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 !

Aug 29, 2012

Riding with Moser

Apologies to all for the lack of posts in recent times . Fact is with the " Le Tour " , Olympics and now the WCF Masters , i have been far too busy to get all that has been happening onto the internet / paper .

Topping off lack of time , was the arrival yesterday of Francesco Moser demanding i get organised to ride  within minutes . Normally he turns up on Wednesdays in St Johann , but with his lifestyle and the demands for his presence at a variety of events he has to juggle all the commitments  coming his way . Vic Haines ( google ) , a British Cycling Legend was there also  , seems he will be adding to Francesco's network of Wine Distribution by releasing the Wines in the UK in the near future .

When riding with Moser , you can ride to his shoulder , but passing him , particularly on a hill will provoke a response . Had warned Vic of this , so the first climb was  tempo but as we were on the actual WCF racecourse we had a couple of racers pass us . This caused Francesco to pick up the pace and so we were tootling along leading out these Guys , paceline style . Several kilometres passed in this way with a variety of surges along the way through rolling hills and shaded forest areas . On the second climb Moser led the way but close to the top i had to ask him to cool it since Vic was off the back conserving energy for his Time Trial effort on the next day . Reluctantly we had to let the others go and drifted along for a while so as to allow Vic to come up at his own pace .

After passing over another bump on the course we stopped so that Moser's rear wheel could be topped up with air , since he had developed a slow puncture . As we headed through the back part of the course several race groups passed and it was up to me to sprint so that we could latch on for a few kilometres whilst Francesco had a chat with some of the Racers . Arriving in the finish area we played a little cat and mouse but Moser decided that a sprint wasn't on today .

After attending the refreshment tent we watched some of the racers finish their race . Spotted a couple of Aussies at the barriers so asked one of them if they knew of Moser and was met with a blank look . Took Francesco over to introduce them but all that was said " we saw him introduced earlier "! Francesco , according to Vic Haines arrives in a restaurant and ALL are on their feet applauding , and yet for aussie cycling fans it's a yawn , too hard to get the autograph ! Puts me in mind of the occasion i was going to introduce Charlie Gaul to a group of Aussie Journos , their reply was they only wanted to meet 5 time winners ! Wonder if they recall meeting Lance ?

At some point i will air more of my views on the " kangaroo Court " treatment of Lance . Suffice to say that in stepping back from looking after his legacy , the public have been showing their support by increasingly reaching into the back pocket to support LiveSTRONG ! Says it ALL , does it not ?

Tonight the Paralympics start in London , i won't be there , i spent 15 seasons riding , Advocating more support for these Amazing Athletes . Best place to see their efforts is on the TV , so many more Countries have finally woken up to how entertaining these people can be and are looking to increase their ratings by showing their efforts !

TO ALL THE PARALYMPIANS !

You are already WINNERS by being selected for your country ! BE THE BEST YOU CAN , any madals will be icing on the Cake but a few NEW WORLD RECORDS along the way will demonstrate your courage and alert the SPONSORS to new opportunities !

GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU !

Addition on Friday 14th Dec 2012 !

Congratulations to YORKSHIRE !

Today it was announced that Yorkshire had won their BID !

6th July 2014 , those that are in Leeds will be able to PARTICIPATE in the GRAND DEPART ! ENJOY !













Meanwhile , here in Snowy Austria , i am riding the Tacx wearing the Shirt seen above and the Bib Shorts you saw on Francesco in the photo above :

Aug 13, 2012

Letter to Jonathon Vaughters


Jonathon
Read your article with a little understanding of the situation you found yourself in , when you were aspiring to be a Pro Cyclist ! Those of you reading this post can refer to the article direct :

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/how-to-get-doping-out-of-sports.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

Whilst it is a " Mea Culpa " it does not show how to solve the situation ! I have for some time been writiung to John Fahey of WADA and Jacques Rogge of IOC asking them to impose an " Amnesty " , so as to get ALL the Skeletons out into the open !

You with your exposure and " high Profile " could if you wished see this necessary step imposed ! No matter how many " Mea Culpa's " we see on the road to Rio , the next Olympic Games WILL BE  " THE CHEMICAL OLYMPIC GAMES " ! So many see that there are exploitable loopholes and decide that if " Joe Athlete " is able to escape detection , then it is worth the effort !

Usain Bolt comes from a country where " Random OOC testing seems to be the exception rather than the rule . His success is being unfairly questioned as a result . How many of the Brits find the finger of suspicion levelled at them ? Dave Millar was at the Olympic BECAUSE there are " Lawyers " making a substantial income from defending the undefensible , " Sporting Fraud " ! Not read Dave's book but " Rhino " as he knows i now call him , is tarred by his 2003 mistakes . I was thrilled to see his victorious Etappe at the 2012TDF , the only Breakaway that succeeded as far as i am aware . Dave inspired his companions to work together to stay away until 5km from the finish line . It would appear that those riding with him trust his judgement and thus cooperated where on other days the racers treated each other with suspicion .

