Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
the_journey
Posts: 12
Joined: 2 Oct 2020, 6:29pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby the_journey » 5 Oct 2020, 8:33am

Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for your input. I will definitely consider all you have mentioned.

I don't mean to sound cheap with my price list above but, money is very tight so I was trying to source the least expensive (yet hopefully effective) items possible. Damn, it's embarrasing even mentioning the above.

Having said all that, I will look into all you advise for sure.

Thanks once again, it's very much appreciated!

Cheers

PS - as far as getting my wife involved, I can certainly ask but, she's not very keen on cycling (in general). But, you never know :)

thirdcrank
Posts: 30804
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Oct 2020, 8:50am

the_journey wrote: ... PS - as far as getting my wife involved, I can certainly ask but, she's not very keen on cycling (in general). But, you never know :)


I'll be blunt. There's a huge amount of sympathy for your wife and you on here and that must be deterring plain speaking.

IMO, your project is poorly thought out and unlikely to end well. It's not going to raise a fraction of the money you mentioned as being needed for private treatment and may well show a net loss. On top of that you risk piling on the anxiety for your wife. You must be under a lot of stress and that doesn't help clear thinking, but that what this needs.

the_journey
Posts: 12
Joined: 2 Oct 2020, 6:29pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby the_journey » 5 Oct 2020, 9:17am

Hi thirdcrank,

Thanks for your post.

I 100% agree about the poor planning. That's why I appreciate every single reply on this thread. I've received more than I anticipated because despite my emotional plea for advice, I am aware that my idea is basically foolhardy.

In case it wasn't apparent already, I think most people realise my idea comes from a place of both pain and the desire to feel like I can do SOMETHING to help my wife's situation.

It's horrible to realise someone close has a life-threatening illness. I'll never forget the day we told our 12 year old son. Everyone deals with such news in their own way. Being in the middle of an emotional situation, hearing others' opinions can help guide. There is no right or wrong.

Not sure about the "net loss" bit. How is planning something that could raise money, possibly awareness (think adjunctive therapy, or helping a family pay the bills), a net loss? I don't get that.

Spending money on equipment to do something enduring is not a potential loss, it's all forward! Positivity. Maybe it's perspective. I don't know.

I'm not even worried about the idea of enduring 1000 miles. Honestly, if my wife was having her treatment in November, I 100% guarantee you I'd be leaving this month.

Anyway, yes, you're correct, it's VERY poorly thought out. I had the idea to do the ride (one night, tipsy and all) and within 12 hours I created an account here and posted this thread.

As mentioned, I do appreciate your comment. Every bit of feedback gives me perspective so, thank you.

Cheers

rareposter
Posts: 250
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby rareposter » 5 Oct 2020, 9:43am

thirdcrank wrote:I'll be blunt. There's a huge amount of sympathy for your wife and you on here and that must be deterring plain speaking.

IMO, your project is poorly thought out and unlikely to end well. It's not going to raise a fraction of the money you mentioned as being needed for private treatment and may well show a net loss. On top of that you risk piling on the anxiety for your wife. You must be under a lot of stress and that doesn't help clear thinking, but that what this needs.


I'm going to agree with this comment as well.

I think your intentions are undoubtedly for the very best; your planning and experience however (or more to the point the lack of it) means it's unlikely to end well in terms of:
money raised (not enough time for awareness / fundraising)
preparation (the kit list you posted is a mess of cheap items, untested by you)
navigation (relying on route ideas from others)
timeframe (7 days means a fast and therefore largely unpleasant route of A-roads)
time of year (it's getting dark by 7pm now, earlier in Scotland, the weather is closing in and it's not conducive to an "easy" first tour)
accommodation (Covid restrictions mostly but short notice bookings can be expensive and limited)

and last but by no means least, the extra anxiety and pressure on your wife at possibly the most difficult point of treatment. What happens if you need to bail, what's your escape plan? It's not like you can phone her to jump in the car to come and get you and train travel might be restricted too... What happens if you get injured or ill en route, who supports your son then?

