Tomorrow we run our own race

  • Posted by ade
  • 5 October 2012

Final day preparation for the tomorrows Endurance life's Coastal Trail Series running events is evident all over the office.

The total feet to climb on the course profile casually dismissed.
Sports tape shared and location of application perfected.
Weather websites being cross referenced.
Team kit logo's getting hand printed.
Energy food and real food prepared.
Injuries getting a last treatment.
Running bags pack and repacked.
Layering scenarios played out.
Extra lunch being eaten.
Spikes or studs debated.
Less tea, more water.
Batteries charged.
Play lists edited.
Nails trimmed.

Nerves on show.

Sometimes progress won't wait

  • Posted by ade
  • 4 October 2012

Categories:

Sometimes progress won't wait
We'll keep on building.

When you build something and begin to use it, you soon see where you can make improvements.

The site we launched last October had a few digital bugs, some stuff that bugged you and us, and things that should have just worked. Not every plan goes to plan first time.

So this new site addresses your feedback and our bugbears.

• We have made a new #threads section, which brings together the latest from our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all in one place.

• You can put things in your basket, go and make a cup of tea, and when you come back the site will still be there. The old site had a tendency to just disappear and not allow you to shop if you ignored it.

• The product pages have been redesigned, and all the product information is now in one place. 

• You can now filter products by colour and your size.

• You can now ask questions and give feedback on products.

• The checkout is quicker and easier to use. 

• The site will be faster now it's running on new servers, and it won't crawl when it's busy.

• The blog has been redesigned and is back on the home page again. 

And with this big stuff out of the way, we can get on with the tweaks to come over the next few months, including some great new stuff for, the iPad and iPhone.

We hope you like it.

We'll keep on building.

Distance is it's own reward

  • Posted by ruben
  • 3 October 2012

On Saturday, a few of the howies office team are making a short trip down to the south of Pembrokeshire to run in the first Endurancelife Costal Trail Series of the season.

4 of us are running the 10k (It'll be Pete's first off road run.)
1 of us is running the half-marathon-and-a-bit less than a week after she ran Bristol.
Another 3 are running the 35 mile "ultra" option.

That's three different distances and eight different people but all of us will be sharing the same apprehensions and excitement before the race, and on the day each of us will try to do exactly the same thing - run the best race we can and have fun doing our thing.

Whatever your distance, the Endurancelife CTS has something for you. Why not join us at one of them?

The thing with softshell...

  • Posted by ade
  • 27 September 2012
The thing about a soft shell is that it replaces a few layers giving you a single technical layer that can be worn almost all of the time over a base layer.

We made our first soft shell in 2006 and we still see them at races and hacking round cities.

To be a true soft shell it should shed water but not be waterproof. This makes it very breathable and quick drying. It should also block out the wind and have insulation to keep you warm. And by having some stretch in the fabric it is easy to wear both in and out of activity and is very hard wearing.

The thing about a soft shell is that it replaces a few layers giving you a single technical layer that can be worn almost all of the time over a base layer.

In 2010 we introduced the barrier hoody, which was a sell out for winter.

This year we have introduced the Barrier Light for men and women with a few tweaks.

- A reduction in the weight of the jacket by using a loop back liner that also increased the warmth.
- Ribbed cuffs and waistband to stop the wind blowing in.
- Inner pocket and headphone loop.
- A second colour. Not everyone suits khaki.

It’s great for on and off the bike. To put on over your dirty kit post sport when cooling down. From house to bus to train to office, in and out of doors. Pre and post yoga and gym.

This means we should see them at races and hacking round cities in the next 6 years.

Last Day of Summer

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 September 2012

It rained but we still rode our bikes.
It rained but we still ran new trails.
It rained but we still swam open water.
It rained but the days were still long.
It rained but we still had summer holidays.
It rained but we still went to the beach.
It rained but we still wore shorts.

It rained but it was still a great summer.

Summer. Ends Saturday.

  • Posted by ade
  • 17 September 2012
Cook outside on a fire. Even just a tin of beans heated over a blaze in the garden will feel like an adventure.

Every shop is showing their latest Autumn ranges, howies included. We are all talking about the Autumnal weather (there are even chocolate Santas for sale in the supermarket). It's like we're willing summer to be over already.

But until Saturday, it's still here, so you have five whole days and nights left to make the most of it.

You could:

1. Swim in the sea. It's probably the warmest it's going get this year, so get in.

2. Wear shorts or a skirt all week.

3. Sit in the sun on the grass and eat your lunch.

4. Cook outside on a fire. Even just a tin of beans heated over a blaze in the garden will feel like an adventure.

5. Go camping. Why have 5 star accommodation when you can have billions.

6. Run somewhere at sunrise or sunset (Late summer always has THE best light).

7. Leave work early to ride the long way home with no lights on (pretty soon you won't be able to ride home without them).

