Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 TOUR de ROMANDIE

The Tour de Romandie 2012 will for the first time in my 12 visits cross into France with the third day starting there and continuing on to finish at Moutiers which the Tour de France has passed through on occasions . Whilst I can picture in my mind’s eye the start and finish towns I am wondering which climbs are en route ? Having cycled around Moutiers in training rides I am also mindful of passing through there when those clowns dressed as “ Kelme Racers ” butted into that Tour de France as it climbed to Courcheval nearly a decade ago , that sunny Sunday I climbed to the 1km mark before the Gendarmerie turned me back and so I arrived in Seez in time to watch the whole “ Soap Opera ” on the TV .

Below is a summary of the 2012 event lifted from Cycling News :

“ The 2012 Tour de Romandie starts with a prologue in Lausanne and ends nearly 700 kilometres later with a time trial in Crans-Montana. In between, the peloton will take on 13 ranked climbs in western Switzerland.
The race opens on April 24 with a 3.34 km prologue in Lausanne. Stage 1 the next day runs 184.5 km from Morges, on the shore of Lake Geneva, to La Chaux-de-Fonds. There are two Category 2 climbs and a Category 3 climb along the way, and the stage ends with a 67.7km loop course.
Stage two features for the first time a start in Montbéliard, France, and has a tricky end with a false flat 149km later in Moutier. The stage also has three Category 2 and 3 climbs. The third stage also throws in only Category 2 and 3 ranked mountains, as it goes 157.6 km from La Neuveville to Charmey.
The queen stage comes on the fourth stage, 184 km from Bulle to Sion. After crossing three category 1 and one category 2 climbs, the peloton will again face a circuit course at the finish.
The race ends with what it calls a “very difficult” time trial of 16.24 km around Crans-Montana. It features a climb halfway through which “will probably hurt the legs and be decisive” in determining the final overall winner.
All 18 WorldTour teams will be at the race, with a wildcard invitation going to “ Europcar” . A 20th team may be invited later. ”

The “ difficult ” ITT can’t be any tougher than the one that Lance won some years back when it started in Sion and finished on the summit village of Crans Montana Resort . I recall riding on the pavement alongside Lance as he spun the cranks to victory , even the short distance that I rode at a high tempo wasn’t enough to hold his pace as he climbed that steep pitched mountain so I don’t envy the racers the task this time around . Should it be warm then those racing will be glad that it is the final day !
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

637 Days To Go: Happy Birthday to.... this blog!

637 Days To Go: Happy Birthday to.... this blog!: It was one year ago today that I made my first post on this blog. And what a year it has been. No better time than today to look back and re...

Tried to leave this comment BUT blogger resists my efforts:Not seen a reply to my previous comment so can assume that you did not visit my blogs !( delete )

" When you go to the 110+ comment on Fatcyclist.com you will see the time that i posted there and then go to your blog stats and see if any " fatcyclist comment " has looked to your blog , reason is i have been trying to educate that blog about " disabled Sport " for several years so would be interested to see if there are any following the link . When you post a photo in the fatty comments literally thousands click onto see the item .( delete )

So i did ask for exchange links if it suits your purpose .On Parrabuddy in June i ran a comp. to give away some Conti Tyres so as to generate links to Para Athlete blogs to make available to follow in the run up to the Para Games . Total lack of interest ! Like your reply , too hard or forgotten . ( Delete )

Hand biker clicked on my request for " Friending on facebook " sent him a PM months ago , still waiting for a reply ( not holding my breathe ) fortunately the para people i loaned bikes for training of course do keep in touch , guess it serves their purpose . (delete )

Not sure what you would wish to put up in the comments so offered the options !

Today first day in months not training because of the sleet but spent time preparing the ski gear i will be using when i assist disabled skiers in the Zillertal valley at Mayrhofen this winter . Should you know any Attempting to prepare for the Winter Paras feel free to put them in touch , some of my racing skis could be made available BUT they are of the old regs and at 66years young not sure if i wish to do any 24hr events this season .

BTW i am a Dublin born Aussie but that is another story "
.

WASTED 5MB pissing around with this comment !

NO WONDER NO ONE Leaves me comments on my blogs !

EVEN WHEN I SIGN ON AT " GOOGLE+ " i still am unable to leave a comment and so far i have used 13MB for WHAT !

