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Getting out the door

  • Posted by howies
  • 12 April 2012

Exercise makes me happy. If I run a couple of times a week I think clearer, I sleep sounder, I eat better, I work more productively. I am happier. And yet, I can go for months without going for a single run. What's with that?

It took a chance meeting with Olympic athlete Steve Cram to tell me what the problem is. It's the front door. It's there, and its shut. He told me, "it doesn't matter if you're a professional athlete or training for your first fun run, the hardest part is motivating yourself to get going. If you can pull your trainers on and get out the door, everything else is easy."

The good news is he also told me how to open the door. Its a 2 step process:

1. Set yourself a goal.
Enter a run / bike ride / triathlon / adventure race / bog snorkel.
Nothing too hard, just something you couldn't do today.

Parents, children, postman, neighbours, doctor, God, Twitter followers,
ticket collectors etc. There's no turning back now.

It works. For example, I haven't been swimming for 5 years. Then yesterday I entered a 1.5 mile swim to the Isle of Wight. I now have exactly 94 days until I walk down the shingle beach and into the waters of the Solent. So today I found my old trunks at the back of my drawer and tomorrow morning I'll be in the local swimming pool.

David came to howies to show us a website he built with a couple of friends to help people with the difficult Step 1.

You can guess what it does. It gets you out the door.

Words: David Wearn


Challenge yourself to something new and when you've found a race, let us know where you're racing on facebook, or tweet us with the hashtag #foundarace. You might even find a friend or two to get out the door with you.

Winning Microadventurers

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 October 2011

After much deliberation, the long-awaited winners from our Microadventure competition are named and famed below.

A huge thanks to everyone who took part and we hope you had as much fun as we did.

Microadventures let anyone plunge into a world of cheap Credit Crunch adventures. Adventures that are close to home, which are fun, affordable, easy to organise and designed to get you doing and experiencing things that would normally pass you by.

This competition was a great reason for howies to invite Alastair Humphreys up for a Microadventure of our own and if you missed it, the video is here.

We asked you to get out there and do your own Microavdenture and send us your story. For us, these four stories really captured the spirit of Adventure and we've thrown in an honorable mention to the good folk in Japan for their unique video approach.

Enjoy - in no particular order:

Tom Allen - Zone 1 Microadventure

Luke & Brooke - London to Lewes

Simon Edwards - South Downs

Ariel & Emma - Belfast

Runner Up

Rob Thomson & Co - Sapporo, Japan

If you're one of our winners, please drop us a line on [email protected] to claim your prize.

Kayaking Around Wales

  • Posted by alex
  • 17 August 2011

Next month, a few of our friends will be setting off on a 650 mile adventure to circumnavigate Wales by sea kayak.

This back-to-basics trip using only will-power, kayaks and tents is to help support the work of the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre. We've got onboard and sent them some merino to keep them warm at night and cool when battling the tide. You can get involved by donating to the cause and helping everybody downstream by supporting the great work of CBMWC.

They will be leaving Newport, Pembrokshire next month and heading North to the wild waters of Anglesey. When they reach Chester, the route heads inland using the canal systems to make their way down past Gloucester and back to the sea. Their journey back to Newport concludes through the tidal races of Pembrokeshire and a well earned pat on the back!

Spread the word and watch out for updates from the boats via podcasts on brainfood soon.

fforest microadventure

  • Posted by ade
  • 23 March 2011

I had a pint with James from Fforest at the end of last year and he told me of this adventure he'd just done with Al Humphries and James Bowden (who does our photography) that's just popped up on vimeo.

real adventure

real food

late summer

secluded beach

friends and family

cardigan bay

Take 3 minutes to have a watch and then plan your holiday to Cardigan.

Getting out there.

  • Posted by emma
  • 17 March 2011

Scott and I headed East yesterday to visit our friends Sara and Mickey who run a lovely shop called Flow in Hay- on-Wye

They have stocked howies for quite a while now, some of our true believers.

Sara, Mickey and I spent a long time talking about our passions for snowboarding and skiing.  Scott and Mickey spent a long time talking about kayaking.

We showed them the AW11 range and then ate yummy soup and gorgeous homemade scones.

It was good to get out of the office, meet up with nice people and chat to Scott.

If you are ever in Hay-on-Wye pop in and say hi to them, the shop is full of lovely things


Snow - Work = Play

  • Posted by ruben
  • 17 December 2010

Guide to snow

1cm - Can still get to work. Unsatisfying.

