Author Archives: will

wethepeople in 2011

  • Posted by will
  • 21 June 2011

Our photo competition to win a copy of the wethepeople 'Anytime Now' DVD was won by Robert Senior with the picture here.

We asked people to send us a picture that encapsulated the notion wethepeople in the here and now.

This image echoed innumerable times in the last year has for many defined a return of the mass demonstrations against a government that is increasingly seen to be detached from the people.

As the Con-Dems continually tell us were 'all in this together' the reality of a situation in which a team of Oxbridge educated millionaires tells us we need to volunteer to run our own public services is becoming ever clearer and ever more unpalatable.

We are starting to see that we are all in this together, they are not. we are the people.

Thanks Rob.

Wethepeople Anytime Now DVD

  • Posted by will
  • 1 June 2011

We have a copy of the new Wethepeople DVD to give away.

This video has been a long time in the making (as the title suggests!) and features a snap shot of the Wethepeople team.

Wethepeople have always had an eclectic mix of people on a team that spans several continents and this video (to use an archaic term) features some of the big names on the team and some of the smaller names as well.

There is a bunch of bonus stuff on here too so it’s well worth a watch.

All you have to do to win a copy is to send in a picture that you think encapsulates the idea of 'wethepeople'.

It need not be anything to do with the bike company, with BMX or even bike related.

It is a very old phrase that gets overused and we would like to see what it means to people in the here and now.

Send your picture to emma@howies.co.uk by next Friday 10th June and we’ll pick a winner, send the DVD out to you and post the picture on the blog here.


Our latest addition to the BMX team Lawrence 'Pipe' Williams is pushing himself in a new direction. He is set to do the three peaks  (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) this weekend, which is I'm sure most readers are aware (and some have direct experience) a challenge in itself. For a man known to us best for his skills on a 20" bicycle (and with a shovel in his hand) this is seemingly even more of a challenge. Most BMXers wouldnt have the fitness levels (here im talking about the 'freestyle' side of BMX) to come close to completing one of these.

But Lawrence is not doing the 3 peaks in the regular fashion. That would seem far too easy/dull. He is doing it as a member of the 'Men of Sparsholt' a Tug of War team that i can only assume originates from the village of Sparsholt in Oxfordshire. Being this way inclined, their approach to the 3 peaks is unorthodox: "On each peak (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) we will have a tug of war competition against whoever we can find - or just against each other.  Why?  Because we can and, for some strange reason, we must!". So this is what Lawrence is up to next weekend. If you happen to be on any of the three peaks be aware of a potential proposition for a game of Tug of War.

This idea is not simply the result of Oxfordshire village life. There is a purpose to the event and the team hope to raise a lot of money for the Helen & Douglas House that is a fantastic charity that cares for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions.  Helen & Douglas House looks after people from birth to 35 and their families, in the most difficult of times. So the guys have a justgiving page and would be very grateful for anyone who can add to their running total as well as anyone who can make it to the top of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike or Snowdon and fancies a tug.

http://www.justgiving.com/Men-of-Sparsholt

Our newest team member on the BMX side of things is Lawrence Williams aka Pipe. Pipe is a dab hand on a 20" bike and also with a shovel. He has been making the most of the lighter nights and warmer weather and starting to make preparations for the summer. A new set of trials are in the making and there is much work to be done. BMXers willing to devote so much precious time off the bike and in the mud are seemingly on the wane but the commitment to the jumps is not in short supply here. The big earth moving jobs are done but the time consuming job of shaping these mounds into works of art will consume the spring. We look forward to seeing the fruits of his labour......

Ashley Charles over and out

  • Posted by will
  • 6 April 2011

Ashley has been very busy of late both at home and abroad. He has had the pleasure of sunning himself (albeit in a woollen hat) in Malaga with the Etnies team (see the Dig Mag website for coverage of that trip) but has also put in the hard work making the most of the dry days (or dry patches) in and around Bournemouth. The result of his local explorations is contained in this winter edit and there are some very interesting new spots along with the usual exceptionally high standard of riding. We hope to see more soon but i would imagine in Ashleys new place of residence on the other side of the Atlantic he wont be struggling so much to find a dry spell.... Good Luck over there

Changing Priorities

  • Posted by will
  • 10 January 2011

The stack of reading material here is illustrative of my current list of priorities. At the top are two quite magnificent books by Jez Alborough about Bobo the chimp. Bobo is quite a central character in our house at the moment and these books have made bedtime (and most other times) a lot easier for all concerned. I have spent more time narrating the adventure of Bobo than I have looking at much else. Highly recommended for those looking to entertain a 'wee-one' or indeed themselves. No-one is too old for books with titles such as 'Yes', 'Tall' and 'Hug'?

