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 !

Oct 7, 2011


WINTER ? Not as bad as 3 weeks ago but snow visible at about 1000m instead of the 600m before and the rain has moderated , who knows riding in the afternoon may possibly be enjoyable with winter longs .

Roaring westerly winds last night closed out a wonderfully enjoyable day on the bike yesterday ! All week we were warned that a change was coming through and so I decided as I headed east to Worgl for a bike ride in the sun , after doing the laundry that a visit to the “ Zillertaller Hohenstrasser “ was to be the order of the day . With a “ Double Wouter ” on my birthday Tuesday I thought a flattish ride was in order but the thought of missing out on a ride up there this month particularly since snow will be on the ground the next days was enough inspiration to go the “ Extra Mile ”! Thought I would be the only one too , how wrong I was ! Several oldish ladies were up there and there was plenty of traffic as well . As later pictures will show I found one Munich resident out there on his older style race bike !
At about 1500m with the red Specialised , across the valley on the hilltop of 2300m is the ski lift.

The west side of the Zillertal has a road at 2000m that starts in Hippach / Ramsau in the south and runs around the mountain curves to Reidberg at it’s northerly extreme . In between there are several other approaches through Zell , Aschau , Reid and Kaltenbach . Aschau is definitely for the fit as it ramps up there at 15 -20+% in too many places . What I had forgotten was that on the skyline there are several places where you are confronted by 15% ramps in some cases for more that a kilometre . It was glorious weather so before going up I rode to Mayrhofen and upto Giesling before stopping for a visit with Georg Toschnig to whom I proposed he speak with the local “ Tourism Authority ” about creating an event such as “ Alps d’HUZES ” . Having been spotted by Fred I stopped off for a coffee at the Ramsau “ Lebenshilfe “ where he has worked for nearly 20 years . Last year he had to fly home to California twice as he wanted to visit his mother as she fought the Big C . The first visit alone but the second visit with his Austrian wife Petra for the funeral and to give her a chance to visit with the family .

As I was finishing the coffee one of the residents Andrell brought in shot glasses of Schnapps which you would be rude to refuse and the taste was smooth and enjoyable . This guy in past years has been a “ poster man ” with his accordion and you can still find postcards of him . A man of the mountains wearing traditional garb in the photos .

Riding across the river from Ramsau to Hippach is flat but then it pitches up to 15% by the church and continues around the first few curves to the top of the village and then eases to 10ish % for most of the way to Schwennberg and then it becomes steepish again but on narrower roads . Many of the locals were surprised to see me riding on the left but since they roar around the right turning curves I was reluctant to chance my luck on that side of the road when I could hear them coming .

Long and winding road below the forest .

Was actually surprised to look down and see a loaded truck ascending stop and backup some 100m to allow some tourists that were descending to pass safely on the one lane track . Rare event in these parts and luckily for me the truck turned into a farm before reaching me .

Schwennberg back country where many enjoy a summer ramble .

Around about Schwennberg there is a “ Parapente ” launch area and though I saw some in the air earlier I was surprised to see none there so the descending van must have been either going down to collect those in the air or that was that for the day . Saw little of Kites or other prey seeking birds in the air and there was little birdsong to compete with the cowbells , surprisingly I saw little of sheep or goats either .
Beside the chapel is the launching point through a paddock where they catch the " Updrafts" .

As I was climbing from Hippach I was met with many trucks descending with Milking Cows being returned from their Summer sojourn in the high pastures to their farms in the valley . Also in the background I was hearing a huge number of bells clanging in the forest so there must have been a herd moving down by way of forest tracks . Before arriving at the 2000m mark I came across a few cars parked at a point where many wander off into the back of the valley for the day .

Glacier views of the Italian border is not so visible with the clouds building in the background .