Apologies to anyone who in the past has tried to leave comment and has been treated in the same way as i have been today !

About time i went to Wordpress or another reputable blog supplier " Blogger " is a WASTE OF TIME !
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

MAFIA profiting from DOPING !

Cycling News Forum commenters were fooling themselves when they “welcomed ” the 8 year ban on “ joe papp ” and the fact that he did not get jail time ! When I reminded them that there are innocent people losing their lives in the Mexican Drug Cartel Wars there was no reply to my comment ! Not a peep from those garrulous overworked fingers !

Doping is BIG business and has been for most of the 21st century and it will continue to grow to the extent many athletes are calling for it to be legalised . Wondering if they are using or are frustrated at the inability of the authorities to cope amounts to the same frustration . WADA’s David Howman has spoken with Cycling News about the efforts to catch Dopers and has made it abundantly clear that only the “ dopey dopers are getting caught . Link to the recent article :

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/howman-talks-tough-on-organised-crime-and-doping

One Cyclist says that because he didn’t drink enough water after his Dope Treatment he was caught in an Out of Competition Control . So if he drank more water that day he would still be cheating ALL ! You , me , team , sporting fans , family and friends , fooling us all into thinking that his efforts were due to training and natural ability rather than the shortcut regime he chose !

Were his team admin and colleagues surprised ? Doubtful that they were pleased with his attitude of indifference thus casting suspicion on the other members of the team . So many of the team have been with other previous teams that have had members suspended for Drug usage and thus there are many questioning their ability to perform .


WHEN WILL WADA and UCI institute a moratorium that allows ALL cyclists both current and retired to come forward without penalty provided that they turn in the names of those they know are USING and SUPPLYING ? Reading of those associated with Team Telecom that have owned up as one example of teams in recent years that had questionable practices in place suggests that more skeletons are to be unearthed from that era .

When and only when a moratorium is put in place will the true level of corruption be exposed . Those that do not put their hand up before the expiry date should be subject to 10 year bans or even Lifetime Bans from involvement in SPORT at any level be it as a competitor , spectator , or suppliers’ employee including Goods , Services or Advisory capacity . None of their previous Sporting activity will then be of value to future employers . Can you imagine where the likes of Hamilton or flandis will earn an income if they were reduced to the level of “ joe blow ” the taxi driver or car wash attendant ?

Youngsters that show promise are targeted by the Drug industry and thus when they reach a certain stage of “ Excellence ” should be put into monitoring programmes so that not only their ability is enhanced but their health is monitored so that there is little opportunity for the Criminal element to put them on Drug related regimes . Costly as this may be initially it will forestall any hoping to rise to the top by illicit means and hopefully will save lives along the way . Many youngsters are dying from undetected health issues whether in sports events or elsewhere and perhaps saving some of these could be a beneficial result even if they do not rise to prominence in their chosen sport .

Smoking was socially acceptable until recent years and very gradually it is being banished from a more healthy society . All tobacco companies are trying to find new markets for their products in the developing countries but thankfully I no longer leave a restaurant or private party stinking of residual smoke . Alcohol is also being targeted to the extent that I can drive more safely on the roads and walk the city centres with less fear of being hassled by drunken slobs . Drugs are still on Main Street and Governments are even now reversing their attitude to soft drugs having realised that reducing the penalties on the likes of Marijuana only encourages those supplying to offer more and tempt current users with stronger more harmful products .

White Collar crime is being targeted in the workplace and Drugs there also so it is overdue to crack down on recreational sports doping . If Tobacco and Alcohol can be made Socially unacceptable so can the use of Drugs in Sport . Fact is Fraud is unacceptable in the workplace so there is no excuse to allow it in the Sporting Arena !

When looking at Sports Forums it is clear that there are some Amateur Sports People using Doping Products . What are they getting from wasting their money in buying a product that will give them no benefit other than “ bragging rights ” with their mates ? But then that for some that is all that counts !

EGO is so important to many but surely they must question what they could have achieved without resorting to enhancing their abilities in this way ?
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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 !



http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=12137&page=724   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 ?
WE LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES !

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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 :



http://www.podiumcafe.com/2011/10/11/2483390/confirmed-mark-cavendish-to-team-sky   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 !

