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 !

Sep 28, 2011

M.Le President replies !

My open letter to M.Le President Nicholas Sarkozy was acknowledged some time in August by email . Today i received a letter in both French and English from the French " Ministry of Sport ".

In English :

En Francais :

Already written out a reply but will take time to type into the computer with one finger speed !

Sep 22, 2011

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen is where HTC Team are showing the “ Sponsors “ that they have missed the boat ! Nearly every race has shown the depth of Talent in this team ! That is just the Individual Time Trials thus far and the Road Races are yet to come with speculation that “ Ina “ will win the Ladies and of course “ King Cav “ will win the men’s Elite Race !

Whilst this is going on though the Media is having a feast with the recent revelations timed to perfection so as to maximise their impact ! Started as usual with the French and Italian Media and then was picked up by Cyclingnewsforum on a new thread :

 

 

 

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=15363&page=10  

From there it got onto Twitter and now there are reports in Magazines such as Sporting News Illustrated :

 

 

 

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/09/21/Armstrong-paid-doping-physician.ap/index.html?eref=si_mostpopular  

Seems that “ ESPN “ the Us sports channel has got into the act as well , but I have no link for that at this time , guess someone on CNF ( mushroom farmers anonymous ) will put that out in the forum in the near future .

Disturbing for me is that there will be mud flying and “ Livestrong “ will get a bath , which will be unfair to ALL those who have contributed their efforts and monies and believed in the “ Good Work “ that could be done by this foundation ! Typical of this possibility is this link that was mentioned as “ with this “ in item #87 on the CNF thread ! Already tweeted @premierMikeRann with a link to this story .

Lance is reported to have said “ certain things “ whether they are reported correctly and in context or twisted to suit the story , we can only speculate but more questions are emerging as time passes . That Flandis and Shamilton are “ bitter and convicted ex racers “ has been a defence used by those supporting Lance & co but if as suggested there are “ Tax Evasion “ matters and these guys had monies in the scheme that they did not wish to lose caused them to keep quiet is speculation at this time .

Not being in Copenhagen through matters beyond my control is somewhat annoying although the weather in Austria has turned to the good once again and thus am getting plenty of cycling done .

Sep 19, 2011

Snow to 600 m

Blogger continues to limit access and today with the winter arriving early i am trying to clean up the " Posts " made earlier that have typo errors . Sunday was full on rain and low visibility and today is not much better ! At some point i will have to go find another access point with my laptop to post the photos that i have accumulated but " Blogger " facilities are not allowing the " upload " from my b/band . Fact is the signal strength ( 12.8kb/sec ) is such that " Fatcyclist's latest blog post " did not appear but when i hit " feed " on his header i get the last 10 items in seconds for about 6MB ! Please explain that for contrariness !

Twitter from @spokesmen tells me that Copenhagen is sunny with 10c weather and the weather chart ( metoffice )shows heavy rain and 13c so will the women's or the men's TT get the forecast adverse conditions ?

Saturday was a sunny warm start with me leaving the house at 10ish and heading east in time to find Thomas R. heading west and a quick U turn had me up with him as he was setting out to ride " Intervals " . He says that 2012 is sorted but the news will come later and that he enjoyed the Vuelta . Coming into Munster from the east is a short incline and this always knocks my pace down so i bid him a good day and when i crested i saw that he was 100m up the road already . With a nice day i had already told him i would head up to Achensee and this 7km climb is steady rather than steep but runs alongside the cog railway in places . Suffice to say i was waiting to photo the train at the top .

Around Achensee ( the lake ) are some really nice walking trails but the west side of the lake heading north is reserved for walkers only but no doubt those with mountain bikes will give it a go . West of the village of Petsau are some valleys which are National Park Areas and have tolls for all vehicles except pedal bikes and there are speed limits for these narrow roads . Suffice to say there are no speed cameras and walkers wander all over the road even on blind corners . With three distinct destinations there is plenty of area to investigate . The longest of these roads rises gradually with width for a Pullman Coach but not enough to pass a cyclist .

So along comes a coach in a hurry and just as he decides to pass anyway there is a car coming the other side of the road , so he slams the brakes and pulls back . Road continues upwards and when it widened for several hundred metres i signalled for him to pass but he hung back until the road narrowed then decided to go for it and of course in touching my shoulder had me on the stone verge , staying upright whilst he continued was challenging and of course he had no idea until i pointed out the disturbed dust on the side of the vehicle when i caught them in the parking area .

