Saturday, December 31, 2011


Christmas has come and gone BUT where is the shape you had before the festivities ?

Those reading my “ Facebook ” post in recent days will see one of my “ New Year Resolutions ” which I have asked ALL to pass on to their “ Friends ” .

For some seasons I have passed through the winter holding on to the 80+ kilo weight with a slight variance of + or - 2 kilos . Generally speaking I do little to control the situation other than to avoid beer or more than one each day . Wine mostly red , mixed with soda water is generally my daily preference but I get through a main course , cheese , yogurt and desert and a few chocs or biscuits and coffee after . Not missing out am I ?

Well last year I did miss out ! Because I was able to be consistent , when Fat Cyclist ran his “ Lose 10lbs Contest ” I was unable to participate without messing up my training and dietary intake . I guess I could have over indulged for a few days and without exercise achieved an extra 5 kilos so as to lose them again but even though there was a “ Nice new bike “ on offer it really did not appeal . About the same time I had a reoccurrence of the “ Embolisms ” so who knows what else would have eventuated as a result ?

Others are not so lucky and when you see the photos you will see that the following rules borrowed from the Man who achieved , WORK !

Gary Brennan is to be congratulated on his “ Life Saving ” achievement and although he doesn’t answer my emails , I hope if you contact him , he will offer the help you request !

Gaz still awaiting the answer about the Manchester Airport Cycle Track Tunnels , hope no one else has crashed in the interim !

Gaz’s rules follow :

1: The most simple tip to lose weight EVER is "Eat less and move more" – Common sense I know but it's what every single weight loss plan is based on, TRUST ME !
2: Control the AMOUNT you eat at each meal time - make sure your meals are low in fat. This is not set in stone for instance you might want to also think about calories or portion control.
3: Get weighed - Measure your body, hips, thighes, chest, arms, neck......what can be measured can be managed. Always weigh-in on the same day in the same clothes on the same scales at the same time of day.
There is no point starting on a weight loss plan unless you get weighed first. This is very important. You need to be able to monitor your progress to know how well you are doing and that any changes in your lifestyle and eating are reaping the rewards or where you are making mistakes.
4 Keep a food diary - write down what you eat and what exercise you have done. Make sure you look at Calories n vs Calories out and try to ensure that Calories out is MORE than Calories in - If it helps you write down your feelings.
5, Make a Goal list - write down achievable goals.
If my first ever goal, at 39 stone, was to ride to Blackpool in 3 hours and 10 mins, I would have failed on my journey VERY early on, so my goals were simple ones like tie my shoes, shop in regular stores, as the express train that is the 39 stone cyclist picked up speed and rumbled on, the goals got bigger, harder and more focused, to the point where I can now average 20mph on the bike, I can do "Joel Lane" and not only do I shop at regular stores, I even tie my shoes in them while shopping in the bargain basement section and stuff FITS
Good luck with your own journeyin 2012, may it be a happy, healthy and successful one
Gaz ( Google 39 stone cyclist ) !

Normally I weigh when I get up in the morning but have weighed in again after a long ride to see what weight change there has been , particularly on a hot day , since I am more conscious about dehydration effects .

With no apparent allergies I can indulge myself and enjoy any food invitations that come my way at the various cycle tours that I visit . Weekends on the Giro and Daily on the TDF I get an invite to sit down and indulge and have discovered many interesting dishes prepared in various ways I those “ Hosting ” these events . To any that have been my hosts that may be reading , once again “ sincere thanks ” , feel free to stop me and invite me to indulge when next we meet !


For those that follow Gaz's rules , it won't come EASY ! Hard work and few results at first means you are on the right path , SO PERSEVERE !

Added 6th Jan 2012

In other posts i have mentioned

Here is a guy who has taken up cycling once again and become a World Champion Cyclist ! Starting off with the intention to lose weight he became so motivated that he was able to join the Irish National Team !

Not all of you will have the success he has managed to become but then you are not " Physically Disabled " ? Watch this guy's progress through 2012 and be there to congratulate him when he competes at London 2012 Paralympics !

Thursday, December 8, 2011

PAPER.Li the self Publishing Nightmare

WANT to start your own Newspaper ? claims to be the answer ! From my point of view I thought it would be similar to the blog setup . Not so , it has frustrated me for over a month . I originally thought to combine all the blogs from Paralympian , Olympic , Sports and Occupy Movement areas into ONE all inclusive destination , so that when I clicked on I would have a plethora of stories to choose from .

All I have achieved to date is source a variety of items from the “ Occupy Movement ” ! whilst I am happy that I get something , I called this creation “ PARRABUDDY ” for a reason and not “ occupy ” which is what it appears to be at present .

Many weeks ago I put a comment on the front page requesting help well after I had appealed to “ ATL ” the cycling item that occasionally tweets me to say that he has used an item from my many sources and to date there has been no response . Of course I have been to “’s help centre ” but even there they refer you to “ tutorials ” that appear not to work ! Now I readily admit that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer BUT I rarely have trouble with running my blogs . All my knowledge there comes from “ blogger help centres ” and whilst I get no comments and followers in recent times I am able to successfully post whatever I create .

Here are a few of the comments I have sent into :

Original Comment

“ My
When setting up a month ago i was able to get " Occupy" items but all the Paralympic Sports and Ski , Cycle , Rowing , Olympic are despite huge amounts of effort not getting into the paper !
At 66yo i am prepared to learn new tricks BUT with 6 blogs working quite well THIS has been an exercise in frustration !
Should you be able to sort the issues i will persevere BUT it looks like the " CAN " if there is much more of this aggro !
From this set of comments i have been able to open favourites and on my paper there is the RHS box saying rightclick and then i left click on " add to favourites " and so up comes a box with " Parrabuddy" in it , so far i do not see “ parrabuddy" in the list but when i repeat the procedure this box then tells me " do i wish to overwrite "
Whilst writing this comment the computer has used 30MB , yours is the only site open so one comment has cost me the day’s allowance , I know it’s NOT YOUR FAULT but this has happened whilst I am on 16bit/sec D/load ! And the comment has not gone through because of the low usage rate !
Tried various options to comment thru :
NONE WORKED and lost many more days of MB ! Thanks ! Do I Need THIS AGGRO ?
Dec-05 2011 21:42.

