MMXXII Missile

  • Posted by alex
  • 27 July 2012

The Sideburns of Glory t-shirt was a big hit. Poor Mike has been keeping the printshop lights burning long into the night trying to catch up.

It's all been for a good cause though, with £5 from every tee going to the Dave Rayner fund (more on that here).

This weekend it's The Marquis of Cavendish's turn to put us all on the edge of our seats as he faces 9 trips to the top of Box Hill before the final dash for the line in the Olympic road race.

We'd already drawn this up and thought it'd be nice to share it for the weekend. We weren't planning to put this design on a t-shirt but if you tweet @howies with #MMXIImissile or like the design on Facebook over the weekend, we might ask Mike to print a few.

The Dave Rayner Fund

  • Posted by aron
  • 26 July 2012

The Dave Rayner Fund was set up in memory of the late Dave Rayner with
the aim to assist ambitious riders, like Dave, to make a successful career from
cycle racing on the continent of Europe.

Since its inception in 1996, the fund has helped riders such as David Millar,
Charly Wegelius and Bradley Wiggins make the transition.

To support the cause, howies are donating £5 from every bike tee sold between
23rd July and 30th July to the Dave Rayner Fund. So far we have raised
over £3000.

If you would like to make a contribution (and bag yourself a t-shirt in the process)
you can see all our cycling tees by visiting the links below.

Click here for men's cycle tees >

Click here for women's cycle tees >

For more information on The Dave Rayner Fund, see their website – daveraynerfund.com

Mark Cavendish riding for howies.

  • Posted by ade
  • 20 July 2012

This is the last race of the night at the Revolution series that Mark Cavendish raced for howies. It was why we made the World Champions tee.

It still creates a slight feeling of disbelief in the office that it actually happened.

And at the end of the clip when he talks about howies team riders leading him out. . . something that may never happen to a tiny brand like us again.

Categories:

I’ll set the scene, it’s Friday evening, you’ve just driven 5 hours to a race site and you’re pitching your tent, it’s all going well.


You then catch up with some old riding buddies and sit by the fire relaying stories of past bike exploits. You then think, well it’s time for bed, gotta get that respite before the race tomorrow. So you’re in your sleeping bag getting all snuggled when suddenly the heavens open and for the next how ever many hours you lay there listening to the torrential rain tearing at your tent walls.

The wind then picks up, you’re thinking ‘well I’m either going to be blown away or float off when the river that I’m camped next to burst it’s banks’. Envisaging BBC news the following morning – lost campers found stranded out to sea!!

But somehow you manage to get some shuteye, and as you open that door zip and look out, you see carnage!! I’m talking gazebos that have been up rooted, tents that have collapsed and probably the most horrific, your kit bag sitting in the middle of a large puddle! Pants. Good start to a 24hr mtb race!

I’ve been riding this event for years now and have always had an awesome time. It’s a super course that has a bit of everything including British mtb history when the Grundig world cup was held there in 1998, which I also raced in! Showing my age now.

I think sometimes when conditions are at their worst it somehow becomes that much more enjoyable, everyone is in the same boat. Having to walk that blasted off-camber singletrack section or put on those cold wet muddy shorts from your previous lap. It’s character building I reckon.

With a team of 5 consisting of myself, Chris, Rune, Jason and James we managed to complete 21 laps putting us into 6th position overall in the mixed cat, which was a nice bonus to the weekend.

It was an absolute pleasure riding with those guys, non-stop banter and James’ enthusiasm that never faltered! We also managed to avoid any mechanicals or injuries, which was pretty lucky seeing as a snapped mech and chain was a common occurrence throughout the race.

Even though my bike now runs like a bag of spanners and my mountain of kit washing doesn’t seem to be reducing I wouldn’t have changed anything about the weekend, it’s was brilliant and I came away as usual with a massive grin on my face that I got to ride my bike and hang out with some lovely people.

That’s what two wheels are for!

Tour de France

  • Posted by alex
  • 27 June 2012

You may have spotted this video on our Twitter feed, but the Tour de France starts this weekend with the prologue in Liège, Belgium.

Over the next couple of weeks, the world's most famous riders will be pushing themselves over some of the most breathtaking and backbreaking stages of cycling known to mankind.

There will be sweat, blood, tears and glory.

We'll be tuning in for a stage or two and running the office sweepstake in true convoluted howies fashion; an undecipherable points and scoring system with the victor buying an espresso machine for the kitchen with their winnings (hopefully).

In honour of this epic race, we've created these Tour de France t-shirts of the month. They're only around for the duration of the Tour and we'll be giving one away every week on the Blog and Facebook, so watch this space...

A-to-B. Via C.