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#O W S : Bloomberg reads Constitution ?


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

OAF of AIGLE

“ 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 ?




LOST ME MARBLES !!

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 Innerring.com 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 !


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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BIRTHDAY WISHES

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

skippi@ausi.com

and discuss the opportunities that might arise !

SO CAN I ASK ALL THAT HAVE WISHED ME WELL TO GO A STEP FURTHER AND POST THIS BLOG TO THEIR WALL !


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Saturday, October 1, 2011

UCI less latest !

UCI less latest

FIRED ! Now we find that this recently dismissed person left a sting in the tail ! 5 “ dopers files “ are found after this departure from UCI HQ !

My comment to the “ mushroom farm ( CNF ) ” :

“ What is this thread ? 20 guesses ? Does it matter who the FIVE are ?

Question is , Why was the person sacked by UCI ? Had it been for incompetence then why was All the work done by that person not audited to see what they had been involved with recently ? Would this have found the “ Missing Files “ earlier ? When some people leave a job because they are not doing it well would not the “ Supervisor” have concerns about the “ Quality “ of work done ? Perhaps a few more heads should roll?

UCIless appear to be an organisation that needs help to do even the most fundamental tasks and the sooner the “ IOC “ step in and sorts them out the better chance Cycling has to continue as an Olympic Sport beyond 2012 ! ”



Question is whether this guy , Hein , was running a competent organisation that was already on a slippery slope Or whether this guy could do a better job ?



Some time back there was discussion about whether Cycling should continue to be an Olympic Sport because of the “ Doping Problems ” ! Whether Cycling can continue to be considered an Olympic Sport will largely depend on how it is managed in the Near Future and thus it is time that the hierarchy at UCI is replaced with those who can “ Bite the Bullet “ and face up to the reality that there are serious problems that neet to be addressed NOW ! To many UCI is short for “USELESS , COMPLACENT , INCOMPETENT “ !

Keep up the pretence Pat et alia and Cycling will be excluded from 2016 Olympics !
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CLENBUTEROL

With WADA announcing the “ 2012 Prohibited Substances List ” recently there will be an upsurge in speculation as to the results of the “ UCI / WADA ” challenge at CAS in mid November over Contador’s positive to Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France !


http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/no-changes-for-clenbuterol-in-2012-wada-prohibited-list

Currently we are seeing various sports having problems with this substance and as a result varying results when these cases are referred for consideration . Some federations tend to be more relaxed than others when handing out “ Suspensions ” to athletes .

Recently Oscar Sevilla was handed a six month suspension for use of “ doping related product” , another example of the relaxation of the 2 year penalty normally handed out in such cases .

Formoterol and Salbutamol both products to assist “ Asthma sufferers ” find relief ,have had their limits per 24hrs increased which could no doubt assist Petacci in future as he served a ban for overstepping the previous lower limit .

Nicotine use will now be monitored to see if this product has any effect on Athletes’ Sporting performance ! Grew up believing that smokers were disadvantaged by the use of Nicotine and had thought there was plenty of scientific evidence to support this supposition .

In June I tried to run a “ Competition “ to give away some “ Continental 4000s clincher tyres “ but very few looked at the story nor responded . PLEASE Take time to look at www.skippi-cyclist.blogspot.com/competitiondetails and tell me how we can do something which will make for a better result .
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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


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Sunday, September 18, 2011

FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK !

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

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

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

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

NOT EXPECTING 700+ visits to the blog post BUT

DON’T

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


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Copenhagen w/out the Queen of Cycling !

 

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

 

As I write I have just discovered this item :

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


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WHEN A COP SAYS STOP !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POSTED by Posterous as Blogger continues to give problems !


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Sunday, September 11, 2011

CRASS STUPIDITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


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Saturday, September 10, 2011

PAUL SMITH ! How i came to meet him .

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 


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Friday, September 9, 2011

PODIUM CAFE !

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will I be watching today ? NO WAY JOSE !

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

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


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Thursday, September 8, 2011

BORING EUROSPORT

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

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

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

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

 


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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 !

 

 

 

 


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FRANCESCO MOSER




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

Now that i have been awoken early i will try once again !







