Ventile Sneak Peek

  • Posted by alex
  • 21 February 2013

The return of Ventile. Our Airman and the Earhart jackets will be here soon.

Ventile is coming. Soon.

And we're very excited - not just because our new Ventile jackets are the first
pieces from our Spring '13 range to arrive but because they look truly amazing.

Pete, Hazel and Lou have sweated over every detail; the colour of the drawcords,
the stitching around the vents, the peak on the hood and made subtle tweaks to
the cuff to make it fit snugger and wear better. All the way down to the weight of
Ventile cotton fabric and the density of the weave we have used to make these
weatherproof jackets Spring-(and probably Summer)-proof.

Here's a preview of the little details that are making a big stir in the office.

Ventile Jacket preview - howies

Ventile Jacket preview - howies

Ventile Jacket preview - howies

Ventile Jacket preview - howies

Ventile Jacket preview - howies

Ventile Jacket preview - howies

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.

It's all uphill from here

  • Posted by ade
  • 20 December 2012

When I started writing this the list wasn't very big. Then I asked for everyone's list and the year filled up. Turns out 2012 was full.

In January we bought howies back from Timberland and all the staff got shares.

Then the games began. Hazel won the Brecfa enduro, and we ran the Endurancelife CTS Anglesey Ultra.

February we headed to Devon for the CTS Ultra Marathon. It was quite the worst weather.

In March we rode from Cardigan to Abergavenny through the night with Rob Penn whilst the clocks changed. Then did the Bath 1/2 marathon.

April a bunch of us were back down south on Exmoor for more CTs trail running. That was a hilly course.

May the office rode the howies Dyfi Enduro on a short sleeve sunny day. And then the Tour of Pembrokeshire on the hottest day of the year. Then is was back up north to run the Anglsey ultra.

June we all went to Italy to race the Castelli Feltre 24. The rain stopped 2 hours before racing and we were into 24 hours of racing road bikes round an Italian town with top professionals. When we got back Chris our store manager ran the Endurancelife UTSW 100 mile coastal run in under 30 hours and finished smiling.

In July, the girls came second in the Gower Kinetica triathlon. We also fielded a team in the Bontrager 24 that was mainly underwater. Ruben ran up and back down Wales highest mountain  in the Snowdon race and we wizzed round the St Clears 10km. And the Tenby 10km was a watershed moment for two of our guys who gave up smoking after a hard battle, pulled on the running shoes and have never looked back.

Despite August being holiday time Hazel became the Welsh Ladies DH champion. Da iawn Hazel. Then Chris went home to see his parents and run 100km in the Northumberland Ultra.

September was running Bristol 1/2. Easy month that.

October we all piled down the Coast to Little Haven to run 10km, 1/2's Marathons and Ultra's in the autumn sunshine and warmed down with the Cardiff 1/2. Whilst we did that, Alex went solo for a 100 mile sportif in mid Wales. And Hazel rode Oktoberfest in Bristol.

November we ran various distances in the Gower CTS and raced DH at Newquay.

And in December only Peter made the solo trip to run 10km in Devon.

A few more days and we can get on with 2013.

 

Give us a glimpse of your adventure

  • Posted by ruben
  • 20 December 2012

The chatter in the office suggests most of us are planning adventures over the holidays.

There's talk of trail running up Cader Idris, mountain biking in the Dales, road rides over the Preseli Hills, surfing (if we're given the gift of waves) and New Year swims for the hardy.

Next year we'd like to build a short movie of these adventures and it would be great if you could get involved.

If you send us a 30 second(ish) video, a great picture or a map of your adventure by 14th January*, we'll select the best ones and they'll be put in the movie and featured on the blog.

Everyone who gets their adventure featured in the video will win a t-shirt specially designed for the event.

How To Enter

*To enter, email your video to us at info@howies.co.uk, upload your entry to our Facebook page or tweet us @howies.

Competition closes 14th January 2013, judges decisions are final, your photos and videos may be used on the howies site but you will be notified and credited. (We think it's important to be open and up front about that stuff.)

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

Tomorrow we run our own race

  • Posted by ade
  • 5 October 2012

Final day preparation for the tomorrows Endurance life's Coastal Trail Series running events is evident all over the office.

The total feet to climb on the course profile casually dismissed.
Sports tape shared and location of application perfected.
Weather websites being cross referenced.
Team kit logo's getting hand printed.
Energy food and real food prepared.
Injuries getting a last treatment.
Running bags pack and repacked.
Layering scenarios played out.
Extra lunch being eaten.
Spikes or studs debated.
Less tea, more water.
Batteries charged.
Play lists edited.
Nails trimmed.

Nerves on show.

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?

The thing with softshell...

  • Posted by ade
  • 27 September 2012
The thing about a soft shell is that it replaces a few layers giving you a single technical layer that can be worn almost all of the time over a base layer.

We made our first soft shell in 2006 and we still see them at races and hacking round cities.

To be a true soft shell it should shed water but not be waterproof. This makes it very breathable and quick drying. It should also block out the wind and have insulation to keep you warm. And by having some stretch in the fabric it is easy to wear both in and out of activity and is very hard wearing.

The thing about a soft shell is that it replaces a few layers giving you a single technical layer that can be worn almost all of the time over a base layer.

In 2010 we introduced the barrier hoody, which was a sell out for winter.

This year we have introduced the Barrier Light for men and women with a few tweaks.

- A reduction in the weight of the jacket by using a loop back liner that also increased the warmth.
- Ribbed cuffs and waistband to stop the wind blowing in.
- Inner pocket and headphone loop.
- A second colour. Not everyone suits khaki.

It’s great for on and off the bike. To put on over your dirty kit post sport when cooling down. From house to bus to train to office, in and out of doors. Pre and post yoga and gym.

This means we should see them at races and hacking round cities in the next 6 years.

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