As usual it was the " Entschuldigung ( excuse me ) " attitude but no injury , no case to answer attitude ! Signalling as a curtesy when the road was wide enough is one thing , forcing through pushing the bike rider aside is quite another . As to the passengers , none were prepared to speak English and of course most would have been asleep or unaware of the risk even had they seen a cyclist in front of their conveyance .

Several hours of riding earlier in the week took me over the Alpbach climb which I have mentioned in previous posts but as I descended into the Zillertal I found a road I had not ridden up before . The sign said 7.2km of Vogelsveg so decided to try my luck thinking that it would connect to another road as do most of these roads . Climbing through new scenery and the forests in coolish conditions on quite steep gradients kept me warm but as it proved the road was a deadend unless you were on a mountain bike , so a descent to the valley and onto Kaltenbach was the result . By midday the sun wa out and another warm day ensued .

Whilst walking these areas in the past several seasons whilst forbidden to ride the bike due to the Embolisms treatment I had thought I had found all the roads that are available but it appears there are still a few more roads to be found . During this ride I took a few photos of the road surface conditions that you face as you descend , easy enough to avoid going up but a bit nerve racking for those on a race bike on a fast descent . One of the jobs to be done with the inclement weather will be changing the brake blocks on the bikes and sorting a slight noise from front wheel braking which could be the need to true the front wheel’s alignment . Spokes are tight so there may be a slight rim buckle to sort with the wheel truing equipment / gadget , as running the wheel against the blocks doesn’t indicate any obvious anomaly .

Sep 18, 2011

FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK !

Helping others is so far down the priority list of my 700+ friends that I have only seen one response to the request to visit the blog post of June 2011 where I tried to stimulate interest in the 2012 Para Games in London !

Conti 4000s Road race tyres cost Euro 44 or so each and are perhaps the best available on the current market . Now I can see that asking people to take the time to look at the blog post is a bit of an ask but with only 500 characters allowed in the “ What’s on your mind “ I thought there would be many “friends “ that could find the link therein and then after a read even do me the courtesy of telling me how to make the proposed “ Competition “ more interesting . Not something I have done before so willing to listen to constructive comments and suggestions !

What I had hoped to achieve by this project was generate a list of “ Para Athlete Blog Sites “ from a variety of countries which would allow those interested in the Paralympic Games to follow their progress as they prepared to represent their country and achieve success in their chosen sport .

Having hoped for a better response I now will delay for another week activating this project . Had there been better response I would have spoken about this with the media at the “ World Championship Road Races “ in Copenhagen .

NOT EXPECTING 700+ visits to the blog post BUT

DON’T

leave it until tomorrow or neglect to tell your “ Friends “ to visit ! Of course I could use more support on Twitter also @Skippy detour !

Copenhagen w/out the Queen of Cycling !

 

Regrettably Jeannie will not be at Copenhagen and the event will be diminished by her absence since she is the most accomplished woman racer of our generation !



 

As I write I have just discovered this item :

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/jeannie-longo-opts-to-miss-world-championships

 

Which news leads me to wonder whether the effort to get to Copenhagen is worthwhile . Each time I go to the “ Tour de Romandie “ and previous World Championship Road Races I have enjoyed the opportunity to ride with Jeannie and Patrice , the husband . Perhaps I have been lucky and it is serendipity but I do not set out with the intention to find them ! Indeed the first meeting at the Sydney 2000 Olympic was pure chance . Living on my friend’s yacht in Rose Bay , Sydney I would come ashore then float around on the bike not making any plan other than to enjoy the warm and sunny weather .

Centennial Park being the Road race start and finish was an obvious attraction and I enjoyed catching up with Dave Duffield on his Foldup bike , and Lance several times although he preferred to ride with Tony Doyle .

Eric Worlberg of Canada and the Danish & Austrian Mens’ teams and Italian and Dutch Womens’ Teams were some of the groups I was able to show the Race and TT courses . Early on I was able to say to the Aussies that Team Mobile were to be watched as I felt sure from seeing them ride together that they would work for one another rather than their individual Nations . Of course who was I to say this and was ignored and so the Podium was Team Telecom ! As Jan followed Vinky to the Podium I called out “ Gut Gemackte “ and Jan looked across and then pointed me out to Klody . When the presentation was over the Bouquets soared in my direction , to get Jan’s I had to reach out nearly toppling but Andy’s throw was just about perfect . These I later passed to the son and dAughter of a family who had befriended me as their yacht was in the same bay as the one I was living aboard . As time has passed regrettably I have lost touch with both parties with their moving house during the intervening years . Hard to imagine that 11 years have passed so quickly !