Keep the idea, stay on here for information / advice / support etc.
But wait until your wife is in remission, everything (including Covid) has settled down, you've done some preparation and you've had time to do some positive fundraising.

thirdcrank
Posts: 30804
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Oct 2020, 4:13pm

the_journey wrote: ... a net loss? I don't get that. ....


It's impossible to put a price on things like health and happiness, but when discussing a plan to raise money, be it for charity or to fund private treatment, if outlay exceeds income, it's a net loss. You have to allow for travel to the start and home from the finish (in both cases with bike) as a minimum. Anything bought for the ride, especially the bike, will half its value as it leaves the shop. This may be an investment in a new long-term hobby, or not.

I fear your thinking is being clouded by enormous stress and that's hardly surprising.

The diagnosis has understandably been a huge shock for you. I know nothing of the circumstances other than what you have posted, but your wife may have suspected that something was seriously wrong for some time and for whatever reason, decided to ignore it or at least not discuss it. If so, all the pent up emotions are now out. This must surely be the time when she needs your support: you must feel helpless but your presence, especially during the lonely small hours will be support. OTOH, going off on a wild adventure will risk replacing that support with more worries.

Cowsham
Posts: 1106
Joined: 4 Nov 2019, 1:33pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby Cowsham » 5 Oct 2020, 6:02pm

I'd say a LEJog would be a no goer even for a very fit 52 y old novice rider but maybe someone on here can think of or has experience of raising that amount of money for such a cause even if it was in some other discipline.

What about if you knew of someone who was about to take up some endurance feat like LEJog, you could provide support and organization of fundraising for them if they hadn't already earmarked the feat for charity purpose. You could do this for several people or even a group of participants to make up the financial numbers.

Get the children involved in helping you setting up a Facebook or web page to find the sort of people that do the daft endurance things but with no cause. There are people out there like that -- I was one and probably will be again. I had no interest in fundraising but wouldn't have minded someone doing that work for me if it raised money for a worthy cause.

To raise that sort of cash you'll need help is what I'm saying, time is precious from what you said and you could short circuit a lot of the work by outsourcing the physical bit.

oldun
Posts: 49
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 8:10am

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby oldun » 5 Oct 2020, 6:51pm

Hello again Scott ....still thinking of how to help you , but in the meantime as regards to your route have you heard of the Windy maps app ?

If you have a smart phone you can download this app for free and it will give you a route by car ,foot, or bike . I have never used it in the U K but many times in France and Spain . I have just asked the app for a bike route from Lands End to John O groats using bike lanes and cycle tracks and it comes out at 1702 klms and using cycle tracks and roads 1426 klms .
This app is free and once the maps have been downloaded can be used off line .
I used to use "Maps.me " but i find Windymaps is more useful . While you are still planning it may be worthwhile downloading this app and having a mess around with it .

Equipment.....i use the cheap Decathlon padded cycle shorts and tops , cheap panniers and good thick bin liners as drybags in my panniers so i dont need the expensive Ortlieb type bags. Of course this is my choice for cycling in Europe ,maybe Scotland may be a bit different , but rain is rain and i can , if needs be, use a bin lines over my pannier bags .
My first long ride in France/Spain (1200klms) was done on a 75 Euro well laden supermarket bike and i had just 1 puncture and no breakdowns although i did have to wire up the rear bike rack twice . What i am trying to say is that it is less about the equipment that the willingness to succeed .

Of course better equipment will probably make for a more comfortable experience but even with the best equipment in the world if you dont have the willingness to succeed then you will fail .

Are you still planning to leave in a few days ?

bluelagos
Posts: 64
Joined: 22 Apr 2020, 5:43am

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby bluelagos » 5 Oct 2020, 7:21pm

the_journey wrote:Hi thirdcrank,

Thanks for your post.

I 100% agree about the poor planning. That's why I appreciate every single reply on this thread. I've received more than I anticipated because despite my emotional plea for advice, I am aware that my idea is basically foolhardy.