Wednesday is always the day of the " Time Trial " for those visiting the " World Masters Cycling Federation " Events ( formerly run with " UCI involvement ". So after lunch i headed over to the " Depart area " . Tapped on the shoulder i turned to discover Francesco bare chested enjoying the 100+f sunshine and the warmth of the sun on his skin . He was alone in this as all others were seeking as much shade as was available . Leaving home that morning in in Italy he had driven through even warmer conditions to be at the Time Trial once again , he attends most years and Maurizio Fondriest another of my " sponsors " has also put in an appearance on this day !








After a while he proposed we make a short excursion , turned out to be two circuits of the Road Race Course , and knowing his way of riding i was " what in this heat " ? So he kitted up and after i had called " PIANO PREGO ! " we took off heading back to St Johann which is the start of the Road Race Circuit and then turned on to the " Road Race Course " . Francesco at 60 is still the young stallion that was "World Champion and Hour Record Holder " so you DO NOT challenge him on a climb , so as we went up the climb i rode up to his shoulder knowing from dozens of previous encounters that passing him would provoke a display of " power climbing " and with the current century heat the body temperature was hot so i wasin no shape to race him even on the flat . During the ride i told him of www.fatcyclist.com 's latest fund raiser and said i needed the shirt he was wearing and autographed to send across to Fatcyclist to Add to the many prizes already on offer .









Arriving back at the finish area i encountered an english guy wearing the " Roadpeace Tricot " , he told me today that he did not hear the name as i made the introduction but when Francesco headed out once again i had to chase to catch up and fortunately there was cycle traffic so Francesco did not take a lot of catching . No need to go into the details of all the ride " Same old , Same old " but when we got back to St Johann i grabbed a couple of shirts to swap so as to collect the " Autographed Maillot " ! Francesco put on the Italian " Vivo Sports " shirt


but bucked about putting on the Austrian " Peto Bikes " Shirt , since the French use " Peto " as slang for a " fart " ! Wondered during the TDF why i got so many comments about this shirt from the locals !











Well everything was OK until the Race Director turned up and demanded the shirt ! " His Perogative " ! This guy is as wide as he is tall so there is no chance he can wear it himself and so i guess it will go to some crony who will deposit in a drawer and then forget about it's existence . So much for the www.fatcyclist.com fund raiser contribution ! As i write this up there are indications of the target of 1000 bikes for Zaire already being passed and " Rita" being the knowitall that she is had better bite her tongue . Nice to be anonymous when putting the acid on someone !

Not being in the USA or having a MTB these days i rather envy those with the opportunity to join the " Leadville 100 " but my previous experiences of crashing around the course in the Lago Garda MTB event somewhat discourage a repeat performance .











Wednesday is always the day of the " Time Trial " for those visiting the " World Masters Cycling Federation " Events ( formerly run with " UCI involvement ". So after lunch i headed over to the " Depart area " . Tapped on the shoulder i turned to discover Francesco bare chested enjoying the 100+f sunshine and the warmth of the sun on his skin . He was alone in this as all others were seeking as much shade as was available . Leaving home that morning in in Italy he had driven through even warmer conditions to be at the Time Trial once again , he attends most years and Maurizio Fondriest another of my " sponsors " has also put in an appearance on this day !










After a while he proposed we make a short excursion , turned out to be two circuits of the Road Race Course , and knowing his way of riding i was " what in this heat " ? So he kitted up and after i had called " PIANO PREGO ! " we took off heading back to St Johann which is the start of the Road Race Circuit and then turned on to the " Road Race Course " . Francesco at 60 is still the young stallion that was "World Champion and Hour Record Holder " so you DO NOT challenge him on a climb , so as we went up the climb i rode up to his shoulder knowing from dozens of previous encounters that passing him would provoke a display of " power climbing " and with the current century heat the body temperature was hot so i wasin no shape to race him even on the flat . During the ride i told him of www.fatcyclist.com 's latest fund raiser and said i needed the shirt he was wearing and autographed to send across to Fatcyclist to Add to the many prizes already on offer .