Before the Men’s Presentation ceremony I had placed my bike on top of the concrete support for the flagpole I was using as a support so my view over the two metre fence was unimpeded but a Police Inspector tried to tell me to come down as I was “ at risk “ and I later had him ask me who I was to receive the flowers . Of course there were some who made me welcome and one was David Millar who pulled alongside me after the TT Medal Presentation in the British team car and introduced me to James Quigly the Track Gold Medalist ! Getting kissed by all three Women after their Medal Presentation was a special moment as well particularly since I had ridden with them all as they surveyed the routes . Leotin also pointed me out to her parents whom I had met in Team Celebration at the 1998 World Champs , but whilst we waved I did not get to greet them as they were in the VIP enclosure .

Meeting Ray Godwin and Michael Milton was another interesting experience since I have caught up with them both in various parts of Europe . Michael at Para Ski Races and Ray at various Road Race Events . El Diablo was also a character that I came across and helped out as you can see from the Blog post about him .

 



 Haile Gebreselassie ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haile_Gebrselassie

) was one of the runners whom I met as they used Centennial Park for training as did some of the Para Hand Bikers , so you can see it was a mixed bunch of Olympic Competitors that I came across but not unremarkably I came across Shane Warne sitting in the back of a Groundsmans’ vehicle as it drove through the park to the Sydney Cricket Ground . On the Thursday night before the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games I rode up to the Sydney Town Hall and met the Waugh Brothers after one of them had run with the “ Olympic Torch “ .

WHEN A COP SAYS STOP !

Spent the last three days reading a “ Bicycling Magazine ( http://www.bicycling.com/news/advocacy/when-cop-says-stop ) ” article about an Ohio case where two cyclists were stopped and one was “ Tased “ ! Over 11 pages this article went into some detail as to the happenings on that occasion . Suffice to say that the L aw E nforcement O fficer started off by acting incorrectly and now this matter will be finally settled in a Civil Court Action which will cost the Ohio State a LOT of money !

Some interesting points were raised about the way that Ohio Law operates and the behaviour of the people involved in this case but I am sure that the story could have been told more concisely . What is clear is that a L E O can order you to stop and the best result is that YOU STOP ! The grounds they have to Order you to stop may be a “ figment of their imagination ” but you won’t know this until after the interview has concluded . Whether there was a justification for the order does not matter since they are in the uniform and as citizens we are obliged to respect the uniform and the Laws of the Land . In reading the article it is clear that this particular L E O had not ordered a stop but he thought he had and thus an unfortunate incident occurred .

Considering my own behaviour as to the Police I have always found that complying with their requirements and going along with their assessment of a situation has resulted in minimising the incident . Confronting the L E O only digs them into their corner and thus they can become self righteous and seek to add justification for their behaviour and the outcome then becomes more abrasive for all concerned . Copping a ticket/citation is never a pleasure but then there is the opportunity to contact the authorities to have the matter resolved in a straight forward way rather than having to adjourn elsewhere either voluntarily or otherwise .

When on occasion I have been injured riding the bike I have had to refuse “ Hospitalisation “ because there was no provision for transporting the bike . How can you leave your property on the side of the road somewhere and expect to recover it later ? No way Jose ! Whatever is not “ Nailed down “ will get up and walk away since there are so many charming people out there only so willing to offer a new home to ANYTHING they chance upon of value ! In the article the two bikes were abandoned by the L E O ‘s and only chance saved the day ! So there is another reason to avoid creating a situation where you could lose control of your property .

Over the years of riding the various Cycle Tour routes I have come across so many different attitudes of the L E O ‘s involved in Policing these events . Generally they behave respectfully towards those who are out to ride the route but there have been cases where Juniors have been rigidly officious and I can think of several cases where when stopped I have been told the bike will be impounded if I try to leave the point where stopped . In most cases when stopped I will walk on till out of sight but when confronted with a “ Stand Here ” order it is hard to overcome . Usually I then look to enjoy the hospitality of those on the scene since they have seen the unreasonable behaviour . One occasion on the Tour de France I was given a sumptuous lunch with wine and when the Gendarme involved approached for water ( hoping for better) he was sent away to the local shop . One of the hosts chortled about his getting one back for me but as it turned out we were delayed beyond the “ 15 min prohibition period after the passing of the “ Broom Wagon “ regulation ! A bit of “ tit for Tat threre I think .

