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, 2011


Wheel less in Sestriere i arrived at the Lago L Hotel last saturday and saw in the foyer a sign for the 2011 para event in Sestriere with this message !

Over the years i have passed this "Bon Mot" to many people :

  Disability is not a Word , It is not a sentence , IT IS A CHALLENGING WAY OF LIFE !

 Sometimes i add "Don't join by accident "!


  January past brought many Para Athletes to the Ski Championships in Sestriere . The Hotel was specifically built incorporating all the facilities required by "wheelchair bound" and other "disabled people". Should you be aware of others please advise because it is time more facilities are "Disabled User Friendly" !



May 30, 2011


Nobody likes being ripped off , but it happens! After visiting Bruno , my mate in Cloz on the way home from the Giro Trentino i noticed my Car's temperature was moving up so stopped , and saw the Oil Dipstick was a little low , so stopped at the Repsol Filling station to buy a Litre of Oil !

"Basket "charged me Euro15 for the litre and E10 for the petrol , i got a receipt and said nothing since i would find out from Bruno if he knew this guy . Today Bruno told me the history of this Wanker . Seems the Grandfather immigrated to the USA but at 20yo the son returned to Italy and now his son runs this Repsol Service Station .

Bruno was of course furious as 2 litres of Oil costs Euro 8 at the Supermarket !  I suggested that he tell the guy that on giving The "Italian Disabled Ski Team" a donation of Euro25 i will take down this post . To make sure everything was correct i called in at the Service station and found that the guy has a computer and showed him this Blog . Told him to refresh the page at 1800hrs today to see this report !

OK i am running a little late , BUT here is the thing that counts , he told me that he can charge what he likes AND if I and Bruno don't like this , to BUY ELSEWHERE !  Bruno has no computer but another customer who is an Organic Farmer does , and speaks English as he has clients from All Over the world and so acted as an interpreter . SO the service station operator has no excuses for any "misunderstandings"!

Give the "Italian Disabled Ski Team" Euro25 and i will remove the post BUT refuse and YOUR neighbours and all the world will KNOW how they are being OVERCHARGED for their Engine Oil ! You confirmed to Luis ( organic farmer ) that the Oil Container came from you and that YOU CHARGE 15 euros for a litre of car oil , SO NO EXCUSES !  This report is also going on the "Friends of Italian Disabled Skiers" Facebook site !



May 27, 2011


Bergamo was the scene of my meeting up with Shane bannon ,Matt White & Neil Stephens last night ! They were staying in a hotel that i went into for directions to the YHA , where i found there was no bed .

Camping next door i was awoken by a heavy lightning storm which resulted in me swabbibg out a bit of water . Next time the tent goes up it will have the plastic sheeting i have in the car for just such an occasion .

How dare it rain on the last days of an otherwise dry Giro !

More follows on a reliable computer

May 26, 2011

Shame Club

Shamilton & Flandis are not the only ones that hide their true identity .

Each day at the Giro you find people wearing a ribbon around their kneck that proclaims they are members of an exclusive "club" . Those who work in offices or business these days have identity badges and it is visible. At the Cycle tours those working in any capacity wear it so that you cannot see what their function is or even their name !

When they are on the roads they drive in a manner that contradicts normal principles . In Endolo last night after the Giro was finished and on a road not used by the Giro the Car of Sponsor ISEO passed another car on the crown of a railway crossing contradicting the double white lines and the speed limit . Airborne for moments how would he stop if required to avoid a collision ?

Countless acts of stupidirty could be recounted here but the essence is that wearing this ribbon and decal inspires these people to believe they are "superior " to the rest of the population.


Management of the Cycle tours should be testing their driving abilities before allowing them accreditation . So it takes time in Torino , SO WHAT !

May 25, 2011

Serendipity or What

D.G. of Giro provided my lunch today ! Passing me a km earler on the Passo Tonale his car pulled over for their picnic lunch , only thing missing was the wine .

Tuesday night the Major of Belluno told me that i was "not riding the route of the Giro " according to the RCS sources ! Riding the Tonale today demonstrated to the contrary . Reminded me of that prat of a press officer with the TDS who said i spent all my time eating in the Press room at the Giro and then refused me accreditation at the TDS and spent a good hour on the Saturday sitting in his merc as i pedalledc up the HC climb that day !

Ok i am not riding as fast as i would like since i am on the Meds from the Feb reoccurence of the Embulisms BUT i am riding and not sitting in a car like others that i come across ! Heardf that the Bloke with the tin can on wheels with the dutch plate has been poising the well . Seems he can turn a pedal for a few metres , pity he hasn't the guts to put his mouth on the line .

