Cardigan Skate Jam

  • Posted by alex
  • 16 August 2011


In town this weekend? Show your support for your local skate park and riders and head down to the skate park between 2-6pm this Saturday. BMX and skaters will be demonstrating their flow and style with music, a BBQ and soft drinks on sale.

Entries are £2.50, with all proceeds going towards Genesis Research Trust.

There're a couple of howies tees and other great prizes up for grabs for the winners and runners-up.

Fancy entering? Competition categories are: Under 13's / 13 - 16 / 16 - 20 & 20+.

Download the competition poster here.

We’ve moved (the shop)

  • Posted by alex
  • 16 August 2011

howies Cardigan Shop
howies Cardiagn Shop
You may have noticed a dash of new howies blue on Cardigan high street this week. We've been working against the clock to get our new shop open in time for the Cardigan Street Race. And we managed... just!

We popped up to the high street to see how things were going, and as you can see, it's going well.

Chris and the shop team are putting the finishing touches to everything this morning, folding all your favourite bits and pieces and getting everything neat and tidy.

howies Cardigan Shop
howies Cardigan Shop
howies Cardigan Shop
So if you're down by the river wondering where we are, we're at 52 Pendre. Drop by and say hello. (There's still a bit of sale stuff from the old shop in there too!)

SAS Raffle - Update

  • Posted by alex
  • 15 August 2011

SAS Thermometer Week 1
A big thank you to everyone who bought tickets in the SAS raffle last week, we're off to a great start.

This week you've raised £1300 towards fighting great causes for our coastline - nice one!

With 17 weeks to go, we need to keep up the pace to hit the £25,000 target by December. If you've bought a ticket or two, you're in the running for £2000 of howies clothes (obviously), so let your friends know tonight over a drink, now with a tweet or on your ride home and let's smash the target.

If you haven't got involved yet, there's a book of tickets going out in every order, or you can get them directly from SAS.

Start building your howies wish list, 'cause £2000 is pretty much a wardrobe full!

News from Kelvin Batey.

  • Posted by emma
  • 15 August 2011

Categories:

Hope things have been going good at Howies over the summer.

I have been flat out racing for the last couple of months with things going really good until a few weeks ago when I picked up an injury on my knee. It shouldn't take too long to recover but its put a bit of a downer on whats been a good year so far.

A few weeks ago I finished 7th at the Euopean Championships which were held in Birmingham. Please find attached a couple of photos from that race. It was my main focus this year to do well there. I was happy to make the final but a mistake at the start cost me a podium place which was the ultimate aim. 7th in Europe isnt bad though I guess...

I'm starting to get ready for next year once the injury has cleared up and training to gain qualification for the Olympics, which will be at the Worlds, again in Birmingham at the end of May. It will be a big month as Im getting married at the end of April! Im really positive that with the way things are going I should gain a place to race in London but am not looking past this race as thats the main goal right now.

Speak to you soon,

Kelvin

How-To: Microadventure

  • Posted by alex
  • 15 August 2011

howies microadventure
Last Monday, Alastair Humphreys came down to see us in Cardigan. We'd arranged to go on a Microadventure - an adventure close to home that is cheap, easy to organise and most of all, fun!

So, what if you're new to the world of adventures? Alastair's got a few tips for you mind out of the daily grind and taking the plunge into the world of Microadventures...

It's been more than fifteen years since I began enjoying sleeping in wild and wonderful places. I guess I've spent about a thousand nights sleeping outdoors. Out of all those probably only about ten have been in a 'proper' campsite.

I've slept on top of England's highest mountain on New Year's Eve and on the northern tip of Britain in midsummer week.

I have also spent many nights without a tent -bivvying- and these are often the most magical of all. (Not always, mind!). I've bivvied on hill tops, seashores, even on a swimming platform out at sea and in sewage pipes (clean ones) on three continents!

So I know how easy, safe, simple, fun, rewarding and invigorating sleeping wild can be. It is one reason why I came up with the idea of microadventures to try to encourage people to give these things a try. But I completely understand how someone who has never done it might think otherwise.
Therefore I hope that this article will help encourage wild-campers to give a microadventure a try by explaining how to do it all, and answering a few common worries.

What is a bivvy bag and wild camping?

A bivvy bag (bivouac bag) is a waterproof outer layer for a sleeping bag. If you live somewhere it doesn't rain (ie Not Wales) then you don't need one, and you can just lie out smugly in your sleeping bag. For a one-off bivvy microadventure a cheap orange survival bag is fine (your sleeping bag will get a bit damp on the outside from condensation). That's what I used on our howies microadventure last week. A better option is one from Alpkit for about £30.