Reading the comments attached to the article it was easy to see that this was not there first time the article had been run and there was a series of exchanges in 2010 which could well have been left out since the two parties were too busy slanging each other to contribute value to the debate . From the initial comment by “ NoMoreSlowFiveO ” on 3/09/2010 to 14/09/2010 he responded repeatedly to comments by “ BadBadLeroyBrown ” . Hopefully when this article next appears these nonsenses will have been removed .

Tour de France does the Gendarmerie no favours by having these L E O standing in the same spot for most of the day , rarely in the shade on hot days and exposed to the elements in inclement weather . As to turning Public roads into “ Private Roads ” for the passing of “ Le tour ” one wonders why they cannot follow the example of the “ Tour de Suisse ” and thus not create the problems for the community that result at present . Whilst the Policing forces are busily occupied the criminal elements are having a field day not only badgering people and enterprises to “ BUY ” their nougat and plastic Drapue but perhaps other crimes such as burgularising empty homes and stealing bikes and bike parts and breaking into unattended cars . Of course these activities take place elsewhere but then the response is so much quicker and positive investigation and not a “ incident no ” that will be the outcome when you report to the Insurance Co. your loss in an area where the “ Le Tour ” has visited .

POSTED by Posterous as Blogger continues to give problems !

Sep 11, 2011

CRASS STUPIDITY

Box on wheels does not make the driver invulnerable nor confer priority over those on Push/pedal bikes , yet there are elements of the population that leave their brains at home when they get behind the wheel !

Friday through Sunday has been glorious weather here in the Tirol but it has been marred each day by what some may consider trivial but could have resulted in a hospital visit at the very least .

Austria has lovely country for cycling in if you can contend with the traffic on the Bundesstrasse , the main roads that are secondary to the Autobahn system . Tirol has the “ 171 “ running from Kufstein through Innsbruck to Imst and points west . Normally no difficulty to ride this route without interference and in some areas there are bike paths alongside for the mountain biker or touring bike but the Race bike thin tyres can be subject to puncture since these paths are not always clean and the surfaces are broken up in many cases .

Between where I currently stay in the Inntal and Worgl & Kufstein there are cycle paths which form part of the “ Stephansweg ( Pilgrims route ) “ and these one track roads were primarily there for the farmers use , not often you have two tractors needing to pass each other but over the years they have been asphalt surfaced and if you stick to the middle you will not risk breaking a wheel by hitting a rut or a trench badly refilled . In some places there are tracks either side of the drainage ditch/canal affording alternative routes and thus reducing the traffic hazards .

Not sure of the speed limits that apply on these one track roads but a newly installed bridge over a ditch/canal has a 30kph sign as there are some entry points from other tracks there also .

Friday after several hours on the road I was heading west out of Kundl on one of these tracks pushing hard as I was only 15 mins from home so burning the energy . In the past I have ridden alongside another rider who reported we were doing 47kph and wanted to know if we were going fast enough . He was coming from Kitzbuhel that day and was heading into the Zillertal and Gerlos before Mittersell and home . Passing a red car that poked it’s nose on to the track causing me to avoid a collision I piled on the pace once again but about a kilo down the track it was using the klaxon . Since the road surface was broken up at that point and we were approaching the bridge I stayed where I was and went through the bridge somewhat quicker than the posted speed but the driver must have been airborne as he chased me down the road .

Further along the road takes a right towards a “ chapel with a water trough “ and so he went straight ahead . While I passed the chapel in a straight line he poked out from the left once again trying to force his will against all decency . Further along the road has grass on either side so he drove his lhs wheels onto the grass then swerved across my line forcing me onto the grass on the right . I managed to stay upright but further up the road he reached across pushed the rhs door open and then swung his door open thus blocking the one track road then came to a halt . Again I hit the grass and stayed upright but continued up the road to a pedestrian that I had seen .