More follows including Visconti getting disqualified !

May 22, 2011


ARRIVED at the foot of the final climb today to find that BIKES ARE NOT ALLOWED !

Giro d'Italia are "BIKE UNFRIENDLY!"

Most race bike owners use plates on their shoes SO THEY CANNOT WALK !

Most do not carry a LOCK so they cannot park their bike , most are on their £3000 plus best bikes today !

BONANZA TIME for the cafes and thieves !

Thundering at present in an area that people are walking when they should be riding !

Who will have good memories of today's live visit , of course those in front of a TV will enjoy seeing the racers suffer . Garzelli is out in frint but will he enjoy the rain ?


Third day of Uphill efforts ! Sometimes it's nice to renew acquaintances but there will always be the time you try to give someone a second chance . Several of those met over the years that don't know what "Swing the Billy means" ! Water i have plenty but a hot drink and a chat to breakup the day is the reason for stopping , not the need for luke warm water offered by a Queenslander driving a dutch camper van . You may have seen it on the TV garlanded with Aussie flags at TDF .

"El Diablo " dressed in a pink suit has made an appearance this year with Media people creating a story line once again . Those photos from last year are still adrift in "internet space" . As for this year i guess a few more days for the promises to be met . Met op with a guy who promised tyres at the Madrid Worlds and he is still working on delivering . Promises , promises , not holding my breathe though .

Chain broke twice yesterday and the link opened three times today always when i drop onto the last cogs but the first time today bent the front changer so off it came , who needs the bigchain ring going uphill at 15% or steeper , not yours truly . Shops shut so will hope the "magic links last out until tomorrow . Link tool saved the day even though it is now bent out of shape from the pressure exerted with the dura ace chain . Full season without mishap so the chain has upwards of 20 on it and is due for replacement . What a time to have to stand on the side of the road with all the italians vying to offer advice .

Roadside hospitality is once again sensational , who needs to be part of an organised tour group when "guiseppe and pals" are in a welcoming mood . Contrast this to a Tour who uses a Blue tent to entertain their punters with TV and nibblies and i will stick to the local efforts which taste so much better . Had occasion to enter said tent but was met with "This is Private" before i had chance to deliver message i was asked to pass on about a punter of theirs in difficulties . Hope some of their following visit this blog post and see how they too can be left to fend for themselves .

More and more Aussies are opting for the "do it yourself" approach and many are reminding me of this as they pass whilst i am on the side of the road "en fete"! Perth has a new to me group called Punto but the rest are the same old , doing things in a way that says "You pays your money , etc!" EArlier post i remarked that tours are replacing "ocean voyages " which i guess beats the pub as a contact method these days .

Many photos out there so will add them when available . Judging by the entry points to this blog many of those i am meeting are googling to see what this blog is about after our meetings on the side of the road .

Those with difficulty uploading the photos please go to Email where you may be more successful wuth uploading . THanks for visiting and if google translate works for you add yourselves as a follower .

May 19, 2011

Slogging begins !

 Flat stages are done and the sprinters are going home ! Cav 's 2 victories are enough for him . Petacci has the sprinter's shirt so will he stick around ?
For me this season will be approached more cautiously as i have good feeling in the legs on the flat , hitting over 45kph presents little difficulty but going up hill will be a question of how high i raise the heart rate !

With 2 bouts of embolisms behind me i think being a hero is not on the cards , so those who wish to race me FORGET IT ! My tempo will be a steady pace that does not requre heavy breathing or perspiration so you can wait for me at the top to see if you can descend at my pace .

Listed below are the contents of the current blogs :

Tourdafarce.blogspot     :  Doping in Sport
Skippyblogging.blogspot :  Giro reading
Skippi-cyclist.blogspot    :  SIDI shoes
Tourdafrance.blogspot    :   Wouter
SkippyAus.blogspot       :   Giro 2011 musings
Parrabuddy.blogspot      :    Handbike Giro d'Italia

Mountains are notoriously short on facilities so i hope these items  keep you engrossed whilst i seek access to add more colour  to h Giro in the next stages .

May 18, 2011

Handbike Giro 2011

There is a "Handbike Giro d'Italia" taking place for the second time this year . When i can get the photo up in colour it will look so much more interesting . Until last week i was aware that the "Tour of Britain had Hand bike events in Pall Mall in past years and there was a series of Hand bike events throughout Europe .

Anyone with more info please advise since i am really interested to gather more on this matter to pass on to the general public .

May 9, 2011

Wouter R.I.P.

Here is my comment to Forum !