CALL FOR THE AMNESTY ! You can and should demand of the " Hierachy of Sport " to ACT NOW and bring into the open ALL that transgressed in their careers . Why talk about what you did when you have the opportunity to lead from the front !

In imposing an " Amnesty " , IOC & WADA can give until , say , 1 October 2012 to disclose as an Athlete OR coach , DS , Team Owner their episodes of stepping over the line ! After that date they risk being found out by " Whistle Blowers " and LIFE TIME BANS WILL APPLY !

If 1 October 2012 , is imposed then during October / November a website will publish ALL names that stepped forward and NO PENALTY will apply ! Those disregarding this deadline risk the following possibilities !

On 1st December 2012 any Trainer/Coach , DS , Team Owner , Mechanic or Soigneur that worked with an Undisclosed Athlete will risk Life Time Bans , Also , should they not disclose what they know about those , that choose to take the risk of discovery ! There will be many who think they can escape detection and ONLY by imposing on their associates the same HARSH PENALTIES will we the public be rid of the menace of " Sporting Fraud " !

What i have proposed to those with the ability to act , is not simple , but HARSH METHODS need to be applied to rid the coming Generations of Athletes from the CRAP imposed on you in your youth , and continues to be applied to other " LESS RESOLUTE YOUNGSTERS " these days  .

You know me as a " pain in the Ass ", but do you think i needed " PEDs to ride the routes of the Grand Tours ? I didn't but then , firstly i was under no " peer Presure " , and secondly i could get off my bike to enjoy a break as and when i chose ! 15 visits to the " Le Tour " and 14 rides of the route of the Giro d'Italia as well as various other Tours toughened me up to the reality the racers have to endure . It dismays me to hear of even " shamateurs " using PEDs to gain " bragging rights " with their Buddies .

On 1st January of 2013 , i should like to think that families can deliver their offspring to Coaches / Trainers whose background has been revealed ! There will be some Coaches that will lose " prestige and clients ", but overall there will be an " Informed Public " who can choose those that will best train their charges without resorting to Underhand methods to achieve results !

Can we trust YOU to ensure the Authorities will sit up and LISTEN ?

Can we trust you to start the ball rolling to ensure that SPORT IS CLEAN ?

Have you the willpower to ensure " SPORTING FRAUD IN ALL SPORT " has had it's day ?

Aug 12, 2012

WELCOMING LONDON

"JUST DOING MY JOB !" , stated a Southwest rail employee as he put a "parking ticket " on the transport vehicle of a " Para Victim "! This was despite my suggesting he go check the toilets at Hampton Court rail station , since that was the declared destination as the father unloaded the " Teenager's wheelchair  " off the built in ramp of the van . Anyone walking past would notice the yellow ramp in the rear of the van . Not this S/West guy , he was busy thinking of the plaudits he would get , for keeping the empty coach parking area , free of parking vehicles !

Photos i took show the parking area , the only coach willing to pay the £15 parking fee displayed on the board in the photo i will post later . Too far to walk back to the car to get the camera  and i will be using it tonight to capture moments of the " Closing Ceremony " of this London Olympic Games !

Austria allows you , the able bodied , to stand for up to 15 minutes on a " Disabled Parking Space "! Of course if you are " Disabled " and entitled to use that space , you will have to continue your search for another space and then go back to the Tourist Office where the space is occupied by some nitwit , unable to comprehend that there was a reason for that " Disabled space " , being placed there ! ME , ME , me is the common refrain used in this selfish world .

In several weeks the London Streets are going to be thronged with " Disabled Vehicle Owners " , some displaying their " Blue Accreditation  plaque " , most will be international issue and of course the owners will be unfamiliar with the intricacies of London Parking . These unsuspecting visitors will provide a field day for those with the " I am only doing my job ", work ethic . Too bad that they will go home poorer and even aggrieved by this high handed attitude . Even today's example of humanity , when i suggested he check the toilet then suggested he treat the matter in a spirit of goodwill , dug his heels in and completed the ticket before sticking it to the windscreen . He did not look in the car as requested to note the Yellow ramp , he did not make the effort to check the toilets but he did wait the 2 mins or so before commencing to write the " Parking Infringement notice "!

On speaking to the ticket office i was pointed to the notice warning of the purpose of the parking area and the cost to park a coach . You will see in the photo that both signs look like " Ads " for S/west rail , similar to others on their property . What you will not see is that the signs are not visible unless you drive through the bus stop to access the parking area . The other entry points are behind these signs so unless you wander around looking to find the reason this area is empty , it is unlikely you will discover them .