  • Posted by alex
  • 20 June 2012

Routine can be a good thing, but I recently realised I've been stuck in the grind of A-to-B: Ride to work. Work. Ride home.

The routine has been broken a little in preparation for racing in Italy. So A-to-B has had a little B-to-B loop added at lunch, but last night reminded me it's a lot more fun when A-to-B goes via C. Especially when you don't know where C might be.

I live about 1 mile from work and it took nearly 2 hours to get home via a 30 mile detour on roads I've never seen, over hills I've never climbed and getting lost at a crossroads I couldn't get back to with a map, let alone without one.

Finding myself a little lost, faced with uphill one way and downhill the other, the temptation was to take the easy way out and roll down. But with the setting sun as my only bearing, onward and upward west was the order of the evening and eventually, all would be alright. At the summit, the Preseli's came into view in the distance with familiar-looking fields lining the river valley. It was clear I was heading back to B.

Today is the longest day. 16h 38m 20s of daylight (give or take). That's plenty of time to take the long way home.

Ever wondered where A-to-B might take you if you go via C?

Birthday Club

  • Posted by alex
  • 15 May 2012

Saturday was belting sunshine out west and Hazel had rallied us up for her birthday to ride the Tour of Pembrokeshire. We couldn't have asked for better weather to take in 75 miles of Wales by bike.

The miles passed as the skin got pinker, taking in coastline out of St. Davids and up towards the towns closer to home, before turning back over the Preselis towards the finish.

Plenty of riders passed us by while we stopped for lunch or to high-5 santa; our faux Birthday Club t-shirts giving away that we probably weren't taking things all that seriously. In fact, by the end of the ride, we had picked up a few companions along the way, making the ride that bit more fun.

Sometimes with cycling to work and rides penned in the diary, I forget how great it is to ride without an agenda - not riding to train, abandoning the GPS and the ticking clock, no pace to keep or person to beat.

Note to self: Ride more. Train less.

Roll on summer.

Lunch.

The top of the climb. On top of the world.

Dyfi

  • Posted by alex
  • 9 May 2012

Our May bank holiday was punctuated with a trip to the trails and fire roads in Machynlleth for some epic mountain biking. The weekend didn't start too well after a trip to A&E for stitches, but things only got better on Sunday.

The 11th Dyfi Enduro didn't disappoint, with rain from last week clearing a lot of the surface mud from the slate descents and leaving deep pools of surface water for the brave (and stupid) to ford. 40 miles off-road felt brutal compared to all the recent road riding, but the steep forest hills and crashing downhills left little time to distract yourself from the ride to worry about mileage.

Being my first time at the Enduro I had little idea of what to expect and riding on a borrowed bike, I tentatively span through the course amoung 800 other riders, cheered on by locals, cheer leaders, Welsh hardpists, star wars characters and past beer tents, tempting mugs of free beer 10km from the finish. It's a surreal and hard ride, with every punishing climb followed by teeth clattering descents only to climb higher - rinse and repeat.

If you rode, times are now online. Ruben, Ade and Hazel had a great ride, putting in some fast times. Hazel was even fastest in her category.

Now that my legs have stopped burning and the adrenaline has faded, I can say it truly is an excellent one-of-a-kind event. If you've never ridden the Dyfi, it's definitely something to try - but you'll have to be quick as this year sold out in a matter of minutes.

The Coed-y-Brenin enduro is just around the corner too - run by the same crew from Summit - which will promise another worthwhile trip up the coast.

Rest Less Recipe

  • Posted by alex
  • 4 May 2012

There's nothing quite like real food to keep you going when out doing something challenging. Especially at 3am, when your stomach's raw and another energy bar, shot, gel or gram of raw sugar could not be further from your mind.

That's why we asked Laura to make us a few things for the Rest Less ride. Nothing beats home made food to keep you fueled for adventure.

Packed full of Brazil nuts, Almonds and oats for natural energy,
this flap jack got tired bodies and minds across the country.

Chunky Chocolate Nut Flapjacks

200g Oats
30g Desiccated coconut
160g Butter
50g Light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp Golden syrup
100g Brazil nuts, cut into large chunks
50g Almonds, cut into large chunks
85g Good quality dark chocolate, cut into large chunks

* Grease and line tin.
* Mix together oats and coconut.
* Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan, until sugar has dissolved.
* Stir mixture in with the oats and coconut.
* Spoon into tin and press down evenly.
* Scatter over the nuts and chocolate pieces.
* Bake at 180°C / Gas 4, for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.

Unlike your usual energy food, we don't have a list of calories, grams of protein, carbs or how many GI's - but on a scale of edible to delicious, we'd say it's excellent.

Recipe: Laura Elsaesser

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