Arriving back at the finish area i encountered an english guy wearing the " Roadpeace Tricot " , he told me today that he did not hear the name as i made the introduction but when Francesco headed out once again i had to chase to catch up and fortunately there was cycle traffic so Francesco did not take a lot of catching . No need to go into the details of all the ride " Same old , Same old " but when we got back to St Johann i grabbed a couple of shirts to swap so as to collect the " Autographed Maillot " ! Francesco put on the Italian " Vivo Sports " shirt






but bucked about putting on the Austrian " Peto Bikes " Shirt , since the French use " Peto " as slang for a " fart " ! Wondered during the TDF why i got so many comments about this shirt from the locals !













Well everything was OK until the Race Director turned up and demanded the shirt ! " His Perogative " ! This guy is as wide as he is tall so there is no chance he can wear it himself and so i guess it will go to some crony who will deposit in a drawer and then forget about it's existence . So much for the www.fatcyclist.com fund raiser contribution ! As i write this up there are indications of the target of 1000 bikes for Zaire already being passed and " Rita" being the knowitall that she is had better bite her tongue . Nice to be anonymous when putting the acid on someone !

Not being in the USA or having a MTB these days i rather envy those with the opportunity to join the " Leadville 100 " but my previous experiences of crashing around the course in the Lago Garda MTB event somewhat discourage a repeat performance .




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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 !

I Won't  BE TRAVELLING WITH THAT AIRLINE ANYTIME SOON . , WILL YOU ? 

 

 

 

 

 


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Sunday, August 14, 2011

CYCLING ETIQUETTE at CLUB LEVEL

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 .

 

http://www.armidalecyclingclub.org/cycling-etiquette/

 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."

 

http://greenupgrader.com/12871/urban-cycling-etiquette/

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 .

 

http://www.ms150.org/ms150/SafetyZone/etiquette.html

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

http://www.cycling-inform.com/bike-skills/136-unwritten-rules-of-cycling-etiquette

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 .

 

THERE MAY WELL BE OTHER SITES TO WHICH MY READERS CAN DIRECT ME !


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

LONDON RIOTS

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 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8690418/London-riots-residents-use-Twitter-to-organise-clean-up.html 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 !


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Tuesday, August 2, 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" <

Stephen_Waters@....qld.gov.au  

 

Date:

1 August 2011 2:08:20 PM AEST

To:

 

 

spwaters@....com.au  

 

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

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Open Letter to President N.SARKOZY

M. Le President Nicholas Sarkozy

Greetings from a Proud Australian !

“ Le Tour de France “ has created a New “Sporting Idol “ for the world and particularly Australia ! I use “ IDOL “ not “HERO ” since I reserve that title for members of Your Armed Forces who you send into “Harms Way ” in the service of Humanity ! Of Course there are “ Heroes ” in the various Policing Organisations in your country also , who have performed in an Exemplanary manner in risking their life to save others !

“Le Tour ” is a credit to France in that it draws attention to the Touristic qualities that your country offers the visitor thus I am sure it can be credited with the high numbers that choose to vacation in France each year . Reports of upwards of 15 million lining the routes each year may be true but who is counting ? Regardless of where people come from or how they travel whilst in France there is a benefit to the French Economy . Not only “ ASO ” but other organisations benefit from this spending spree and it would be hard to imagine a France in July without “ Le Tour ” !

Making this Event successful requires the use of resources from ALL parts of the Community and coordination must be a logistical nightmare that requires INPUT from ALL sections of the Communities either on the various routes or in the neighbouring “ Departments ”.

“ ASO ” puts out each year a “ Guidebook ” which helps the media to understand what is about to take place and it is a source of reference that can be utilised by ALL to plan their Visit to the “ Le Tour ” whether to sit at the side of the road or visit the “Depart ” or “ Arrivee ” ! Presently it contains information of the “ Caravan ” and Racers timings BUT it should ALSO state the times that the route will be CLOSED to movement other than those with “ Properly Authorised Vehicles ” !

Fact is Millions of Euros are spent on erecting “ Signs ” warning of Road Closure Times but then a Gendarme will come along and decide “ HE IS THE AUTHORITY ” and the road will close upwards of an hour before the “ Advertised Time ” regardless of the information published on the internet or these expensive signs ! Oh yes , it happens , I have seen it so many times over the years inconvenience the locals as well as the passing public . This year I was riding uphill and a “Major Rank Gendarme “ pulled alongside and told me to stop riding as the road was closed . No Gendarmes yet in place but he had decided I had gone as far as HE wanted me to go ! Of course I continued uphill and arrived about 35 minutes before the advertised time to find several other cyclists stopped BUT the cars that had passed during the period I continued riding were nowhere to be seen !