Madam Ticket seller voiced " He has parked illegally so he deserves the ticket "! She did agree with me that most people were unable to see the signs as they arrive , but added that they should look for them . Having overstayed the time in a Motorway Services Area , after feeling unable to drive further , i discovered weeks later , that 2 hours or more , had to be paid IN ADVANCE !  I have no intention of paying the " demand " and if they wish to waste more of their time , so be it ! Recently their signage has been improved and i pay more attention to this small , PETTY detail , i do not EVER SPEND MONEY in these areas , since discovering their attitude to safety ! All over the UK you will see signs saying " Do not drive when tired "! Usually they appear a little before the " Services " sign ! Could it be they cause people to take unnecessary stops by trading on their conscience ?


Aug 10, 2012

PARA ATHLETES

Towards the end of August the Paralympic Games of 2012 will start in London . Para Athletes from all parts of the world will be there celebrating their success at being nominated to participate for their country . For these people their success has come at a price . A price the " armchair critic " is neither aware of , nor doubtlessly would be prepared to pay !

 Aussie athletes at the 2012 Olympics have taken more than a fair share of " knocking " from these windbags , that doubtlessly never were any good when they played at being athletes . So many of the Aussie contingent would not be there , had they not raided their savings and begged and borrowed from family and friends . Can you imagine any reason , why , when they have put their life on hold for multiple years , for the honour of representing their country , that they would fail to deliver of their best ? Athletes go into competition knowing that they have to give of their best . Every person has good and bad days and so it is also with Sport .

Australia has fielded well prepared teams in the past and enjoyed great success . Other countries envying this success , have chosen to attract Aussie Coaching staff to work for their athletes . Team GB has dramatically improved in recent years in Swimming and Cycling . Part of the reason is that their coaching staff contains Australian Coaches who made certain their charges succeeded in competition . Currently the French are having a swipe at Team GB 's success and when things calm down they will seek out and employ some of the current Aussie coaches to help them as they prepare for Rio 2016 !

One Gold Medal was all that Australia had won for too long and then several more arrived on the same day but not from sports which Oz was previously dominant . Having met many of the Cyclists and Rowers and seen their training facilities i am confident that they gave of their best . Losing more coaches to other countries is almost inevitable unless the Oz Government decides to pay the market rate rather than relying on " Loyalty to Country "! Athletes after they finish competition generally will have piled up debts and will thus have to look hard at their options . So many of them will have a family to support and no doubt a mortgage to deal with so they will be forced to make the hard decisions needed to live at a reasonable level of comfort for themselves and their family .

Sunday will be the closing ceremonies and by then there will be a Gold Tally which will have fallen short of  the " Expectations "! Most People do not understand that the " Olympics " are about competing , the Athletes are there to compete , Medals are the " Icing on the Cake " ! Unfairly , we all , are nationalistic and want our countries to shine on the World Stage . Had Cathy Freeman not won Gold at Sydney 2000 Olympics for any of many reasons , the media would have hounded her , blaming her for failing them ! It could have been an " Off Day " or an injury , an American ran last night in a relay with a " Broken Leg ", but the media and " armchair critics " could care less . Had Usain Bolt broken down on the 200m and failed to win , the same would be said of him , no doubt .

Athletes aspire to be the " BEST THAT THEY CAN BE " but do not participate , ONLY if guaranteed a medal .

In a few days PARALYMPIAN ATHLETES will start arriving in London for the 2012 Para Games , i hope they enjoy the experience and continue to perform as they did in training in their home countries . I would hope that they do not suffer the same difficulties that some of the Olympians suffered . Simon Whitfield as an example , came to London knowing that he may not medal . For him carrying the Canadian Flag was the highlight of his Games , since he crashed badly at the start of the Cycling section of the Triathlon . Some other Athletes suffered injury also , Manteo Mitchell of the USA 400m relay team , felt his leg go as he ran his section of the heat but continued through the pain to complete and thus ensure the team went onto the finals !

Paralympians are not as " High Profile " as their counterparts but invest just as much , if not more , in their training . There is a difference though , since , rarely they have sponsors , to cover their expenses  , so it is their family and friends that have allowed them to represent their countries !

ARMCHAIR CRITICS , beware ,  these people come in the expectation of enjoying competition NOT TO WIN the medals ! Your " yardstick " is redundant !

Australia and GB have fought for many years to be the Top Nation on the medals chart . This time , forget it , the Athletes will be there for themselves and if Medals come , so be it !

TO ALL PARALYMPIANS ! Enjoy yourselves and bring pride to your country by being the " BEST OF SPORTS " , never mind the results !












