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!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Monthly Vital Statistics - May

Charity fund as at end of 31st May

 Here, with the most important figure first, are the stats for May :

CHARITY FUND TOTAL AT 31st MAY  -  £351.00





The most improved figure through May has been the amount of views of this blog. Up by 993 views, which is amazing.

Facebook 'likes' continue to rise. Up by 47 since the end of April and rising slowly all the time, and that's without much focus on trying to increase the figure. Thanks for keeping sharing the links folks. 400 'likes' by the end of June is quite possible, with 500 before I actually do the full 2 day journey being the goal.

The weather has helped me get out to do another 47 more training miles than last month, 98 miles in total during the month, keeping on target and moving in the right direction. Hopefully that will continue to build during June.

Thanks to all who have donated to the charity fund or contibuted support to The Long Push so far however, the charity fund only grew by £5 last month. Clearly, this has to be my focus from here on in, generating donations to the charity fund. Especially as Just Giving charge FAMILIES CONNECTED £15 per month to maintain the www.justgiving.com/TheLongPush page. So, with this in mind, I'll be writing a specific FUNDRAISING post very soon, with detailing all the work being done by myself and others to try and generate donations and with some ideas of ways that people can help generate donations in these tough financial times.



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Day 18 Training: Sunday 13th May - Marathon distance achieved!

The weekend I did this training day was the weekend of the Chief Ladiga Silver Comet Skate Challenge 2012, a 188 mile route over three days, starting and finishing in Atlanta Georgia. I posted mostly updates from the race on The Long Push Facebook page over the weekend. I'm filled with admiration for all the skaters taking part in such a gruelling challenge. On Sunday 13th May, the skaters at Chief Ladiga were on Day 3 and faced a 94 mile push back to Atlanta. At the same time, here in Southport, England I was about to take on Day 18 of my training for my 100 mile challenge, and hoping to break the 30 mile barrier. I mean, those guys (and girls) are pushing for 94 miles, so I can push for 30...right?

THE CHIEF LADIGA SILVER COMET TRAIL CHALLENGE:  https://www.facebook.com/ChiefLadigaSilverCometSk8?ref=ts

It looked bright and sunny enough, and it was. I'd wrestled with the moral dilemma of doing some training on a Sunday, instead of spending time with my girlfriend, or...watching World Superbikes from Donnington on the TV! But I needed to get some miles in and with Rachael's approval, off I went. I set off straight from the front door again, up through Birkdale village and up to the coast road. Stopped to send texts and ring Rachael before I set off in earnest, get my helmet on and make a start. Pretty high wind; about 15 mph, but behind me so blowing in the right direction...for now at least! Once past the busy part of the seafront I even deployed the Sporting Sail for a while and got blown some of the way down the coast, past the RSPB marshland area. The wind was blowing across me though, as the road curved round, so although it was good, I still could have benefitted from it being a bit windier to really drive me along. So I pushed and pumped alongside the A565 and A59 up to Tarleton where I stopped for a sandwich and to chat to a bunch of boys who came over with the now usual "Wow! Never seen a board like that Mister! That's wicked!", comments. Gave me a chance to explain what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, so it's all good.

My route...

View Day 18 Training in a larger map

Half an hour later I set off for the return journey. Now, I knew this was going to be tough, because I was pushing back into that wind this time. I didn't realise how tough! There isn't much shelter along the A59, but I was pretty close to the hedges, so I guess that took some of the buffeting away. The problems really started when I got back to the coastal road again. I stopped for a breather at the Plough roundabout and rang Rachael, who offered to come and get me. I'd done about 17 miles at this point, so there would have been no shame in quitting for the day there and then,. Like a fool though I said, "No, I'll give it another fifteen minutes and see how I get on". Mistake! Ten minutes onto the coastal road and the wind had increased to 20mph. Every push was getting me nowhere, as car drivers and bikers whizzed past me in the opposite direction, wondering "...what on earth is that fool doing on a skateboard in this wind?" I was struggling. If only that wind had changed direction the Sporting Sail would have been ideal at this time. Still, it wasn't, so I pushed, and pushed, and pushed along the most isolated section of the road. As I reached the pier I met another fellow Southport longboarder who I hadn't met before and stopped for long enough for him to have a quick scoot on the 'Switchblade'. Nick was on a Lush Samba, one of the boards I've got and used on my early training days. Nice to meet you Nick. Catch up with you around the seafront sometime.