Wild camping is camping away from a proper campsite, out in the wild.

Is wild camping legal?

It's completely legal in Scotland and, elsewhere in the world, nobody has ever complained, told me off, arrested me, or been in the slightest bit concerned. In the same way that nobody would mind you having an afternoon snooze on the beach, nobody minds wild camping, so long as you're not on private land, near someone's home, or otherwise being annoying.

Is it safe?

Assuming you are out in the countryside, away from people then a night out under the stars is about as safe as a night can be. I will admit to the occasional night when strange noises in the woods have spooked me a little, but that is only the fault of an over-active imagination and a youth frittered on late-night horror movies! This goes away after a couple of nights. If you're out there with a friend it's even easier.

Where will I sleep?

Finding spots to wild camp is an art form! It's also all about compromise: sheltered in an old barn or under a cliff in case of rain versus a full canopy of stars out in the open if it doesn't rain. Getting out of the wind will keep you much warmer, so if you're bivvying on a hilltop (my very favourite place) then consider dropping just a few metres down the leeward side. If you're sleeping on a beach sleep above the high-tide mark or else you might win a Darwin Award.

You can find safe, snug wild camping spots surprisingly close to towns and villages too. Follow a footpath just a short distance away from a road then nip behind a hedge or a clump of trees. You'll feel very open, conspicuous and slightly silly as you lie down to sleep but you'll soon relax and enjoy the novelty of being right out in nature.

How do I use a bivvy bag?

Shove your sleeping bag into the bivvy bag. You can, if you wish, put the sleeping mat in there as well, but I find that's too cramped. Snuggle in and sleep. If it rains in the night just snuggle even deeper, pull the bag over your head and leave just a little hole for your mouth otherwise you end up getting way too hot!

What do I need to take on a microadventure?

The whole point of microadventures is that you do not need much time, money or specialised equipment. The trip I did with howies is a perfect example - we left their office at the end of the day's work, rode out of town wearing small backpacks, had a great adventure, and were back at the office ready for work the next morning. Granted, not every workplace will allow you to ride your bike round the office or wear merino cycling stuff as you work, but these are minor problems! A bundled up suit makes a great pillow...

Here then is an idea for a microadventure and the stuff you'll need:

  • Leave work
  • Cycle / walk / run / paddle / swim, even drive (if you must) out of town
  • Climb a hill / go to the beach / find a lake
  • Eat
  • Relax
  • Campfire (where appropriate)
  • Sleep
  • Wake up
  • Find a lake / river / lido / ocean for a quick skinny dip.
  • Cycle / walk / run / paddle / swim, even drive (if you must) back into town
  • Greasy Spoon cafe
  • Back to work
  • Ask your colleagues if they did anything interesting last night

 Basic Kit List

  • Bike
  • Rucksack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Cheap orange survival bag
  • Cheap foam sleeping mat
  • Torch
  • Rain coat
  • Wooly hat
  • Warm clothes for night (use a spare jumper as pillow)
  • Food and drink that doesn't need cooking
  • Water bottle
  • Toothpaste with toothpaste already applied and wrapped in clingfilm
  • Matches to light a campfire
  • Notebook - even if you never write a diary this is a really good chance to jot down a few observations, thoughts, resolutions
  • Camera - for smug self portrait

 Next Step Up: take all the above plus...

  •  Camping Stove
  • Pan
  • Pasta and sauce / pesto, Super Noodles, Pot Noodle etc.
  • Spoon
  • Proper bivvy bag (instead of orange bag)

Luxury Additions: take all the above plus...

Even if you have never cycled or walked ten miles before, even if you have never wild camped (or even if you have never camped) I really urge you to give this a try on a nice warm, dry summer's evening.

The very worst thing that's likely to happen is that you get back to work the next morning a bit tired. Far more likely is that you will be thrilled to discover wildness, nature and beauty on your doorstep. You'll probably enjoy it so much that next time you'll take the whole office with you as well!

Gunnshaw and Cavenfoot

  • Posted by ruben
  • 11 August 2011

Categories:

Gunnshaw and Cavenfoot

This Sunday, road cyclists from across the country will converge on our little town to take part in the 2nd annual Cardigan Street Racing criterium event which this year plays host to the Welsh National Championships. It's going to be a great day for Cardigan.

The races start at 12:45, with categories for all ages and abilities and an all-comers category which offers a chance for anyone to come and ride on bikes of all shapes and sizes.

This year Ade and myself will be riding in the Regional B race at the end of the day, starting at 5:10pm. After our adventures in Italy earlier in the year we've developed a bit of a taste for road racing and we're both really looking forward to it.