Sat beneath Bobo very symbolically are two of the books I'm attempting to make sense of for a much maligned thesis. Kant, Locke, Marx and the like don't have the draw of Alborough, Cuncliffe and the Ahlbergs and sadly I have no-one else thrusting these books in my lap like I do with those that sit at the top of the pile so I am reliant on self-discipline to open these. But 'needs must' and these books (and too many others to count) are piled up on my desk awaiting my attention.

At the bottom is a field of 'literature' that at one time in my life I read intensely. A combination of the ability to get a 'quick fix' of bmx news and trivia from the web and everything else I have to read means these magazines dont get anywhere near the attention that my 16 year old self was able to give them. My priorities are thus structured in this order and riding has to fit in between everything else rather than everything else fitting around the riding as it has had to do for so much of the last 15 years. Having said that, riding still provides a much needed escape and connects me to a group of friends when around whom nothing much seems to have changed (which is a good thing!). Over the last year or so my good friend Jamie Barron and I have managed to sneak in a number of trips out near and far to ride and film and the video below is the result.

A big thank you to Jamie for putting this together and a big thanks to Jez Alborough and the like for making such damn fine books to entertain a 16 month old. Locke, Kant and co are mostly long gone so I'll spare them the thanks......

Ashley Charles: Beach Bum

  • Posted by will
  • 17 December 2010

The days of enjoying the beach sans wetsuit/big coat seem already to be long gone and still so far away. Despite this Ashley Charles has a video and photo story up about his life by the beach and his enduring love of life by the sea. Ashley is a long time resident of Bournemouth and while having travelled to most corners of the globe he still gravitates back to the Dorset seaside. He has written a short piece about why he hasnt moved to the big smoke and is happy in a town more renowned for its OAPs by the sea (inevitable stereotype i know). The video illustrates another advantage to living by the sea in having a great length of seafront to explore by bike and one that at this time of year is all but deserted. Take a look at the picture story here.

When We’re 65

  • Posted by will
  • 9 December 2010

Some friendships are enduring. I have known John (Northern John to give him his formal title) for 12 or 13 years now and we have spent some of the more formative years of our lives travelling near and far together in the pursuit of new places to see and new things to ride on our ill-fitting bicycles.

As clichéd as it sounds John is a one-off - that label gets applied to many but anyone who has had the pleasure of john's company will agree that he is (both thankfully and regretfully in almost equal measure) never matched in his approach to life.

We have both grown 'old' within BMX and it is to this pastime/sport/hobby/life-pursuit that we have both remained involuntarily tied. BMX is now even more so than ever a kid's world and we both spend increasingly more time moaning about the 'state of the scene' and looking back through very rose tinted spectacles at the days when there was no-where to ride, no-one to ride with, no websites, no forums, no obsession with bikes and fashion but despite all this we both seem incapable of letting go of riding a 20" bike.

I have more fun riding with John than anyone else (and the few friends that can put up with our bitterness!) and we recently set about trying to document our riding over the last few months. We have filmed together for years and while our schedules are a little fuller these days we managed in between the fishing sessions, the childcare issues and two jobs to come together often enough to film a few clips that Jamie Barron (our long suffering friend and camera man) kindly put together into this edit.

With a combined age now of 65 (im 28 so you can work out John's age) we were quite happy that our knees lasted long enough for us to battle through the eternally miserable weather in the north-west of England and put together an edit that doesnt hide the fact that were having fun - if it takes an hour to do a trick one of us will punch the air and give the other one a hug! (very much frowned upon in the serious modern world of BMX).

You can't teach old dogs new tricks but you can get them to do them over and over again until they land them!

The Two Harrys

  • Posted by will
  • 17 November 2010

'Different horses for different courses' or so the saying goes. Bikes I think fit this idiom so very well. It is easy to envisage having one bike as a jack of all trades but I think it becomes apparent (and this has taken me years to admit) that different bikes are designed for different types of riding. I have spent years cycling a bmx bike to school then college and then to work determined to stay 'pure' and not 'sell out' to any other type of bikes. In my old age with knees no longer prepared to put up with riding any real distance on 20" wheels I slowly came round to the idea of getting a 'proper' bike for getting from A to B and keeping the little bike for fun.

The two bikes in the picture are, I think, about as far apart on the spectrum of bike design as you can get but suit my needs pretty perfectly. One has taken me around the world (as a reason to travel if not the means) and the other takes me across Manchester everyday and over the Irwell river into Salford. The link between them as tenuous as it may seem comes in the name of the designers: Both are the product, in the main, of men called Harry. The big one a Harry Quinn frame (I think possibly as old as I am.) decked out with the finest second hand bits that ebay and various bike geek's garages around Manchester had to offer for a reasonable price; and the small one the product of the imagination of Harry Schmitt at wethepeople bike co (in collaboration with Ashley Charles). The two have provided me with everything I need to keep pedalling on a bike suited perfectly to my alternating requirements. Cheers Harry(s).

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