8. Get to a forest before the leaves fall. The trails will be great.

We hope that gives you a few ideas. Do something everyday to push back autumn and let us know what adventures you have.

#lastdaysofsummer

Autumn 2012 preview

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 August 2012
This is just the first drop. The rest of the range, including new Merino, knitwear, jumpers, denim and tops will be added over the next few weeks.

Our new Autumn season preview is now online (mens herewomens here).

We've added some great new pieces including the Barrier Light, a windproof and warm
jacket made from recycled polyester which is great for after sport and on cooler days.

Our Chada and Betws chinos  are now available in an more colours, made with
added-stretch for the urban pedaler. As well as the new Gully jumper,
Wiseman cardigan and a selection of new mens printed tees made
from 100% organic cotton.

We've also brought back some old favourites including;
Primaloft insulated Whistler jacketsMerino midlayers,
Yurt fleeces and Natural Base Layers in Autumnal colours.

This is just the first drop. The rest of the range, including new
Merino, knitwear, jumpers, denim and tops will be added over the next few weeks.

Me vs Me

  • Posted by alex
  • 23 August 2012

Me versus darker mornings
Me versus my duvet
Me versus damp running shorts (forgot to put the dryer on)
Me versus the front door
Me versus the slanting rain
Me versus those mulchy leaves (the jogger's nemesis)
Me versus cowpats
Me versus that man on a bike
Me versus the ruts in the farm track
Me versus the barbed wire fence
Me versus the hill back into the village
Me versus my PB
Me versus all of you
And I'm home

By Dan Germain

Welsh Downhill Championships

  • Posted by hazel
  • 17 August 2012

The track was so fast; real flowy and dusty to the point your tyres would slide out of the bermed corners, making it super fun. With the sun was out and a relaxed atmosphere around the site, everyone seemed to having a cracking day.

Peer pressure and gentle persuasion is a powerful thing. I’m a sucker for it and just can’t say no. I hate missing out on things so my outside-of-work life becomes quite choccer-block.

This was the case come Friday last week. I was beginning to feel pretty beat, it had been a long week and tiredness was starting to set up camp in my muscles. So the thought of going off to race in a downhill mountain bike race at the weekend was not looking that appealing… but you know I’m not one to miss out…

With race day on the Sunday and practice on Saturday, we set about learning every inch of the course, well I say we – mostly Jon, Sam, Si and Josh! I have trouble learning courses. I think it’s from the many years of riding XC - I'd rather just ride it and deal with obstacles as and when I reach/ hit them.So with a van full of bikes, snack and the Season’s soundtrack turned up, myself, Jon from decent world and Cardigan’s own Jesus set off at the crack of dawn towards Moelfre for the Welsh Downhill MTB Champs. We met up with the other Ceredigion riders and set up camp. With Si Williams aka fretter, Sam aka fretter junior, Tomos and Aled aka Axe and Shotgun!

The track was so fast; real flowy and dusty to the point your tyres would slide out of the bermed corners, making it super fun. With the sun out and a relaxed atmosphere around the site, everyone seemed to having a cracking day.

Roll on Sunday…

Oh wait it’s absolutely peeing it down – what a surprise. And what’s that, yeah I’m sat in my tent wearing a woolly hat, merino softshell and thick socks! This is summer! Ah well, nothing that proper cup of tea can’t sort out.

Heading up in the uplift trailer along with 30 other riders for the start of our first timed run, there was only two subjects of conversation – the weather and what tyres to run. I participated in neither of them mainly because I thought there’s no point getting down about the weather and secondly I can’t take my front wheel out so there was no chance of me changing my tyres. I’d just have to like it and lump it.

My first run went well - I wanted to keep it smooth and consistent as the course was becoming quite slippery. The bottom section of the track was my favorite with a couple of jumps that you could launch off, nothing like the feeling of fresh air between the tyres and the ground. I managed to take the lead with a good amount of time between 2nd and myself.For my final timed run, I thought I’d open it up a bit and try pedaling more - "Giving it the beans". It paid off and I was able to knock 5 seconds of my first run. Awesome. Plus it meant that I had a comfortable lead to take the win.  Woohoo, I just won the Welsh Champs, what a result!! As always, I’m glad I went!With banter on tap and some great riding the weekend ended up being so much fun. Jon and myself are now the proud owners of a Welsh Champs jersey. Also in the Ceredigion camp, Si took 2nd in the vets, Sam took 10th juniors and Josh was 24thin the senior cat. Not bad at all!Thanks to MIJ racing for a brilliant race, Jon for playing taxi, tea maker and bike mechanic. Tomos, Aled and Josh for the hillbilly entertainment, Si for his constant fretting and Steve and Vicky for being loud marshals!

You guys made the weekend, the result was just a bonus!!

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