Again !

SO far i see no reply to my comment even though i have refreshed this page several times !
Had this been my product i would have gone out of my way to solve some of the issues !
Obviously YOU CHOOSE NOT TO HELP ! NO point my thinking any other than this is a rubbish product that those working with it wish that i and the " Disabled Community " go away ! ”
Dec-06 2011 12:55.

2nd comment from me

“ SO far i see no reply to my comment even though i have refreshed this page several times !
Had this been my product i would have gone out of my way to solve some of the issues !
Obviously YOU CHOOSE NOT TO HELP ! NO point my thinking any other than this is a rubbish product that those working with it wish that i and the " Disabled Community " go away ! ”
Dec-06 2011 12:55.

Reply by staff

Hi all,
please excuse the delay of our response. Could you please all submit a ticket (, we can better help you then for your individual issues.
Thank you in advance and best regards,
Dec-06 2011 13:09

3rd comment from me :

“ WELL Birgit i have tried that !
Intellectually disabled ? I AM TRYING to help the " Para Athletes ! THose that aspire to the " Paralympics in London 2012 " , not sure where or when the " Special Olympics are taking place . Wasted too many MB on to google this for YOUR BENEFIT ! ”
Dec-07 2011 10:47.

Can’t say that I have endeared myself to them BUT it appears they do not wish to help . That being the case I will let the matter lapse and who loses ? Spent 15 seasons trying to get the word out to help “ Para Sports Athletes ” get sponsors and I know that there are many creating their own blogs BUT unless people tell the general public about them , those authors will be talking to their family , friends and fellow competitors rather than outside parties discovering them and asking their contacts to assist in creating more “ Sponsorship ”!

Recently I came across and I have mentioned him on Fat cyclist a couple of times to see if those 55k+ readers worldwide would find an interest in helping an Irish Paralympian . As yet I haven’t heard from Colin Lynch but when I try to leave comment on his blog the Blog tells me that it can not post as I have no connection to my own blogs ! Could be that my readers are having the same problems in leaving comments to my blog . Those wishing to contact me can use email which will help me show “ blogger ” that there is a problem .

Monday, October 31, 2011


Inspiration comes from many directions thus motivating us to achieve better results in our everyday life ! Over several years I have enjoyed visiting “ ”

whose blog started whilst his life was in turmoil and after the loss of his wife Susan in the recent years has turned into an inspirational journey that has raised an estimated $us 3 m for a variety of causes !

Today he has followed through on a commitment made in march with the pre release of his first of three books . Released in good humour it offers various options in price relating to a person’s budget and desire to personalise the book .

Judging by the quality of the Blog posts over the years it will be a sellout ! Pre order by 10th November or get trampled in the rush ! These two photos would fit in well with some of the topics that he has raised in the blogs I have recently read .

In my early life I never contemplated the possibility that I would arrive in my 67th year in good health but with no income . Along the way I have had both success and failures so it will come as no surprise to hear that like so many I got horribly burnt by the collapse of the “ financial markets ” in 2008 ! So I am happy to see the “#OWS ” movement flourish in all parts of the world . Dismayed to see so many countries forget the “ Right of Free Speech “ that democracies afford us .

Friday I was driving some Polish visitors from Innsbruck Airport to their destination in Hintertux where they will spend the week skiing . Their desire to visit the centre of Innsbruck to have a look around brought us to the square where the “ Occupy Innsbruck ” was a few Saturdays before . Being a paved area I was not surprised to find no tents in view .

Parking on a street adjacent to this square , the visitors went walkabout whilst I waited with the vehicle . Not knowing how long these people would be I stayed with the vehicle . When a traffic warden ( not sure what you would call these subcontract employees ) came by she said nothing but looked the vehicle over . Later she returned and said I need a ticket . Not having coins I was unable to feed the section ticket dispenser and so I showed her the Euro50 note that was all I had with me . Having been out on the bike earlier I had left my coins and small notes in the cycle jacket . She then pointed to the bank so off I went and returned to find that this miserable baggage had put a ticket on the vehicle .

Normally I drive a UK registered car so as the vehicle was sign written by the owners with Austrian reg plates I chased down the road and confronted her . Being a small untidy looking woman she went to “ Nicht Verstehen ( don‘t understand)” several times with an ugly grin on her untidy visage . Several passersby told me that she was known locally for this sneaky behaviour . They said that she is responsible for local motorists avoiding doing business in that area and so those businesses have suffered .

After these comments I spoke with the owners of several empty shops and they also were of the opinion that this behaviour has impacted their shops . At 1500hrs of a Friday afternoon you would expect to see the street busy with passersby and people in those shops . Guess there must have been a reason for there being few people in the street on a bright sunny afternoon in the centre of this thriving City ?

Tirol Tourism spends large amounts of money to attract people to Innsbruck and the surrounds but this Euro21 ticket will guarantee that they get publicity ! Guess they are desperate to keep vehicles out of the city so I will not be carting people there any time soon . As regards the Junior Olympics in January I will not now attend and if the ticket is not cancelled I will regrettably recover the bike on loan to an Austrian Para Athlete ! Living on my savings is hard enough without “legalised Pickpocketing ”!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Long may it last , but alas the radio says snow is falling again to the west in Switzerland . More than a week ago I thought that that Friday’s weather that became worse during the weekend was the end of the Indian Summer . Luckily there were opportunities to ride for an hour or two between showers so when the sun broke through on the following Tuesday I had not lost too much condition . Since Tuesday we have had lower temperatures and last Sunday I had to resort to longs for my legs after all week with just a long sleeved shirt to compensate for the lower temperature .

