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the howies store, bristol

Done the run

  • Posted by ruben
  • 5 September 2010

Here's me, having just finished the 2010 Bristol Half Marathon.

It was my first running race, and it was tough.

I made a few outlandish statements about running it sub 1h 30, and for a few miles it felt like that actually might be do-able. Even at the half way point where the clock read 48 minutes I was hopeful of making it in the 30s. But as the minutes passed and my mile times started to drop off, I began realise that running that fast for that long was harder than I'd thought it would be. Even though it was flatter then any of my training routes and the weather was perfect. Cool, a little drizzly and calm.

There were a few moments in the closing stages where I thought I might not be able to finish, or I might have to start walking. But I stubbornly kept myself going and crossed the line running. It was a mass start with chip timing, so I had to work out my time from my watch, and I thought I'd done enough to hit 1.40 but the official chip time online reads 1.44.02.

I'm a little disappointed I didn't get under 1.40, as I was pretty sure I'd manage that, but after having finished my first race without stopping, or walking I'm still pretty happy about everything.

And I know I can go faster next time!


  • Posted by ruben
  • 1 September 2010

I've been running since last year.

Well, I  say 'running' ... I mean going out with a specific route in mind, and aiming for a speed at least a couple of times a month, usually a couple of times a week.

This weekend I will be running in my first organised race, the Bristol Half Marathon.

With 4 days to go, it's playing on my mind, I can't stop thinking about it.

Have I done enough training? (probably not.)
Can I pace myself for the first half? (maybe...)
Will I be able to finish? (yeeeah.)
Will I be fast? (Don't be stupid.)

I'm aiming to finish in under 1 hour 40. With my own absurd target being 1 hour 30.

I figure there are three key points that will help me in the race as opposed to training on my own.

1 - Bristol is flat. A lot flatter than Pembrokeshire.
2 - There will be well organised and regular drink stops. I often dehydrate half way through my run and finish with a headache.
3 - I will be running in a pack and will be able to tune out easier once I find someone to pace myself with.

The nervous energy is building in my legs.

It can't start soon enough.

book ends

  • Posted by howies
  • 27 August 2010


So this morning I arrived at work to find that Matt45 was wearing the red version of the Vail Tee I was wearing. Then Will rocked up and we soon realised we all looked like we'd been given orders to wear a new Staff Uniform. In the afternoon, this chap came in with his missus and she kindly took a photo of us  looking silly

(If you really wanna be in our gang, you'll have to get yourself a new pair of howies jeans fella!)

Double wammy...

  • Posted by howies
  • 26 August 2010



Thought id share this little gem from last week, two great things. My favourite t-shirt in the howies store at the moment the ace Ride Like The Wind t-shirt and a whole heap of meat, cooked to perfection I may add. Just pop in tomorrow to buy the t-shirt get some meat on the way home and this dream could be reality (fingers crossed for no rain). You know you want to.

Cheers then Matt/45

New Boy...

  • Posted by howies
  • 20 August 2010

How do. I'm the new boy at the Bristol shop. My name is Matt, and I spend most of my spare time painting or riding brightly coloured stupid looking bikes. I'm pleased as punch to be part of the howies team as i do my best to wear out their clothes on the weekends, so its great to be part of something i believe in. I'm a bit of a blog geek so expect lots of blog postings about my travels and growing collection of old rusty bikes. Im a keen photographer and worked as a camera man before this job so keep your eyes peeled for some new howies videos in the near future!

cheers then, Matt/45

Cheerio :o)

  • Posted by howies
  • 18 August 2010


This is me cycling into the unknown as I leave howies for pastures new (my mate took it on a lomo camera, hence the grainy quality but I like it, and unlike some people (Ade!)  I don't do fancy gadgets so have no pics of myself).

Its been fun working in the Bristol shop and meeting so many interesting people who love howies and are out there in the world  having adventures and doing inspiring things.  I'm grateful for the donations of brownies on our anniversary and sweets at Christmas and all the tips about Bristol life that I have picked up since I moved here. Bristol is a small place and everyone seems connected somehow so it feels like a friendly city and friends are always hard to leave behind so I will be back to visit.

What I'm going to remember most about my time at howies is;  the Bath sample sale I did with Hayley, Tomos and Ed that was freezing cold but hilarious and fuelled by all the cookies we ate; Ade never 'knowing what something is called'!; the comedy duo that is Will and Matt(see Matt trying to wear as many t-shirts as possible @howies vimeo); Marcus popping in for a weekly cuppa, sometimes with Nat in tow; Cake Friday and (its cheesy I know), but the nice vibe you get in the shop when people have enjoyed a good Wee Do or exhibition launch.

By the way, I talk a lot about the Lindy Hop dance I do but I'm not sure that anyone has a clue what I am on about, so here it is (not me dancing!) Bristol Swing Dancers as info on classes.


Thanks for reading this far...

Cheerio, Amy :o)

DOugh Boy

  • Posted by howies
  • 13 August 2010


1.Local, stoneground flour

2.Water (more if its wholemeal flour - wholemeal keeps absorbing water after its made into dough)

3.Seasalt (has the potassium, magnesium and other trace minerals lacking in table salt)

4.Yeast (fresh or a sourdough starter)

5.Time & patience (rise once in warm area, re-shape, then leave to rise overnight - slowly risen bread is reportedly more easily digested)

6.Bake in a very hot oven and moisten with a spray of water.

That's it - Tom enjoys keeping things simple.

Thank you to everyone who turned up to Tom Herbert's Wee Do last night at the Bristol shop, and to Bristol Beer Factory for providing the beer that helped all the bread go down so well.

Tom gave away lots of bread baking tips and tales and I'm going to try and share the highlights with you now.

If anyone is reading this who attended the talk and feels I have neglected to mention a useful titbit of information, please feel free to comment.

We discovered that the history of civilisation is all about growing the grains that make the bread - flat bread to start with , then the canny Egytians sealed grains away for storage and accidentally invented sour dough.

Wealthy people always had white bread because it was harder to produce white flour.

'The upper crust' was eaten by the wealthier 'upper classes' because the bottom of the bread always got burnt.

My favourite tale from Tom's family baking heritage is that his grandad used to sleep on top of a huge container of raising dough, and would get woken as it tipped him of in the morning, all risen and ready to be baked!

Tom is involved with the Real Bread Campaign who have home baking advice and tips on how to source 'real bread' from local bakers.

If you check out the Bristol Local Food Directory you can find where to source fresh yeast and local flours.

After many bread baking dilemma questions were answered we got down to the business of sharing the bread. It was a fun evening so thanks to everyone who made it.  We'd love to hear how people have got on with their new bread baking knowledge so do let us know.  If you haven't given it a go yet here is the recipe Tom was using to make the dough last night.

Boneshaker Issue 2

  • Posted by howies
  • 12 August 2010

Issue 2 of Boneshaker Magazine is out in howies stores so buy your copy as a treat this weekend.

Still remaining advert free and full of great photography and articles that cover the diverse range of cyclists out there, its a great little read and celebration of cycling.

Need Bread

  • Posted by ruben
  • 9 August 2010

When I was growing up, a lot of the bread we ate at home was made by my mum

I have a lot of good memories of great big bowls of dough rising in the kitchen and the warm smell of fresh bread seeping through the house

It's only since moving away from home that I've really appreciated how good it was to have home made bread around all the time

Mel's talk of her bread maker and the excitement about the upcoming WeeDo lecture at the Bristol shop doesn't help either

Maybe it's time I started baking my own...

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