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It's Dyfi Enduro Time

  • Posted by ruben
  • 26 April 2013

howies Dyfi Enduro - photo rightplacerighttime

Next weekend hundreds of mountainbikers from all across the UK will descend on the town of Machynlleth, nestled in the beautiful Dyfi valley, to participate in one of the highlights of the Welsh MTB calendar - The howies Dyfi Enduro, which after more than a decade has become the fastest selling and arguably most loved MTB event in the country.

Come rain or shine the course promises 60km of the best trails around and a fantastic atmosphere the whole weekend. Some long, long climbs are more than made up for by the stunning views and fast, whooping, white knuckle descents, mixed up with miles of fantastic singletrack and entertaining trailside shenanigans to take your mind off your tired legs.

In previous years the course has featured a brass band, a group of cheerleaders, a Welsh rock band, Darth Vader and a Star Wars ensemble reenacting battles from the movies, a wizard, a man playing a banjo and a wind and hailswept mountaintop rugby match. And every year there's a bar serving pints of beer just before the finish.

All in all, this adds up to our very favourite mountain bike event of the year and the excitement is starting to build in the office.

Ade, Hazel and I are starting to fine-tune our bikes. Bleeding brakes, oiling chains, choosing tyres. This year we're joined by our resident trail runner Chris, who manages the shop in Cardigan. He has borrowed a bike from a friend to see what all the fuss is about, although with a couple of 100 mile trail running races on his calendar we're half expecting him to shoulder the bike at the start and run the course.

This year the howies Dyfi Enduro is proud to be raising money for Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team who will also be fundraising at the event on the day.

Follow the news on the Dyfi MTB events Facebook page.

We hope to see you there.

Our New Outback Jacket

  • Posted by alex
  • 11 April 2013
Schoeller 3XDRY water-resistant soft-shell with Merino wool bonded fleece inside - it keeps you dry from the outside, dry from the inside and it dries in a flash.

There's no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing.

Most of the weather we get in the UK is neither onething or the other. Some days it's bright and sunny, but freezing cold. Others, lovely and warm but chucking it down with rain. You can’t win.

The Outback jacket is our answer to thesedays. We've set out to design somethingthat feels and performs like a Merino wool base layer, but at the same time is wind and water-resistant.

So we've taken the same soft, itch free, anti-microbial Merino wool we use in our base layers and bonded it with a Schoeller 3XDRY softshell outer fabric. The Merino fleece wicks moisture away from your body, transporting it to the outer shell, which in turn lets it evaporate without letting any moisture in.

The result is a performance weatherproof jacket that keeps you dry from the outside, dry from the inside and dries in a flash.

Perfect for sport, the outdoors and those days when the weather just can't make up it's mind.

Outback-licorice-thumbs

howies Outback Softshell jacket - Men's Licorice

howies Outback Softshell jacket

howies Outback Softshell jacket

We've been putting the Outback through it's paces too. It's fast wicking Merino wool inner sends moisture to the 3XDRY outer really fast and in early spring downpours has kept the rain at bay on rides home.

The jacket is super-stretchy too with contoured panels making movement easier and with two zipped map-sized hand pockets a zip chest pocket with a headphone port, this jacket is perfect for sport, the outdoors and those days when the weather can't make up it's mind. Which around here is most days.

Shop Men's Outback Softshell >
Shop Women's Outback Softshell >

If I can bicycle, I bicycle

  • Posted by alex
  • 4 April 2013
  • howies Leadout Bibshorts

We bike to work and home again, evening rides and weekend jollies.
Getting covered in crap, cuts and grazes and aches and pains.
We love it. That's why we do it everyday.

Funny thing is, we've never really got around to making any serious kit for it...
Until now.

Our new Slipstream cycle jerseys (available in long sleeve and short sleeve) and our Leadout Bibshorts are made using seamless circular knit technology, meaning that they are precision built to fit your body, just like your own skin. They provide a snug fit that will go virtually unnoticed as you wear it.

The specialist machines are capable of knitting yarn into a single continuous tube shape. This means we make body panels in one piece, minimizing the need for seams - seams that could potentially cause irritating friction or chaffing on longer rides.

The circular knitting machines are also capable of varying patterns in the fabric as they knit too. This means that we can have different weaves on the same panel and precisely tailor them to match specific parts of the body. For instance, we have integrated lighter breathable panels in sweatier areas like the underarms and back, and woven more compression in around hems and places where you need a tighter fit. All this without the need for separate panels, seams and stitching.

This makes a truly comfortable, form-fitting garment with a minimalist design. Just like us humans.

howies cycling details

howies cycle range

howies cycle range

Easter Breakout

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 March 2013

howies Easter Breakout

We're taking the next few days off and heading out on some Easter Breakouts.

