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#microadventure - the winners

  • Posted by ruben
  • 18 July 2013

Rather than going home to a sofa in front of the TV and a comfy bed after work, last month we challenged people to head out into the great outdoors to spend a night under the stars.

Together with our friend Alastair Humphreys, we took an unusual Trip on The Tube, and then asked people to get out for their own #microadventures, with prizes for the best videos, photos and stories.

Here are the winners as selected by Mr Humphreys:

3RD PRIZE – DAN AND LEO KNAPP CAMPING OUT UNDER THE STARS

2ND PRIZE – CHRISTOPH DRESSLER’S PHOTOBLOG OF HIS MICROADVENTURE

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1ST PRIZE – STEVE COFFEY AND HIS COLLEAGUES’ OFFICE MICROADVENTURE

While the competition may be over, we still think that anyone who breaks their daily routine to go somewhere new and spend a night in a bivy bag with the sound of the sea or the wind in the trees gains something every bit as worthwhile as any prizes.

Vai, vai, vai!

  • Posted by alex
  • 11 June 2013
The pace was so hard and fast that your lungs and throat burned when you came off from a set of laps and back to the tent.
We've just got back from a long weekend in Italy, racing bikes at the Castelli 24 hour criterium.

24 hours with Phil Collins*

“I would rather have a kidney removed with a plastic knife in a branch of KFC but we’ll sign up again for next year”

Every June in the foothills of the Dolomites the centre of Feltre is closed off for 24 hours of thundering thighs. The relay criterium event around a 1.8km circuit is organised by our old friends at Castelli and is about as much fun as you can have on a bike unless you own a tandem with the seats very close together.

100 teams of 8-12 riders take to the line with strategies that vary from “we’ve paid for a pro- rider so we are going to get our money’s worth” to “I’m sure the rest of the lads will be along in a minute, I’ll keep going until they get here”. For sheer guts I admire the tenacity of the latter.

The course goes up for longer than is entirely necessary, down for a disappointingly short time and has a long straight section that provides useful thinking time for composing an excuse should you decide to hand over early and a nearby canal if you just want to end it all. The lap finishes on a cobbled section sponsored by the local dentist.

Notable features apart from all the cycling stuff are the tannoy operators taste in music, which lurches from abysmal (Genesis) to please make it stop (Genesis), the chance to see a former world champion emerge from a putrid port-a-loo and the local Sprizzone which seems like an ideal pre-race drink. Like Italian footballers or Michael Douglas it goes down easily.

The combination of sleep deprivation, Sprizzone dehydration and trying to ride as fast as you can tests your mental strength so you WILL hate it for a bit but 5 minutes after it’s over you are booking the hotel for next year.

Great event. Fantastic people. Get some friends together and do it one year. You’ll never look back.

Thanks Castelli for a great event.

*As you can see from the picture Hazel’s bike is a Genesis.

Warming up nicely

Rooftop views and mountains

Assembling our bikes

Fuelling up

Practising the 2 Laps Signal

24hr Start / Finish Gate

Fatigue starting to show

Carbon fibre galore

Busted Cleats

Rain stops racing

Last year's event video.

Pedal for Pizza

  • Posted by ruben
  • 5 June 2013

Categories:

Pedal for Pizza

This weekend we will be in Feltre, Italy, for our third annual appearance at the Castelli 24 hour criterium. Starting at 10pm on Friday, our team of 10 will be racing alongside 90 other teams made up of over 1,000 riders of every level, from professionals to costumed have-a-go-heros.

We have trained in the Welsh hills, we will race on the Italian cobbles. Our aim isn't to win but to beat our best score & complete at least 456 laps in the 24 hours, to have the most fun we can and to enjoy the best of Italian pizza and espresso.

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram feeds this weekend for updates from the event.

Adventure is stretching yourself; mentally, physically or culturally. It is about doing what you do not normally do, pushing yourself hard and doing it to the best of your ability.

Two years ago our friend Alastair Humphreys visited us at howies HQ on the West coast of Wales as part of his year of Microadventure.

Al came up with the Microadventure idea to encourage people to get outside, get out of their comfort zone and go somewhere they’ve never been. A Microadventure is an adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective.

Next week we're planning to get our feet wet in another Microadventure with Al and we're hoping some of you will get involved over the summer as well. We're joining forces with Trek bikes, Osprey packs and Mountain Equipment this time, too. There will be some great prizes. More on that later.

To find out more about Microadventures you can join the Facebook page here, use the #microadventure tag on Twitter, Instagram and Vine. There are videos of past adventures, tips and tricks for those planning their own adventures and lots of like minded adventurers to talk to.

We'll be updating the Facebook page (and our blog, of course) with all our upcoming adventures and more details about how you can get involved.

Remember, you do not need to fly to the other side of the planet to go somewhere you've never been.
You do not need to be an elite athlete, expertly trained, or rich to have an adventure.

Adventure is only a state of mind.
Adventure is stretching yourself; mentally, physically or culturally. It is about doing what you do not normally do, pushing yourself hard and doing it to the best of your ability.

Dyfi 2013 - Cramp or Glory

  • Posted by ruben
  • 9 May 2013
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On Sunday, we made our annual pilgrimage to Machynlleth for the 12th annual Dyfi Enduro. A mountain bike event like no other. The course is tough, but rewards hard work with some of the best (if occasionally terrifying) descents and singletrack sections around.

For Ade and I it's become a bit of a yearly battle for the title of "fastest howies rider." In 2011 I beat him for the first time but the result was questionable as he'd dragged himself round suffering from some kind of manflu. I was left hungry for a more honest win. In 2012 we battled it out within sight of each other the whole way around but I wasn't able to close the gap and finished 10 minutes slower.

