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 !

Feb 5, 2010


During the last few days we have had “World Cancer Day” and there was an interesting item in Newsweek involving Lance from cycling and Major Bloomberg from New York. Great work is being done by both and others in bringing people to an awareness of just how serious this Growing Health problem is and will continue to become.

However much effort we make at this time the real results will not become apparent for as long as a generation. Tough decisions have to be made now so that the toddlers and youngsters of this decade have a future to look forward to in 20+years time. The Tobacco and Alcohol Lobby controlled too many Governments for decades because they created jobs and were an easy source of Taxation. Politicians love to spend money on programs that make them look good in the eyes of the electorate. Growing up we all remember Tax increases imposed on Tobacco and Alcohol so as to balance the Budgets proposed by the politicians seeking their re election. Note the increases until recent years were not deterrents against the abuse of these substances.

Only in recent years are we seeing responsibility being taken for the growth in Alcoholism and Cancers caused by in the main “Smoking related issues”. This is because we are now seeing a “New Style Politician” who is recognising that the future has already arrived and is recognising the growing expense associated with the Hospitalization of growing numbers of their electorate. The Older Political Animal was always hoping that this problem would be someone else’s to solve and that they could accept the benefits without suffering the consequences. These days we are paying higher taxes as an increased burden falls on this generation for the ills created in earlier generations. How many cigarettes and how much alcohol was responsible for the deterioration of the populace’s health that is now filling Doctors’ Surgeries, Hospital Wards and Mortuaries.

Growing up I recall seeing many “TV Campaigns” about “Norm the Couch Potato” in the 70’s, yes 40 years ago. Amazing that only in recent years Obesity has become a greater problem in the schools to the extent that People from all walks of life are looking for solutions as they are seeing more obvious trends indicating the problem will only get worse , fast! Jamie Oliver School Menus is a politician’s excuse for solving a more serious problem , that being what is going on in the School Childrens own homes whether of the one or two parent variety

Exercise and Competitiveness were virtually banned some years ago in some schools and now we are seeing the consequences. Ill health has become the norm these past few years as a result of people growing up within a cocoon of soft living. Parents whose upbringing was easier than their parents are now passing on an even easier regime to their offspring. School children are being ferried a few hundred yards to school, given pocket money to buy “sweets, soft drinks, etc”, some of this money gets to be used to make an impression on their mates by buying cigarettes and other illegal items.

Schools were the source of inspiration for the Post War Generation and they could and should become the source of a change in direction back to a “Healthier Style of life”. Exercise needs to be the first priority on the school curriculum , healthy food education the next on the agenda and only then should teaching languages and social sciences take their place on the agenda . Getting more school children riding their bikes to school will lead to more exercise and this together with discouraging “junk foods” will help handle a small part of the Obesity problem that continues to grow out of control. Peer pressure and Bullying is the cause of the use of prohibited substances and more education as to the health risks associated and stricter penalties one hopes will penetrate the indifference that currently exists.

As I travel throughout Europe I see school children receiving cycling lessons from Police Officers, great to see that they are getting the education in a formal setting but more important is that they are learning the rules of the road so as to be safe in the way that they use their bike. Many countries in recent years are imposing a 1 1/2m width for overtaking a cyclist and this should mean that there will be fewer collision accidents involving cyclists. Parking is a problem wherever you are, as the minority of drivers are totally inconsiderate. Parking in a “Disabled Parking spot is their right, “only going to be a few mo’s” is their usual reply, if they don’t criticize you for interfering in their business. I have even asked a police officer to intervene and got the same attitude from the offender. Parking on a cycle lane is also for a “moment“, a justification can be “hey the cyclist can look over their shoulder or wait if there is traffic” or “ you can’t stop me parking here if I like, there are no parking signs, who cares anyway ”! Cycle Lanes should have the twin yellow lines indicating “No Parking” for the totally inept to comprehend “ Cycling Lanes are not meant to be parking areas”!