I'd done pretty much the same route as when I did my 25.7 miles ride, but I wanted to improve on that, so, despite everything, the tiredness and stiffness, I carried on up the coast road to do a loop back onto the promenade and back home to Rachael's. Exhausted, I collapsed on the sofa. Later I realised that that my biggest mistake, (apart from not staying at home to watch World Superbikes!) was not putting any sun block on. My face was burning red from the wind. A lesson learnt for next time. Here I am a couple of hours later, talking about the journey. At this point I thought my distance was 26.7 miles, but a later recount of the distances on the google map came up with 30.4 miles, and that was the right route so, I'll have that! Result!!

The good news though was my distance achieved. I was going for 30 miles, and when it was all totalled up on the Google Map seen here it came in at...30.4 miles!. A new 'skate further' than I've done so far, and...over marathon distance! The experience left me with nothing but respect for those pushing the 94 mile last day at Chief Ladiga though.

One technical hiccup that's developed recently is the griptape on my board seems to be getting pushed out of place by the baseplates of the Bear trucks. It's a weird thing. The trucks seem solid and secure enough if I try to move them by hand, so I'm guessing it must just be down to vibration over some of the rougher surfaces. One thing my set up didn't have when it arrived was shock pads (thin pads that fit between the truck baseplates and the deck itself on 'drop-thru' decks, and help preserve the life of the deck. It looks like I'm going to need to get me some of those. So shock pads, new deck bolts, a set of bearings and a new set of truck bushings are on my shopping list, come pay day. A bit of maintenance won't do any harm and is probably overdue at 166 miles.

And finally, I've made my first appointment with a chiropodist! Before I set off today, corns of some kind on both feet were hurting me. I survived the day, but they are only going to get worse if not treated, so I've bitten the bullet and Monday 21st the man is coming to see me. I don't know who will enjoy the experience less, him or me?

Next time I do a long push for training I want to try and skate further along The Long Push route. Watch this space...

As ever, thanks to Long Push 2012 sponsors, BIG WOODY'S SKATEBOARD SHOP : DC SHOES (EUROPE) : ORANGATANG WHEELS/J&R SPORTS : SPORTING SAILS and to all the individuals who have supported me or donated so far. Please keep sharing links and spreading the word.

Here's to day 19.


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Design a flyer for The Long Push 2012

Ladies and gents, I'm looking for some help in designing some flyers to promote The Long Push.

I need to get some flyers made within the next week!. I'm going to get them printed here locally, and I'm going for a cheap option of simple black and white (actually black text on a yellow blackground), so any images on it will also have to be in black or 'silhouette' style. They will be A5 size, so half the size of an A4 page. I've put this kind of thing out on forums in the past and that's how we got the current 'LONG PUSH' logo. So I'm hoping some of you graphic designer types might be able to come up with some potential designs for me to choose from because I'm positive you'll all do better than I could do myself!

So, how about it? The person (company) who's design is chosen will get a namecheck on the blog as a  supporter. I need these as soon as possible guys. I need to get them to the printers and be ready by next weekend! I know that's a big ask, but I'm hoping y'all can help me out here.

The flyers must include the following info, but after that I'm open to different creatives. Just remember it's black on a yellow background.:

black yellow LONG PUSH logo(above)




BLOG www.thelongpush.blogspot.com 
FACEBOOK The Long Push 2012 
TWITTER @TheLongPush 
E MAIL the_long_push@btinternet.com


Other information you need:
It's a 100 mile journey from Southport to Fleetwood and back again, over 2 days. 50 miles per day.
Taking Place in August.

We neeed a strong emphasis on the AUTISM AWARENESS and  DONATIONS aspect

The flyer could use a strong longboard/longboarder image too I guess, but that's up to you guys. There's a lot of URL's to get on the page, so I thought maybe the sponsors ones could all go round the outside edge, in a border?

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.



Monday, 21 May 2012

Latest sponsor of The Long Push 2012

I am very happy to be able to announce that The Long Push 2012 will be rolling on ORANGATANG WHEELS distributed by J&R Sports (Tel: +44 (0)151 480 6973)

Over the first few weeks of training rides for The Long Push I tried several different set-ups to try and work out which was going to work best for me on my journey. To be completely honest, I haven't bought ANY longboard equipment over the years that has been anything other than of a really high standard. I think that says something about the passion that people in this business put into what they do. But after trying a few different wheels of varying sizes and durometers, I decided to stick with ORANGATANG Durians; a 75 mm wheel and the 83A durometer version. I've been seriously impressed with these wheels. They've rolled over everything in sight over the 176 miles rolled so far in training, and felt smooth doing it too.

Purple Orangatang Durians still going strong after 176 miles
ORANGATANG/J&R SPORTS have now supplied The Long Push 2012 with two more sets of 75mm, 80A In Heat's to continue using in training and on the 100 mile journey itself, and J&R also included in the package a set of (much needed) LOADED Jehu bearings, and a set of Paris 180's with risers!! Massive thanks to Kyle Chin at Loaded and Richard Birchwood at J&R Sports for making this happen and showing their support for The Long Push 2012.