In case it wasn't apparent already, I think most people realise my idea comes from a place of both pain and the desire to feel like I can do SOMETHING to help my wife's situation.

It's horrible to realise someone close has a life-threatening illness. I'll never forget the day we told our 12 year old son. Everyone deals with such news in their own way. Being in the middle of an emotional situation, hearing others' opinions can help guide. There is no right or wrong.

Not sure about the "net loss" bit. How is planning something that could raise money, possibly awareness (think adjunctive therapy, or helping a family pay the bills), a net loss? I don't get that.

Spending money on equipment to do something enduring is not a potential loss, it's all forward! Positivity. Maybe it's perspective. I don't know.

I'm not even worried about the idea of enduring 1000 miles. Honestly, if my wife was having her treatment in November, I 100% guarantee you I'd be leaving this month.

Anyway, yes, you're correct, it's VERY poorly thought out. I had the idea to do the ride (one night, tipsy and all) and within 12 hours I created an account here and posted this thread.

As mentioned, I do appreciate your comment. Every bit of feedback gives me perspective so, thank you.

Cheers


I think you have wisely figured out that starting a LeJog without preparations is unlikely to end well, even with your levels of determination. I'd definitely not just drop the idea though. Why not set it as a medium term target? Get fitter, keep your mind busy and hopefully raise a few quid for a good cause?

justonelombardo
Posts: 1
Joined: 5 Oct 2020, 7:55pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby justonelombardo » 5 Oct 2020, 8:16pm

hi scott,

compelled to post for the first time here (long-time lurker!) having read your story.

i did something very similar last month, after losing my grandfather to covid earlier this year. in 1996 he did JOGLE to raise money for a local hospice, and i wanted to do the other half of the journey to raise money for the same cause. it took me eleven days, solo and lugging my camping equipment, cycling 85-90m each day with only a couple of stops a day for coffee, lunch, and more than a few, er, 'convenience' stops

i was initially reluctant to do a fundraiser, as i'm not usually inclined to share personal stuff or stories online, but i did so at the request of some family. i pushed it (the online fundraiser) fairly hard, including my company (social followings of 80/90k-ish) sharing it quite a lot, and raised around £2,200 - and that was with lots of friends and family being what i would consider to be very generous. so unless you have lots and lots and lots of well-off friends or employers/companies who would be willing to donate hugely, i would say that to raise the amount of money you stated initially would be pretty close to impossible... especially considering many people who might donate are in a slightly worrisome economic/jobs climate.

also, on my route i said to all of the campsites, food and drink stops, and occasional hotel (it was my birthday...) etc that if they were able to give me the accommodation/food for free, i would donate the full face value/cost to the fundraiser. literally none of the places i asked did this... i didn't have much expectation that they would, but many said the 'situation' we are in with covid meant they had to take everything they could. and, as some other folks have said, doing the cycle isn't particularly cheap, and especially so if you aren't able to plan food stops/places to stay ahead of time.

just my tuppence. best of luck with everything, and don't feel put off the cycle if you go ahead with it. i certainly wouldn't overburden yourself with too much pressure if you do do it - either in terms of time or fundraising - it is enough of a challenge as is!

Jamesh
Posts: 1784
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby Jamesh » 5 Oct 2020, 8:47pm

I'd suggest s couple of related points.

Have you had a second opinion on the private cancer care - one which will sort out the wheat from the chaff in terms was I'd effective...

Also have you had any counselling / support regarding your wife's diagnosis?

Thirdly do you have family around you to support you at this difficult time.

I admire your honesty and patience with us on here who aren't in your position!!

Do stick around as we are here to support you.

More than happy to stick my bike in the car and have a ride sometime!

Cheers James

the_journey
Posts: 12
Joined: 2 Oct 2020, 6:29pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby the_journey » 6 Oct 2020, 2:24am

Again, thank you all for being supportive and posting your thoughts. It really does give me food for thought and I'm grateful!

