Coast 2 Coast Adventure

Here we go, time to lace up & go for a run and on an adventure..

Tomorrow (Sat 30th) I’ll be down at Lands End setting off to travel the widest part of the UK on foot. My destination is thankfully the flat and hopefully sunny Lowestoft which is the most Easterly point in the UK. Its around 450 miles or so, I hope to reduce this through bravery and cleverness…

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In good form, I am sat here bedding my new runners in that I brought last night, nothing like winging it is their! I shall be carrying my equipment, tent and such like in one of those fanged rucksack thingys conveniently designed so I have my hands free to consume all of the things and local delicatessen along the way.

Back to my carrying of things, yes, it’ll have all I need for 16 days on the road/mud/paths I’ve pre packed and its around 4kg at the moment so looking pretty good on that front!

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Route finding, erm, yes, I shall be heading in a direction that’s the planning, I will have a look on the map at 6-8 towns along the way and make a note of them then run from one to another, pretty simple, what could possibly go wrong?! No real pre planning, diving in and letting the trip unfold, this might be difficult given the 30 miles a day travel target.. GULP.

WHY OH WHY YOU MIGHT ASK?

Well, I’ve done Hikebikerun, I’ve space hopped and scooted over the last few years and I have always had this long run itch I’ve watched to scratch so this is it.. It’s time.

There is always a substantial and weighty reason for wanting to do something like this, and for me it’s Youth Adventure Trust the work they are doing is life changing for the young adults they help and personally an adventurous attitude to life breads passion, desire and happiness, so If you would like to help with a donation please feel free here:

Fund Raise

What I’d really like to achieve though is not to receive something as common as money, but your time, alone I can only raise so much, but, if you chose to raise money for youth Adventure trust yourself, and spread the love, share the message and make a commitment to raise awareness and a little cash for this wonderful organisation.

Thanks for reading, I hope you get involved and follow the adventure on my social media networks.

 

 

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If questioner 

Everyday I’m a “if questioner” I tear apart people’s process, I ask people to justify there answers as if in a court room. 

One of my favourite quotes, by Mike Skinner 

I want notice every notice that went without notice” 



I work on sight, smell, feeling, vibe, touch, thought, evidence, regulation and legislation, relationships and questions. 

I helped save a life today and change perceptions of life too, I feel lucky, I love my job….. 

Deliveroo are the answer to your sponsorship!

So, you’re going on that adventure, that challenge but looking at social media at those big amazing sponsored adventurer athletes or extreme sports people your thinking “I need me some sponsor action, free kit, a bit of this, some of that”

Now I’ve been asked heaps about how to approach, ask and gain sponsors. And my reply will almost likely be

go get a second job to pay for the stuff you need, you’ll spend days and weeks trying to get something, plough that time into something you’ll get a real return on”

What’s made me write this post/article? Pressure of returning what you tell sponsors you’re going to do in return for what you’ll give them in return.. In return? Yes in return, this is an exchange of items for your time, effort and production of content. Now for me I get het up with the thought of not giving back what I’ve said I’ll deliver, it really knocks me, but maybe you’re different.

I still have a wee niggle of that non delivery, being given something which made my trip a success straight hands down, without it I’d have not gone on the trip or finished it…

And don’t be scared to walkway from something if you feel you’re being asked for too much in return! I’ve walked away from working with a company on a project simply because what I was being offered just wasn’t worth it. For what I’d have been given for what I gave in return wasn’t worth the hassle, time or effort. So I kindly said exactly that and parted ways….

Saving money on adventures:

It’s often a killer for any trip, not being able to afford the kit for the trip you want to do. I’m a Ebay devotee, in fact I’ve still got and use weekly second/third hand clothes, tents and a few bikes too in my day, seriously ten years without a new bike at one point! (Feel the pain, it’s deep real deep!)

Also ask friends, check second hand shops and tip’s (refuse centre if your posh) they now days have shops with the odd cheeky bargin in too! And don’t forget, if you’re going abroad clothes and stuff can be cheaper, pack light and buy as and when you need, you’ll find you can get away without having bits in the first place!