Monday was frosty so leaving the house and getting the chores done led me to go out again after an early lunch and head up the 4 ½ mile climb to the Achensee Lake and though it is a busy road generally drivers behave as they head up the hill . This route runs north from the Zillertal to the German border and thence Munich . Most of the climb I was able to hold 39 on 14 and was feeling quite pleased with my pace .

I could hear a truck behind me ease it’s speed as we approached a right turning bend in the road but was surprised to hear it try to speed up whilst I could not see if the road was clear , obviously the driver was going to chance to luck as he moved over the central line in an area where passing is not allowed , cyclists don’t count , do they ? He was still just behind me when another truck coming down the hill appeared and realising there was danger slammed on the brakes laying down rubber for about ten metres . The brakes were uneven as you could see the rear end waggle and if it had been a semi one wonders if there would have been a more serious problem .

As the following truck passed me , he leaned on his klaxon/horn to display his displeasure about his own bad behaviour which he no doubt felt I had caused . Bau-Beton are a largish Concrete supplier in this area of Austria so I continued through the plateau until I came to the building site . During the time I checked out a few other areas on the lookout for cranes which indicate building sites . When I found the site manager I described what had taken place and gave him the choice , either phone the company or I could call the Polizei to the site since the concrete truck was still awaiting it’s turn to deliver the contents to the “ pour ” that was taking place . The manager phoned the company and reported the incident but who knows what will be done if anything !

Often think that Truck drivers are short sighted or are of the “ I am bigger than you mentality ” but riding back from Worgl after riding towards Kufstein area yesterday I was alone on a newly built “ bypass road ” of Worgl when a “ ” Semi trailer decided to leave private premises and head out on to the road going in the same direction as myself but I did not slow down so as I came up to the rear of the truck I saw that he had closed the road to me thus had to brake from about 35-40kph to about 20ish . So I had to back off from the rhs of the truck then go around the rear and ride up the lhs side as he gradually increased his speed . He was somewhat surprised to hear me banging on his door and wound down the window and complained that I was in his way and “ so what I could have waited “!

Did he see me ? You betcha ! Did he care ? Only for about as long as it took to get over my reminding him that he was a dummy !

Earlier on tuesday as I rode out of Kramsach I came up on Silvio , an inhabitant of Ashau in the Ziller whom I find training regularly over the years . He reported that he did the Otztal Marathon this year in 8 1/2hrs , at a pretty good average speed and that he also did a 24hr at 30 kph ! That he did 720km in 24 hrs means he would have been doing 35 to 40ish in the early part of the event ! Not bad for a guy that stands less than most people’s shoulder in height and races at 40 kilo in weight . Having things to do in Worgl I parted company and when after lunch I was on my way to Mayrhofen I found him once again as he was using up what had remained of the 5hr ride he had decided to allocate for that day .

Time I got on the bike for today now that the temperature has warmed up a little and the frost is off the grass !

Sunday, October 16, 2011

LANCE , CNF’s Saturday night FEVER !

Mushroom Farmers are working overtime on CNF and it is amusing that that whilst “ joe Public ” spends Saturday night enjoying their leisure , these people are whipping themselves into a lather whilst awaiting the announcement of the 2012 routes of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France !

Take a look at this thread that some speculate will reach “ DEFCON 5 ” for “Lance’s Lawyers ” on Tuesday or Wednesday next week !

Can you believe that this debate has reached such a point that so many people gave up their Saturday night to participate ? I remember seeing an item that mentioned 666 as a “ historic ” number only a short while ago .

One thing that disturbs me is that there was reference to a “ Stadium ” that was “ named “ LiveSTRONG ” and are reportedly paying “ Royalties ” to “ LiveSTRONG ” and there was a suggestion that the “ Flinders Site ” in Sth Australia may be involved in the same type of deal ? As I follow @PremierMikeRann I am aware of his disclosure of many items about this project and his pending retirement from the Premiership of Sth Australia . Has some of the speculation that is rife in CNF a grain of Truth ? Lance did not arrive in Sth Australia as a normal Bike Racer , he went there as a result of “ arrangements ” that included setting up “ Flinders Centre ” and received a “Fee ” for his participation in a variety of events whilst in Sth Australia .

Speculation revolves around who the recipient was of this “ fee ” , surely the Sth Aust. Government meant the Fee to go to “ LiveSTRONG ” , didn’t they ? Some reports are indicating that it was treated as “ Personal Income ” by Lance ! Reports of annual income received by “Lance ” for various “Sponsorships ” run to $20 M each year ! Not a huge sum compared to that being received by other “ Famous US Sports Stars ” or members of the British Football Premier League !

Last week I did a “ Tourdafrance.blogspot ” posts on the “ Speculation ” surrounding the proposed “ GIRO and TDF routes ” announcements but they appear to have received little interest . Will the actual announcements be of interest OR will next week be overshadowed by matters that CNF’s “ Mushroom Farmers are desperately hoping to see eventuate ?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

KING CAV will ride the SKY in 2012



Delighted to read that “ King Cav ” is going to ride for Team Sky in 2012 . So much speculation in the last weeks about which team and which “ Sponsors ” will be involved in the deal .

My source was “ Podium Café ” and here is the link :

Cav is a popular Racer with a Huge Future and so far all that is missing in his career are the Olympic Medals that he had hoped for in Beijing !

More importantly is that Berny Eisel will be with Sky to help build the Train that has been a hallmark of the success of HTC team these pass several years . Cav can win by himself as Robbie Mc Ewen was in the habit of doing but there is something special about watching the various trains fighting to get their man in place to WIN on the line . Gossy , Wilson and others from the HTC team train will of course be working hard to disrupt the continual success of Cav’s sprints . Andre Greipel must be heaving a sigh of relief that “ Specialised ” did not convince Mark to join the Quickstep / Lotto team so as to have him continue riding their bikes .

