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 !

May 31, 2010


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


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


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 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


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.


May 17, 2010

GIRO 2010 report 1

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YES TALKING TO EACH OF YOU, don't leave it to your fellow readers, there is a button marked "Follow" on the "NAV bar, press and leave the rest to the computer!

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.