Kit reviews:

A interesting idea, I’ve done a couple and its ok until you get stuff that’s just rubbish but you’ve got to write about it then rely on it during the trip! Again time & effort could be spent better somewhere else, its not a great feeling having a full time job, planning a big adventure and having gear review/blog deadlines AND having to train to the trip too!

Borrowing kit:

A sure fire way to ensure you can try and do something you might not always do or use on a regular basis, just be careful of not becoming “that person” that is always “Can I borrow” and don’t forget this is someone else’s gear, your use will wear it out eventually so give them a little something in return

 

Ok, ok so I’m still going down the route of gear sponsors for a trip:

So, I’ve still not persuaded you away from hustling and trying to get free gear or some sweet deal? Seriously? Ok, so have you looked at just who you’ll be pitching too, no? Take a look at the company what media are they putting out, what’s the feel of the store, their branding and does what you’re doing fit with all of this….

Why the hell should or would they be interested, why you, what’s the special thing or USP that’ll make it happen!

I had an epiphany the other day about this post, if you want to train, get fit and earn money so to not have to deal with sponsor demands, wasted time and such like then get a part time job with Deliveroo! Seriously, you’ll be fitter (on a bike), earning money and you can even film some of it for editing skills training!

 

So, to round it up, if you want to get sponsored, to wear a brand and be associated have demands that take 15 hours to do for that £100 product (aid to work out hourly rate) have to stop and post, share and make sure you take photos mid challenge or journey, THEN:

DELIVEROO!!

Get a job at Deliveroo to get you fit riding a bike and earning money to buy what you need and not worry about the perfect spot for a picture or getting reception to post/like/share/retweet/blog/follow/engage anything. Or if you cannot afford it just don’t take it, obviously unless it’s a key piece of equipment, I mean I’d love to row around Britain but without the boat bit I might not manage it!!

This post didn’t really turn out how I’d planned, but it’s written it’s a weird conclusion but, if you make it this far question this, (take a deep breath and sit down) Deliveroo are a global business, could you cycle around the world as a Deliveroo bike person earning money as you go.

BOOM, I’ll leave this here..

Adventure Awaits

I am dam straight up excited!

Friday 29th I’ll be traveling to the end of the country to take on an un tried route. I’m not quite sure the distance as of now.

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What I can tell you is it’ll be to raise money and awareness for the Youth Adventure Trust , if you’d like to join me for some time on my journey please drop me a message on my contact page.

I look forward to telling you all more in the coming weeks, stay safe. And do what you’d like to tell people about in a years time sat around the dinner table.

Nothing can resist a will that will stake it’s existence for it’s fulfilment”

SAME OLD FACES

I worked for a good number of my 20’s in a beer distribution warehouse, biggest in Europe as it happens. it was physical, tough environment possibly moulded me a little to who I am now.

Because I was young and strong I worked in the “empties yard” the god awful place, lowest of the low. It was outside, all day. My specific task, unstacking “lifts” (18 kegs) from a mish mash of incorrect into their respective correct stack. They weighed 10-12kg empty, my section was tennis court size in a U shape, the fork lift drivers (best of the lowest) took these stacks off the lorries violently dropped them down in front of me, I, placed each keg in its respective pile which was dependent on the banding on the keg, on a good day I’d get through 3-4000 kegs manually by hand.

This was a horrid horrid job, I was scum. But to me it was a challenge, the challenge of keeping up with the three fork lift drivers as they bombarded me with kegs after kegs all day long, they loved it before long my fitness was sensational I carried one keg in each hand, then one in each hand and kick one along the floor. Then two in one had and so on and so fourth into I could carry two in each hand (25kg each hand) and kick one along the floor, whilst wearing steel toe capt boots….

Everyone hated this job, our team consisted of 8 people, Paul the lorry Opener (now dead) Les, Tim & Chris the fork lift team (cool people) the bottle guy (Garry), he stacked up empty bottle crates, me stacking the 9’s & 11’s, Joe who did the 22’s & 36’s these were much larger but required little work just a straightening up mostly, then Jon, the guy who took the completed empty keg stacks away.