Will Sky have King Cav at the Tour Down Under must be a key question for the media at present as they will be looking to see the results of Cav wearing the “ Rainbow Jersey ” which tends to have been a jinx for the wearer in past seasons . So many of those wearing it have had difficult seasons and then enjoyed success when it passed on to the next Racer .

Have waited until now to offer congrats to Mark on his winning the “ World Champs ” since I felt certain that he and the British team regarded the result as a certainty barring accident or injury .

Now as another of my favourite Bloggers has pointed out recently we are less than 100 days from the start of the TDU !

#O W S : Bloomberg reads Constitution ?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


As time passes I am getting more proficient with posting the photos that I have been able to make in recent months . Regardless of what I do the Broadband limits my access to Blogger and so I post mostly without photos sometimes through Posterous that hits all my social media access points and several of the blogs . I go back later and insert photos where possible . At first it seems that there were problems with the MB size of the photos but in recent posts I have noticed that only KB size photos are being posted . How that came about is a mystery to me since I don’t recall adjusting anything on the camera or computer .

Recent weeks I have noticed that collecting the “ Blogger Statistics “ for the 6 blogs has gone from about 1 ½ MB to in excess of 5MB each day . Even opening a blog to make a post has become a major drain of MB’s , trying to limit daily use to 30mb so as to meet the Gigabyte limit has become problematic . Has anyone else noticed this phenomena and is there a reason ?

NetWorx is a program I use to identify Broadband usage since the first months because my broadband supplier, BOB , an offshoot of the main Austrian Broadband provider , A 1 , in the first month charged me for in excess of 6 Gigabytes , when I had used less than One GB for that period . Regardless of the written record I kept they insisted they were right and refused to reimburse the excess charges ! The monies are taken direct from my bank account without referral to me so there was no chance to query any excesses before deduction of their charges . Corporations continue to treat the individual as beneath their dignity to answer or satisfy !

OccupyWallStreet will get a few to sit up and listen and Barack Obama is now answering some of the queries directed towards his administration . Each country has it’s share of Conniving and thieving Corporations and here in Austria there are facilities for dealing with the Banking System although it is orientated to protecting their constituent Banks rather than solving the issues of “ disgruntled clients” such as myself .

Should I not hear back from the Banking Commission by this weekend I will have the pleasure of informing all how they can react to the complacency of the “ Banking Fatcats ” that behave as though they are doing the individual a favour when they take your money at the counter . Here in Austria there are initiatives to assist those who are generally too poor to have a bank account , good to see when you consider that there are more “ Squirreled monies ” in Austria than in Switzerland according to a recent report on the FM4 , a part of the ORF , the National Broadcaster .

When the sum of the Blogs passed 55k , I had a look at where the views were coming from and saw that most continents were represented . So as not to bore I will list the major sum totals :

USA …34.2 k , UK…4.4 k , Aus…2.8 k , Can…1.9 k , Rus…1.1k , Ger…1.0 k , Fra…0.6 k , Swe…0.5 , Ned…0.4 k , Ukr…0.3 k ,

Thanks to all for taking the time to visit , please encourage your friend to visit , but I wish people would take the time to add their comments since this is a major benefit of blogging that I feel I am missing and feedback can be worthwhile to ALL !

Saturday, October 8, 2011


@PremierMikeRann’s tweet about Gough Whitlam triggered memories of the events of Nov 11th 1975 when Gough’s Government was sacked by Sir John Kerr , the then Governor General who was the Queen‘Representative in Australia ! At that time I was working for NCR in North Sydney and being driven north on the “ CoatHanger ” by one of my bosses after a meeting in the city . Just before midday the “ Breaking News ” announced the outcome of Gough’s meeting that morning at Government House in Canberra and of course there was the recording of his voice saying “ God Save the Queen because nothing will save the Governor General ”

Naturally the Media went ballistic and even more so when Malcolm Fraser was asked to take over in interim Government whilst the House of Representatives was sent to the country in preparation for a general election . The Coalition of Liberals and Country Party went on to win the Election thus returning the country to Conservative Government and some would say stability . Later Bob Hawke would be elected leader of the Labour Party but that is a story for another time and place .

In other blogs I have mentioned meeting Billy Mc Mahon on the Squash court in the late 60’s whilst he was treasurer in John Gorton’s cabinet . The guy I was waiting to play squash with was together with his brother the founders of a Rubbish Compacting business called “ Big Foot ” . Harvey was kind enough to loan me his Bob Lexen designed yacht , “ Big Foot ” , moored in Rose Bay on the Sydney Harbour during the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic period .

Harvey sailed from Sydney with others to Scandinavia some years later , he advised that he was arriving but after several weeks of travelling around arrived in Brighton , UK whilst I was tied up with a tour in the North of England . I only discovered the day he was to fly out how short his visit was to be . His step daughter was living in Brighton at that time so of course family comes first and since returning to Sydney he has retired and moved down the South Coast to his farm . Regretfully I have lost contact as emails to his family seem to have failed either to reach him or he like another friend , that I remain in touch with by occasional phone call has no internet access .

Brian Brown was the veritable personification of “ Mr NCR ” and I had the pleasure of being entertained and welcomed by his family on many occasions through the years . It was always a pleasure to welcome him and his wife into my homes over the years . Lately Dee has been the victim of Cancer so their retirement in Scone has not been as happy as they could have wished . Those remembering the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games will recall the Quarter Horses which Brian together with his committee were responsible for supplying . Somewhere in my Computer photo records I have kept copies of that event and having turned over every stone I am still unable to locate them to liven up this post .