On asking him what he had seen he said that he saw the car force me off the road and then throw the doors open . When the car drove up the old man got out and started raving in German , in fact the pedestrian had to step in when he threw a punch . Then the bystander told me the driver was a “ Nachbar ( neighbour ) so he could not help me even though he thought “ the fool should not be driving “ ! With this it was obvious I was unlikely to get any further help and wished like “ Cycling silk “ and others that I wore a helmet camera .

Saturday was also warm and sunny and when I found myself in a narrow road with pedestrians either side I slowed somewhat but whilst I had right of way and was on my side of the road an impatient driver pulled over so that he was heading directly at me and accelerated scattering some of the pedestrians . His wing mirror caught my hand on the handlebars raising a bruise but he continued on and there was no point to try and chase him down . One time I had a similar problem in the west of Innsbruck and had to chase several kilos before I caught the idiot but even then I got no result .

Sunday dawned warmer and with a clear blue sky I headed up the climb to Seehof and Haus as I had done in the “ Boring Eurosport “ post . Many mountain bikers dawdling up the climb but no target to chase . Arriving in the Breitenbach roundabout I saw another race bike heading over the bridge but then saw him turn west towards Kramsack and I was not about to head that direction so soon . Just then another rider appeared heading towards Kundl which suited me better .

Talk about grabbing the tail of a Tiger , this guy was driving the bike and was not looking to take prisoners ! Charging down the road without any seeming effort since he was in the middle of the cassette on the big ring and there I was pumping hard to get into and then stay in his slipstream . Slowing to take some turns in the road and then to go through a covered bridge left little time to discover his destination but eventually we were on a farm track and I was able to pull alongside and see that he was on a Carbon Simplon and grab a few words and the destination he was heading towards . For me Kufstein was a regular short trip so this suited me admirably . Only when there were narrow lanes to contend with did he ease the pace and then only to let the traffic hazard pass . Eventually we exchanged a few words as we bowled along in the 40’s and then I even got to go point a few times . At one point I even got the camera out to take a shot which is not easy when going full bore .

Today’s bike was the black alloy “Specialised “ with 55 on 11 and that he remarked seemed to be hard work . Each time I got on point I was trying to pull the pedals up as well as use the TT position and it was only as we neared Kufstein that I felt he was easing off the pace .

After parting I continued on to Rosenheim in Germany which added another couple of hours to the trip . One point the road rises on a 13% climb and there were a few other shorter climbs to cause a drop in pace . On the outskirts of Rosenheim I saw a fast moving group so spun around to join for a few kilos . When we parted I realised how much of a head wind I was going to have to contend with on the roads back to Kufstein so crossed the river to take an alternative route which I had travelled during the “ Deutschland Tour “ some years ago . This part of Germany has some nice villages with doglegs through the centre of the village .

One such village has a climb that slows me to about 25kph and then runs under an arch and then descends on a winding road to the outskirts . Coming down this hill I had an open car overtake recklessly since I was over 50 kph and there was a car coming so I was even more unsettled when a motorbike swung around in front of me then applied the brakes causing me to swing left and take the corner faster than him and so he was in my trail once again . Passing out of the village he pulled alongside and started abusing me for passing him even though I was still on the bumper bar of the white car .

Eventually he pulled back as traffic was coming and then repeated the harassment and then had the gall to suggest I should be on the cycle path which had started whilst he was endangering me . After a while my attitude got to him and I had to warn him that should he persist the motorbike would be carrying three and a bike because I was not going to allow him to force me off the road . Message seemed to get through or the woman on the pillion had had enough and he was gone . These cycle paths are generally a good idea IF they start in town and run alongside the route through the various villages but can also be dangerous when the inhabitants are about with children or unleashed dogs .

Generally as I race down the cycle paths I come across two fully loaded “ pilgrims “ side by side so call out “ Helloo “ about 100m back and again 50m which causes them to look thus I know they are aware and “ Danke “ as I pass , rarely do they refuse to allow passing . Odd occasions I have had a gaggle of touring bikes coming towards me blocking the whole road and even though they see you arriving some will even wander further onto the wrong side of the road causing the likelihood of collision , defies the imagination as to what is the reason !

Cycling Etiquette was covered about a month or so ago but only had one comment which makes me wonder why others have not contributed their thoughts on this subject .

PLEASE THINK ABOUT A CONTRIBUTION ! You can also entertain others with “ How I met Skippy “!

 

 

 

Sep 10, 2011

PAUL SMITH ! How i came to meet him .

