Quantcast

Carbon Cycle

  • Posted by ruben
  • 7 March 2013

The carbon impact of cycling is dead interesting. Here’s some food for thought.

There’s a lot of nonsense talked about carbon footprinting. I have a friend who believed that owning and feeding a dog was more carbon intensive than owning and fueling a 4x4.

The truth is that depending on where you draw the boundaries you can prove anything with carbon footprinting. So if your 4x4 is super efficient and only drives 6,000 miles a year and if your dog eats loads of meat that has been reared just for it (i.e. not a by-product of other part of the meat industry and not mixed with vegetable/rice feed) then yes you can show that the 4x4 has a bigger footprint.

So I wasn’t that surprised to see that US Republican Ed Orcutt declare that the CO2 emissions from riding a bike are greater than that of driving a car. Clearly Mr Orcutt is deluded. Particularly as he cites the greater expiration of the cyclists as being the cause. We can ignore Mr Orcutt on the grounds of stupidity but the carbon impact of cycling is dead interesting. Here’s some food for thought.

Mike Berners-Lee in “How bad are bananas?” looks at the impact of cycling a mile. Now the interesting thing is that it depends on what you’ve eaten. This is the fuel for the bike. So if you are fueled by cheeseburgers the impact of cycling a mile is 260g of CO2e but if you are fueled by bananas this falls to 60g. These figures take into account the embodied impact of the bike per mile.

The embodied impact of a family car kept for 200,000 miles is 100g per mile plus the impact of burning a mile’s worth of fuel (between 150g and 200g per mile). But this doesn’t take into account the fact that the car driver will also have eaten food but that the calories from this food are not burnt off but accumulated. This in turn has a knock-on potential impact of running a health service to deal with those non-cyclists who become obese (note: not all non-cyclists become obese).

So the impact of driving a mile in a car is the impact of the fuel use, the embodied impact of the car and the impact of the food eaten by the driver. So if the driver eats cheeseburgers this gives a figure twice as large as that of a cheese burger eating cyclist.

Phew, that’s complex. The key thing is to understand is where the boundaries of your study are. My advice to Mr Orcutt is to get his facts straight, trust the science and ride a bike more.

Words and facts by Mark Shayler at tickety boo

A Line in the Sand

  • Posted by pete
  • 28 February 2013

"Tomorrow feels like it will be a day where we continue to design and make the best product we can in the most considerate way, for the sports we do."

When we think of all the yesterdays howies has had (6,452 of them, to be exact) there’s a lot to be proud of. We’ve helped build a great brand, made some amazing product, produced all those incredible catalogues and we’ve made people think… all in a low impact way and all from this little corner of Cardigan Bay.

But we can’t just live in the past. So today, as I write this, Spring has come around again and it feels like those seventeen years have passed pretty quickly. We’ve bought our brand back off Timberland and we are at a point where we are in control again. We decide which direction we go and what defines us. Today is the day that the first of the products designed by Hazel and myself are starting to arrive. They look as good as they did in my head and that’s pretty exciting.

That leads us to think about our tomorrows and what we want to do with them. Tomorrow feels like it will be a day where we continue to design and make the best product we can in the most considerate way, for the sports we do.

Tomorrow is a day when we don’t let our little company get too big. A day where we continue to operate in Wales and we give shares to the people who work here. Tomorrow is a day to carry on making people think, to inspire them to get off the sofa and go outside, to run, to ride and to always make tea in a pot.

And, of course, to make the most of all their tomorrows.

Pete Davies
Head of Creative

Use your loaf

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 February 2013

It’s annoying isn’t it? You pop out for a loaf of bread and it’s suddenly gone up to £1.50. Wasn’t it a £1 or something not so long ago? Oh well, toast and tea beckon. You stump up the cash and head home.

Not so easy in Kenya where poor families are being affected by the same huge price rises and the choice isn’t between granary or farmhouse white, but between breakfast or sending the kids to school.

So what’s going on? We keep hearing about bad weather and the impact it has on poor harvests, which translates into food shortages. What we don’t hear about so much are the dodgy deals that are pushing up food prices.

Since 2010 more than 44 million people have been driven into extreme poverty by the rising cost of food. At the same time, banks and financial investors are, quite literally making a killing by betting on food prices. The World Development Movement (WDM) estimates that Barclays makes up to £340 million each year through unregulated speculation in food markets, as people starve.

That’s the bad news. The good news is it’s easy to do something.

If you want to make change, legislation is going through the EU right now that can effectively control this greed. Go to http://www.wdm.org.uk/food-speculation for more information on food speculation and to lend them your voice.

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.

Last Day of Summer

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 September 2012

It rained but we still rode our bikes.
It rained but we still ran new trails.
It rained but we still swam open water.
It rained but the days were still long.
It rained but we still had summer holidays.
It rained but we still went to the beach.
It rained but we still wore shorts.