"Saw the crash on TV after deciding not to ride back up the pass after parking the car . The descent in the car at midday was treacherous so i knew that the climb by bike .would be difficult . This is a descent from "hell" and thankfully the road was dry so that more were not injured trying to do their job.

No amount of condolences will suffice but i think it was Wouter who was pulling my leg last friday evening whilst he was sitting in a Team car after the Team Presentation and whenever we have met up in the past he treated me always treated me kindly .

To his family friends and co workers i know he will be a great loss ."

Will add more when the dismay departs . Tragic for his wife and Parents and i hope the media will allow them to grieve in peace .

Saw Angelo Z. talk to David Millar at some length when they arrived at the Podium ,so had a bad feeling then . Later on saw Freddy formerly of Quick Step , and other Team soigneurs who had at that tome no further info at that time but there were long faces on those normally involved on the podium as they departed shortly before the racers crossed the finish line .

Team Statement link :

A photo from happier times : Stage 3 of a Giro

Not as eloquent with words as Johan Bruyneel so here is the link to his thoughts :

As Johan and others would like to remember him :

There is a further item on Wouter here .

Some of the many efforts by the Public to acknowledge the passing of this Great Cyclist :

R.I.P. Wouter .


Disability is not to be taken lightly ! Trentino, Romandie and now Giro d'Italia are poorly attended by those using wheelchairs ! FACT is i look around at these events and when i spot a wheelchair user i try to have a chat with them to discover the local sports facilities available to them . 9 out of 10 times the wheelchair person will take the time to speak with me and relate a little of their experiences . Many a time they have difficulty expressing fluently and apologise for a lack of words . Contrast this with "normal people" in fact the general public in these countries who straight out give you the "non comprende" but will accomodate a pigeon version of their language and then break in later displaying their superiority in english when someone else makes the effort to relay information to you .

OK a lot of the fault lies with me since at 65yo i should have learnt all these languages when i was mixing with these nationalities whilst living in Oz . First serious girl friend was Polish and visited the home frequently so used common courtesy words whilst there , also had german , french and italian companions at various times with the same effort in their family homes . No idea then i would find myself in later years swanning around Europe on the bike and in need of the ability to carry a conversation past simple courtesies . Shame on me for the lack of effort to relearn these languages in more depth whilst riding around in recent years .

Brain dead as far as learning languages but still able to see that these events simply do not cater for "Disability" ! OK i saw the occasional older person in a wheelchair being pushed around the ITT at the Romandie and perhaps they were formerly a sports oriented person . Occasionally a parent will bring their child who has no interest in the event and are physically unable to participate / compete in any sport . 15% of population give or take statistically are "Handicapped" in some form whether physically or mentally so why is this segment of the population being ignored?

Can it be that the "Sponsors" simply do not care ? President Chirac proclaimed 2003 the "European Year of the Disabled" but since then my impression is that the numbers i see at these events have declined . Even Paralympic Gold Medalists have told me they have no interest in visiting the route of the Giro d 'Italia as it passes in their home town , amazed me but who knows the behind the scenes stories ? Perhaps reading this blog post will motivate them to let me know the story . Have asked many to contribute a post that i can publish here but as yet have had no takers .

Today drove parts of the route from Regio to Rapallo as i looked for places to ride my bike and whilst doing so was on the lookout for internet points to do a blog . Finally gave up after passing the "Passo de Boco" . The racers climb is smooth sailing but the descent is a nightmare of twists and curves and there is no way that i will return there on the bike so will take the easy option of riding around the last sections whilst awaiting the racers arrival .

Looking at the TV footage i can see a little in Cav's protest and had it been other than an Italian i think Petacci like Steels would have suffered for "interferance" although you have to look hard at the replays to be convinced . Some will say that Cav left his acceleration too late but he was travelling faster as he arrived at the line and this is not the first time that this has happened to him !

Currently in the "Citta di Lavagna" where the municipi has helped me with facilities so as to post this blog entry .

May 5, 2011

Richie Porte

Caught up with the Saxo Aussie this morning at the hotel west of Torino . An Italian shot photos of me with Alberto & Richie but has not emailed them as yet .

Richie was surprised to hear of the new tanman article on SBS so no doubt will read it this arvo .

Alberto has pink flashes on his shoes so we will see how often he dons the "Maglia Rose" in the next weeks .

On the way back to Torino i visited with Phillipe Brunel of L'Equipe and since he was drinking Coke whilst his driver was on beer it seems to me he has a few things to relate that requires a clear head this arvo .

May 4, 2011

Arrival in Torino !