“ M. Le Major ” came over and told me he had warned me not to arrive so I picked up my bike and walked off the route ! What was he thinking about ? Good Public relations ? How many years more must he suffer “ Le Tour ” before retirement ? Fact is The Gendarmerie is NOT A PRIVATE ARMY in the service of “ ASO ” , it is in the service of the FRENCH GOVERNMENT ! Who pays for the LONG HOURS that the Gendarme has to stand “ IDLE ” at the point allocated by their superiors ? Can it be that “ The Public Purse ” picks up the TAB whilst “ ASO ” pockets the profits from savings made by utilising Public Resources ?

“ Tour de Suisse ” is not much smaller than the “ Le Tour ” BUT they have “ Rolling Stoppages ” for most of the routes each day utilising “ Private Security ” using Motorcyclists and Reservists from the Swiss Army which closes the road for about 10 to 30 minutes before the arrival of the racers ! What do they do right when the Gendarmerie are REQUIRED by “ ASO ” to close the road up to 6 hrs before the racers arrive ? Can you imagine how many hours those Junior ranks of the Gendarmerie are required to stand at their allocated post ? Even before being posted they endure the meeting at the “ Assembly Point ” , transport to the location and then the aftermath requiring them to endure upwards of 10 to 12 hour days ! Who pays their wages ? How much time off duty do they get in lieu of this extraordinary duty ?

M.Le President as you pass in 2012 you will no doubt see a difference BECAUSE you are going to ACT and Streamline this USE OF RESOURCES ! Can the French Public stand by any longer and Allow “ ASO ” to impose these harsh conditions on their Gendarmerie ? No doubt your Gendarmerie can tell you that there is an increasing “ Crime Wave ” during the “ Le Tour ” since “ Organised Crime Bosses ” enjoy a window of opportunity whilst people are out of their homes and then you also have “ Spivs ” selling their “ Plastic Drapues and Nougat ” by blockading the junctions and suitable corners in villages AND Cities , but they also invade Shops and Offices forcing their “ Trashy products ” on those unwitting citizens some of whom they convince to BUY by flashing their “ phoney credentials ” !

Several of my Blog Posts raise these issues from this years’ “ Le Tour ” but I have seen this behaviour since 1998 and heard Police National Officers take an indifferent point of view to that of the Gendarmerie Officers . Already raised this matter in my email to the “ Elysee Palace ” during this years’ Tour ! Yet to receive a reply though !

M. Le President by canvassing the Opinion of YOUR Citizens you will see that many of these issues can be Addressed AND Solved ! Can you imagine that the day is not far off when the French Public will prefer to stay in their home and enjoy the “ Le Tour ” by watching it on the TV ? I can !

Pulmonary Embolisms’ once again in February saw me ride slower this year but at 65 yo I can still ride with the Racers , 14 visits to the “ Le Tour ” has opened my eyes to both the Good and the Bad that surrounds this Event . Can’t imagine having to watch it on TV but then I am not transported in by the “Authorised Tour Companies ” together with a bike and then FORCED to sit at the side of the road because a Junior Rank imposed his new found authority for fear he will upset his superior . The OLDER , Wiser Ranks choose to use the “ Nelson Touch ” !

“ ASO ” cream the profits but take no responsibility for the actions that cause the “ Visitor ” or the “ Gendarme ” to suffer long periods of idleness on the roadside . ONLY you have the Authority or Ability to DEMAND action that will Streamline the Time that Gendarmerie and the Visitor will be forced into Idleness !
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Friday, July 29, 2011

SPORTING HEROES POLLS ?

During the past week there has been a lot of commentary in the Australian Media about "Sporting Heroes " ! There has even been " Polls " seeking the readerships' views on which was the pinnacle event . Asked to choose between "Cadel" fresh in the mind , "Americas Cup" in 1983 and "Cathy Freeman " in the 2000 Sydney Olympic , most people opted for the recent triumph !