ORANGATANG WHEELS can be found at: http://www.orangatangwheels.com/
J&R SPORTS can be found at: J & R Sports - UK Sports Distributor 
PARIS TRUCKS can be found at: http://www.paristruckco.com/

ORANGATANG/J&R SPORTS now join BIG WOODY'S SKATEBOARD SHOP, DC SHOES (EUROPE) and SPORTING SAILS in sponsoring The Long Push 2012. If you would like to join them in sponsoring me in my bid to raise autism awareness and raise up to £5000 for the FAMILIES CONNECTED autism support charity, please contact Chris at the_long_push@btinternet.com

In Heats & Jehu's, ready to roll
Please support the companies and individuals who sponsor The Long Push 2012. These are the people who give us the scene we have today and the scene we want for the future.

Thanks once again, Kyle and Richard,


J & R Sports

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Days 16 and 17 training

The frustration over not managing to build my distance up continued over these two training days. Not a great deal to say abut them, but just to keep the training diary complete here they are:

DAY 16: THURSDAY 3rd MAY - 8 miles
Another 8 mile push around the Marine Lake training circuit after work. Memorable for little other than a spectacular dismount by moi, having lost my balance on one of the ramps coming off the pier! Sent my board flying down a 10 set of concrete steps. Good job no one was walking up them! More importantly, (ahem!) the 'switchblade' looked relatively unharmed at the time, considering it's belly had hit the steps and it flipped and slid across the pavement upside down. Says a lot about the quality of Landyachtz decks.  Just a few scrapes to the deck and to the truck mounting bolts. Hopefully I'll still be able to get those off and replace them. This deck is definitley the most 'used' of any of my longboards. I may well have to treat myself to another and 'retire' this one after The Long Push itself.

DAY 17: WEDNESDAY 9th MAY - 3.77 miles
Today started as a training day but then I abandoned it when something else came up. Didn't even realise RunKeeper had recorded it, but seeing as it did I'll keep it in as another 3.77 miles pushed.

One thing I will do sometime is post photos and video of the Marine Lake training circuit I keep writing about. Many people moan about living here in Southport, but I tell you, there are many, many worse places to live, and when I show you some photos and video from a sunset training ride, you'll see what I mean.

Roll on Day 18.

Friday, 18 May 2012

'LIfe with Children on the Spectrum'. A post from Carol McKiernan Founder & Chairman of Families Connected

FAMILIES CONNECTED is the chosen charity that The Long Push 2012 is supporting this year. We first saw Carol when she spoke at an autism workshop hosted by AUTISM INITIATIVES (http://www.autisminitiatives.org/) here in Merseyside. Carol spoke and we all listened and nodded our heads as she described those common incidents and triggers that we as parents and guardians of cheildren on the autism spectrum, experience daily. This was the first time that I realised (in true Close Encounters style), "We are not alone". As our situation became more complex, we reached out for support and found it through Carol and Families Connected. Carol has been enormously supportive of us. She has given up her time to come and visit us at home and see, first hand, our situation. Her experience as the mother of a son on the spectrum has been invaluable and she has supported us at all three CAF meetings we have attended, even acting as advocate for 'Rachael' when I wasn't able to attend due to work. All of this contributed to me choosing to try and support Carol and help Families Connected grow, to able to support more families, facing the difficulties that an autism diagnosis brings.
A while ago I asked Carol if she would write a short piece for this blog. This is her post...

As a parent of an ASC child (Aspergers & ADHD) day to day living is like a rollercoaster ride. These children live in their own world which is, unbelievably different to ours. Somebody once said to me “you have to take a giant leap into their world because they cannot live in yours” and never a truer word spoken. The actual real life situation is one of treading water every day just to get through in the easiest way you can. Trials and tribulations are a constant thing from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night.

Undoubtedly one of the most difficult things to deal with for a parent of a child on the Spectrum is that sometimes the disability is not always seen. I myself call this the silent disability as, when you see a child/young person in a wheelchair the human reaction is sympathy and pity whilst for other children on the spectrum their behaviour is seen to be a production of bad parenting which causes major anxieties for the parents/families.

The aim of Families Connected is to somewhat assist in lightening the load of the burden that we carry everyday and to raise awareness of this disability to the outside world which in turn with understanding, care and love will make it easier for the family to live with.    

Carol McKiernan
Founder & Chairman
Families Connected     

To find out more about Families Connected visit their web page at www.families-connected.org.uk or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Families-Connected/190465257668501?ref=ts


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Training Days Fourteen & Fifteen, Facebook, and F-F-F-Frustration!

