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!

Friday, 24 February 2012

First two sponsors of The Long Push 2012!

Sponsorship is an enormously important element for all charity events. I can't tell you how much it means to me and to other families who have family members on the autism spectrum, and how good it is for raising autism awareness around the world to have the support of companies and individuals on top of all those making donations.

I hope other companies will also want to come forward and sponsor The Long Push 2012 - Longboarding for Autism Awareness in the coming months. Please conact me at the e mail address if you would like to support the journey in some way or make a donation at http://www.justgiving.com/TheLongPush

So without more delay I am very happy to be able to announce today, the first two companies to come forward to sponsor The Long Push 2012 (in alphabetical order)


Big Woody's is Lancashire and the Fylde's premier and largest skateboard shop and has a reputation as one of the top skater owned shops in the UK, but I'll let Woody and Dre tell you more...

"We are Andrea and Woody we have over 35 years of skateboarding experience and together we own and run Big Woody’s Skateboard Shop.

We sell what we know, We know what we sell.

Woody has been involved in the UK skate scene since the mid 70`s and is well respected, Andrea since the late 80`s via her son Ricky .

We have 2 shops, our main shop is now situated in Blackpool, at 32 Talbot Road FY1 1LF , once you get there we are sure you will agree that our shop is well stocked and offers an excellent range of products , catering to all needs .
For more information please visit www.bigwoodys.co.uk

What can I say about DC Shoes that you won't already know? Making quality shoes and clothing for the extreme sports market since 1993. A team including the likes of Steve Berra, Chris Cole, Rob Dyrdek, Colin McKay, Josh Kalis, Nyjah Houston, Mike Mo, Matt Miller, Wes Kremer and the legend that is Mr. Danny Way. Watch the trailer for his new 'Watch the Lightning' video here

Visit DC Shoes online at http://www.dcshoes.com

Once more, huge thanks to Woody and Andrea at Big Woody's and Leo at DC Shoes Europe for making this happen. Please support these companies that show support for skateboarding at grass roots level. Without them we would not have the scene that we do.

More updates coming soon.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Day 4 Training: Sunday 19th February. Sectors 3 & 4

A day of sunshine in the middle of a week of sorrow and mourning. And an opportunity to spend some time on my own and come to terms with all that has happened in the last 10 days. Sometimes there can be a lot of comfort in the solitude of pushing a longboard a long distance with only your own thoughts and the ambient sounds of the surrroundings to keep you company. And that was what happened today. You'll be missed and loved always Margaret.

Todays Set-Up: 

LANDYACHTZ 'Switchblade' deck    
BEAR 'Grizzly' 180 trucks
ORANGATANG 'Durian' wheels 76mm 83A 
BEAR Abec 7 bearings

My training days are too far apart at the moment really, but that's got more to do with the weather and work more than anything else. But, it made switching back to try the LANDYACHTZ 'Switchblade' again a bit of a hairy experience at first today. Not because of the deck itself, but more because of the hyper sensitive BEAR 'Grizzly' trucks. My first few pushes felt 'twitchy' as hell, after the slow, smooth response of the RED STAR trucks I used on the SECTOR 9 last time out. I still had the SECTOR 9  in the car, and thought about turning back at first, but then looked back and realised I'd already gone nearly a 1/4 of a mile, so I decided to stick with it. And of course, later on I felt the benefits of sticking with my first choice.

Starting point at the beginning of Sector 3
You can see the route of todays sectors on the map at the bottom of this post. Another push further along the cycle path alongside the A59 towards Preston. The A59 is the main road from Southport to Preston, cutting through the agricultural area that covers the land between the two towns. It was a nice day. Not as cold as previous training days, with only a slight breeze. The cycle path still had a lot of tree debris from winters shedding of leaves and branches, plus the usual cow pats and horse manure roundabouts to negotiate. (I have to keep my eyes on the path!) I had a few scary "Never underestimate the power of a pebble" moments too! When my wheels ground to a sudden halt but I didn't! Scary because the traffic on the road passes pretty quckly and the path is very narow at times. Last thing I wanted to see is my board rolling backwards under the wheels of a passing truck! That WOULD be a bad day at the office! After getting used to the Grizzly's again after the first mile or so, the benefits showed when I found I was still able to pump uphill at some points on this ride. To be fair though, it was probably only about 60/40 pushing /pumping on the way out. The ORANGATANG 'Durian' wheels and the Bear Abec 7 bearing combination however is a surefire winner. So far this is the winning combination and first choice for wheels for the full ride. Really smooth over most surfaces so far and really fast rolling. Hugely impressed with that wheel set up.