When riding up these climbs you can hear the following traffic and where appropriate I go to the left side to allow them to go through without them waiting as invariably if you are on the right they will cut in on you if they decide to pass in the face of oncoming traffic . Several smaller coaches passed me on the climb and later were amazed to see me pass as they wandered the area at 2000m that was their coffee stop . Passing on with a bellow of “ Aussie , aussie , aussie ” I am sure I heard the “ oi , oi , oi ” but did not turn to investigate as there was still some 10% climbing for another half kilometre .

From the photos you will see a cloudless day all the way across to the Italian Border Glaciers . All week Thursday afternoon was promised as changeable so it was fortunate that the forecast was once again incorrect . As previously mentioned I ALWAYS ride prepared for any eventuality and it would be wrong to assume the weather would not change but this day no clouds came over the peaks to spoil the afternoon . Along the later descent in the forests I came across wet pavement in patches where the sun was excluded but as to where the water came from mystified me .

As mentioned earlier I had forgotten about the ups and downs on the skyline , descending for a kilometre at an advertised 15% I then had the same climb and after a while it was into the descent once again . Near the bottom I came across this Munich Guy so turned about and rode to the top of the incline where it crosses a gully and he agreed to take a breather as he made the photos for me . He stays nearby , so at 69yo he regularly uses this route and had the same thought about it being the last chance this season . On discovering I was younger he started to call me a “ youngster ” this and that .

Follow the road to the left and you will see a slight dip of the skyline and with magnification you can see the white shirt of the rider .

Was not interested to have me email his photo but he was wearing a “ Dolimitien Cycle Shirt ” so no doubt participates in those events . Made a photo of him across the valley but the white shirt was visible to the naked eye but not sure if it comes out well in the photo . Hope he heard me and googles “ Skippydetour ” so we could hook up again next year . Passing on left me with another 3 climbs of various steeps and so when I came out into the “ piste ” of the ski station I tried short cutting across to the Ski Lift Equipment so save riding another ½ km uphill .

The six man chair lift to the point that was visible in the earlier photo.

Needing water was part of the reason but next time I will stick to the paved road as trying to negotiate paddock was walking pace at best and the gravel and rock track was hazardous . No water until I found the paved road once again so before next season the “ Specialised Bike ” given to me in France by the Aussies will be fitted with a second bottle holder . Back pocket was raided several times during the afternoon so arrived home with the wrappers to remind me to replace before the next ride .

When the snow is deep enough in coming weeks this will be where i pass on touring skis but after a great deal more effort and time .

OK pockets now refilled with a 2008 expiry protein Plus Power Bar and some year old “ Nuss Bars ”
so I will be prepared for a break in the cold wet weather that is entertaining the farmers currently . A householder in the village beside the Kaltenbach Ski area provided me with a water refill so it was into the descent through the cool air of the forests as it was after the sun had dropped behind the peaks in most places . Descending I came up behind the nephew of my mate Friedl driving a Manure spraying tractor unit . Called several times but he was away with the pixies ( Locals have a festival in early December when they bring out their “ Fancy dress ”items passed down through the generations ) ! Must have looked into the rear view mirror as he pulled over onto the grass verge to allow me to speed on before stopping into the farm to discover that Friedl was up in the forest .

more accesible area on touring skins .

Andy Schiestl the local Paralympic Ski Champion has moved house so I was able to call in briefly at the new residence to shoot the breeze for a while with him and his wife , Ina . On the way home I did some grocery shopping of the 50% off variety and discovered that a whole chicken costs 3.80 per kilo and chopped chicken sections cost 7.80 per kilo . Talk about “ Added value ”! Sausages known as Knackers come in kilo packs at 6.69 per and considering they are ground waste meat at best , seems like real chicken is cheaper than “ CRAP ”meat ! GO FIGGER ! SPAR is the chain of franchise supermarkets that provide these anomalies but try pointing this out to their staff and they will tell you that you are getting the produce at 50% off so why the comment ?

Hope you enjoy the photos which will be loaded as the Crap Broadband connection allows !

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