Road.cc recently ran an article (  http://road.cc/content/news/43473-think-you-have-lot-jerseys-you-wont-have-many-paul-smith  ) about Cycle Memorabilia collectors and i went to the link   (    http://www.obsessionistas.co.uk/collections/2011/9/5/cycle-racing-jerseys-collected-by-paul-smith-0054.html  )  to follow the story further and discovered i had met this guy during this year's Giro d 'Italia !

Earlier this year i ran a post of some of the people i had met during the Giro d 'Italia and described how the Director General's car had passed me on the Passo Tonale before stopping a little further up for their lunch break . By the time i arrived the lunch boxes had been passed around and i finished up sharing some of the contents . Having shaken hands with Angelo Z. i was then introduced to the two guests . I asked Paul how he had come to be there and he told me that he was a " friend of the Cycling Family " .  Fair enough , we discussed what i try to do with my visits to the various tours in respect of " publicising the need for more Sponsorship for "Adaptive Athletes " and he mentioned the efforts of several well known figures in this area .

 On leaving Paul had said that i might hear from him , he certainly was aware of my blog site although whether there was any further interest who can say ? Certainly if Sir Paul is reading these blog posts he could contribute a " How i met Skippy " item !

There are a number of people such as Paul out there that could also do this if they choose , not only those i ride with in the Zillertal or the UK but some of the currently famous racers like "Gossy " or " King Cav " ! Francesco Moser could also relate some funny items should he choose !

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 9, 2011

PODIUM CAFE !

Want to be taken for a ride ? All you have to do is TRY to post a comment to a Podium Café article then you get to wander around “ SB Nation “ whilst the “ Ads and other BS “ assail you ! Since you have no interest in any of this material from the USA commercial & sporting world, you are left wondering if “ Podium Café “ is worth the time !

Normally after posting to any site I leave the tab open for a few days so that on “ refresh “ I get an update to see if there is any follow up that is needed . First posted comment took about 10 mins and around 20Mb and nothing thrown at me during the “ round the houses excursion “ was worth a look let alone the cost in effort !

Some of the articles are really interesting but following blogs is about participating rather than just clicking on and reading . Whilst I have a low opinion of Cyclingnews Forum contributions , there at least getting into add comment is simple and direct .

Yesterday I tried to post a tweet and because the B/band is so pathetic in the area of Austria I am currently resting I am beginning to wonder in which Century the providers are living ! Service is not their Forte ! After about two hours of repeated efforts I put in a link with no explanation to @spokesmen about Eurosport !

During the last days the Froome victory at the Vuelta has been virtually front page news and adding to the excitement surrounding the event . Usually Eurosport is aware of critical , newsworthy events and daily they opened in the past with a resume of the last minutes of the previous day’s stage . 1600hrs was the published start of broadcast which came and went whilst a few “ Unimportant snooker balls “ rolled into holes . Then the Ads appeared which pays for what we are offered BUT THEN straight to the live broadcast ! With commentary in German I no longer attempt to listen but this day was about a breakaway that stayed away . Past years I have seen split screen of happening events with other matters being shown at the same time , so what was the problem here I wonder ?

Without access to Eurosport TV I have to go to a bar and after a long ride , Kramsach to Brennero return with a lot of drizzle I was looking forward to seeing what had been described in writing at length . Well when you read my blog you will see I was so livid about the attitude of Eurosport I went for another ride to let off steam .

Will I be watching today ? NO WAY JOSE !

Fact is I doubt I will summon the interest to watch Eurosport for some time . WHO among you gives a “ continental “about “ Yokohama” ? I DON’T !

SAM STOSUR has done Oz proud by moving into the Semis at the US Tennis Open , let’s hope that she makes history with the WIN on Sunday !

Sep 8, 2011

BORING EUROSPORT

SPLIT screen technology has been used by Eurosport for some time but did they think to use it today ? No way Jose !

1600hrs is the advertised start of the Vuelta that cycle race they advertise constantly as if it is something of a triumph for them to be able to broadcast to their viewers . As it was we were treated to a delay whilst Snooker ran over and the commercials were shown . So now we are late going to the " Live Feed " and thus the ONLY ACTION of the week , yesterday's final kilometre does not get shown !

