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Author Archives: ruben

The howies 12(ish) days of Christmas

  • Posted by ruben
  • 1 December 2011


The howies 12(ish) days of Christmas

win a trek bike worth £1000 with howies

Christmas is just around the corner and this year we've been celebrating with 12 great offers over the past few days.

We hope you've enjoyed the Christmas cheer and managed to snap up a bargain or two.

As well as the offers, Trek have given us a bike to give away to make your Christmas a little more special!

Congratulations to our winner Sand Hallett & Merry Christmas to everyone who entered.


  • 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...

Gunnshaw and Cavenfoot

  • Posted by ruben
  • 11 August 2011


Gunnshaw and Cavenfoot

This Sunday, road cyclists from across the country will converge on our little town to take part in the 2nd annual Cardigan Street Racing criterium event which this year plays host to the Welsh National Championships. It's going to be a great day for Cardigan.

The races start at 12:45, with categories for all ages and abilities and an all-comers category which offers a chance for anyone to come and ride on bikes of all shapes and sizes.

This year Ade and myself will be riding in the Regional B race at the end of the day, starting at 5:10pm. After our adventures in Italy earlier in the year we've developed a bit of a taste for road racing and we're both really looking forward to it.

We've been training as much as we can around work over the last few months and talking tactics for the day. Ade's working on his Renshaw (sans headbutt) and I'm practicing 200 meter burnouts at either end of my commute. As usual, we're just hoping not to come last.

See you Sunday.

howies are hiring

  • Posted by ruben
  • 28 July 2011


Thanks for your interest but applications are now closed. We'll be in touch with everyone who's applied shortly

We're a small company with big plans.

Right now we're working to launch an exciting new ecommerce website
this Autumn and starting to roll out the brand to Europe and beyond.

This pivotal point in our growth is a great time to join us.

There's a lot to do, and to help us grow, we're looking for a
couple of believers to join the tiny hard working team in full time roles at
howies HQ here in Cardigan Bay, West Wales.

We need more shoulders for the work to fall on.

Role: Inventory Accountant

We're looking for a full time inventory accountant to join the team at howies HQ in Cardigan, West Wales.

We pay great care and attention to the product we make, and you will to take responsibility for the administration of all our products and other inventory items through their life-cycles from supplier dispatch right through to sale.

You will be responsible for ensuring that inventory is correctly and accurately administered, accounted for and reported on.

You will work within our finance department reporting to our Finance Analyst, Nathan.

To be considered for the role, you will need to have strong core accounting skills, and an intermediate/advanced knowledge of Excel. You'll also need experience of working with computerised financial and inventory systems.

You'll need to be a methodical, analytical thinking type of person with good attention to detail and strong communication skills.

Previous experience within a similar role and an accounting qualification would be beneficial.

You can find more detail on duties and responsibilities for this role here.


Salary commensurate with experience. Other details will be provided upon request.

Role: Assistant Garment Coordinator

We're looking for a full time Assistant Garment Coordinator to join the team at howies HQ in Cardigan, West Wales.

We take great care and attention making our products so you will need an eagle eye and elves fingers.

Your role will be to support Louise, our Garment Technician, and the design team in the development of howies product ranges.

You will assist in the fitting and checking of samples and seals at all stages of development for wovens and knits.

You will also work to assist the design team in the creation of accurate and detailed 1st prototype specs and to update style files detailing all trims fabrications and measurements.

You will work to deliver the style files to suppliers in written and visual format, and to manage the critical paths to ensure all samples run to deadlines.

Other areas of responsibility will include organising samples for photoshoots, keeping all fabric information updated and filed in our production library.

To be considered for the role, you will need to be good at working with Excel, Word and Adobe Photoshop / Illustrator.  You will also need to have impeccable attention to detail, be good at communicating with others in person and in writing and have strong problem solving skills.

You will need to be well organised and comfortable managing workloads and meeting deadlines.

Previous hands on experience working in garment fit and production is strongly preferred, as is a good understanding of garment construction.

You can find more detail on duties and responsibilities for this role here.


Salary commensurate with experience. Other details will be provided upon request.

Matt's Mayhem

  • Posted by ruben
  • 23 June 2011

In contrast to my team's slightly lackluster performance, here's an altogether more upbeat account of Mountain Mayhem 2011 from our friend & European 24 hour solo champion rider, Matt Page - in his own words:

My cycling career has moved forward very quickly over the last few seasons, going from working as a courier in Cardiff and racing as a hobby, to racing a little more seriously and having a “normal” job to now where I train full time and race for a living.

I enjoy my cycling, so it isn't a chore, but sometimes I forget why I started riding and what I enjoy most about being on a bike. After my win at the 24hr UK/European champs I went back to “just riding” and enjoyed the rides, rather than turning every ride into a training session.