We've been training as much as we can around work over the last few months and talking tactics for the day. Ade's working on his Renshaw (sans headbutt) and I'm practicing 200 meter burnouts at either end of my commute. As usual, we're just hoping not to come last.

See you Sunday.

Off to town

  • Posted by alex
  • 10 August 2011

Categories:


A few people from the office are heading cross-country to visit the big smoke this week.

Ruben and I got our tickets this morning. All 22 of them.

Hopefully we'll have deciphered which ones we need and which ones we don't by departure time.

Surely there's a less paper intensive way of making a return ticket?

Microadventures

  • Posted by alex
  • 9 August 2011



You may have heard on the grapevine that Alastair Humphreys came to Cardigan to see us yesterday. A few of us joined him and spent the night on a Microadventure based out of Cardigan.

Keep an evening or two free in the coming weeks, we've got something we'd like to share with you and will let you all know about it very soon...

Ironbike Roundup

  • Posted by howies
  • 8 August 2011

Categories:

Ironbike Roundup

What makes the hardest Mountain Bike race in the World? How about 600km over 7 days with 27,000m of climbing in the Italian Alps!

In July I picked the hardest Mountain Bike event in the World as my first ever stage race. Starting from Limone Piemonte racing over some of the highest peaks in the Alps, including the mighty Mt Chaberton at 3131m the event finished in Sauze d'Oulz 7 days later. Not only would the distance and climbing figures make the riding hard but the terrain is challenging both up and down giving bikes and kit the ultimate challenge.


Day 1 started hard, but compared with the later days it would be one of the shortest days, with 93.5km and a huge 3560m the route was never flat and the descents were incredibly technical while the climbs were relentless, steep and loose. I finished in 6hrs 18 minutes and placed 11th overall out of the 140 starters.

The following days became harder, with Day 2 being a particular highlight of the week with a climb to the top of Monte Bellino at 3000m and the incredible never ending descent off the other side that I will never forget. Day 2 was the hardest single day of riding I have ever done to that point, 118km with 4076m climbing yet I still had another 5 days afterwards.


Day 3 had even more climbing, totalling 101km with 4262m of climbing, the trails were hard going, while day 4 looked hard, the weather decided to turn making it a incredible mental challenge as well as physical, with zero visibility and temperatures well into single figures it was my lowest point of the week. The meagre 72.5km and 3500m took 7 hours and 40 minutes, showing how tough it actually was. Despite a bad day I had managed to move up to 9th position overall.



Day 5 was a long day, but I pushed hard and relished the tough riding, finishing the 91km and 4520m climbing in a time of 8 hours and 30 minutes. The day also included a short trip through a mine! 2.5km of pitch black mine shaft, where we needed a light to see where to go which was another experience I would never forget! I was the 2nd fastest through the mine section, just 20 seconds off the fastest time. I also moved up to 7th overall, continuing the slow but steady progression up the leader-board.


Day 6 was the big one; the one everyone was fearing. A long day with lots of climbing and the highest altitude of the event – Mount Chaberton. We reached the bottom of the climb having already covered a very tough 70km and now faced the 2000m climb to the top, at 3131m. Looking up from the bottom, the gun turrets from the WW2 fort were just visible yet it seemed an impossible challenge. I set off to challenge myself against the mountain and reached the top in 2 hours 41 minutes, but still had a long way until the day's finish at Sestriere. The massive day eventually took 9 hours 51 minutes, covering 111km and 4613m of climbing and had moved up again to 5th overall. The hardest day of riding I have ever done!

With just the final day to go, everyone left in the event was looking forward to a slightly easier day, yet it was still harder than almost every UK event I have done. After 5 hours, 4 minutes with 2968m we were greeted by the town of Sauze d'Oulz and I could finally relax, knowing I had finished the IronBike. Of the 140 starters, less than 50 people finished after 7 brutal days of riding I managed to hang on to 5th position. My first ever stage race, the hardest race in the World. I had survived and have some amazing memories to take from it.

Unlike many other riders I had absolutely no mechanical problems during the event, despite the terrain being the roughest and most challenging I have ever encountered. Sensible kit choices played a part, but the biggest factor was having Ben from Wiggle as a supporter for the entire event. He kept my bikes in perfect condition, allowing me to concentrate on recovering after each day's massive effort. To finish in 5th position in my first ever stage race, which also happens to be the hardest race in the World is a fantastic achievement and something that I am very proud of.

The next event for me is another stage race, although a little closer to home this time, Trans Wales where I am hoping for another top result.

Items 91 to 99 of 2819 total

per page
Page:
  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 9
  4. 10
  5. 11
  6. 12
  7. 13
  8. ...
  9. 314