Aug 1, 2012

ACTION NOW

As previously mentioned , only you the readers and PUBLIC SPECTATORS can cause the changes in sport that are required to " Cleanout the Skeletons " ! In recent years we have seen many " Athletes " Fess up to their misdeeds , after the Statute of Limitations , has passed . Fact is trying to remove the records of Bjarne Riis from literature related to the " Le Tour " would be a waste of time since the second place went to Jan Ulrich , who paid out a considerable sum of money to make " His " problem with Government Authorities " Go Away "!

There would be no point me listing the Former Racing Cyclists that i come across that continue to influence this Generation of Racers . Having succeeded in avoiding " OOC " controls in their careers they are now able to pass their knowledge to ALL those wishing to go down the same path ! Sitting at home in front of the TV the general public are rarely aware of the behind scenes " deals " let alone the " shortcuts " that so many use in virtually ALL SPORT !

Drug companies are quite content to let Athletes experiment with their products and Designers are continually looking for new products to streamline and lighten their equipment . Of course this provides work for those leaving the field of competition . Media also is stacked with former Athletes that utilize their experience to assist the new generations coming into sport or moving into the more elite ranks .

Cycling particularly has had it's troubles from long before 1998's " Le Tour , Festina Event " . Seems to me that only those who choose to not join the ranks of " Omerta " are suddenly in the news . So many caught out by " OOC and Random Testing " say they acted alone . They share a room on the current event , scrutinised by the Team doctor and Dietitian , have their baggage moved from place to place , and yet they were able to " USE PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES " in the few unguarded moments ? Who is kidding WHO  ? Harry Potter and his ilk are fairy stories that we all enjoy BUT we are talking real life here ! So many unexplained Heart attacks since i noticed Jiminez fall off the perch , guy who asked for MY autograph on the Barcelona Rest Day of Vuelta 2001 ! Sad to say that recently , another racer , was discovered by his distressed room mate .

" UCI " are in the position of saying they are the " Supreme Authority " on Cycling Sport , yet they seem to be ineffectual in just about all other than sticking their nose into Bike design ! For them , not having your seat and Tri bars in the right position seems to get an instant result , you don't compete ! What the Athlete puts in their body is controlled by " WADA " and testing before the Grand Tours and Random Testing in Events to those limits does find the occasional errant that " Forgot to drink enough Water " ! Can you believe an Athlete uses that to excuse their being caught for " DOPING "?

HERE IS A POSSIBLE SOLUTION !

Each team contracts with their employees for varying periods of time and if i had my way , it would be " Multiple Years " rather than annual as some Athletes have to suffer . Signing for a year is certainly a relief for a time , but then , you have to perform and continually be on the lookout for next year's contract ! So for me a simple solution for athletes in the " Continental divisions and more senior , ie Pro con. & Pro World , nothing less that TWO perhaps three year contracts should be in place ! With certainty of employment there would be less " temptation " for short cuts .

" UCI " should create a " Standard Contract " required to be usable BY ALL TEAMS ! These contracts would include " DRACONIAN PENALTIES " for breaching " WADA Codes " ! Currently an athlete puts their hand up and says " Mea Culpa " ! From the new contract , they will pay out of their salary , considerable penalties as well as serving on the first offence a Suspension of 4 years . Second Suspension would incur a LIFE TIME BAN ! Teams will be allowed to have ONLY ONE suspension during the calender year BUT on the second Athlete being Suspended would face financial penalties and possibly a Division Downgrade for the rest of the Season . Three Athletes in a a calender year will mean that the Sporting Director will face a TWO YEAR BAN ! Team Doctors should ALSO be penalised !

Athletes are being " scrutinized " by Professionals , these people are paid considerable salaries to pay attention to detail ! What better way to ensure that their sponsors interests are being safeguarded , than to also bear the risk when those in their charge choose to step over the line ? Di Gregario went home from during the 2012 " Le Tour " ! " I acted alone ! " he said , who believes that fairy tale ?

Windbag Mc Quaid says he wants 4 year suspensions , well Fat Pat , get on with the job , or get the Employment Pages , if your Swiss Bank Account , is not fat enough ! Nobody has proven you do anything other than an honourable job BUT frankly , i think you could do the job better ! Start thinking about the lost SPONSORS during your time in the office of " President of the " UCI " and when you look at yourself in the mirror , can you honestly say that being a " Race Cyclist " in 2012 is any better than in 1998 ?

Forums such as Cyclingnews and Velonews are full of accusations , rumour , conjecture and downright libel/slander , but where did this all start ? Even Lance is the subject of the same treatment by those that have tried to take him on in the courtroom ! Personally i would like to see someone with the ability to follow the " IP Addresses" and " OUT " those shallow individuals , who hide behind pseudonyms !