Last weekend I was at Mountain Mayhem, the biggest festival in Mountain Biking and somewhere that really ignited my pasion for cycling. My first experience of the event was way back in 2004 when it first visited Eastnor Park in what was very much a fun team. The weather was really bad, I certainly wasn't very fit and I remember one lap in particular taking almost 2 hours because of the mud and terrain but I loved it and I was totally hooked and in awe of the solo riders, including Tinker Juarez who won that year. I've been to every Mountain Mayhem since and each time since it has been quite serious. In 2005 it was in a fairly fast team, and we narrowly missed the podium in a team in 2007. The came the solo attempts in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and despite coming close in 2008 I managed to win the following year, celebrating by proposing to my now fiancée, Nia on the finish line. Last year it started as a bit of fun, but soon turned into fast racing as I was joined by a team mate and two Wiggle mechanics in a team where we made the top 10 in the Open Men category.

So this year I decided that I would go right back to the start and enter a fun team and really enjoy the atmosphere of what is really more of a festival than a race. As a solo racer it is impossible to enjoy what goes on and in a serious team you are always busy with no time to wander about. This year was different, I was asked to join a team with the people from USE/Exposure lights and although we were entered into the Expert Mixed category (thanks to my elite XC licence) we were there to enjoy the event more than anything else.

I volunteered to start, which meant doing the run. Normally a couple of minutes and about 800m in distance, I can just about cope with that. I wasn't expecting to be running over 10 minutes in a pair of super stiff race slippers! It hurt quite a bit and I was glad to get to the bike.

From that point onwards every bit of the event was fantastic. The slippery mud was good fun and quite challenging then it started drying out and it became really fast. In between laps I chilled out, walked about the arena, cheered everyone else on and just got stuck into the atmosphere that makes this event unique. I only managed 4 laps, none were that quick but as a team we did keep someone on course at all times. Mountain Mayhem reminded me of why I love this sport so much, to go back to where it all started for me and recapture the magic I felt back then.

Mayhem it was

  • Posted by ruben
  • 22 June 2011

Last year, howies entered a team for the Mountain Mayhem 24 hour race. Myself and David Hicks from the office went along with our friends Tom 'carbon-monkey' Johnstone and Xander. It was our first 24 hour race, and I think it's fair to say we went into it a little nervous.

We needn't have worried though, it all went well. We managed to keep a man on the course at all times, we rode to the limit of our fitness, our bikes held together, we didn't get any punctures and by the end of 24 hours we felt that we had presented ourselves well for a newbie team. And as an added bonus, it was sunny, dry and windless on the course.

After that, we took the same team to Relentless 24 hour up in Fort William and had a repeat of Mayhem's success. It was darker, colder and hard, but we had gotten fitter, faster and stronger.

Then early this year, David and I teamed up with adventurer Alastair Humphreys and a 'cloud sourced' 4th rider, Hazel, a sportswear designer. This time we were planning to take on a much bigger challenge - the Strathpuffer 24 hour race way up north in Scotland, in the middle of January. Strathpuffer bills itself as the hardest race of it's kind, and not many people would argue that point after having ridden it. But again, everything went well for the howies team. (..unless you count a a couple of damaged bikes and the broken hand and torn ligament that I took away!)

Following Strathpuffer there was the small matter of the 24 hour race over in Italy which you can read about here.

So with this much 24 hour race experience under our belts I think it's fair to say that we went into this year's Mayhem with a certain amount of confidence. I was quietly expecting a place in the top 25 teams. And that, maybe, is why things didn't go quite so well this time...

After an OK run and first lap for me at the start, Xander took over for the second stint and that's where our bad luck set in. Xander's chain snapped repeatedly, finally tearing his rear mech off. After a short stint riding singlespeed, his rear spindle sheared and left him with a long hike ahead and a bike to carry just 20 minutes into the lap.

By the time a tired, injured and thoroughly disheartened Xander made his way across the line some 2 hours after we had expected him in - the rest of us were just happy to see him and that nothing worse had happened.

It left us with a bit of a dilemma, though - how would we keep running the team, now down to three riders? Tom went out for his lap followed by David... then I went for my second run, coming in to hear that the others had come up with a plan to double lap for the night as a trio. I went out again, handing over to Tom after my lap before crawling into the van for some sleep.

After that, things went a bit blurry for me. I slept, Tom came back not long later with a broken chain, Dan took over Xander's place and rode a couple of laps, David felt ill and declared himself out (he later discovered a tick bite several weeks earlier had left him suffering from Lymes Disease). People were talking about no one being on the track, we didn't have a rider out there?! At some point I was back out in the dark, it got light, I came back in and collapsed in the van again. Rune was riding now, the original team had unravelled. None of us were up for it.

By the time the 24 hours were up, none of us were sorry to be able to go home. It was good to have the team back together, but it had been depressing to see how unprepared we (and myself personally) had been to deal with disaster. Once the team order had broken, my mental state began to unwind and I could not refocus fast enough and deal with the new situation.

At least we all survived to ride another day - although I'm not sure how keen we are to ride again just now!

I Run

  • Posted by ruben
  • 13 June 2011


This is the same guy from the bike lanes video that Alex posted last week.

The things he thinks while running are quite typical of my own experiences... I have a bad habit of doing really bad maths in my head while running races.

How Far Can You Go?

  • Posted by ruben
  • 27 May 2011

Chris, an ultra-running-machine friend of mine just sent this video to
help with post-marathon inspiration.

Next week we're going to head out and run 16 miles of trail.

So the next adventures in running begin.

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