Giro d'Italia has brought me to Torino ! Follow my stories the next weeks on . Starting with an interview with Sergio the Major of Torino there could be an entertaining time as i ride my 13th Giro . 

Torino for Giro d'Italia

Not quite "old home week" but being greeted by the Major of Torino was a great start ! Sergio was kind to me when i was a Volunteer with the 2006 Winter Olympics and Paralympics so my first port of call after parking the car was his office . With all the celebrations taking place this weekend i knew that getting to see him would be an honour that few could count on especially at short notice . My luck was in as i arrived at the security office and found a guard who spoke really good English and knew the correct procedures . Franco even arranged safe keeping for the bike whilst all this was taking place and once the Secretary was contacted i was amazed at the speed that i found myself in Sergio's office .

Sergio i am reliably advised could become the President of Italy one day since he has done such a good job in this office . Should that happen i would hope that i am home in Oz when he arrives on a State visit . Kevin Rudd would enjoy meeting him if he has not already done this and i am sure Sergio would enjoy meeting Julia Gillard . Seems like only days since i last spoke with him in Casa Italia at the time of the Games . Ever the gentleman he made me welcome and recalled my hosts at that time although was not aware that they now have two children . Earlier posts to Parrabuddy recall the meeting with Ricardo and my adventures at Torino 2006 . Suffice to say that Giovanna has already welcomed me into their home and later tonight i will find myself installed in the appartment i stayed in as their Guest .

Tour de Romandie is described in "TourdaFrance.blogspot" which you can visit from this link . Sunday night i stayed in Annecy YHA where "Moose" now works having transferred from Seez by Bourg St Maurice YHA . Another enjoyable reunion as it saved me the travel there and the temptation to ride to Col d'Iserain which i am told is still not open for transit .

Monday i went in search of Pascal and Annie since they have moved and their Mobile was out of order . The favourite watering hole told me there was a possibility to see them there about lunch time so took a ride around the local area to pass the time . No luck so headed south to Les2Alpes where Luca whom i first met on the 1999 Giro d'Italia has his Ski School . Staying overnight i was able to see some amazing "Extreme Ski Adventure" shots . Sara runs their travel section and oversees a large number of rental appartments thus making sure that guests return the following winter season with the certainty that all their needs are well catered for and the number of Summer visitors are on the rise as a result of their efforts .

Tuesday after departure i dropped down to the barrage and then rode up the climb to the Ski Station and found them heading down to Bourg Oisans with Max following them on his way to Milano and thence Brisbane . Max is a Ski Trainer who works both Oz and Europe and is responsible for discovering Zalli Steggles and setting her on the way to Olympic and World Ski Tour Fame . These days he has a home near 1770 in Queensland and tells me that they also suffered during the flooding at the beginning of the year .

Dropping back down to the barrage i crossed to the opposite bank and rode up to the Col Sarren as i planned to ride through to Alp d'Huez but the weather closed in and as it started raining i could hear thunder approaching . Having a rain jacket makes for riding in the normal roads but high in the Alps it is a safer option to call it quits and head for the barn . The road south passes the Gallibier and since three Germans were heading up after climbing over the barrier i decided to follow . The road is still closed for good reason with shale all over the road and snow drifts still causing you to get off and walk so after several kilometres when the others started back i called it a day .

Nearby Briancon is Puy St Andre a village hanging off the side of the mountain and it is the home of Valentin who rescued me on the TDF etappe that finished in Sestriere with Lance winning . That time his home was on Montgeneve but in recent years in Puy . These days he is building a new home above this village and the first story is in place built of concrete and wood but he is now prefabricating the second storey and then will build a loft also . Computers are an amazingly useful tool for determining the lengths and thicknesses of wood needed to build each panel that makes up the structure . Some of the tools he is using were unavailable when i was home building in the 1980's . Really amazed at how much one man can accomplish with determination .

Today i rode back up the road to Sestriere from Pragelato which reminded me of the visit there in 1997 . At that time i was with Craig the English Ski Instructor and we camped in the National Forest grounds . Returning there i saw how much the Torino Games had changed the area and the facilities that are now available . Greeted the local Paralympic Ski Trainer and hopefully he will arrange matters so that when we arrive for the 20th etappe of the Giro there will be some Paralympians on hand to remind the public that 2012 Paralympics in London are nearly here . Whilst in the Mairie/Commune Office i was shown a photo relating to the visit of SBS television to Pinerolo so stopped there to do a story with the newspaper . Who knows what will come of this but i hope it is heavily weighted towards "Physically Challenged/ Disabled sport and not another personalities story.

Giro d'Italia will be the source of many stories which will be on the blog so take the time to go there and bookmark or sign on as a follower .