seen riding regularly with the team he got to be quite helpful with mechanical advice. With the team is without doubt one of the finest people you would wish to meet. Perry is an exceptionally talented mechanic but also a warm and generous human being. I came to his notice on the first evening of the “Rundfahrt Ossterreich” in 1999. He had asked me about why I was there and I told him about having ridden the “Giro d’Italia and then coming overnight to this race , then I would go on to the “Tour de Suisse before the Tour de France in July.

Perry went “bullshit” until a mechanic from “lLiquigas/Pata” told him he had passed me in his team truck most days as I rode that route, also that he had cleaned the bike a few times. Perry went “excuse my manner but if you come to me any time , I will help you where and when I can“. Over the years regardless of the circumstances or the team he has been working with , he has been helpful and generous with his time where it did not interfere with the team business. The 2008 Giro d’Italia started from near Palermo on the Sunday , I had ridden there but as I approached the start area the “Stem “ popped a screw and so I had no handlebars and no chance of going anywhere. When I found Perry he opened up his toolkit ,sorted through the odds and ends and found two screws to solve that problem. The rest of that day and most of that Giro passed without too many problems.





There are many others that have Perry’s kind disposition and they have been kindly and patient with me. As said before without their kindness I doubt that I could have continued many times. Getting knocked off the bike in the suburbs of Rome by a woman opening her door into me, didn’t help the start of the “2000 Giro d’Italia”. With broken handlebars and the Roman cop giving me the brushoff I went looking for the teams nearby as I had no idea how to find a bike shop if there was one in that area or nearby. One team offered to do the work if I found the handlebars and another mechanic pulled the handlebars off his bike and installed them on mine. Really generous gesture and I see him still working with the star teams.

Kelme team mechanics were “Senor(now retired) and Henaro(phonetic)”, on my 1998 tour I met them and the Sougnier many times . They passed me sandwiches and helped me out with parts and repairs, and bike cleaning many a time. Henaro only arrives at the tours I ride when his team is wild carded these days, it will be my 13th season this year and I hope I am lucky to find him at some point during this season .The Ochoa brothers were in some of the rest day rides and I remember getting treated as the oddball and the “piss” taken many times as we talked in a mixture of gestures and languages. Javier Ochoa survived a road rage incident although he lost his brother in the training event. Too many times some “oddball” will pull up haul out a stick, spanner or other implement to take issue about “WHAT?”, who knows which rock they crawled out from under? Ochoa rides these days in “Paralympics Races” and represents Spain . Not sure when the law will settle his claim for damages from the “accident “ or if the culprit/driver will avoid being locked up. The driver will most likely be told not to be “naughty anymore and get lost”. How do you replace a human life?

More about Ochoa Brothers in the Dec 09 segment titled “Challenge”. Talking about strange behaviour I was at the Athens Time Trial training when Big Mig came across me , he had me wait about then introduced me to the Spanish Minister of Sport, during the discussion it came out that he had met me in the Greek Sport Minister’s office briefly in a group. Having told him I could not be at the Vuelta as I was going to be at the Paralympics he suggested that it would be a great loss if I did not make the trip.





After speaking with Big Mig and others I cycled down the road and came across Jan preparing to reccie the course, asked him if I could join him and was told to follow as he wanted to concentrate on the ride and that is how it went , just as well really as I was able to draft most of the time when he was riding ahead, put me on the front once or twice after the climb. Eventually we came across Vinky who was also reccieing the course and with Michael Rich. As we headed back towards the start point we were overtaken by a 4 wheel type truck who virtually brushed Michael off the road. The others stopped for Michael who the driver had been bellowing at before he put him off the bike, I chased after the idiot called out to a cop who was going the other way and after he came alongside had him radio ahead to the control to pull the idiot. After about 3km I came up to the cops with “MR VIP” and explained what had taken place. Michael and Jan rode past down to the team area where the cops took the driver. Eventually money or influence took charge as the “head cycling volunteer” told me all was in train and I could disappear as was no longer needed, even as a witness. I went back to “Deutscher haus beside the stadium where I reported the story but there was no further action, Michael not being injured I guess it was easier to sweep the matter under the carpet.





It took me a week to get to the Vuelta Grand Depart in Northern Spain and for very little benefit as the media had little interest in talking about Paralympic sport. Then I got robbed of my “Olympic shirt” by a French postman at our hostel in Zaragoza. Took most of the week to get back to Athens Paralympics where things improved considerably. Most of the journey to and from was spent riding about 100 miles a day and hitching through the night, catching up with my sleep on the ferries was the only good part of each trip.

There are many more memories of time with Jan such as at San Remo where I was also with Marco on that Giro. These events will be recounted in another Blog at a later date.

Meanwhile remember we are riding on postage stamps and the idiots are in their metal coffin looking for an excuse to remodel their panel work, take no chances as you are not the cat of nine lives.

RIDE SAFE!!

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