5cm - Schools closed, people start walking
like the marionettes from Thunderbirds.

10cm - Wear walking boots to work.
Snowmen appear on lawns.

15cm - Bike wheels collect ice and snow.
Braking gets interesting. Kettle works overtime.

20cm - Get your snowboard out and build the
biggest jump you can in the local park.

25cm - Head for the hills.

There are a few empty seats in the office today. The snow is coming back.

If you place an order over the weekend, we will get your parcel over the mountain to the
outside world on Monday and it should be with you by Christmas, depending on the snow.

Don't forget the 50 things under £50 offer, which is full of great last minute gift ideas.

See the Men's here
See the Women's here

Just to let you know, we're running low on a lot of sizes already so if
there's something you like, order now before it sells out.

after work adventure

  • Posted by ade
  • 1 October 2010

       Meni and me went for a sea paddle out to the witches cauldron.  Before we left the beach a seal came and rolled in the waves before us. See it's little head, black dot, centre picture. What the picture does not show is the size of the waves.


I have never been out to sea in big wave in a small plastic boat. It was one of those situations where you can physically  feel your life inside your chest. Your daily immortal self is stripped away and you know that you are fragile flesh and blood.

The phone was not coming out for pictures.

We paddled out straight into the sunset and  big waves that broke over the boat and my face. Once safely out we turn back to land and skirted the coast till we found the boiling mouth of witches cauldron.

We got broadsided by a roller that dislodged me from my perch and into the sea. As soon as I was in all the pent up fear went. everything was fine. A wetsuit and a PFD worked.

We paddled round a  big rock at the mouth of the cave that was catching the breakers and breaking them enough for us to paddle into the tunnel.

Once in the boat is rising and falling 3 to 4 meters in a 4 meter wide gulley, then into the archway and out into the cauldron.

What a place.

       We paddled through that blackness into the cauldron.

Took a swim. Stood under the water fall. Sat on the rocks and look at the sky. And after 5 minutes realised that we were sat next to these sleepy babies.

       They were so well camouflaged we nearly never saw them.

The big one snorted like a pig and blew snot out his nose so it was time to leave them to their peace.

We paddled hard out of the cave and had a touch and go moment when the sea sucked away from the rocks almost to the sea bed, and I thought we were going to Davey Jones' place, but we floated on and rode the waves back into the beach.

Meni made us sweet Israeli coffee on a burner back at the car.

The immortal shield returned and the stories of danger and fear flowed with the coffee.

new boy canoe

  • Posted by ade
  • 8 September 2010

Our new pilot started at howies on Monday. Peter. His qualifications are cyclist and runner.

As part of his first week we took him on our canoe to work down the Teifi. We got him to meet Scott get to the boats which was pairing the man who doesn't know how to get there with the bloke who is most likely to over sleep.

We were on the water just after 7am.

Our motley crew was Robin the warehouse manager and ruben our web geek in one canoe, Kim in operations on her sit on, David who lands the good stuff in a kayak, Mel who designs our clothes in her kayak, Peter and me in another canoe and Scott our Cardigan store manager in his own canoe.

Autumn delivered a chill clear sky with a mist over the water.

When you are right down in the Cilgeran gorge there is no noise except our chatter and paddling. It's rare to find such peace on this planet. Especially when you commute.

Once we entered the marshes by the wildlife park the sun broke the trees and the river steamed and Peter's feet thawed.

As we came into Cardigan there were birds by the howies store making a racket in a riverside bush that turned out to be a pair of quarrelling kingfishers.

We were eating warm freshly baked Welsh cakes by 8.30. Thanks to Fforest outdoor for the loan of the canoes.

And a warm welcome to the howies family to Peter.

Teifi - Tweed

  • Posted by howies
  • 20 August 2010

Where I'm from (Peebles, Scottish Borders) and where I am (Cardigan, West Wales) are two places defined by the rivers running through them, the Tweed is famous for the fabric, the Teifi for being the home of the Coracle.  They are both beautiful rivers flowing from high in the hills down to the sea, great for paddling and home to some amazing wildlife including salmon and otters.

Unfortunately that's not all they share, with salmon come poachers and with poachers come nets and with nets comes a horrible word - bycatch.  All the things that get tangled up but aren't wanted, birds, young fish and otters.

Teifi Nets
Tweed Nets

Nets don't care what they catch, they don't care how long they are left, they don't care if they're forgotten or abandoned.  They just keep catching.

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