We were a team, until it came to me on my section, I got left always. My section would build up there were 50% more kegs that required sorting by hand, if my section built up so much, everyone would stop and just simply wait, or if it was raining they would go inside and leave me outside on my own whilst I finished, even in the snow, the depths of winter when being snowed on and lifting freezing steel containers that mostly have frozen beer in (sorry, memories). Looking back it’s what’s made me so bloody minded and I wouldn’t say I’m tough, but certainly somewhat physically stubborn…

Anyway, Same Old Faces. Les bless him, a cockney chap, proper cockney gold tooth, apples & pares the whole shebang! He was battered in his mid 50’s had a real hard life, I didn’t begrudge working hard whilst he chilled on the fork lift, I’ve always been a grafter like that. Anyway, he used to stop every now and then and simply say “same old faces” laugh in a tone which could be considered a cough and drive off. It took me a few years, but I got it, nothing changed in the empties yard, nothing. No one helped one another even though we had an overall goal for each day we were individual in how we completed in…

This grated me, but the lesson was learnt. Same old faces, same people, same jobs nothing changed. Just going about each and every day waiting for the end of it, so they could simply start it over again, over and over year after year. I guess this was a long post about a lesson I spent too long learning, have a look around you, how many same old faces do you see?
Maybe you’re the same old face?

Maybe you don’t want to move on, see something new. But for changes sake make it happen whilst you have the choice and the chance….

Hints for getting you into skiing.

I’m currently sat join a ski chalet in Tinges, the french alps. Its been 20 years since I last skied but I love the mountains and I’m a real winter & snow baby so I was up for the challenge of throwing on the gear and getting out…

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Of course I took an hour lesson prior to turning up to get the feel for the ski’s, I’m not totally crazy! We took some time on day one to get up in to the mountains just on foot to get familiar with the lift systems, maps and to really get a feel for the mountains again.. QUE, daft adventure type photo..

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1,

So where do I start, I guess it has to be with starting, with anything at any level make sure you do! You’ll never get out skiing unless you try. Start with the lessons at the local slope do the whole lot it will seriously improve your ski holiday when you do go!

2,

Forget the snow plough as soon as possible, I’m only now on day three but, wow it totally messes your skiing and ability to progress, also, it ruins your legs I mean distress them! Trust the edges man, they will hold, thats what they’re for!!

3,

Bottom & Knee’s into the hill, simple keep those turns coming. As I’ve learnt via Jana and practice I’d also say with making a turn keep your ankles together on the turn, thats made the most sense for me anyway, and as the Northerner in our shallot says, “speed is your friend”

4,

You will get used to the altitude, make sure you drink heaps of water and try no to have too many beers on the slopes either, yes a beer can loosen you up, but we all know loose lips skink ships…

5,

Get out with friends they will help you along the way and push your boundaries, make you a better skier!

6,

Gear, yes gear, don’t skimp on the gear, it can make and break your holiday. Staying warm and dry in the hills is so so important!

7,

To be taken as a generalisation, but, don’t be afraid to fail. On reflection I need to push much harder in most things I always play it too safe. Ive been told the worst thing that will happen is I’ll fall on my bum! Go hard and worry afterwards!

And for a final note, I love at how the little kids get throw into skiing out here and smash down these slopes. It makes me feel we wrap our kids up in cotton wool way too much in the UK.

Oh and on hill, it’s cool to be brighter than the next man, FACT…

Great British Adventures

I’m a flipping sucker for #britishadventures, I’ve been and will continue to promote and explore journeys and adventures on our British isles. We’ve so much to do and see packed in to these islands we call home, so today whilst on my walk to the office through the banking district in the heart of our capital city I decided to list out my ten #britishadventures to think about doing in 2016.

They’ll be based on time taken, seeing the most available within the trip and something that I thinks important not only be able to do them on various forms of transport but also be achievable by the masses, and inspiring enough to make people think “maybe I could do that”.

No single one is rated or deemed to be better or tougher than any other, this list is designed to bring inspiration and spark that little something to make you go buy a book or google the idea. Go buy the book though, books are cool, and it helps make the idea real. Loads of friends go buy books or maps about their next trip, it’s a way of confirming and investing in the trip from the outset!