Brian like myself has made investments for retirement that failed to return the success that was hoped for . In the mid seventies he worked as Chairman for the Liberal Premier of New South Wales and would occasionally get the “ nod ” from mates about Shares that were likely to go for a run . Most likely whoever was passing the info had already taken a position and left the “ herd ” to make them richer ! From these flutters I got the “ Share trading Bug ” for a decade or so and did quite well as the market moved higher but I guess in the long term I could have been much wiser to follow other investment avenues and opportunities .

Looking back over the years I recall many people that I wish I was still in touch with , but when Guys marry you are dealing with a new situation , and the new partnership comes first , which can mean that those friends that you enjoyed being “ Jack the Lad ” with , will not risk trawling over memories of “ Single life in the City ” . The Sixties had a certain reputation and Sydney , Melbourne and Perth were right up there as places to be single . Recent times I tried renewing contact with a fellow socialiser from the mid 60’s , now a retired solicitor that had just returned from a European trip . So far he has not found the time to put me in touch with the other member of our occasional Friday night social group of those times . The Peter G. I was seeking out was a barrister not the Doctor recently honoured in Oz .

Not being interested in Cycling or Cycle Races until 1998 meant that most of my time in Oz was such that living in the shadow of Camperdown Velodrome for several years , I was unaware of the Sport and those participating . Occasionally people say to me “ you must know…” and regrettably unless I have met them here in Europe I am at a loss as to their input to the cycling world .

Having stated a desire to ride Perth to Sydney and thence Adelaide for the Tour Down Under should I find the backing , I am yet to hear from anyone offering any kind of encouragement or even support . I have most of the equipment and the fitness level needed but financially the project would require support and would attract huge publicity for the Organisation being promoted . Whilst in Oz I was always happy to help fundraising for Legacy and enjoyed some success whilst working for NCR but that is a story for another time .

Friday, October 7, 2011


“ Bull in CHINA ” shop , causing more controversy by forgetting he signed correspondence and his spokesman “ mis-spoke ” when saying there was no such letter/s ?

Don’t think so ! Whilst Deignan comes second to Nicholas Roche in stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing , the “ Trick Cyclist ( denied his Olympic ride by appearing in South Africa under an assumed name ) ” is grabbing all the headlines with a letter that must have caused ALL the Pro Team Management Angst .

When Cycling news.Com and published their articles they were in denial that such behaviour could be allowed by the UCI let alone be published !

Threatening reprisals at the end of 2011 on Teams that did not choose to participate in the “ Tour of Beijing ” with a review of their “ Status ” for 2012 was not only STUPID but contravenes the “ Rules and Regulations ” that the UCI pretends to operate under .

Seems to me that there are going to be more than Stapleton’s HTC team having difficulty finding “ Main Sponsors ” in future years !

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Starting my 67th year I am aware of my continuing “ Good health ” and today’s sunny weather allowed me to do some riding that people half or a quarter of my age would find difficult ! It was a bright sunny morning once again and so it was easy to decide on a “ Double Wouter ” which you can read about on “ Skippi-cyclist ” blog ! Lunch and a sleep in the sun set me up for some more riding in the afternoon particularly since Friday is forecast as “ wintery weather “, not really surprising after two and a half weeks of 25+c sunshine in October .

This evening I turned on Facebook to find a plethora of “ Good Wishes ” from the friends that have been developed in recent times ! Apologies to all for not answering people individually since I would be repeating myself constantly . Seems there are many out there who notice people’s birthdays but skim requests for assistance in getting out the message to help others . During June I asked for help to give Tyres to “ Para Athletes ” and got a handful of “ Views ” of the post . In August I Asked the 700+ friends to take a look and tell me what I should do to make the effort work and about 2% took a look . Not encouraging particularly when I then requested a “ Hand Biker ” to take a look and I am still awaiting his reply . Well Mark if you won’t help your colleagues who am I to tell you that I feel let down .

15 seasons of trying to help “ Adaptive / Physically Challenged /Para Athletes “ and I can’t get help to give away expensive tyres ? Seems like I am trying to help the wrong people ?

Well Fatty finally revealed the extent of the injuries suffered by the Guide on his French Trip but a commenter advised he is now at home in California making progress in his recovery . The ride revealed in this blog was one that I had done several times in recent years and I can tell you that going to Alp d’Huez without making this climb is a wasted opportunity .

Hearing that the “ End to End Tandem ride ” in the UK last weekend failing to complete the task was disappointing as it seemed they would break the record until the last stage . This and other events have had me thinking about trying to find HELP to make the ride from Perth to Sydney and then around the Coast to the “ Tour Down Under ” later this year .

Financially impossible without Air Travel and some of the expenses covered but with HELP from others I could do the physical effort and would enjoy riding with a “ Para Athlete ” or other motivated people . Where I could do the trip “ roughing it ” I imagine that others being on the trip would require a Motor Home at the very least !

Good Wishes are appreciated BUT posting this story to your FACEBOOK WALL will catch the attention of many others and perhaps there are those out there who would be interested to email me on

and discuss the opportunities that might arise !


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nationwide costs more than my food !

Tour de France costs me very little for food each July but Nationwide Building Society bank fees during July 2011 were landed in my August 2011 bank statement and ate 65pounds of my money ! So i started with a debit in August 2011 and again in September 2011 !During the whole of the TDF i cooked for myself and thus had a very simple and cheap menu . Of course i have not seen September`s charges and no doubt that there will be additional added for October`s Debit start !

Guess why i support " OccupyWallStreet " !

Of course there is the " Banking Ombudsman " which Nationwide refers you to constantly if you complain , but that takes time meanwhile you finish up with lousy service and acrimonious relations with a service that dates back to the 1980`s ! How can you feel happy about dealing with "greedy bankers" in 2011 when you were a shareholder of the same institution you held in high regard in the 1980`s ?

Having said this i am holding back on publishing the statements because i HOPE that there are people working for thios institution who will realise that in not updating my address as requested in June when i visited the Crofts branch i have not seen the July, August and September Statements until they were scanned to me from the UK last night !

