THE LONG PUSH 2012 is sponsored by...

THE LONG PUSH has been sponsored and supported by the following companies and individuals...



If you would like to sponsor me on my journeys, please contact me at the_long_push@btinternet.com

justgiving - sponsor me now!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Day 2 Training: Monday 16th January. Sector 2 - 4.0 miles

Todays Set-Up:

LUSH 'Samba' deck 42"
SEISMIC trucks (Grey springs)
SECTOR 9 'Goddess' wheels 76mm 74A
BONES RED bearings

Kinda like buses; you wait ages and then all of  a sudden two come at once. So after having this crazy idea sometime in November and actually launching it on 4th December 2011, I finally managed to get the first two training days in over a three day period! Still the camera catastrophy's continue. Once again my attempt to put a video blog on for todays ride have been thwarted by gremlins, so instead, you'll have to make do with this image of me talking into the camera and imagine my dulcit tones (or is that just dull tone?) instead of writing the words. You know that scene in High Fidelity where Bruce Springsteen appears at the end of John Cusacks's bed to speak to him in his dream? Like that. 'cept I'm not a global superstar icon known as 'The Boss'!

Is this camera rolling??
So, how did Day 2 of training go? I'm glad you asked. It was cold again. Damn cold. Colder than day 1. Minus 2 degrees C this morning! And that nearly caused a problem shortly after setting off from the Banks Roundabout, where Sector 1 ended and Sector 2 starts.
Helmet on? Check
Shades on? Check.
Runkeeper started to track ride? Check
MP3 player? I said...MP3 player? Bugger! Forgot it again!  Note to self: "Life without music is almost no life at all. Pack it next time dude!"

There wasn't a strong wind, but what wind there was was blowing straight towards me, and the cold air aggravated the slight asthma that troubles me at times. I was having trouble breathing at first, but after loosening clothing around my neck and probably just getting used to the temperature, it settled down. Next was a potential hardware problem. I tried the LUSH 'Samba' today as part of my plan to try different set-ups to see what is going to work best overall for the full 100 mile journey. I'd used this board before on this stretch very briefly in November, and although i knew it worked well at the time (with a 30MPH wind behind me), I'd forgotten about a rattle that comes from the front on the board. I've heard it before, checked to see what it might be and failed to work it out. Today was no exception. I stopped to have a look but couldn't work out what it was. It sounds like something simple like a loose truck bolt nut, but it isn't! It could be something to do with the front Seismic truck, as they use springs instead of rubber bushings like the majority of skateboard trucks, and I don't much about fixing Seismics. I decided however that it was nothing major and that I'd rather continue on than go back and swap back to the LANDYACHT again for today. After a while the rattle and I seemed to settle a bit more and I started making more progress. This short 4 mile sector took me along a cycle path by the side of the A59, a dual carriageway linking Southport to Preston, some 19 miles away. The path itself is smooth but there was a lot of loose branches, stones, mud from farms and huge dollops of horse manure to negotiate along the way! Very fast traffic passing by too. That MP3 player would have been good for drowning out the sound of the passing traffic.I took some photos and filmed a little. But having to do it all myself is a bit of a time waste. You never know though, you may be lucky enough to see it some time! Or not!

I was doing OK. I went passed the end of the dual carriageway section and onto the next part where the road just changes to a wide two lane 50 MPH road. The narrow pavement on the west side of the road was still ok, and I passed by all the garden centres along this stretch with no problems, until the path just... stopped. Now normally, all that would mean was that I crossed over to the other (east) side and carried on. But today, the east side pavement was still damp or frozen. I crossed over and gave it a go, but in some places I was just skating on ice.The path was narrow and sketchy. There was way too much risk of sliding out and getting injured, so I was left with litle choice but to get off and walk the last 1/2 mile. I was a bit disapointed with that, but...I'm bound to come across issues like this from time to time. And anyway, look at this truck that I walked past on the way?

Cool huh?
 RunKeeper tracked my time of arrival at Tareleton traffic lights for the 4 miles of the sector at just below 33 minutes, and that included a couple of camera stops along the way. I took a road sign photo just past the end of Sector 2 and at the beginning of Sector 3. Only 9 miles to Preston? Sounds encouraging. Still, I was stood there by the traffic lights at Tarleton wondering what to do next. I felt...OK actually now. I'd warmed up and was thinking about riding back the 4 miles in the opposite direction! Partly because it would be good training and partly because, I wouldn't have to pay for a taxi back, or be embarressed at not having enough dosh in my wallet when I got back again! I thought about the next sector, Sector 3, which is only another short 3 miles. I could have caried on and done at too, but then I remembered that the bulk of the path for this sector was on the east side, so that would most likely be frozen or at least damp too. So that was my decision made then. I could have murdered a cup of coffee, but instead settled for water and a Tracker bar, before setting off, walking the first 1/2 mile and then getting my wheels back down for the return push. Actually, I found myself doing more pumping going back in this direction. The slight tail wind ws behind me and the soft flex of the Samba helped drive me forward at a decent rate. I felt like I'd made it back much quicker, but RunKeeper timed it at nearly 32 minutes again, so there wasn't much in it either way. Overall the Samba was good. No complaints about the deck at all. I'd always thought that the Seismic's were a bit twitchy before, but now, compared to the Bear Grizzly's they seemed solid. But great for pumping. I love the Sector 9 Goddess wheeels, but I was thinking that maybe they were a little too soft at 74A for this ride and that the harder (but still soft in the scheme of things) 83A Orangatang's might have helped me to get a better drive along. Something to think about for me there.

So overall, what have I learnt over the two training days? Well I've done 14.2 miles on the two rides over a three day period. And considering this is the most I've pushed before, I don't actually hurt too badly. One thing I DO know I have to do is to learn to push with my right leg as well as my left, otherwise I'm gonna end up with one leg like Popeye and the other like Olive Oil! Changing 35 years of habit is not going to be easy though. I can see me spending some time on a car park somewhere trying to learn to push with both legs, without falling or crashing into something!

10 miles out, only 9 to Preston
Definitley need to do some other workout stuff to help. The weather is going to turn wet again for the rest of this week, so that gives me time to give my legs a rest from skating for a few days. Maybe do some cycling towards the end of the week to keep my legs moving, but with less pressure on my feet. And if there's a gap in available training days again then I think a blog about my motivation for this ride is probably overdue. So hopefully that will be my next entry in a few days.

Here's the map for Sector 2:

View Long Push: Sector 2 - 4.0 miles in a larger map

Daily activity/link sharing etc on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/303916856296557
Please go take a look and help me get to 100 'Likes' before the end of January.


  1. What a fantastic thing you are doing! I love this! I am going to pass along your blog to my brother who owns a longboarding company and has created his own custom trucks. He is selling them to raise funds for autism research. My son is profoundly affected by autism and non-verbal. It means a great deal to me to see people all over the world who are fighting to create a better future for our kids! Congratulations on what you are doing! You can check out my brother's new website www.zealouslongboards.com to see what he has planned to help with this fight! Soooo cool! Best of luck to you on your journey! We will certainly be following you!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment. Please do continue to help me raise awareness of autism and the ride itself by sharing links to this blog, the facebook and Twitter pages.


  3. Nice blog for a great cause, Chris. All the best for the journey and hopefully you'll have good weather!
    Steve [rocknut]

  4. Thanks for your comment Steve. More coming soon....