LEJOG
Lands end to John O’Groats, I know I know, but don’t get yourself in a huff I’m starting with a biggie I agree, it’s the UK’s most well-known cycle route at around 950 miles it’s no snip of a challenge but equally achievable by all, I mean dam I’ve scooted this route in three weeks so don’t ever tell yourself you couldn’t cycle it in 16-20 days.
Other ways to travel this route include running, an average time of 6-10 weeks, elliptigo and scoot or like Sean Conway who’s the king of LEJOG with him cycling, running and swimming, yes swimming. He’s setting off to sail it too! It’s also been skate boarded and a woman this year even pushed a bed the 1000 miles too! See this really is a route for all types of transport.

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Canal travel
Personally I’ve been a fan of canals for a few years now, the more I use them the more in love I fall with this journey experience. Canals, seriously where do I start, they were build a good few hundred years ago they hold a fabulous amount of British history and were our cities life lines and brought about the industrial revolution in my eyes, or were at least an influential part of its growth.

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Adventure, right, we have 2000 miles of canal path/waterway and just take a little look you’ll see they are perfect access to city and countryside alike. I beg of you to do at least one canal challenge in 2016, even if its walk Regents canal in London which stretches from Paddington Basin to Lime house Basin, It allowed waste to be transported out of London and created a link from the grand union canal to the Thames.

These routes are easy walking, running or cycling as they’re pretty flat with most paths being suitable for hybrid bikes. We have routes such as the great previously mentioned Grand union canal over 130 miles of walking and pretty impossible to get lost with no major navigation skills needed! Other routes include my previously scooted Liverpool-Leeds route 127 miles of stunning northern loveliness, and even further north the Lancaster canal which is simply beautiful.

Them being flat, well signed with pubs cafes a plenty on most routes, canal adventures fit right in with accessibility for all, challenges to suit everyone from a quick cycle or run to a three day mammoth trip to cover London to Birmingham and even kayak any number of routes. A perfect building point for any budding adventure nut wanting a challenge to practise skills and enjoy our heritage.


Coast to coast
This is high up on my list of to do’s, and in many different forms. 2016 will see me cross the country 2 possibly three times at least…

This journey is a real achievement and confidence booster, from its narrowest 70 miles in Northern England and also Hadrian’s Wall to The great glen way in Scotland and tag the last bit on to Oban, or for the southerners Weston super mare to Whitstable via Avon canal and the Thames and through London is a epic 280 mile option. Again these routes can be done on foot, fat bike and now even Kayak with the Liverpool-Leeds canal now opening up the final section to the coast through Leeds.

Theres even a widest crossing of the UK to be done, I’ll let you figure it out for yourself, but it’s a first and I’ll be running it starting in May!


Three Peaks
This may be a long section as there are many three peaks options, I’ll list them below!

National three peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowdon)

National challenge is based on completing climbing all three mountains and traveling via motorised transport (within legal speed limits) in under 24 hours. This can be gruelling with down time and cramped whilst trying to get some rest, also you have to factor in climbing one of the mountains in darkness so not a challenge for a novice, although guides in all areas are available and would be advised! Believe it or not this challenge has also been undertaken on bike, yes bike, cycling between the peaks, it’s a 500 mile ride too which turns up the effort factor to +10. It’s been completed in as short as 3 days but a typical time could see you successful with 6 days. It can also be walked, Kayaked AND sailed.

Yorkshire

This is a single day challenge normally done in under 12 hours, within the Yorkshire dales national park. It takes in three peaks above 690 metres Pen-y-Ghent (691M) Whernside (728M) and Ingleborough (723M) This really is a great challenge to use as training prior to attempting the National three peaks and to see this stunning part of the UK.

Welsh(Snowdon, Cadir Idris & Penny Fan)

This is the most un known of the Three Peaks trips. Personally the best way to experience this is by cycling between the peaks, its around 180 miles all in. I’d throw down the gauntlet and say its possible in 36 hours but 2-3 days would be much more suitable. Theirs hostals and camps sites pretty close by to stop and re fuel and rest. It’s on my list for 2016 as a nonstop beasting trip!


Coastal Paths

Gang, the sea, our coast line. Mostly looked upon as uninspiring and not the golden sandy beaches that other countries offer, but let me tell you our beaches and coastal walking rocks in with the best!