Banking is now becoming a hazardous matter , keeping money under the mattress is becoming a cheaper and safer alternative ! When Nationwide personnel read this Blog Post they can refund the charges and i will not have to find a way to send money to the account from Austria OR they can do an " Ostrich" and cause me further difficulties which will mean that i will no longer be able to bank with them and thus not be able to continue with any of the charity work which i have been involved with this past 15 seasons !

Never thought i would reach the point where in putting 300 pounds in my account would enrich the bank rather than meet the bills i created .

I guess it is their choice ?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Copenhagen is where HTC high road Team are showing the “ Sponsors “ that they have missed the boat ! Nearly every race has shown the depth of Talent in this team ! That it is just the Individual Time Trials thus far .

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 then was picked up by Cyclingnewsforum on a new thread :   From there it got onto Twitter and now there are reports in Magazines such as Sporting News Illustrated :  

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 .

Sunday, September 18, 2011


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


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 :


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 (

) 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 “ .


Spent the last three days reading a “ Bicycling Magazine ( ) ” 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 !

Sunday, September 11, 2011


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 “!




Friday, September 9, 2011

PAUL SMITH ! How i came to meet him . recently ran an article (  ) about Cycle Memorabilia collectors and i went to the link   (  )  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 !







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 !

Thursday, September 8, 2011


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 .


Wednesday, September 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 !





Thursday, September 1, 2011 !

Over many years i have had use of this server for free ! Today is a typical day with bad Broadband reception and to send two emails has cost me more than 7mb because the "Ads" continue to drag down any reception but i have to wait whilst the spelling eventually arrives on the screen .

Guess who pays no attention to products advertised in this way ! Had i not to check each word for a spelling mistake i might have time to see what is on offer !

"Try the updated Blogger interface" they say and then i get this :

 "  Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems.
If you are having problems, try Google Chrome. | Dismiss

Another time i am told i have to seek approval to join a group ! What is going on with these people ?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Fricking Posterous lost the post when i tried to upload the " photos " !


Next week when i am in the mood to be challenged i will try again !


What a waste of effort !

Sunday, August 21, 2011

AIR FRANCE delivers ?

Passengers comfort is not important nor the reason for their journey , YOU chose to fly with them so it is YOUR responsibility to ACCEPT the consequences !

As mentioned in another blog post i am currently visiting the " 2011 World Masters Cycling Federation " Event in St Johann in Tyrol , Austria . As a friend of the event was travelling alone from Mexico i was asked to make the journey to pick him up since we had met several times during the last years .  Leaving late and running into " Peak Holiday traffic queues " caused the expected 1hr plus to become 2 1/2 hrs but as it turned out it was no problem since " Sanchez " was fully occupied with trying to locate the two pieces of luggage passed into the care of the airlines .

On arriving in Munich with only Spanish to communicate posed little problem for a " Pro Cyclist " accustomed to travel hassles and delays  but this time  available resources were really unhelpful in that they would do little other than suggest the next flight about 5 hrs later COULD be carrying the missing items .  Not content with losing the " Bike Box " in the Computer System they could only state that there was a bag in Paris that could be one of the lost items , but NO Guarantees of it travelling on the next flight ! As regards the bike box , well there was the " Luggage Tag " but then it was not in the computer so it really did not count as missing , did it ? Here is a Guy who is making the journey for only ONE purpose and that was to ride HIS bike in competition and the Air France Personnel are telling him that they have done their job by getting HIM and him alone to his destination !

Arriving on the scene at the airport i started into the inquiry situation at square one and posed several questions which resulted in confirmation that we need not " camp out " at the airport on the " off chance " one or more pieces arrive . Further there would be no food or water ( drinks ) at the airline's expense whilst awaiting the arrival of the next flight . Eventually we discovered that Sn Sanchez could buy " Underwear , toileteries , etc up to a value of Euros 100 as long as he provided receipts on the return to Mexico since that is where he lives and bought the ticket  . No outer wear in the first 48hrs were to be allowed so of course he could not ride a race bike to train or relieve the strain of the journey on the physique .  When asked to provide a " Claim form or other documentation " to establish " Sanchez's " losses we were told that this would only be forthcoming on ringing " Customer Services " which could not be contacted at this juncture !

Note that we were dealing with Personnel employed by " Air France " and wearing their uniform so there was no reasonable excuse for them to refuse to assist considering that the lead agent was using a colleague for translation purposes ! Nothing to be gained by delay we made our way through the holiday traffic back to St Johann after the lead agent spoke on the phone with the " WMCF " rep .

At St Johann Sanchez used one of my Denmark Suits and my Pueguet Bike on the TACX trainer to ease the strains of the journey .

Sunday evening we received a call to seek directions for the delivery of BOTH items and so the sack arrived with the contents throroughly smashed  and soiled but i did not see the contents of the bike box which looked fairly normal to my cursory glance .

How a passenger is expected to accept the " Air France " attitude of " we took your money , you are at your destination and how you pass your time is your problem  defies belief !







Sunday, August 14, 2011


When reading "London Cyclist " blog i was surprised to learn that there are so many people out there that are reluctant to try to ride with Cycling Clubs . Whenever i am in a new area i try to find the local club to go for a ride , regardless of language i find that they are accomodating towards the newcomer .

Googling the "Etiquette " revealed a number of sites which i find useful to enlarge on this subject .

 This site mentions 9 points is requires people to keep in mind as they join their Club outings and they are relying on the experiences of Randwick Club who have formulated a " Code of Conduct" for their members . Most of the points raised are worth following even when riding alone or with the occasional friend .

 The item below reveals a lot of information about what most Australian Cycling Clubs expect of New Members :

" In summary, being fit and capable to hang onto the bunch is not enough. Without taking away the enjoyment of the ride it is imperative that every rider hones his or her skills. If you want to improve ask one of the more accomplished riders. If you are not sure stay down the back until you are confident enough to join the bunch. If you are nervous or lacking confidence, consider the safety of the other riders first before joining the bunch.

