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 4, 2011

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 .

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