Again though, because this was another solo effort, with no buddy to film my progress there is no video footage of the day. Just a couple of photos. I wanted to try and keep moving as much as I could today, to get an idea of timings for the sectors. But as and when I get some video sorted I'll re-insert it into the relevant blog posts. I'm bound to be doing these sectors again in the training build up over the coming months.

Still, I got to the end of the 3.3 miles that make up Sector 3 (I made a mistake on Facebook and said todays sectors were 4&5, but it was 3&4! Doh!) at Langs at Longton. Thought about stopping for an ice cream at the ice cream parlour next door which was beckoning to me, but, seeing as my body is a temple and I'm an athlete now ( Ahem! No sniggering at the back there!) I resisted and just reset Runkeeper on my phone to start again to record my progress for Sector 4. Bit of uphill on this sector, but nothing too hard. Not long after I was at the end of this sector, just another 2.5 miles further down the road, at Hutton, where Lancasire Constabulary (Police) have their headquarters. Stopped and sent the Runkeeper info to Facebook/Twitter and sat down here for a buttee and a drink for a few mins.

End of Sector 4. Next stop Penwortham!
Even with the two sectors combined this had been the shortest of my training rides yet, and in a way, that's fine, because I know I need to vary my training, especiallly while the days are so far apart. But, I also had to get over the 10 miles in a day landmark. Until now the furthest I'd gone in a day was a little over 8 miles. So, I decided to ride back too. And on the way back, with a slight tail wind the split was pretty much 50/50 pushing/pumping, so it didn't feel too bad at all. Started to get a slight bit of pain in the sole of my (left) pushing foot about half way back. Hopefully, a nice shoe sponsor will come through with something ideal to avoid this on the ride itself ;o) And remember I said the pavements were a bit narrow in places? My 'Grizzly's got their first grind today as a result of this, when I lost a rear wheel over the side of the kerb to a resounding 'SCHRALP' sound while pumping round a layby. Lived to tell the tale though, and the Grizzly's bear the scar to prove it.

'SCHRALP!' And those luvverly Durian wheels
Total distance for the day? 11.5 miles. So the 10 mile barrier was well and truly beaten. I just don't know when the next day I'll be able to train will be. What I do know though, is...my legs are gonna know about those 11.5 miles in the morning! Ugh! Still watch this space and watch it also for the sponsor announcement. I can feel it coming in the air...tonight...as Phil Collins sang!

And finally... Last month I was hoping to get to 100 'likes' for the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Long-Push-2012-Longboarding-for-Autism-Awareness/303916856296557 by the end of January. Today we hit 160 likes! So...200 seems to be the logical target to aim for by March 1st. So please help me out folks. If you haven't 'liked' The Long Push Facebook page yet, please go click 'like' on it. And when you have, please share it with others. I will no doubt spam a few Facebook walls myself this week in an attempt to make that 200 figure. All helps raising awareness folks, and I appreciate the support.

Have a great week everyone, and I hope to be able to post another blog real soon,


View The Long Push - Sectors 3&4 in a larger map

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


We suffered a bereavement in The Long Push family this weekend. This will obviously have an impact on updates to the blog for the time being.

No change to long-term plans for The Long Push 2012 though.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Waiting for the planets to align - Day 3 training.

Todays Set-up:

SECTOR 9  pintail 46"
RED STAR 180mm trucks
SECTOR 9 'Nineball' wheels 72mm 75A
MINI LOGO bearings

You know what they say about the weather here in the UK? If you don't like it...wait a minute! Well, the weather window that opened up to let me get out for Day 2 of my training has been firmly shut again since then. If it hasn't been raining, it's been high winds...or both. And if it hasn't been both of those it's been REALLY low temperatures, keeping the roads and pavements wet throughout the day. The wind even took some slates off my roof, narrowly missing the car. Haven't had my motorbike out since Boxing Day. Have barely had my mountain bike out, so not much chance with a longboard. And it's not over yet. Tonight (Mon 6th Feb) it's very icy and cold out there, and while we haven't got any snow here in Southport, some parts of the UK have had a pretty heavy dump of the stuff, if you'll pardon the expression? All very frustrating when all I want to do is get out there and get some miles under my belt. But hey, it's only the beginning of February. Early days yet and plenty of time before the ride in September, and I did manage a few miles on Friday morning.

