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 !

Apr 9, 2012


Recently i came across a blog by an American Para Cyclist , Greta Neimanas , and have taken out some of the more general and interesting points that she has made there . The full article is to be found here :

" Classification " :

There are four main categories that athletes are broken into -

bicycles, for athletes that can pedal a standard bike,

tandem bicycles, for blind and visually impaired athletes (the blind athletes ride on the back with an able-bodied pilot),

handcycles, for athletes with severe lower extremity disability and/or quadriplegia that power the bike using their arms,

trikes (tricycles), for athletes with severe balance impairment. Within those four groupings, there are varying degrees of impairment for the athletes.

For the sake of time, I'm just going to cover bicycles from here on out. The bikes are divided into five classifications depending on the severity of their disability. Think of these as weight classes. Like in wrestling, a 60kg athlete isn't going up against someone that's 100kg. Someone who is only missing a hand (like me) isn't going to race against someone who only pedals with one leg. Athletes can have anywhere from mild paralysis of a hand or a partial foot amputation, all the way to the other end of the spectrum, riding with one leg and one arm (or the medical equivalent).

Athletes go before an international panel of doctors to determine which class they belong in before they can compete. Athletes in the same classification compete against each other- just like weight classes.

" Equipment ":

More often than not, bikes will have some type of modification to account for the rider's disability. In my case, I have my shifting and braking set up on the right side of my bars. (This type of modification is the most common adaptation, determined by the rider's impaired side.) The front derailleur is operated by a TT shifter plugged into the drop on set of regular road bars. I do, in fact, operate both brakes and it's not on a hope and a prayer. A BMX part called a cable splitter allows me to run two brake cables to a single lever. That's it. Half the time people don't notice that my bike is any different. Riders with leg length discrepancies will use two different length cranks and riders with one leg will remove one crank entirely if not using it.

Prosthetics are custom designed for each athlete and are often made of carbon fiber. Leg amputees use legs that look kind of like a post - there's no part that looks like a foot, only a cleat at the end of the leg that clips directly into the pedal.

" Where does para-cycling get you ? "

That's a question that I won't be able to answer until I retire. I've said it before, not many people know that we even exist so being in it for the fame and fortune is off the list. Like every other athlete, we want to go as far as we can get in the sport. If that means USAC cat. 4 or if that that means a gold medal at the Games, that's what it is. I'm so fortunate to be a part of Exergy TWENTY12 and have the support of a team, staff and the best equipment for my every need - Felt, Zipp, SRAM, Pearl Izumi, and Oakley are the best in the business and it shows. It's rare that a para athlete is in such a position with a professional team and for that, I'm grateful. Riding and racing is what I love to do and wherever it takes me is where it will get me. In the meantime, I think I'll just keep riding."

THere are a great many other blogs by Para Athletes out there , and for over a year i have been requesting input from my readers so as to share that information . These Amazing people need ALL the support that can be offered since many are working towards the 2012 London Para Games like Greta , but without the same good fortune , of working in their chosen sport .

Come on Folks find the Para Athletes' Blogs and share them with others !

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