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.