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The story starts in London. Ruben and I were crossing Oxford Street when we were lept on by Darren. He recognised us from the blog and it turned out  he had been to howies to chat composites.

His company makes anything out of composites. From art work, to bits for architects to stuff for racing.

My shoes busted last week and a bit gutted (cause they still had miles left in them) I ordered more shoes.

When he saw my busted shoes on the blog he mailed and offered a kind repair.

I posted them Wednesday and Nigel applied a flexible bond and they arrived today with both soles fully rebonded to the uppers.

Perfectly good shoes will now carry on perfectly as hack shoes.

Thank you very much Darren and Nigel,  I am wearing them tonight.

Basque and Beyond

A little while back the Kingdom Bikes boss, Chris, invited me along on a trip around most of the north of Spain. From the Basque Country, through the Asturias, a short stay in Hicksville and finishing with a whistle-stop tour of Madrid, I can safely say that I now know a lot more about the geography – the stunning mountains and green pastures, of the region.

Chris was not only in the Pais Vasco “In search of ETA”, but also to make a film about his bike, the Vendetta, and to test out his new frame. Predictably, this test quickly became more about a trail of discovery than a bike riding trip and we found ourselves immersed in local culture at a slower pace of life.

We spent most of our time in the Basque being lost, as for some reason known only to the Basque natives there are absolutely no maps available for the area around the sizeable town we briefly inhabited. Alas, with a certain amount of sweat and hiking we eventually made it to the highest peak in the area and found a sweet, flowing singletrack back to the exact spot we had parked up. All in all a perfect bike ride.

The remainder of our time was spent being lost around the Picos de Europa and a neighbouring Natural Park – one of the most incredible mountain ranges I have been to and my re-discovering of the sheer scale and diversity of Spain was certainly very humbling. Those mountains are fierce and unforgiving and I will be back, that is for sure - I have been inspired.

Look out for the film of our tour of the Lost North some time soon (...ish).

Thanks to Chris, howies, Riders Refuge, BOS/R53 and Bike Dirty for helping me out..

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

new talent needs your help

  • Posted by ade
  • 5 April 2011

Susie wrote is a great letter asking for your help.

She is working at Falmouth Uni on an idea for her degree for a womens range of bike wear.

she wrote;

On my blog there is an introduction to 'lycra not required'  saying what it is all aboutr.  From the readers of brainfood I would love for them to tell me what they think on the idea and the drawings so far. And then, as my ideas progressed, I will post up more designs etc. in detail (had some fabric samples through of sportswear materials etc. so will do some work putting them into visual bits n bobs) at which point it would be nice to have some more input via brainfood on what they/you all at howies thought. This will really help my project becomes something pretty solid because the course at falmouth is a lot about user centred design.  So I can  make something special we have to go and find the problem, get in contact with real people and companies to get feedback and opinions.

If you go here to her blog and have a look at what she has done and give her some feedback, it would help her create based on actual feedback.

45rpm WHAT

  • Posted by aron
  • 5 April 2011

45rpm also goes by the name Matt. You might have met him when he worked at the howies store in Bristol or perhaps you'd have seen him on his fixed gear bike flying down Park street wearing one of our t-shirts. He's instantly recognizable, with a big beard and mesmerizing eyes. He's a howies man through and through.

As well as setting up a bike collective called No Gears Bristol he's a graffiti artist specializing in custom typography and one half of the WHAT collective.

We love his work, especially his recent submission (below) for a competition by Dont Panic. Years of broken and used skate decks have been recycled to create this unique piece of art.

If you like you can help him win a hamper of fruit by voting for his submission right here.

And to see more of his work on flickr you can click right here.

Oh, and you can follow his rants on twitter here > @45rpmWHAT

I think that's everything.

Girls only.

  • Posted by emma
  • 30 March 2011

Just had this mail from Robbie at Trailab about an up and coming event.

For more info about the camp check them out here

Girls ride too

  • Posted by howies
  • 25 March 2011

Ok so you've all seen the posts from Ade, Ruben and Hicksey about their lunch time adventures and yeah us girls in the office tend not to have regular sweaty escapades in our lunch hour (the boys don't bother with showers afterwards where as us girls like to, I think) but anyway Hollie has been out running after work, Kim has got her bike out and has been riding the long way home and we have been planning on going out for a luch time ride when dogs, work schedule, illness and punctures get in the way (like last few weeks).

Today I knew it was going to be glorious and even though I was shattered this morning after being out on my bike several times after work this week I just had to bring it to work for a lunch time ride.

I sussed out a route with Ade and off I set in the hot sun.

I hadn't done the route before, I didn't know where the hills were or where to turn but I had my trusty phone with me with GPS location services (very helpful as I could have ended up in Aberporth) and my camera.

The sun was hot.

I definitely didn't need a jacket or leggings 2 merino tops and shorts were fine :-)

I really need to practice getting out of the saddle going up big hills.

Lunch tasted better than usual.

The view was great.

The smell of cows and muck was really strong down the track lane which Ade told me not to go down.

Looking forward to riding more at lunch times this summer

When I got back I was sweaty....

... and I didn't have a shower :-)

hazy view from top of one hill before starting the next one



  • Posted by ade
  • 24 March 2011


took the best bike out for a sunny lunch time spin.

the soles of both shoes came off.

the glue has died.

so did my lunch ride.

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