It rained but it was still a great summer.

Summer. Ends Saturday.

  • Posted by ade
  • 17 September 2012
Cook outside on a fire. Even just a tin of beans heated over a blaze in the garden will feel like an adventure.

Every shop is showing their latest Autumn ranges, howies included. We are all talking about the Autumnal weather (there are even chocolate Santas for sale in the supermarket). It's like we're willing summer to be over already.

But until Saturday, it's still here, so you have five whole days and nights left to make the most of it.

You could:

1. Swim in the sea. It's probably the warmest it's going get this year, so get in.

2. Wear shorts or a skirt all week.

3. Sit in the sun on the grass and eat your lunch.

4. Cook outside on a fire. Even just a tin of beans heated over a blaze in the garden will feel like an adventure.

5. Go camping. Why have 5 star accommodation when you can have billions.

6. Run somewhere at sunrise or sunset (Late summer always has THE best light).

7. Leave work early to ride the long way home with no lights on (pretty soon you won't be able to ride home without them).

8. Get to a forest before the leaves fall. The trails will be great.

We hope that gives you a few ideas. Do something everyday to push back autumn and let us know what adventures you have.

#lastdaysofsummer

Suggestions

  • Posted by alex
  • 5 April 2012

With 100% more weekend on offer as of now, we've been thinking of a few ways to spend the extra days while we're not at our desks.

After a quick poll in the office, these were the top suggestions. We'd like to hear yours.

Have a great weekend. Whatever you do, we hope you enjoy it.

1. Run in the woods

2. Fix up your bike

3. Get lost somewhere new

4. Read a book

5. Eat outside

6. Skinny dip

7. Go sledging (do not leave the country)

8. Make wild garlic soup

9. Take to the water

10. Make a paper hat for a fly*
(*sadly, this fly was dead when we found it...)

Friendship through adversity

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 March 2012
Twenty-five years ago, Bill and I rode rigid steel mountain bikes from Kashgar in China to Chitral in Pakistan. It was hard yakka all the way. Our friendship was young as we set off: we’d come together for the adventure.

I ride a bicycle for many reasons. Perhaps the most powerful reason at this stage of my life is to share the physical and emotional fellowship of riding with friends. Happily, all my best friends ride. I’m not saying that we can’t be friends if you don’t ride – that would be absurd – nor am I suggesting that I’m friends with everyone I’ve ever ridden with. It’s just that all my best friends do ride. That’s the way things have turned out.

When I reflect upon the friends I have now, though, I realise the link between cycling and friendship is more profound than I’d previously thought. I see there is a direct correlation between how close my friends and I are, and how many miles we’ve put in together. I’m not talking about commuting miles or Sunday morning miles. I’m talking about the hard miles, the miles where you’re hanging and sore and need help, the miles where you’re far from home, shit’s gone wrong and your mettle is being tested. These are the miles that really count. Adversity puts friendship on the line. When things go awry, we subconsciously confide in each other. This leaves a lasting bond.

Twenty-five years ago, Bill and I rode rigid steel mountain bikes from Kashgar in China to Chitral in Pakistan. It was hard yakka all the way. Our friendship was young as we set off: we’d come together for the adventure. When my cheap aluminium luggage rack fell apart deep in the Hindu Kush, Bill offered to strap one of my panniers to his back. I knew then our friendship had distance. When I got married a decade later, he was my best man.

I have as many examples of hard miles with folk I’ve subsequently come to trust as I have good friends, so when my Dad died suddenly last autumn, old riding buddies were the first people I called.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: ‘A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.’ I believe in this. It’s why I’m still riding the hard miles, and why I’m still making new friends. It’s why I’ve hooked up with Ade and Alex and the howies team to organise a ride across Wales at night, in March. When I’m lost in a dark forest with a broken chain somewhere between Cardigan and Abergavenny, when the night seems dead, when hope is fading and the right road is gone, then new friendships will be forged.

Rob Penn
www.bikecation.co.uk

Merino in the field

  • Posted by alex
  • 18 August 2011



My friend Tim just got back from an expedition to Greenland. He's often off to the remote reaches of the fjords to take photos of calving fronts. Sometimes he camps with colleagues, sometimes they stay in a research station.

Despite what you might think, the temperature is mid teens in the day time but gets down close to zero at night. So he wears our merino. He swears to me he wore his yellow NBL for the full three week trip and only washed it once. Hopefully the pants (no photos of those) did him proud too... I won't ask if he wore them for 3 weeks straight! "Amazing" was the word he used most.

Sometimes, we're all so busy running and riding in our merino, I forget it's a good thermal layer too!

Thanks for the debug Tim.


Items 10 to 18 of 362 total

per page
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 41