Yes indeed, Day 3 of training consisted of an hours pushing around the seafront area here in Southport before going into work in the afternoon. The sea wall has a nice smooth surface and we have a man made lake, the 'Marine Lake' and 'Kings Gardens' that provide a good 8 mile figure 8 to train around when I don't have the time to keep training on the different sectors of The Long Push route plan. Friday morning was freezing again, naturally, but it had been dry for the previous few days, so for once, the planets all lined up to allow me to get out for an hour at least. Dry, not in work until the afternoon, nothing else pressing in life that I HAD to do. Cool! Beautiful blue sky too, as you can see on the photo from when I'd just finished.

"It's mine and you can't have it!"
WARNING! GEEK ALERT! - OK people, I'm going to do a bit of techy type writing about equipment now, so I hope the non-skaters among you will stick with me, but if not, just tune out for now and I'll let you know when it's safe to come back, OK?

I tried the third different set-up so far today, the Sector 9 pintail in the pic above. Bought this deck on holiday in Cornwall a few years ago. Beautifully shaped deck, with a great camber and concave. It really is a beautiful piece of wood. Over the years it's had different trucks and wheels on including Randal 180's and 3dm Avalons, but currently it's as stated at the top.

Those Red Star 180mm trucks, plus soft angled risers
 I really don't know too much about the RED STAR trucks. I got these from Johnny Antrobus when he was (sadly) winding up Buffalo Longboards here in the UK. Johnny was selling off the stuff they had left in their garage and was selling these for just £10 a pair! At the time I wondered if I should have got two sets and now I wish I had! They have a standard skate truck geometry, unlike Randals or Holey's reverse kingpin, so they don't turn like those. In a way they are less responsive than the likes of Independents or Krux trucks too, but they have a beautifully smooth action, which makes them perfect for cruising, but still allows pumping on any half decent surface. This smooth action and lack of 'twitch' is pretty appealing for the full 100 mile ride actually. The ride height is lower than Randals too, making pushing on a top mounted deck less of an issue than some might suggest for any long distance skating. Certainly didn't trouble me at all today, but then I guess it was only over 8 miles or so.

72mm, 75A, and look! You can see right thru 'em!
The Sector 9 'Nineballs' are awesome wheels. The hollowed plastic core gives them a much 'harder' feel than their 75A durometer and yet they still feel really smooth and grippy. They'd have rolled even better today with a new set of bearings, but I was just using an old set of Mini Logos that are probably past their best, but still did the job well enough. Overall the whole set-up feels like a good contender for the full ride, with maybe a tweak here and there. I'm aiming to have the set-up decided by the time I get to up to Sector 9 ;o) (did you see what I did there huh?) or maybe Sector 10 of the full ride in training. Then I'll stick with it up to the full ride itself. Still, more testing to be done yet. 
Watch this space...

OK, NON-SKATERS, you can come back now. Or hopefully you're still with me anyway, right?
So, the good news to end is that the Facebook 'likes' are now up to 144 at last viewing, sooooo...200 for end of February is a real possibility. Keep sharing folks, the more 'likes' the page gets the better we can raise autism awareness, and that's what the whole project is about.

Also, the donations are now up to £180! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS DONATED SO FAR. Such a great start to the donations. Again, please keep sharing links to this blog and the 'Just Giving' page here: http://www.justgiving.com/TheLongPush

And now it's possible to donate by text too. Vodaphone have linked up with just giving to allow FREE donations to THE LONG PUSH 2012/FAMILIES CONNECTED by text message! Donate any amount from £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. To donate £1 simply text this code LFAA50 £1 To: 70070. So if the total is up to £180 so far. Let's see if we can make it to £500 by World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd huh? How about it? 

 Sunset  along the sea wall from a year or so ago
 And finally, the keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that the "big announcement about the first two sponsors" hasn't been posted yet. Correct. No problems with that. Just waiting for approval of the blog post from one of the sponsors before I post it. The least I can do for a company showing me support is to make sure I'm showing the same support in return. Again, watch this space.

A long 6 day week in work now, so keep yer eyes on the Facebook page and Twitter for quick updates. Until the next time, keep sharing, keep donating (if you are able), keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, and keep on rollin'.