Chris is running the mountain ridges and forests of the Nantlle valley from Waunfawr to Beddgelert in north Wales.

Hazel is heading down Whitesands with a her parent and surfboards to brave the cold and score some waves.

Naomi is hoping for surf too - dipping in at Freshwater West for a deserted early morning surf in the West corner. Out for a hot brew and lunch. Back in early evening after a blood warming, coastal walk. And then a night around the woodstove, recounting the day’s adventures and laughs.

Emma is off with family to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and walking some of the North Downs Way.

Ade will be running his favourite local trail; a 10 mile loop up and down small valleys with river crossings, pine forest and twisting single track.

Alex is conquering the Preseili's on the road bike (and hoping not to need a rain jacket).

Jules will be strolling along the beach at Llangrannog with her dog "Juno" and chatting to people from different walks of life.

While Tom will be fixing freezing and burst pipes on his Caddy in hopes to get out further afield.

Let us know what you're getting up to on your Easter Breakouts.

Weather the weather

  • Posted by ade
  • 22 March 2013

Whatever the weather this weekend, dress for it and get out in it.

When you're home and changed with a cuppa, your pulsing thawing hands,
deeply aching thighs, burning cheeks and clear bloodshot eyes will be the reward.

The words of this old nursery rhyme says it all.

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

Carbon Cycle

  • Posted by ruben
  • 7 March 2013

The carbon impact of cycling is dead interesting. Here’s some food for thought.

There’s a lot of nonsense talked about carbon footprinting. I have a friend who believed that owning and feeding a dog was more carbon intensive than owning and fueling a 4x4.

The truth is that depending on where you draw the boundaries you can prove anything with carbon footprinting. So if your 4x4 is super efficient and only drives 6,000 miles a year and if your dog eats loads of meat that has been reared just for it (i.e. not a by-product of other part of the meat industry and not mixed with vegetable/rice feed) then yes you can show that the 4x4 has a bigger footprint.

So I wasn’t that surprised to see that US Republican Ed Orcutt declare that the CO2 emissions from riding a bike are greater than that of driving a car. Clearly Mr Orcutt is deluded. Particularly as he cites the greater expiration of the cyclists as being the cause. We can ignore Mr Orcutt on the grounds of stupidity but the carbon impact of cycling is dead interesting. Here’s some food for thought.

Mike Berners-Lee in “How bad are bananas?” looks at the impact of cycling a mile. Now the interesting thing is that it depends on what you’ve eaten. This is the fuel for the bike. So if you are fueled by cheeseburgers the impact of cycling a mile is 260g of CO2e but if you are fueled by bananas this falls to 60g. These figures take into account the embodied impact of the bike per mile.

The embodied impact of a family car kept for 200,000 miles is 100g per mile plus the impact of burning a mile’s worth of fuel (between 150g and 200g per mile). But this doesn’t take into account the fact that the car driver will also have eaten food but that the calories from this food are not burnt off but accumulated. This in turn has a knock-on potential impact of running a health service to deal with those non-cyclists who become obese (note: not all non-cyclists become obese).

So the impact of driving a mile in a car is the impact of the fuel use, the embodied impact of the car and the impact of the food eaten by the driver. So if the driver eats cheeseburgers this gives a figure twice as large as that of a cheese burger eating cyclist.

Phew, that’s complex. The key thing is to understand is where the boundaries of your study are. My advice to Mr Orcutt is to get his facts straight, trust the science and ride a bike more.

Words and facts by Mark Shayler at tickety boo

30 Seconds of Your Adventures

  • Posted by alex
  • 14 February 2013

We asked you to put down the minced pies and head for the hills in search of adventure over the festve break.

Just before the 2012 was over, we looked back at what we had been doing but wanted to know what you were up to too.

So we challenged you to put down the minced pies and head for the hills in search of adventure over the festive break.

Thanks to everyone who shared their adventure. We’ve looked through all of the photos and video you sent in and Mike’s made a 30 second edit combining some of our favourites.

If you spot we've used your clip, drop us a line at info@howies.co.uk to claim your howies Classic T-shirt for your winning submission.

Lunchbreakout

  • Posted by alex
  • 25 January 2013
  • lunchbreakout

Today's the day the snow becomes cold driving rain,
the day snot freezes to your gloves,
the wind slaps spit back in your face
and stops you almost dead in every pedal stroke.

Today's a great day for a ride.

You say you want a revolution

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 December 2012

Two revolutions down and two to go.

Olympic champions have battled world champions.

Pro road riders are chancing their arm on the track.

And Vos and Armitstead came together for a rematch in the Elimination race.

But all the teams are built from the bottom up with the young up and coming talent. Mike, our tee printer, went up and with the help of a pit pass put together 90 seconds of the stuff you don't see.

The worker bees hard at it.





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