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Autumn Epic

  • Posted by alex
  • 12 October 2012

I've never been so glad to see a sign for the Finish. Especially when it was accompanied with the handwritten note "Downhill. All The Way." As I freewheeled, the speedo began to pick up and I knew I could make it home. All the pain from climbing masked by the feeling of accomplishment.

My first attempt at a century ride was crunching out of the Rest Less ride in the wilderness back in March and it's been on my Bucket List since.

With regular trips over the rolling hills at lunch time, racing in Italy and week night rides, it felt like it was time to take on 100 miles again.

So I set off - a 5am departure from Cardigan - for the Autumn Epic last weekend. A ride just short of 100 miles through mid Wales with some 8000ft of climbing, notorious for usually being in an apocolyptic downpour but as luck would have it, it was cool but a dry.

We set out in a group of 6, soon merging with a quick bunch and relishing the chance to be swept along and settled into a rhythm. Scott soon powered on and then we were 5.

The first real climb split the bunch and I was soon spat out of the back, gladly resuming my own pace and reminding myself that there were some 80 hard miles to go - I was already starting to feel the pace. As I rejoined the guys as the hill levelled out, we were soon up to cruising speed again and could start to take in some of the beautiful vistas from on top.

Just before the first feed station at Rhayader we started to climb again, before dropping into town. Out of the saddle, leaning hard, Laurence snapped his handle bars at the stem. Despite our best efforts with a handful of zip ties and a stick, his ride was over. He seemed pretty un-phased by the winding downhill on one drop bar and brake!

We pushed on as a 4 as we wound through forests and rolled over hills into the stunning Elan Valley. The road rose before descending round sun-lit hairpins into the open valley floor accompanied by buzzards and kites cruising over the plains.

Before we knew it, we were half way round, passing the cascading dams and heading back towards Knighton. The feeling of achievement was soon broken as we turned into Glascwm hill which felt like trying to ride up a travelator continually tapping my levers, trying to find more gears. I slowly made my way up passing riders who had opted to get off and push, while others zig-zagged up the road shaving attempting off a % or two. It was gruelling. Let alone this far in.

Just before the second feed station, the roads began to roll again and became muddy and potholed. A ping from behind revealed Doug had broken a spoke but managed to limp on to the final stop where a mechanic was able to swap his cassette onto a borrowed wheel and we pressed on.

With less than 10 miles to go, we were stalled again by a puncture. Riders who we had passed and re-passed throughout the day's escapades rolled by as tyre pressure was re-established.

We turned past the final way marker, ushered by an outrider who called after us "6 miles to go. 3 to the top of the big hill". Everyone cursed. Surely not nother big hill?

As it turned out, it wasn't big, it was just long and the sapping came from previous miles more than the incline.

Elated at the summit, I've never been so glad to see a sign for the Finish. Especially one accompanied with the handwritten note "Downhill. All The Way." As I freewheeled, the speedo began to pick up and I knew I could make it home. All the pain from climbing masked by the feeling of accomplishment.

Nick and I rolled through the finish, some 6 hours 24 minutes in the saddle I was over an hour behind Scott, 2 minutes behind Doug and James.

It was certainly epic and a great way to mark the end of this summer's riding.

Image ©rightplacerighttime.co.uk

Sometimes progress won't wait

  • Posted by ade
  • 4 October 2012


Sometimes progress won't wait
We'll keep on building.

When you build something and begin to use it, you soon see where you can make improvements.

The site we launched last October had a few digital bugs, some stuff that bugged you and us, and things that should have just worked. Not every plan goes to plan first time.

So this new site addresses your feedback and our bugbears.

• We have made a new #threads section, which brings together the latest from our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all in one place.

• You can put things in your basket, go and make a cup of tea, and when you come back the site will still be there. The old site had a tendency to just disappear and not allow you to shop if you ignored it.

• The product pages have been redesigned, and all the product information is now in one place. 

• You can now filter products by colour and your size.

• You can now ask questions and give feedback on products.

• The checkout is quicker and easier to use. 

• The site will be faster now it's running on new servers, and it won't crawl when it's busy.

• The blog has been redesigned and is back on the home page again. 

And with this big stuff out of the way, we can get on with the tweaks to come over the next few months, including some great new stuff for, the iPad and iPhone.

We hope you like it.

We'll keep on building.

Distance is it's own reward

  • Posted by ruben
  • 3 October 2012

On Saturday, a few of the howies office team are making a short trip down to the south of Pembrokeshire to run in the first Endurancelife Costal Trail Series of the season.

4 of us are running the 10k (It'll be Pete's first off road run.)
1 of us is running the half-marathon-and-a-bit less than a week after she ran Bristol.
Another 3 are running the 35 mile "ultra" option.

That's three different distances and eight different people but all of us will be sharing the same apprehensions and excitement before the race, and on the day each of us will try to do exactly the same thing - run the best race we can and have fun doing our thing.

Whatever your distance, the Endurancelife CTS has something for you. Why not join us at one of them?

Autumn 2012 preview

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 August 2012
This is just the first drop. The rest of the range, including new Merino, knitwear, jumpers, denim and tops will be added over the next few weeks.

Our new Autumn season preview is now online (mens herewomens here).

We've added some great new pieces including the Barrier Light, a windproof and warm
jacket made from recycled polyester which is great for after sport and on cooler days.

Our Chada and Betws chinos  are now available in an more colours, made with
added-stretch for the urban pedaler. As well as the new Gully jumper,
Wiseman cardigan and a selection of new mens printed tees made
from 100% organic cotton.

We've also brought back some old favourites including;
Primaloft insulated Whistler jacketsMerino midlayers,
Yurt fleeces and Natural Base Layers in Autumnal colours.

This is just the first drop. The rest of the range, including new
Merino, knitwear, jumpers, denim and tops will be added over the next few weeks.

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