Every other day you are treated to a repeat of the previous day's finish but WHO decided that Cobo v Froome of yesterday ," was as boring as watching paint dry "? Looking at the picture of today's etappe as i am watching in an Austrian  bar w/out sound we reached the 39.8km mark and i decided to go for another ride to pass the time until the action became interesting . ASK Thomas Rohrregger the distance from Kramsach to Breitenbach via Seehof and Haus and return and he will tell you it is a shade under 20km  but i was back in time to see Paulino 36secs ahead at the 13km mark .

After a ride beyond Innsbruck to Brennero and return there was still a few kilos in the legs  . Not only that my beer didn't go flat whilst i was away . David Harmon is on the british commentary but i am unsure who was the German not that i would hear them or understand much of what they say . Regretably Paulinho was left to solo to the last few kilometres so that he had little to offer when overhauled . The result of Gavassi sprinting to the finish was no reflection of the day's racing .

 

Sep 7, 2011

President Heinz Fischer

Spending Cuts fall on those most in need ! Governments everywhere target those who they think are least likely to fight back !

 

My letter to the Head of State in Austria :

 

 " As Head of State you must occasionally despair of the actions of your country’s citizens ? Whilst your position is mainly Ceremonial you no doubt are aware of the happenings brought about in the Political Sphere ! Currently the Government is being asked by the “ IMF “ to do more to balance the Country’s Budget and thus the Politicians are looking at the easiest target , Health and Pensions !

Would it be that this is the area less likely to fight “ Cutbacks “ or is it that the Politicians and servants of the State are too lazy to look at other areas ?

On a personal level I may not be affected by these changes but today I saw evidence of waste which makes me wonder what is being done to make “ Monies Allocated “ serve the purpose intended and not go to waste . On my way to Kufstein today , I cycled over a minor road that approaches Kundl and was surprised to find that it was being “ ripped up “ again today , since I saw workmen sweeping it clean yesterday after finishing the Asphalting days before ! Now I know that there are many Utilities that are allowed to interfere with the road surface when doing their work but most are employed by the State mechanism in one way or another so is it not possible for coordination ? Surely there must be a way in this day and age for “ PLANNING “ to allow ONE TRENCH with sewerage , electricity , gas and private cabling for things like telephone , broadband to be put “ in situ “ at the same time with access points at the side of the road for later maintenance and additions ?

Arriving at the “ Finanzamt “ in Kufstein I found that the new department ( Finance Police ) established in may 2011 was unaware of information I provided to the Schwaz Finanzamt office in December 2008 ! The officer in the office put me in touch by telephone with his colleague that was handling other matters relating to the Ski School that I had worked for in 2008 . However he was unaware that I had provided info that is now nearly three years in the system ! That I was entitled to refund of taxes paid in 2008 was the reason for asking the Finanzamt in Dec.2008 to assist me in early recovery . No doubt there are many other situations of a similar type that will result in the State recovering Huge amounts of outstanding taxes ?

Mr President before the Government introduce cuts in Health , Pensions and Welfare , would it not be better if they look at the efficiency of various state organisations and streamline expenditures so that many jobs are coordinated to be done at the same time thus eliminating WASTE of Resources ? Also could not the “ Finanzamt “ bring forward prosecution of “ Outstanding Cases “ so as to recover the vast amounts of money that rightfully belong to the state ?

 

Years ago I was told that “Politics is the art of looking Good , whilst doing nothing “ ! I hope this is not true in Austria ! "

 

Of course it is unlikely to make any difference in the short term as those in Government will have already acted on what they are promising but next time you come across a hole in the road see for yourself the amount of resources wasted because as sure as night follows day there will be more work done as soon as the first job is completed !

 

 

 

 

Sep 4, 2011

JEANNIE LONGO ! A Legend in our Time !




Podium Cafe did a post on the remarkable " Jeannie Longo " whom i have had the pleasure of meeting many times since the original encounter in Sydney 2000 Olympic period when she was recognoitering the "Womans Road Race Route "!

The Podium comments threw up an interesting article from 2001 but the Lady is now 10 years older and even more competitive and as long as she keeps winning the National Titles i hope she refuses to retire !

Jeannie is an Inspirational Sporting ICON and there are people who being jealous of her commitment and passion for Road Race Cycling tend to scorn her accomplishments ! They are the losers since everything she does for Womens' Cycling benefits her Country and colleagues ! THE LINK !


