Joey Pressey is a long-established Southbank fixture and has been involved in the Long Live Southbank campaign from its very inception. From manning the tables collecting signatures, to spreading the word about what LLSB was about, through to just being a omnipresent, positive, smiling face radiating the joy encapsulated by the Undercroft family - he's been there from the very beginning and is about to embark on something pretty special to help raise more money for the ongoing LLSB campaign.
In July, Joey and his beloved dog Stella are setting off on a 900 mile cycle fund raiser treading the traditional Land's End to John O'Goats route with a view to raising as much money as possible for LLSB.
This is no small undertaking so major praise to him for biting the bullet on this one.
You can pledge your support via: http://llsb.com/joey/
We caught up with man in question for a brief chat regarding Vaseline, busking along the way and how you lot reading can join in with his odyssey. Peep the video below, read what Joey has to say, then head over to llsb.com and do what you can.
Godspeed Stella and Joey!
This is the traditional fund raising route but is an absolute mission (miles-wise). I'm assuming that long-distance cycling is something you have experience of right? I mean, it's 600 miles + that's a fair old cycle.
Yeah, there's a lot of history attached to this route for sure. It's 900 miles give or take, which will be interesting! I've been going on cycling missions since I was a young kid in the New Forest though so it's not entirely outside of my experience but, I guess we'll see how 'ready' I am once it starts.
What have you done training/conditioning wise?
I was a courier on a cargo bike for 8 months in London a while ago. That involved delivering food and doing 30 miles a day carrying heavy loads on a regular basis.
I quit that job last November and got a trailer for my bike so that I can put my amp and Stella in there and we've been cycling from town to town along the south coast busking through the winter and spring of 2018.
Are you going for a road bike or something a little more off-road minded?
Not a full on road bike no, because I like to look around whilst I'm cycling and proper road bikes mean that you can't really look up because of the height of the handlebars. It'll be a mix between the two styles with extra thick tyres for less punctures (hopefully).
Do you have a specific distance target for each day with places to stop at and/or stay the night planned out already?
I need to be doing at least 50 miles a day really. As for stops along the way - I'll be doing it traditional skate-style - pirate camping on couches.
How long are you thinking it will take you in total?
I'm aiming for two and a half weeks. We're not in a massive rush though so we'll have a chance to check out a megalith or two on the way, just to break things up.
Will you be busking along the way too? Or will it be more of a 'heads-down and get it done' kind of journey?
Yeah, I'm definitely planning to. Hopefully I'll be busking, skating and doing a gig at a pub or two on the way.
What are going to be in the saddle bag essentials kit?
Waterproofs obviously, flapjacks for energy, Vaseline for the chafe, loads of water and some banging techno to keep the rhythmic hype up for the long cycles.
You've been involved with LLSB from the beginning - manning the tables, organising etc etc - is this the natural progression from that aspect of it for you?
I was pretty burnt out after the campaign - we were running it from our flat for so long and things got pretty strained just because of the work load and pressure involved in doing it. After a break from it and the good news that the restoration is possible, I'm hyped for that goal and fancy a challenge. Plus it's an excuse to get out into the countryside.
How can people get involved with it?
Via the LLSB site at llsb.com
My progress will be live on the website along with other info about the trip on instagram @joeyandstellasbarelongmission
Are people welcome to join in with you on parts of the journey?
Yeah for sure - a few characters are interested in joining me for a bit but everyone is welcome. Hit me up on Instagram.
Kickflip from wedge to bank. Photo: Ollie Whitehead