Archive for LEJOG

Think I have the route sorted

Posted in Birth of the plan with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by Gill Rockatansky

I thought this would be the hardest part, deciding how far to travel each day. At first I was thinking that I’d cycle, cycle, cycle some more and then see how far I’d got each day. Instead I have gone for a 14 day route so I can have a goal for each day, now all I have to do is train to make that goal achievable. At the moment, this may be draft 1, here is the route I have come up with.

Day 01: Land’s End to Bodmin – 58.0 miles

Day 02: Bodmin to Exeter – 62.3 miles

Day 03: Exeter to Clevedon – 65.8 miles

Day 04: Clevedon to Tewkesbury – 54.3 miles

Day 05: Tewkesbury to Stafford – 64.2 miles

Day 06: Stafford to Wigan – 62.0 miles

Day 07: Wigan to Kendal – 60.8 miles

Day 08: Kendal to Gretna – 55.9 miles

Day 09: Gretna to Kirkmuirhill – 64.3 miles

Day 10: Kirkmuirhill to Auchterarder – 56.7 miles

Day 11: Auchterarder to Dalnaspidal Lodge – 61.2 miles

Day 12: Dalnaspidal Lodge to Inverness – 64.3 miles

Day 13: Inverness to Brora – 56.8 miles

Day 14: Brora to John O’ Groats – 62.9 miles

That is 851 miles in total, which you can check with a calculator or on Google Maps. So, if i train up to doing 60 miles per day then I should hopefully manage this without dying. Remember, it will be way more boring for me than doing the actual journey, so spread the word, spread the link and hopefully #gillonabike will have some form of interactive content thanks to the webcam, chat room and Skype.

As always, let me know your thoughts.




Slight change of plans needed?

Posted in Birth of the plan with tags , , , , , , , on November 18, 2009 by Gill Rockatansky

Don’t worry, I’m not being defeatist. Since I announced my LEJOG intention I’ve had some great feedback from you guys and dolls, thanks for that. So, here are the main points that have been raised.

  1. The idea is great and people would be willing to sponsor me. That is good to know, so thanks to you all for that early support.
  2. I should plot out a virtual route and show how far along it I have travelled each day, pointing out places of interest. I had planned to do that, but was keeping it as a bit of a surprise. Oh well, the secret is out now. Once I’ve figured out an average distance for each days cycle I am going to plot it all out on Google Maps so I can post pictures of where I am and point out places of interest. It just brings a new dimension to the whole thing, and a target for each day.
  3. I’ll be cycling more than someone who’s doing the actual journey because I won’t be able to, like you do on a bike, build up momentum and cruise for sections. I did know that this would be a problem, but I have no idea what to do about it yet. Should I figure out a percentage of time that I’d be cruising and reduce the total distance accordingly? If I do, how do I work out the percentage? Any ideas, post them as a comment.
  4. This will be a bit of a boring, uncomfortable, endurance task. Since I’ll be in the comfort of my own home I’ll have a few ways to combat this. Firstly, I’ll be cycling to music, movies or tv shows. Some albums, like Carter USM’s 101 Damnations, are perfect for cycling to and will help me keep my speed up. I’ll also, hopefully, have the company of people in the Stickam chat room when they’re checking the webcam to see that I’m not slacking off. Regarding comfort, expect to see the number of cushions on the bike seat increase daily.

So there are the main issues which have been raised by some of you, which I’m extremely grateful for. I still haven’t thought of a charity, but I’m definitely going to look out ones which deal with Social Phobias. I may contact a few of them to see what they think of the idea and whether they’d be responsive to the idea of spreading awareness about the problems via Twitter. With your help I’d like to get lots of regular visitors to the blog and followers on Twitter so I can show the charities that people are interested, then they might be more likely to help with spreading awareness – and more awareness means more donations. I’ve set up this separate blog and Twitter account to keep this from being about me, I don’t want people thinking that this is some kind of stunt to help benefit myself in any way. For me it’s all about the issues, and getting people to understand how damaging Social Phobia and Depression can be, particularly in a time when sufferers are regularly failing their DWP required Medical Services examinations – putting them through a very stressful appeal process which a very large amount of them go on to pass.

Thanks for reading this, and please keep commenting here and on Twitter. Also, let me know if there is anything else you would like me to blog about on here, like related subjects or my own experiences with depression and social phobias.



My 874 mile cycling plans (for charity)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2009 by Gill Rockatansky

Yes, little ol’ agoraphobic me is planning to cycle 874 miles – in my flat.

Here is the plan. Lots of people cycle the LEJOG, Lands End to John o’ Groats, every year for sponsorship. Since my agoraphobia, social phobia, depression and dislike of weather preclude me from doing the actual journey, I’m going to do it on an exercise bike instead. That might sound like it’ll be easy, but I do plan to be cycling 70-80 miles per day – an idea which I do find pretty scary, given my level of unfitness. I was initially going to raise money for a kids hospital, and still might, but I’m going to see if there is a suitable Social Phobia based charity I could raise money for. I also hope that I’ll be able to help spread some awareness, perhaps in collaboration with the charity, via the next part of my plan.

How would anyone know that I was actually doing any cycling in my flat? That’s the sort of thing that people would have to know, or they wouldn’t donate anything through natural human mistrust. So, here are my proposals for proving that I’m really doing the cycling.

  1. Photographs: Each day I will take a photograph of the exercise bikes readout at 0, then take a photo to show my progress each time I have a break.
  2. Webcam: Thanks to my Stickam account, and weekly radio show (cheap plug there), I know that it’s very easy to broadcast live streaming video. A bonus of that is the fact that every time I start broadcasting, it posts an announcement on my Twitter account. So as soon as I prepare to cycle I just need to start broadcasting and people can watch. That might sound a bit dull, but I’ll be able to read all the nice messages that people send – and my mic means I’ll be able to chat occasionally.
  3. Wii Fit: Although it’s not a major part of things, I did think it would be interesting to keep a day by day note of my weight and BMI – also photographed/filmed. If anyone thinks I am daft enough to fake the cycling, whilst still doing something else to change my weight and BMI, then they’re probably too jaded to care about charity anyway.

All that stuff being updated daily means that, hopefully, people will be a bit more interested. I really like the fact that they can, via the interwebs, keep me company while I spend hour after hour on a rather uncomfortable seat. If you can think of any other ideas then please add them as a comment, it’s much appreciated. Twitter also seems like it might be helpful, since it only takes one click of a button to spread the word, then another click by someone else to spread the news even further. Perhaps there could even be a hash tag added to try and make it a trending topic. Since I started growing my hair I’ve been called Jesus a few times, so perhaps that hash tag should be #gillonabike.

All the updates, photos, and videos will be put up on this blog and . Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t allow me to add embedded video, so I may have to place it elsewhere – unless the version of WordPress that you can add to your own site does allow it. If that is the case then all I’d need is some kind soul with their own web space to give me a small piece of it so I can build a little site to house all the information/blog etc.

So, that’s the genesis of the plan. Please let me know what you think. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook or any other social networking site and think this is an interesting idea, please pass a link to this blog onto your friends, follow me on Twitter and Retweet @GillOnABike New Blog Post: My 874 mile cycling plans (for charity) #gillonabike