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

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Back on board

It's two weeks since The Long Push 2012. I'm still working on writing up the journey, from concept to Days 1 and 2 of the journey itself. Until I've done that, today, Saturday 22nd September was my first day back on board and it felt good to be back rolling again.

A perfect day came out of nowhere, in a week where it's felt like winter has come early. Wetter, colder and with the noisey gaggle from the geese as they start flying South for winter again already! I found some time in the afternoon to get out on my board again for a while and had the idea to just do a 6 mile or so push up and down the coast road to Ainsdale and back. I didn't want to do too much (I didn't have time to either) and I wanted to try out some different shoes over a decent distance, but not too far. So this route filled the bill well. I set off from Southport Pier at about 4.30 in the afternoon. The warmest part of the day had passed, but it was still warm enough to make the journey in my Longboarding4Cancer (Sweden) baseball shirt and show some love for George and Oscar's journey across Sweden this year. Kinda nice not to feel obliged to wear the 'compulsory' yellow Long Push T-shirt, now that this years autism fundraising charity work is done with. Winter gives me a bit more freedom and time to try different things ahead of a new Long Push 2013 - Longboarding for Autism Awareness campaign. That will come again in March next year, with a new colour scheme for 2013.

Poor photo from the Southport end of the sea wall.

It's a straight, smooth push along the cycle path next to the coastal road, marred only by the small stones from the recent resurfacing of one part of the road, and having to breathe in to let any cyclists pass me on the narrow cycle path. I wanted to try some different shoes out on this ride today. I saw Adam Colton's equipment video for his 1000 mile longboard journey across China (yes, you read that right, one thousand miles!) and noticed what footwear he was going to be using for that journey. For anyone who doesn't know who Adam Colton is, he's a legend in longboarding. A real character, one of the Long Treks on Skate Decks team and pretty much a genius on a longboard. I figure with his experience, he knows what he's talking about. Here's the link to his kit list for the China journey and the acompanying video...


So, one Saturday recently I found myself in Sports Direct here in Southport and stumbled across these Karrimor 'trail' running shoes. Now, I'm no runner, but I liked the look of these instantly and tried a pair on. The main thing I noticed was that the sole under the ball of my pushing foot felt really well cushioned, despite the contact tread being quite stiff and rugged. They are designed for 'off road' running after all. They were light and breathable as well, so they fitted a lot of the chracteristics that Adam mentioned in a shoe for distance skating, and I figured they might work well for me too. Then I noticed the price, £24.99! And only £20.99 if bought online! For that price it seemed rude not to give them a go. I could always use them for mountain biking if they don't work on the board. Debit card out and order placed. Back to today...

Karrimor Trail Run SNR 23 in Grey/Blue/Lime
Pushing the three miles to Ainsdale the Karrimor's felt really good. My feet have had two weeks to heal from the 100 mile push but even so, the sole of my pushing foot felt absolutley fine when I arrived at the Sands pub on the edge of the beach at Ainsdale, and the stiff sole fitted into the concave of the 'Switchblade' perfectly. The DC Alias Lite performed brilliantly over the 100 miles of  The Long Push this year, but the Karrimor's have definitly given me food for thought. Got some other shoes to try over the winter season too, so a lot more testing to do. I hadn't touched my board since finishing The Long Push either. It still had all the mud and dirt over the underside and my wheel nuts and truck bolts could probably have done with tightening up a bit but...it actually felt really good! The Landyachtz 'Switchblade' really is a GREAT deck and set up with the Paris 180 trucks and still with the 80A 75mm Orangatang 'In Heat' wheels it really works very well.

I stopped at the Sands pub, bought a beer and sat outside in the sun, watching the bikers riding back away from Southport for the day. Part of me always wishes I was on my own bike when I see other guys on theirs, but you can't do everything once, can you? And even over winter there will be good biking days between the wet days. It occured to me that, despite driving/riding past this pub hundreds of times over my 48 years, I've never actually set foot in The Sands before in my life! Something I commented on to the bar maid. I'll remedy that whenever I'm passing and not driving/riding my mororbike in the future. Nice setting on a Sunny day.

The battery was dying on my mobile phone again (as usual!), so I stopped RunKeeper at this point, so that I could upload the details of my ride onto the Long Push Facebook page. The camera on the phone won't work when the battery is low, so I couldn't take another photo and I'd travelled light, with no bag, so no second camera with me.   RunKeeper link

Glass emptied it was time to head home. I had a wedding reception to get to later on, so no time to hang about. An incident free 3 miles later, I was back at my car and still feeling the love for the new Karrimor's. Good stuff. Poor weather forcast for the coming week, so unsure when I'll next get out on a board again. Plus, I've got some 'life stuff' to do. Watch out here for the first installment summarising The Long Push 2012.

Until then, rock and roll whenever you get chance, people.


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