Certainly Cadel's triumph rates highly as an event worthy of a "Top 10 or Top 20 performance " BUT wasn't the " Poll " a little biased and did it not ignore other " worthier " candidates ? One or two other sports were mentioned as the source of other candidates but even then some worthy people were not even considered . Two of the candidates for the " Poll " were team events and of course Cathy Freeman was an individual but not only that she had the whole weight of Australia on her shoulders as the "Favourite " for her event ! Whereas "Australia 2 2 was considered an outsider and Cadel was only one of many considered as likely to win through . I had given him the likelihood of a podium position as i thought the team not strong enough and unlikely to be able to stay with him in the high mountains , and how often were they there to protect him in those circumstances ?

Yvonne Gooloogong comes to mind as one "Sporting Hero " that has slipped out of the public perview and yet she was at the top of her sport for many years . But what i would like to remind people of is OUR PARALYMPIANS ! What of Louise Sauvage the Australian of the Year and Micheal Milton the man who won 4 Paralympic Gold Ski Medals at the 2004 Salt Lake Paralympic Games . Four events and four Gold medals , does not this count for recognition of some sort ? Certainly he was the " World Personality of the Year " standing above Micheal Schumacker and Lance Armstrong that year !

Commentary has closed in the items that i read otherwise i would happily add my comment to those already made .

None of this detracts from Cadel's efforts and the depth of perseverance needed to achieve this result . No doubt he will now reset his goals and it is conceivable that he will finally achieve an Olympic Medal , something that has eluded him so far .
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

SBS CENSORSHIP ONCE AGAIN !

CENSORSHIP of abuse is warranted but judge for yourself IF the following is " unworthy " or off the subject !

 

http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/sophie-smith/blog/124575/cadel-is-aussie-cycling-s-great-white-shark

My Comment :

" Wonder if "M outh F irst "saw an Op to promote her book and self ? Look at ALL the Pollies hopping on the "bandwagon " as mentioned in my blog earlier in the week ( jumping on too ! ) about Cadel !

Long overdue that Cycling Pros' were recognised on the Front Pages of the National Press since they ENDURE hardship AWAY from home and family to PROMOTE Australia and their sport .

As we build to the London Olympics there will be a need for "role models" who have endured disapointment BUT continue!"

There was more to this comment but for some reason there was a "Word/character limit" on the comment content !

 

 

http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/news/31947/mckay-leaves-greenedge-cycling

My comment :

"Gerry Ryan" may think he is another "Alan Bond" but this is a NEW Century and things are done differently these days !

GreenEdge has a long hard road to plough before it has ANY sort of license so it has to be a TEAM EFFORT to get to the STARTING POST !

Met Mike Mc Kay briefly at the Giro and talked to him about "Disabled Sport" ! He was kind enough to listen even though he may not have known who i was or why i was talking to him . Shows that he was an open minded person and willing to hear out people . More in my blogs about that and the team .

"Pro Tour Status" is not a " DONE DEAL " , huge amounts of work will be needed to get the team proposition to the starting post AND THEN more work will be needed to convince the UCI that the team deserves the "Highest Grade " in the team structures !

Shane Bannon has several assistants that will help him do the grunt work but be under no illusions that " GreenEdge " will sail through the preliminaries’ . If there are not several "Fall Back " plans then there will be a repeat of last years debacle !

Would hope that the presentation when it is made is successful BUT don't count on that happening ."

 

STILL TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE PROBLEM IS WITH " BLOGGER" AS I CANNOT EVEN "EDIT " THESE DAYS LET ALONE POST

 DIRECT !

ANYONE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM PLEASE ADVISE !

 

 

 

 


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ALL ABOARD !

 Cadel flavour of the month or will it be the year or the decade ? Politicians of ALL persuasions are jumping aboard the " band wagon " ! This time there was warning that there would be " sound bite Ops "! Didn't he come second twice ? Wasn't that an ACHIEVEMENT in and of it's self ? Not for the Polies , that is for certain !

After Cadel soloed to the World Champion win i posted on "parrabuddy " and to a variety of other outlets my view that Australia could by setting up a variety of additional " Cycling Events " become a MAJOR destination for those connected with cycling during the European Winter Cycling Season . Of course Europe has other cycling events during the winter in which the Cycle Road Racers enjoy participating ! 