The Club is developing as a recreational/racing club, where riders have a wide range of ability and levels of fitness. Everyone should be tolerant, responsible and be prepared to accept criticism if you do not come up to scratch. Those more accomplished riders should devote part of the club ride to helping the beginners, rather than zooming off into the distance."

This site tends towards those who are riding the roads in the Atlanta area but seems to be general throughout the USA . Comments tend to reflect differences of opinion regarding cyclists  V  vehicles .

Comprehensive list of verbal warnings the like of which will be generally used in club outings .

A really enjoyable read that makes a good deal of sense of what shouls be happening on a " Club Run " . Not sure how people view my attire but ib load my pockets in the same way each and every day , so whether on a Pro Tour Route or on a Club Run i know exactly where to put my hand on what i need whether in Summer or Winter conditions . Winter may cause me to add Arm Warmers to the pocket if the day starts fine but i am too often queried about riding without leg warmers even at 6 c .



Tuesday, August 9, 2011


ANARCHY and CHAOS are the order of the day in the United Kingdom once again ! Some years ago there was just this sort of behaviour and one wonders when this problem was being tackled then what the Authorities did about making sure that this could not happen again ? Surely after the violence died down then SOMEONE framed an Action Plan to see that should there be a reoccurence that resources be applied in a Systematic way to "Nip in the Bud " any reoccurence ? Shortly the UK will hear from the Prime Minister about what has taken place at the " COBRA " meeting this morning . Cameron has returned from his " Holiday " as have other " Senior " officials and will be playing catchup on an alarming situation that has been allowed to run out of control since Sunday Morning ! Personally i am at no risk but we are seeing TV images of residences burned out as a result of the fires set in Supermarkets and other business premises . Burnt out cars are one thing , dangerous as that can be BUT to see " Feral Rats " looting then torching buildings is quite a different story . My comment elsewhere : " Perhaps things could be cooled off IF the media was to stay home OR if they shot off photos that would help the Police identify the " Culprits " ! Fact is there are people out there in the last days thinking they can have " SOME FUN " , of course they are counting on not getting caught ! Cameron needs to have these " Miscreants " rounded up and shipped to the Outer Hebrides to work on " Work Gangs " behind barbed wire and sleeping in prefab huts as a first measure and then send the really bad ones to the Falkland Islands for the winter ! When these " feral rats " know what is on offer they will stop thinking about the " Cosy Holiday in British Prisons " that are so full already ! " Fact is the people who appear to be behind some of these incidents are likely to already have served their " Apprenticeship behind Bars " and now will think that the most serious problem they will encounter IF caught is another " Holiday CAMP visit " and on return to society they will think that their " Street Cred " will be stronger with their hoolligan mates ! Arising out of this chaotic situation there are some glimmers of hope , this article was one i found and i hope this illustrates my point that the community as a whole is being dragged down by a " Violent Minority "! All "Legal rights " these " Miscreants " claim to have should be forfeited for the " Common Good ". Hopefully the " Tinder box Situation " will be contained quickly BUT please THIS time formulate the plans so that a repeat when it occurs again , as it will , can be contained the FIRST NIGHT and the perpetrators be seen to be shipped to the destination of " THEIR CHOICE ( an artic island )" the next morning !

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stephen and Aleta at the 2008 Tour de France


Recently I received an email from a new reader of my blogs containing a photo that was taken roadside on the 2008 Tour de France . Naturally I replied seeking more details and the response is below .



From: "Stephen Waters" <  



1 August 2011 2:08:20 PM AEST



Subject: How I met Skippy

My wife ( Aleta )and I had ridden our laden touring bikes from Paris on a meandering Southerly route through central France. We were heading to Le Puy en Velay in the Massif Central region to attend the wedding of a French couple whom we had hosted at our home in Brisbane during their cycle tour of Australia in 2007.

After the wedding, Sophie and Jean Pierre graciously lent us their car so we could go and see a couple of stages of the 2008 Tour de France.

Standing on the side of the road near Murat waiting for the Tour to pass on a bright sunny day, one of the many recreational cyclists cruising past called out a cheery 'G'day mate' as he spotted the Aussie flag we had placed in our car window.

After a u-turn the cyclist introduced himself as Skippy and he was riding the stages of the Tour each day. He told us of his work with disabled athletes and the desire to raise sponsorship and the profile of this side of sport.

After filling his bidons and wishing him well he pedalled off towards the summit of the climb.

And that's how we met Skippy.

Hopefully the photo will load . There may well be others out there with photos or would wish to share memories of “ How we met Skippy ” and I will happily post them as they arrive


Sunday, July 31, 2011


Letter to Chris Prudhomme

Swanning around in your Limousine with a variety of " notable personalities " you will rarely see the "Glitches"  that the everyday visitor to " Le Tour " has to overcome ! Certainly your subordinates have done their best to see that you have a " Trouble Free Ride " each day . No doubt you have briefings with your personnel each day to keep you abreast with potential problems .

Whilst you were with France TV you were quick to pick my brains about my activities on the periphery of "Le Tour " and also whilst " understudy to JM Leblanc ", but since becoming " The Man " you rarely deem a simple "hello" as appropriate for a man of your importance . Amazing then that i get to meet some of the General Officers of the Sapeur Pompiers , Army and Gendarmerie as well as assorted Politicians whenever i find the time to be at a " Depart " or " Arrivee " ! Some i have advised of my Blogs , so it may be that their staff have been detailed to have the occasional read . Phillippe Sudre is also aware of these blogs but as to whether he deems it worth his time to read my offerings i couldn't say .