I'm just catching up this blog by finishing a few posts I've had in draft. So please bear with me and I'll post them up as quick as I can...

Training is getting frustrating now! Having achieved the 25 mile mark a few weeks back I really want to just make strides (literally) and keep stepping my distances up, but life, work and the UK weather keep getting in the way! And I know it's not just me that this is bugging. The guys doing The Longboard Crusade, another long distance charity skate trip in the UK this year have posted their frustration on Facebook recently too. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Longboard-Crusade/293491110686750?ref=ts
Like me, the guys just wanna get out and skate! Good job I'm still on schedule at 25 miles. But the end of May is creeping up and the target is 30 miles by then.

On the autism side of things we just had some good news. We now have a Statement of Educational Need. This is one small step for us, and one giant leap towards moving 'Steven' into the school that is most going to meet his needs. That is to say, one that will allow him to achieve his academic potential, but that will have social communication and personal development at the core of its teaching.  Until then of course, the underlying anxieties of him being in the wrong school environment continue to come through more and more at home, making life extremely challenging for all of us, but especially his mum and younger sister. At present a 'normal' day (whatever one of those is) usually consists of much screaming and shouting from about 6.30AM, and delays caused by anything and everything that can distract Steven from his task...getting dressed and being ready to leave for school on time. What then follows is a day of Steven holding everything in and behaving 'robot like' in the school setting, followed by releasing the days pent up energy when back at home, in his 'safe space'. Sometimes it seems like others forget that it is his mum's and sister's 'safe space' too!

My girlfriend isn't keen on me sharing too much that is personal to our situation on this blog, so I mostly write about the planning and training for The Long Push journey itself. (I share more autism links on The Long Push 2012 Facebook page) As it happens another mum has recently put into words what I can't, on her blog, 'WONDERFULLY WIRED'. So by means of trying to explain the impact our situation is having on us, please read Fiona's blog post, 'Climbing out of the trench'  http://wonderfullywired.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/climbing-out-of-the-trench/


It seems like no time at all that I was spamming people's Facebook pages like crazy, asking them to go 'like' The Long Push Facebook page to make it up to 200 'likes'. At that time, Long Push sponsor Woody at www.bigwoodys.co.uk shared the page and the likes suddenly shot up. That's the power of sharing. Since then the figures edged up one at a time until a week ago weekend when we hit 300!! Excellent stuff. Thank you to all who have joined me for this journey on Facebook but please don't stop there, keep sharing and let's see if we can hit 500 by the time of the 2 day 100 mile journey in August.

I have managed to get in some short training days between showers and work etc.

Day 14: Saturday 21st April - 4.7 miles :  Just over 4 miles around my Marine Lake training circuit, plus my first deploy of my sail from sponsors @SportingSails but the wind wasn't consistent enough to pull me along at any speed.So I'll have to try that again another time.

Day 15: Tuesday 24th April - 10.52 miles :   Building my distances up again. 4 miles last time, a little over 10.5 miles tonight. That's two and half laps of my local raining circuit. Building up to another 25 mile or more skate in the next week or two. Thanks to.sponsors Big Woody's and DC Shoes for supplying me with footwear for The Long Push and this training for it. I've done over 140 miles in training now and both pairs of DC's are holding up brilliantly. The 'Monty's' have been used most and there's still loads of tread on my pushing shoe, look...

140 miles and barely any wear. Thanks to DC Shoes (Europe) and bigwoodys.co.uk

More posts coming just as soon as I get them posted up.

Keep watching...


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Monthly vital statistics!

Just while I'm putting together a new post, I've decided I'll post some stats for the preceeding month on the 1st or thereabouts of each month. So that all the progress made is in one place each month.

Here then, with the most important figure first, are the stats for APRIL :






The aim now is to DOUBLE THE CHARITY FUND MONTH ON MONTH. So the aim would be to get to £600 by the end of May. The blog under construction includes a section about FUNDRAISING and how we can make that progress towards the £5000 target. Much going on behind the scenes, but please continue to share links and especially the donations page at www.justgiving.com/TheLongPush

Had some great news about a new sponsor yesterday. Announcement to come as soon as possible. New full blog post soon too.

Thanks for all your support,


Thursday, 10 May 2012


We apologise for the interruption to this blog. This has been caused by circumstances beyond our control, namely an outbreak of 'life'. We are currently doing all we can to solve the problem. Normal service will be resumed as soon as:
A) we have regained control of 'life', and a new blog post is written (in progress)
B) when we know what 'normal' is again!

Until then...