This year, with us both feeling equally unprepared, we rolled out from the start line through town and into the hills. With 800 riders jostling for position, I soon lost track of where Ade was in the pack, but knew he was ahead. I kept my head down and pushed on at a steady pace.

The miles passed. The uphill ones slowly, the downhill ones fast. I was losing hope of catching up until 2/3rds in, I rounded a bend and reached the feed station. Ade was there. My spirits lifted out of my tired feet. Maybe it's possible after all! I hurried to fill my bottle and grab a banana before heading off. Just ahead.

Now the mood of ride changed. For one thing, I had Somewhere Over The Rainbow stuck in my head after Ade had let me know it had been on his iPod. I pushed a little harder up the hill, trying to get a feel for how his legs were holding up. The gap opened a little but now cramp began to rise it's ugly head, snapping at our legs each time we slipped a wheel or dabbed a foot down. .

On the climb before last, I looked back and couldn't see Ade. I thought this was it. Turning into the last descent I was faced with a mire of rutted muddy tracks, I lost my wheels more than once and had to fight building cramps to keep things going in the right direction.

Dropping out of the descent onto the last bit of fire track, my chain came off. As I was trying to get it back on, I was passed by Ade. Laughing. I jumped back on the bike as quick as I could but with only 800 meters to go I knew there was little chance of closing the gap again. I finished 30 seconds after Ade. The closest honest gap yet.

Elsewhere in team howies, Chris had a great first time at Dyfi - finishing 7th of the short course riders and 4th in his category while Hazel rode an anonymous ride after forgetting to attach her race number before setting off.

At the end of the day, we all got what we really came for. The event mug to add to the collection. Post race brews never taste better than in those Dyfi mugs.

And what do I have to say about Ade's mirth while passing me with my chain woes?
Not much. I'll just let this video do the talking.

And here's a lovely little edit of the weekend from Will Sanders.

2013 Howies Dyfi Enduro on Pinkbike

A big thanks to Jon Brooke from rightplacerighttime for the photos of the weekend.
If you rode the Enduro, he's probably got some snaps of you too on his website.

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

Ade-and-Ruben

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

It's Dyfi Enduro Time

  • Posted by ruben
  • 26 April 2013

howies Dyfi Enduro - photo rightplacerighttime

Next weekend hundreds of mountainbikers from all across the UK will descend on the town of Machynlleth, nestled in the beautiful Dyfi valley, to participate in one of the highlights of the Welsh MTB calendar - The howies Dyfi Enduro, which after more than a decade has become the fastest selling and arguably most loved MTB event in the country.

Come rain or shine the course promises 60km of the best trails around and a fantastic atmosphere the whole weekend. Some long, long climbs are more than made up for by the stunning views and fast, whooping, white knuckle descents, mixed up with miles of fantastic singletrack and entertaining trailside shenanigans to take your mind off your tired legs.

In previous years the course has featured a brass band, a group of cheerleaders, a Welsh rock band, Darth Vader and a Star Wars ensemble reenacting battles from the movies, a wizard, a man playing a banjo and a wind and hailswept mountaintop rugby match. And every year there's a bar serving pints of beer just before the finish.

All in all, this adds up to our very favourite mountain bike event of the year and the excitement is starting to build in the office.

Ade, Hazel and I are starting to fine-tune our bikes. Bleeding brakes, oiling chains, choosing tyres. This year we're joined by our resident trail runner Chris, who manages the shop in Cardigan. He has borrowed a bike from a friend to see what all the fuss is about, although with a couple of 100 mile trail running races on his calendar we're half expecting him to shoulder the bike at the start and run the course.

This year the howies Dyfi Enduro is proud to be raising money for Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team who will also be fundraising at the event on the day.

Follow the news on the Dyfi MTB events Facebook page.

We hope to see you there.

You say you want a revolution

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 December 2012

Two revolutions down and two to go.

Olympic champions have battled world champions.

Pro road riders are chancing their arm on the track.

And Vos and Armitstead came together for a rematch in the Elimination race.

But all the teams are built from the bottom up with the young up and coming talent. Mike, our tee printer, went up and with the help of a pit pass put together 90 seconds of the stuff you don't see.

The worker bees hard at it.





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.)

Back to the track

  • Posted by alex
  • 24 October 2012
Star riders Mark Cavendish, Michael Morkov (who briefly held the KOM jersey this year in his 1st Tour De France) and Leif Lampater headed up the team last year, helping inspire numerous race wins throughout the series and an overall 3rd place finish.

Our track team will be returning to race in the 10th series of Revolution this weekend.

We've got 4 talented junior riders from the Welsh National squad riding in the Future Stars event who will race alongside professional riders in four track meets over the winter.

Previous Future Stars have gone on to win Olympic gold medals this year and with Wales producing current Olympic and World cycling champions, Revolution will be a great place for our Welsh team to battle it out against cycling's giants.

Pete has even tweaked this years team kit to include elements of the Welsh flag for our riders to fly in.

Star riders Mark Cavendish, Michael Morkov (who briefly held the KOM jersey this year in his 1st Tour De France) and Leif Lampater headed up the team last year, helping inspire numerous race wins throughout the series and an overall 3rd place finish.

6 Olympic gold medalists, the World road champion and Tour De France riders rode last winter and with more big names set to join the team this season, we roll onto the boards in front of a sell-out crowd at Manchester on October 27th with race highlights on ITV4 after every event.

Pine. Rubber. Lycra and speed.

For behind the scenes Revolution action, follow @howies on Twitter and @howiesclothing on Instagram.

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