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fragile knee fragile mind

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 October 2011


With our three marathons in three days coming up in the 3rd week of November, I have been starting to push the norm.

Trickier trails. More hills. Night running. Boring road reps. Running to work. Running with all the kit I need to be self sufficient for 26 miles.

I have never run a marathon, only a 1/2. But I have always been able to run far and then want to run further. The jump to do 3 marathons in 3 days was just a change in head space.

Before I signed up I thought I would never be able to train enough. After I signed I was able. It would just be 4 of my normal runs at once, run at a slower pace. If I die a death I can always walk it.

Training was building the fitness and my head was rock solid. I'll just do it. It will be hard but I can do it.

Then last week my knee gave in followed shortly by my head. One run. A tightening knee. A long downhill finally brought me to a standstill and a limp 2 miles home with a locking knee.

I changed shoes and did some stretching but every run afterwards ended the same.

The remedy was a simple conversation with Ray at the health food shop. He runs ultra's on his days off. Sometimes in the evenings in the summer. We were chatting about the triple and I mentioned my knee.

"Happens all the time when you run lots and long.  Your iliotibial band is just tight and inflamed do this strech every day and it will go."

And it nearly has.

I am planning a lunch breakout today to repair my head.



thank you and good afternoon

  • Posted by ade
  • 20 October 2011


We have finally reached the time to turn off the old howies IT systems in preparation to turn on the new.

For the past 6 months we have been working hard on replacing every single little bit of software that runs our business. From the website, to the printers that print the labels that we stick on your parcel.

Everyone who works at HQ has been frustrated that we have not been able to improve many areas of our service to you, just because of our software was old and stuff just moves on. Look at what your phone can do now compared to 2004.

So there is a conflicting buzz in the office today, feeling great to be moving on, but the fear of  having to switch off something that ain't broken.

But before we upgrade we need to say thanks.

Thanks to Matt and George for the old site.  It's done a ton of stuff well, people still like it and it's never let us down. You guys built it well. We are fussy customers and tough to please, but you guys did.

And thanks to David Wellan. A local surfer who wrote and supported our business  system on his own from the ground up back in 2004, that has chugged through 1/2 million orders.  It's how we were able to move to taking orders over the web and  not just by fax.

Take one last look.

Tick tock.

country bump'kin hell

  • Posted by ade
  • 19 October 2011


Our ride to work has a 180 degree hair pin bend on a 20% hill.

It's tricky in the dry, slippery with leaves and moss grows in the cracks. It's even hard to make it round in a vehicle.

This morning with leaves, moss, rain and a fresh 10mm layer of mud laid down by tractors Ruben lost the rear end and landed his best bike face down on the tarmac. And cut his leg.

Took him a while to smile afterwards.


  • Posted by ruben
  • 12 October 2011

Thanks to @maiamedia for sharing this recap of Coed-y-Brenin on twitter.

Things have been so busy here, I almost forgot that I'd ridden the Coed y Brenin enduro a week or so ago. It was a new enduro from the people who brought us the legendary Dyfi Enduro which celebrated it's 10th year in May. 60 & 30k options for riders of all sanity levels.

I turned up to join the 500 or so other riders at the start line for CyB having not touched my mountain bike since Mountain Mayhem in June, so I was only planning to have some fun. I found that I only had a 1.75 ultra-light spare innertube that probably would have served better as a prophylactic than a spare for my 2.1s rolling over what I'd heard was a hell of rock shards (terrain that will sound familiar to anyone who'd ridden Dyfi).

So I set off with the intention of riding smooth and saving my wheels. That didn't go to plan entirely, as I managed to hit a tree stump at about 20k leaving me with a bleeding shoulder and bars akimbo for the next few km til the feed station, where I spent a minute or two recovering.

The rest of the 60k route passed fairly uneventfully for me, with a mixture of big hills, epic views, soggy bits, cliffy bits, and rocky downhills, raising and lowering my spirits in turn until all too soon I realised the car park and the finish line were in sight and the ride was done.

I had thoroughly enjoyed it. Even the bits I cursed. There had been terror, exhilaration, despair, pain, awe, joy and triumph along the way and things got even better when I found I'd finished inside the top 40... I certainly hadn't expected that kind of result when I set out!