In previous " Open Letters " to you i have suggested ways to improve the security of the " Signage " but neglected to point out that many of the large Roadside Signs proclaiming " Road Closure details of route nos with dates and times " could be better . All Media receive a looseleaf book , known as the "Guidebook" and this is a very helpful tool to ALL , but it neglects to coordinate that very important issue of "Road Closures" ! Surely you want the world to know WHEN the routes of the " Le Tour " each day will close , don't you ? Many of those i speak to at the " Le Tour " tell me that each Department of France has a Web Site that offers info on these " Route Closures " but the general public are rarely aware of this , let alone the Overseas Visitor , many of whom do not understand the French Language whether written or spoken .

BY adding an additional column in the “Guidebook “ to the Caravan and the Racers anticipated passing certain points times , " ASO " will in consultation with the various authorities be able to advise the WORLD of the "Road Closure " times . Media of all persuasions will no doubt pass on to their readers this information, as they tend to copy out your pages , as if it was their own work in the effort to inform their audience . Each Department has it's own branch of the Police National and Gendarmerie responsible for the "Security of the "Le Tour route" and since these signs have to be constructed to inform the public then the information should be accurate and thus ALL will see a coodinated result !

During one Etappe in the Pyrennes , when i was at the bottom of a " Col " , i had a Gendarme Officer  , as he was passing me in his official car ,  tell me that i should stop cycling , as the "Col" was NOW closed ! This was more than an hour before the time PROCLAIMED on the" Sign displaying Closure times " that i had only just passed  ! When i arrived at the " Col" there were several " touring cyclists " but none of the private cars that passed me after this rash statement was made . The Gendarme with the rank " Major " then again told me that the road was closed even though there remained 35 mins until the posted time . My solution was to pick up the bike and walk off the road until i reached a point beyond the " Col "
where i could ride once again . Further down the road i found that the times posted had been extended another hour and half , as is normally the case when you pass into a new area of control . As to what happened to the " touring cyclists " i could only speculate , but had they relied on the published information then they were sadly inconvenienced and carrying a "touring bike " with luggage weighing as much as 50kg , in many cases , would be out of the question .

Expect to hear more points of interest from me over the next months as i know how hard it is to get action when too many issues are raised at the same time . Have your people read my " OPEN LETTER to Pat Mc Quaid “ about the " Authorised Driver Permit " , that i feel is required to avoid a repeat of the incident that nearly killed two racers .

No where on page 7 of the " Guidebook " does " ASO " refer to driver conduct in relation to the Racers or even the ordinary cyclist AND since the " Le Tour " as an event is about Cycling , one wonders who was responsible for coordinating the material published ? No doubt Phillippe Sudre after our discussion took a look at that page . After publishing my blog post about the RMC Radio Stationwagon i saw the driver many times but he never again caused me any problems . Whether this was good luck or he had the matter brought to his attention is not for me to say .

Security of the "Le Tour " route is an important concern but having the Public sit on the side of the route for 5 hrs each day is asking too much particularly since the "Tour de Suisse" is able to run an event with "Private Security on motorcycles " and Army reservists causing the routes to be closed for periods ranging from 10 mins to 30 mins before the arrival of the racers unless in the mountain passes when longer periods may be required . Could be that your people need to look at the abilities they display and adopt some of their expertise !

A Bientot

Saturday, July 30, 2011



This week i am seeing a lot of commentary about a " Deserving Australian "and some would say his " heroic efforts " to win the Tour de France ! Can we agree that this Guy is the epitome of the " Bleeding Aussie Battler " ! His efforts over 20 years have finally achieved perhaps his Greatest Ambition but there have been other Goals along this road that he has achieved and others that he did not achieve . Being Vice Champion in Mountain Biking was the spur to taking up Road Racing as i discovered in reading about his being tested by Dr Michele Ferrari in St Moritz so many years ago . Here are the links to that story and his reports on the Tour de France :

Throughout a long and determined career Cadel has shown the depth of Character and Perseverence that is required by a Sportsman to attain their self set goals . Epic events and huge disappointments have accompanied him throughout these years of sporting endeavour . Now the world is able to recognise what few were aware of before waking up last Saturday morning , the day of the Individual Time Trial in Grenoble , that here was a quiet Unassuming Australian who was about to achieve a boyhood Dream ! That he was able to rise to the occasion and deliver a performance that was bested by one other , Tony Martin , showed his character . This was the second time he raced this course and he absorbed the lessons of the first occasion to improve his resulting time .

An EPIC effort but it was no way "Heroic " !

There has been huge amounts of ABUSE directed at an Australian Woman for her definition of " Heroes " , given on a morning TV show . Mia Freedman in all probability was "ambushed" by the show presenter , Karl Stevanovic , who may not have read up on Cadel either before going to Air ! Whether there was an agenda or her utterances were " ill conceived " one can only speculate but the uproar and the " hate " generated by some of those viewing the show were definitely " Un Australian " !

HERO for me is " Someone who risks their life to assist another " ! We read about them all too often and i don't mean a fireman climbing a tree to save a cat !

Police , Firemen and Ambulance Personnel do not consider themselves "Heroes " BUT they will point to some in their ranks WHO they consider to be " Heroes " since they have seen them in action and acting " Beyond the call of Duty " !

Members of the "Armed Services " also do not consider their service " Heroic " but again they are PROUD to relate episodes of " Heroism " that they have seen or heard about !

" ROLE MODELS " are what youngsters need as they grow to maturity and we all know that a child's ambition to be a "train driver" will convert to being a " musician " and then to countless other professions as they grow older . Boys and Girls come from all walks of lives and some grow in better circumstances than others and their ambitions are coloured by their family heritage and country . Some children of third world countries have little to look forward to other than finding something to eat each day so a " role model " is not a part of their daily life .

So many labelled " Hero " for their actions would tell you that they are NOT ! Cadel would be one of the first ! He would be PROUD of the fact that he is an Australian and that he is a " Role Model " to so many people !

Some of the reading that inspired this Blog Post :

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