But with all this effort to improve cyclist safety measures the “Adults” are driving with increasing carelessness ! Yes it is possible to drive their car with the knees holding the steering wheel still as they light up the fag and talk on the phone that they are holding to their ear and at the same time reading the directions off their “Garmin/TomTom/whatever! It’s called “Multi Skilling” by some and an “Accident looking for a Happening” by most. Oh I forgot the eating and drinking that is also going on as they look at the floor to find that dropped pen or crumb of sandwich dropped whilst trying to overtake that slowcoach in front of them. Any of us feel like this is a reflection of our current driving technique?

Technology is a wonderful thing , it now thinks for us and we are now no longer responsible for the cyclist being skittled through sheer bad luck. When some one is killed on the road it is currently only the grieving relatives that arrive in court to see paltry fines handed out because you cannot bring back the dead and there is the “There by the Grace of God” attitude adopted by the authorities. Only when the Legislature takes a grip will “Murdering Innocent Cyclists” be treated correctly with the appropriate sentences being handed down. A wife may not mean to kill the husband with a knife but she still sees a prison sentence, a home owner killing an intruder does time, but mowing down a cyclist merits more than a slap on the wrist and community service and a paltry financial penalty!

Reading some of the Blogs in recent times it is apparent that Cyclists need to mobilise their Media connections into creating a Massive Joint approach to canvassing the authorities for more “Cycle Awareness and Safety”. All Cycling Journals contributing to the same Petition on a regular basis whether in writing or online will gain traction but as individuals we are treated as a nuisance rarely worth swatting. Complaining about individual driver behaviour to the local police will at best gain a few seconds of attention but if that party is already known because of earlier misdeeds then you may get a little more attention. It comes down to creating a data base of reports that are catalogued by a disparate community so as to be seen as unbiased reporting rather than “grinding an axe”. Too often you read of “road rage” between car drivers and action is taken but rarely do you read of action after a car sideswipes a cyclist.

Monthly action by the disparate Media Outlets combining to create a well publicised Petition will get results as starting in March, continuing in April, gaining more publicity in May whilst the “Giro d‘Italia is taking place and on the TV, adding more signatures in June and gaining more publicity as the Dauphine Libere and Tour de Suisse are in progress and getting the Racers from the Tour de France involved in July whilst the whole world looks on will overpower the ineffectual Politician Response! Amazing how interested in cycling matters the world is when the Tour de France is on the TV! Very few Politicians will be negative towards Cycling Safety Matters when they see daily the response the voters have to Sports Reports centred on the Cycling communities biggest event.

Governments need to understand that the majority of healthy people are “healthy” despite the distractions available . You will see the occasional cyclist/ sports person smoking a cigarette or overdoing the alcohol but the bulk of this segment of the population recognises that their lifestyle choices will lead to a better quality of life if they are abstemious and work on cutting out the habits that others choose to destroy their health. Awareness of the issues will eventually lead to more enjoying good health and this is why 30+million are wearing the “Livestrong wristband” and more people than ever are participating in Community Health activities.

Sydney to Surf, London Marathon , New York Marathon , Etappe of the Etappes style event subscriptions close early due to the overwhelming demand of people wishing to be participants in these events, but regardless of the demand many of the world’s population will continue to succumb to ill health due to the glamour of life styles created by “Advertising”. “Marlboro Man” style advertising will continue to trap the South American, Asian and African communities into taking up smoking. “Miller and Coors” adverts screened or broadcast will continue to recruit their share of over indulgent users! “Bacardi Events” will attract users both responsible and irresponsible over indulgent users. Fact is that Good Advertising is great for creating illusions but Mankind is responsible for their own interpretation of the benefits offered .

Health warnings are very rarely read and understood , as the Here and Now is the time that is important to most consumers , not the future consequences of Today’s excesses!

Feeling good now is the all important thing and damn the consequences too often the result.


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