Thanks to Joe and all involved in organising such a great event.

If you missed it, there's always the Dyfi next Spring, and I've heard that planning for CyB 2012 is already underway.

Free – Advice Posters

  • Posted by ruben
  • 11 October 2011


John at Advice to Sink in Slowly has just dropped us a line to say that their free poster scheme is now fully up and running.

If you're a first year student studying in the UK, you can now request a free poster through the Advice website.

We're also happy to announce that the free posters are funded by the proceeds made from the sales of the howies sponsored 'Find Some Place' design by Lizzy Stewart.

The Guardian has posted a gallery of the designs this morning and it's certainly worth a look at the Advice to Sink in Slowly website if you haven't already.

Keep your eyes peeled for more great howies/Advice collaborations...

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

  • Posted by alex
  • 6 October 2011


Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

A great loss...

One man’s junk

  • Posted by howies
  • 4 October 2011

Recycled Cotton
If you were to go into a clothing factory and have a look around, you’d see the huge amount of wastage that occurs during the manufacture of clothing for all those brands out there.

There’s tonnes of the stuff – cotton off-cuts and scraps all over the factory floor. And you can probably hazard a guess as to what most of them do with it too... that’s right, they bin it and send it all to a landfill site. Good cotton going to waste for no reason.

We wondered what could be done with that old junk material. We figured we should try to make something new with it. So we worked with the factory to fix this.

Now we are able to take all the cotton waste from those other brands and we recycle it. Those scraps are mulched into something that resembles cotton wool, ready for re-spinning into a new recycled cotton yarn, which can be made into new garments.

And interestingly, because it’s a mix of all different grades of cotton, it gives our recycled cotton pieces an irregular and washed out look and a really cosy soft hand feel.

The irony is that most of the companies who are throwing their old cotton away actually have to use harsh chemicals and processes to achieve that look. All we do is sweep up and use what they throw away.

Jonathan Cherry Photography

  • Posted by aron
  • 3 October 2011

Our good friend Chez has been busy recently. He's just added a bunch of new photos to his site, which is certainly worth a good look through.


Washing powder Surf

  • Posted by Shams
  • 6 September 2011


Our uplifting fragrances are available in liquid, capsules and powder. So whichever one you go for, you'll soon see (and smell!) the divine difference Surf makes.OffersWith our heavenly fragrances and great cleaning power, we love to bring a little joy to your day. But just to spread even more happiness, we've also got a few offers up our fresh and fragrant sleeve.

CapsulesYes! All our gorgeous scents are also available in a handy capsule format. One tiny bubble of concentrated liquid detergent contains all the irresistible Surf fragrance and cleaning power that you need for your everyday wash. No mess, no spills, just pop one in your machine drum and enjoy fabulously fresh and fragrant laundry.

Surf powder, our original format, infuses your clothes with gorgeous fragrance and leaves them brilliantly clean. Simply use a measuring cup to pour the powder into your machine drawer.Indulge and invigorate your laundry with the uplifting fragrances from Surf - a treat for all the senses! Available in -Tropical oasis of ylang ylang & lily: 25, 50 and 90 Washes, Lavender & jasmine secret garden: 25 and 50 Washes, Sunshine orchard of lemons & mandarin flowers: 25 and 50 Washes Our Surf liquid detergents are ×2 concentrated which means they use less packaging and you need less product to get the same gorgeous results.

Simply pour one tiny capful of our concentrated liquid into your machine drawer to transform your everyday wash into a lovely load of fragrant laundry.Indulge and invigorate your laundry with the uplifting fragrances from Surf - a treat for all the senses! Available in: Tropical oasis of ylang ylang & lily 18, 28, and 54 Washes,Lavender & jasmine secret garden 18, 28, and 54 Washes, Mystic waterfalls of lotus flowers &
wild freesia 28 Washes, Add a sparkle of magic to your everyday laundry with the enchanting fragrances of Twilight Sensations.

The Cleaner Planet Plan is about reducing the impact of our gorgeous products on the environment - so they're not only great at giving you divine laundry, but they also tread a little lighter on the planet. That's why we've concentrated our luscious liquids and powders, saving both energy and packaging.

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