Can anyone show me ONE event that was added to the Oz Cycling Calender since Cadel became World Champion ? Of course to put on events requires  "Sponsors " but there are many out there with "cash " burning holes in their pockets IF ONLY the event organisers would have looked ! I realise that my suggestions in October 2009 would have been too early for that " European Winter series " but IS there anything additional planned for this the 2011 European Winter Season ?

ALL are going to want to see Cadel perform on the Bike when he returns to Oz this year , no doubt he will be selective of the events he will participate in OR visit to acknowledge the Cycling Public BUT had Event Organisers put their thinking caps on there would be Additional Incentives for European Road Racers to have Wintered in Oz and bring their family and friends with them !

John Morris when head of Tourism in 2000 headquartered in the Westfield Tower was kind enough to hear me out , about some proposals i offered about "Sponsoring Cycling Events " ! Did he pass on to his colleagues any of the ideas to research ? Doubtful , as i was a "lightweight , outside the " IN circle " and it would have cost money . Wonder if i would get time now to propose some of the ideas i have espoused here and elsewhere ? NO CHANCE JOSE !

ALL the media are scrambling for ANY story about Cadel since this will sell newspapers , journals , DVDs and grab attention for the advertisers on TV and Radio . Wonder if any of the Cycling Event  Organisers are able to INTEREST Cadel's Management team in "Personal Appearances " at some yet to be arranged Cycle Events ?

At Pinerollo i was able to grab a photo with Matt White and speak  briefly with Stevo who were there talking to those racing at the TDF .

 

WE LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES for cycling .

 

ENJOY

 

 


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Monday, July 25, 2011

CADEL

This is a pleasure that i had not anticipated at the beginning of the 2011 Tour de France ! Frankly having seen Cadel looking so tired before the ITT of the Dauphine Libere in Grenoble i commented to the team Doctor that i felt he was not at the top of his game ! Certainly that day he did less than was expected of him and thus was second to Wiggins at the end of that Tour !

During the period of the 2000 Sydney Olympics i first heard of Cadel and was able to meet him at the "Rundfahrt Ossterreich " in 2001 whilst he rode for SAECO and i was on the Kitzbuehler Horn when he took the win the next day . Cadel has always been hard to get alongside during the various tours that i would meet him at but was always gracious enough to autograph the various items that i would pass to " Disabled / Behinderten / Physically Challenged Sport " over the years . In London at the Grand Depart there he warned that he had little time for talking to " fans " and the team "distanced " the media during that event so that he could get the personal space that was needed for recovery each night .

 

NOT being involved in Cycling before the World Ski Championships in 2007 at Sestriere i had no idea of the Downhill scene let alone the Mountain Bike Stars . In fact i went to a Downhill event in 1998 and was delighted to see an Aussie out of Perth take 3rd place and whilst chatting to him after he passed me his goggles which are in my possession to this day . Who knows where they are in my luggage but i recall using them when ski touring on several occasions .

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So often over the years i have been asked if i am a fan of particular Cycle Racers but always answer "I am a fan of Fair Play " , for me the important thing is not the nationality but the attitude to the sport .

 

Being in Mendrisio was a rare pleasure as i was a VIP guest of the locals and meeting and greeting the "Ancients " of the sport was a day to remember . Where i was entertained was close to the finish line so seeing the  action on TV , cycling around the area and then seeing Cadel physically cross the line was a memory i will treasure . During the day i greeted Sean Kelly , Carmine Castilana and many others as well as sampling the local wines and cuisine .

 

There will be people who will dispute my opinion BUT " Waltzing Matilda " would have been more appropriate for the Ceremony on the Champs Elysee on Sunday !  Cadel has always been for me the epitome of the "  LITTLE AUSSIE BLEEDER " and i think that all " DIGGERS " will agree with me  !

 

Having been at Grenoble for the ITT of the Dauphine Libere i was quite content to miss the Hoopla on Saturday and follow the action on the TV and enjoyed watching Cadel " Bunny hop " after the 3rd time check as he headed downhill !

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IN 1998 i rode the Champs Elysee through the caravan with the French Flag from the Hotel Carillon and an Aussie Flag from Georges of the bar near Brussels Airport so having that experience it has been some years since i have visited the Champs Elysee on the Sunday as trawling around the back of the barriers farewelling people until next year tends to be " Hit or Miss " !

 

 

 

 


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