We’ve over 5000 MILES, yes miles of coast line and no one lives more than 70 or so miles from the sea (not sure that’s entirely accurate!) there’s nothing more special than flipping through a OS map and find a cheeky cove google mapping it to check its spanking and heading off. I’ve done this so many times and found some utterly breath-taking places, and stumbled upon a few too! And to sleep on a beach with friends and wake up with the sea sunrise is a must do, but always check the tide and the weather things can get pretty wild on the coast.

Oh crumbs that wasn’t what I wanted to say, it was about traveling and exploring the coast line! Well, from town to town or city to city, be it a day, a weekend warrior or like Elise EIGHT month run around our coast there are so many beautiful strange crazy places to visit, AND, Ice cream, fish and chips and you’ll ALWAYS find a random crazy knocking around a coast path, just start worrying the day you question if it’s you or not!
Travel by river

This is on my personal list, whether it’s by Kayak, canoe or Stand up paddle board 2016 will see me get on the water to experience the feeling of that different view point to life. The life on the water, it’s at a much slower uninterrupted and simpler idea. Start where the river does and follow the flow from source to sea, of course you don’t have to be so crazy there’s plenty of day & weekend options to hire boats and a guide you can even get camping and dinner thrown in too! And a great option for kids with the UK full of rivers and lakes it’s a easy way to get out and do something they’ll love, kids love a splash around in water right?


Swimming
Swimming, Swimming, Swimming. My personal weak spot. It seems to be a cool thing to do again. Outdoor or “wild swimming” as it’s called is like a whole thing!! Whether you’re doing it in a local swimming lake or researching rivers and safe spots to take a dip its one great way to add a little happiness and twist to a adventure, pack some trunks and goggles and let loose on a sunset swim. Many people pack gear up in a cheap dingy and swim drag it to a remote island on a lake for a weekend of peace and quiet. Its ever more becoming a form of transport for adventures, and when you thing about it with not only the uk but the world so covered by water it has to be a strong option for that summer adventure.


Wild Camps
This is where it’s at for me, pack a 20L bag with a few bits my KIT LIST IS HERE, dive out the office and find a hill top or water side location to share food, giggles and stories with friends both new and old. Watch the sun set get some shut eye and the world wakes you with a bright and Cherrie slap around the chops! Share a coffee and wonder at that sunrise before jumping back on the commuter train to annoy everyone else with your adventure tank topped right back to 100%. If your aware of these but haven’t taken the plunge seriously you are missing out, its life changing. It maximises every second out of your life, warms your soul with the views, people met and tales told AND, AND, builds skills seriously it does. One mid-week night under the stars and getting up and functioning again is the tough bit of an bigger adventure once you’ve that nailed the rest falls into place.

I will mention, keep it hush hush, leave no trace, keep it to a small group and no tents, bivvi bags, tarps if you must and hammocks for in woodland. Yes you should ask permission and yes it’s illegal/frowned upon, but personally the only issue I’ve had is not sleeping because of excitement and my breakfast being eaten by dogs. I have been caught by the police on the beach but they woke us to ask, seriously “are you guys having an illegal rave” the two of us grunted “does it look like we’re having a rave” they turned and left us alone. Be careful, if possible scope out the site prior to going to get a feel for the footfall. My last piece of advice on the matter is unless its remote don’t start a fire, it’s not your land and will raise attention.


National parks
We’ve 15 of the blighters in the UK ranging from Dartmoor in the south west to Avimore in the Scottish highlands never mind the other 13 in-between. Many are mountainous and some in Wales on the Pembrokeshire coast and Norfolk broads cover vast areas of coast line. These area’s are great British institutions and the type of thing our country is famous for. You’ll usually find camp sites, YHA’s and a plethora of outdoor adventure type activities to try from mountain biking, geocaching to hiring a boat on Lake Windermere and Snowdonia even has its own zip wire and in shore surf centre!

AHHH man, I’m so excited to get outside and start clearing some of these off my list of to do’s. Please let me know if you have any other questions about these places or challenges, I’ve tried to keep the blog as short as possible!

Happy Adventuring!