At this point, I'm not planning on doing LEJOG anytime soon. As many of you have posted, and of which I agree, it's only right to be by my wife's side and of course be there for my son too.

However, I am planning on doing it hopefully in Spring. This would give me time to train, plan, map it all out, etc. I have some new "slicks"(?) (mtb thin tires, puncture resistant) on the way as well as a back rack. Just need to get some panniers, an odometer, helmet, then I can do some local rides. It's pretty hilly where I live so that should help give me an indication of what it's going to be like.

This weekend I'm planning a short 20 mile ride. It should to give me some perspective. A mate of mine who is a keen rider (mostly mtb) said I should train through the winter which I'll try to do.

I'm sorry if I don't name everyone but again, I want to thank each of you for sharing your thoughts. Thanks for the tips on the app, sharing your stories, etc. I'll check that app out for sure.

As far as second opinion, with my wife's treatment starting in 2 weeks, I don't know if I have time. I almost wish her treatment started next month as it's all come around so quickly. Could be a good thing in that she's not waiting months to be treated. Not sure how to interpret the relatively quick turnaround time other than hoping for the best.

I've joined a few facebook groups of people going through, or survived, cancer and a couple have warned me that radiotherapy is going to mess up my wife. That terrifies me! I try to compartmentalise it all and hope she doesn't experience what they did. That's why I researched and found Rutherford Cancer Centre but again, out of my price range, even with a fundraiser it seems.

You guys are right though, it's very stressful/emotional/painful. But, my wife is feeling slightly better the past few days and I am going to be in touch with an oncology clinic in London for some adjunctive therapy that I hope will help.

I don't have a big support network unfortunately. My family is small and I'm actually not from the UK, I'm from the US (California). My wife is English and my son was born here. I've lived here over 16 years. However, all my immediate family is in the States. My wife has a wonderful sister about 30 minutes from here though and most of her elderly relatives are in touch (they hadn't been for a few years) so she has some support.

My mum was going to fly out here as she wanted to help but you know, COVID, self isolating for 2 weeks, it just wouldn't work at this time.

Anyway, not a sob story, just is what it is.

I'm still excited to venture LEJOG, just next year when hopefully the craziness is controlled better. Even Spring might be too early, we'll see. In the meantime, I'll just train the best I can with my cheap kit lol.

I'll post again after I've done my short ride. I have to get over my fear of narrow country roads (as a cyclist that is).

Again, I know I've said it before, but I read each and every comment and I feel grateful you all care enough to share your opinions.

As I get closer, I may contact some of you for advice if that's ok.

Cheers folks

thirdcrank
Posts: 30804
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Oct 2020, 7:32am

I think you have taken the right decision in postponing your ride. I note the time of your post: half-past two in the morning can be a lonely hour.

All the best to you and your family at this difficult time.

Cowsham
Posts: 1106
Joined: 4 Nov 2019, 1:33pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby Cowsham » 6 Oct 2020, 8:23am

thirdcrank wrote:I think you have taken the right decision in postponing your ride. I note the time of your post: half-past two in the morning can be a lonely hour.

All the best to you and your family at this difficult time.


+1

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5967
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby Oldjohnw » 6 Oct 2020, 9:30am

I think there will be few, if any, on these pages who don't admire your care and concern and gracious response to the replies here.

You have both my admiration and best wishes.
John

rareposter
Posts: 250
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Want to do LEJOG for charity - wife has cancer

Postby rareposter » 6 Oct 2020, 9:59am

As above, you've made the right decision.

I've worked as a Ride Leader on the annual Deloitte Ride Across Britain event a few times so I've seen loads of beginner / novice riders, people doing it for charity and so on. You mentioned in your original post that you're in Preston which isn't far from me so if you fancy a ride over winter,, whether it's to ask LEJOG related stuff or just to get out in the fresh air for a bit while your wife is recovering, drop us a line on here.

Best wishes to her and to the family - hard as it may be to sit there feeling like you're not doing anything, your support for her and your son at this time will be invaluable.