In googling for information about Jeannie i disovered this blog :

http://cyclingart.blogspot.com/2011/06/jeannie-longo-58th-for-1958.html

Of course the best source of information remains " WIKI " !:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeannie_Longo

This site also has a wealth of information and links to other sites , which site was put together by fourth grade students with a passion for cycling ! :

http://www.pocanticohills.org/womenenc/longo-ciprelli.htm

There is a facebook item also that i found but am unsure of the authorship :

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeannie-Longo

There is also an item to be found by ESPN , the TV Channel in USA who used to report from the Tour de France :

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/fanguide/athlete?athlete=8239



AS mentioned in my post on " El Diablo " i first encountered Jeannie when i rode the Sydney Women's Olympic Road Race course with her the Sunday before the race . Since that time i have enjoyed being recognised by her at many cycling events and recall being introduced to her father in Sion at the " Romandie " after the Women's Time Trial .

SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE ?

HERE IS A COMMENT I MADE TO " CYCLINGNEWS FORUM " tonight ! Recently they have been debating the right of a Guy needing " Blades " to compete !Who are they to debate anyone's rights when their only exercise is with a finger on the keyboard , of course their imagination leaps around somewhat during the search for something to add to the thread .

Today i was at a cycling event in Schwaz , Tirol where there were sections of the racing to include all ! Men , Women , juniors and even youngsters . there was even an australian , Liam Poole , competing in a team from Graz .

Everyone included ? No way , there was NOT ONE "Adaptive/ Physically Challenged person" there either as a spectator but more especially as a competitor ! The journalist i spoke to told me " THERE IS NO MEDIA INTEREST !"

What year are we living in ? Austria has about the best " Behinderten Ski Team " and the "Vorarlberg Behinderten Ski Team " has completed the "Race across America " some years ago !

SO ANYONE OF YOU DUMPING ON " Pistorius " for making the effort to remind the world there are those less fortunate than us LOOK IN THE MIRROR and ask yourself if you could endure even a portion of the demands made of him by those that would wish that he did not make the efforts for himself and those like himself .

Next year in London we will see many our " Politicians " sent in "Harms Way " serving their community and country once again on the sport field ! Some of those will not measure up to YOUR LOFTY standards but then they were given little choice about the way they did their duty and the consequences that resulted !

WE ALL OWE " OSCAR PISTORIUS " a debt of gratitude for his opening a door and encouraging more to try to reach an " Olympic or Paralympic Standard " and there are some aspiring to London that will not be able to go becaue of the " Rules & Regulations " that currently exist AND also the lack of funding and support from those whose only exercise is with the finger on a keyboard !

My blogs only seem to reach a few people BUT those reading them should take the time to ask their network of contacts to carry the story further .

Sep 1, 2011

CNF (mushroom farm ) attacking Disability !

Picked up on a Cyclingnews Forum thread in the " clinic ( http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=15096) " which makes one wonder where some of these " fountains of wisdom " spend their days !

My comment in reply :

" Social inclusion seems to be overlooked by members of the “ mushroom farm “ whilst they take their best shot at a guy who has raised his head above the parapet !

Most of those commenting from that lofty height under the rock that they hide under fail to realise the courage needed to endure the road this guy has had to follow .

Another South African is a woman swimmer missing a foot who you would class as “ disfigured “ were you to open a thread on her efforts in competing in the Olympics some years back ! She also had the courage to show those with “ Disability “ that they were as good as “ Normal people “ and that they should aspire to be treated as “ Olympians “ and train in their sport with that target in mind .

Wounded Warriors Project and Help4Heroes are two groups of people that those reading the “ clinic “ would do well to support . Yesterday whilst riding I found “ inspiration “ in recalling an item I had read days before and it renewed my resolve to tackle seemingly trivial discomforts .

Should any of you find yourselves in Oscar’s position I hope you do not turn to jelly and give up on life but fight back and become an even better person than before the life changing incident !

Alex S. seems to be the only person in this thread that has contributed anything that “ Oscar “ or other “ Disabled Athletes “ would find of value .

With Paralympics in London within a year it is not too late for people to lend support and encouragement to those competing . Instead of pontificating in the clinic/forum try Googling your National PARALYMPIC T eam and discover an individual you can CHOOSE to help through the run up to their efforts on behalf of your nation .

Anyone that can point me to an Aussie Paralympian that has served in the Armed Forces and is aspiring to represent Oz in London please advise ! "



Seriously interested in supporting an Aussie who having served their country is now preparing to do so once again on the Sports Field !