LEJOG947 – this time it’s personal

It’s less than 12 weeks till LEJOG947 – cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats…. here’s an FAQ of sorts:

1) Isn’t that the wrong way, it’s all downhill if you start in Scotland isn’t it?

No, no it’s not. For one, prevailing winds in the UK are SW so it’s into the wind, for another the day with the most climbs is the first/last day in Cornwall and finally logistically it’s easier to get back from JOG (courier collects bikes, we get a train to Inverness then fly to Bournemouth) and be dropped off in Land’s End.

Finally NO. We start around sea level and end around sea level, don’t be a moron.

2) WHY?

I’ve always wanted to do it, having cycled loads my whole life. I wanted to raise some money for CALM and raise the profile of the work they do.

3) Are you staying in hotels each night, that’s not too hard… is it?

Nope, we’re carrying all our own kit and camping. Because we’re bad ass.

3) If I make a donation it’s just paying you to go on a holiday cycling about for 2 weeks right?

Nope EVERY penny goes to CALM or the RNLI, which are our chosen charities – my lead charity is CALM who do great work to promote male mental health issues – every cost has come out of my pocket.

4) I’m broke, can I help in other ways?

Yes, join me on a training ride and encourage me not to lose my way: eat badly, miss training, stay out late etc!

Training is going ok, I’ve clocked up around 600 miles so far this year and have a plan in place, this weekend’s ride was tough but has only toughened my training resolve.

I’ll be posting updates on twitter, instagram and on the donation page.

Bring it!

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the Samaritans Radar app

First off I should add a trigger warning, this post will contain some discussion about suicide and mental health issues I’ve experienced directly – I’m going to be blunt and open about some stuff, and if you could find that uncomfortable or a trigger in some way, please don’t read on.

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Project BBTA

Project BBTA

Forgive me blog for I have slipped, it’s been many months since my last post.

I did start a draft on 100 happy days, but felt no urge to complete it.

Lots of this year has sucked, there have been some awesome moments but on the whole… very sucky. It’s time to change that.

Just after I finished 100 happy days I got sick. The arthritis came back in a big bad, I’m struggling to move, kinda way (I won’t bore you with the back story but it stems from food poisoning some years ago – see Reiters posts).

For a couple of weeks my feet and knee were so swollen I could barely stand and had to work from home.


BTW This isn’t a “oh poor me, give me sympathy” post I just need to write it down as part of my process for moving on.

When the symptoms have flared up before it’s only lasted a week, steroids, boom back to normal. Not this time.

Mentally it was hard but it was some of the stupid things that really got to me: my feet were swelled to the point i couldn’t fit in any of my shoes without severe pain… I had to buy special wide fit old person shoes. Nooooo!

I found the uncertainty challenging. At times feeling like maybe this was it, this was how my life would be now, pain.

Some plans had to change, I wasn’t able to train for Land’s End to John O’Groats and took the soul destroying decision to postpone (I WILL do it next year).

But after months of tests, drugs by the bucket load I’m coming out the other side. I owe a great debt to the team at the RNLI who were so supportive, especially Emily and Nathan.

So, what is project BBTA?

This is the fight back. Time to Bring Back The Awesome!

Now I’m mostly better, my feet and index fingers being the only bits really affected, it’s time to take it up a notch.

There are a few small changes to my life like the medication I’m on means I can’t drink.

I’ve got a list of new things I’m going to try as part of BBTA (post to follow).

I’m also going to make more time to say thanks. Where I encounter people being awesome, I’ll write to their head office to spread the awesome.

Bring it.

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Bar camp NFP 14 – Failure Swapshop notes

Another year, another bar camp… another glorious session of sharing failure.

Thanks so much to everyone who attended the Bar camp NFP Failure Swapshop <– if you don’t know what one is, take a look here.

Lessons learned this year:

  • Be prepared
  • look before you leap
  • trust yourself
  • double check the important stuff
  • say no
  • ask “Why?” more
  • think about consequences
  • don’t assume
  • who owns it?
  • what is the real problem
  • collaboration is key
  • look at the big picture
  • don’t proof read your own stuff
  • Think how a picture looks out of context
  • Share your plans

FAIL — I didn’t take a photo, if you took one and you’re happy for me to use it, please tweet it at me!

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