Nowhere moments

  • Posted by ruben
  • 23 September 2013

The middle of nowhere is a funny place. Even if you visit it a million times, it's almost impossible to tell anyone else how to get there, because the middle of nowhere is as much about your state of mind as the place you're in.

If you're on the side of a mountain with no houses, planes or roads in view and your phone suddenly chirps out to let you know you got a tweet, you're not there.

If you're in the woods with only the wind in the leaves and the sound of the rain for company and you thinking about bills and TV schedules, you're not there.

The middle of nowhere means going where the roads don't, to find your space and clear your head.

And it's not always about going into the wild either, it could be much closer than you might think.

Nowhere can be a hard place to find, but you'll know it when you get there.

#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

large

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.

Why Run?

  • Posted by ruben
  • 18 June 2013

Categories:

Why Run?

Why run?

Why tie in, to now grey shoes,
greet the flat white sky before work, after school.
Why drum the pigeon grey pavement, hay-fever dust track,
Why salt-sweat, sore ankle, mud be-spattered back.
Why go faster, go further,
when there's no-one around, why run through the still of the just waking town
and why race the cars and why not just sleep in,
if only to feel the pull in your chest of the miles you've just beaten and
Why stomp in the sun to savour the shower,
Why de-clutter your thoughts with each outdoor hour,
Why choose the challenge when you could settle for easy,
Why cool rain, cool water, Why push sore sighing limbs
down the same old roads day out and day in
just to go that little bit further than you have gone before,
just to feel a little more you
when you come back through that door.

----

This poem was sent in by howies blog follower and runner
Megan Domaille. Illustration by her friend Marjorie Newnham.

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.

They're Back - Wallpapers

  • Posted by alex
  • 15 May 2013

Spring Photoshoot Slideshow

  • Posted by alex
  • 13 May 2013

When we needed pictures of the new bike and run range in action, Hazel, Ade
and Alex booked into the Pwll Deri YHA in the untouched corner of Cardigan
Bay on Strumble Head.

We arrived in the dark, so it wasn't until sunrise that the full beauty of
our location unfolded.

To model the kit we recruited some active local friends. Sam and Phil who
are runners, riders and Lifeguards on our beaches, Josh who we ride mountain
bikes with and Laura who cooked all the food for our Rest Less ride.

5am starts, creaky bunk beds, breakfast overlooking the sea, beautiful
light, dusty coast paths, rocky headlands, a lighthouse, burning gorse, the
Presili mountains, winding back roads, 150 year old woods, wheelies, good
food eaten together and photo's showing the beauty of where we work.
Our photo shoots are work, but they really don't feel like work.

This slideshow is a selection of shots from the photo shoot.

Photgraphed and compiled by Ricky Adam
Music by The Redneck Manifesto

The Dyfi Jacket - Simple Works

  • Posted by alex
  • 10 May 2013
The Dyfi Jacket - our lightweight, windproof active shell for cycling or running.

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-MTB-Push-Main

Complicated isn’t clever.
Complicated is just trickery... Smoke and mirrors to fool your eyes.
Bells and whistles to distract you.
Good design isn't about adding more.
Good design is about simplicity.
Every feature has a reason for being.
If it doesn’t need to be there, take it off.

This is our new Dyfi Jacket. It's a lightweight, windproof active shell for cycling or running.
With recycled polyester ripstop body and breathable, four-way stretch arm panels.
Reflective accents on the cuffs and tail keep you visible when it gets dark and a fleece
lined collar keeps out draughts. It's adjustable at the waist and has a zipped chest pocket
that the jacket packs away into.

And it's £39.

Like we always say, simple works.

howies-Dyfi-Fire-MTB-2

Hazel and Josh chasing each other at 6am on our photoshoot at Strumble Head.

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-MTB-Lighthouse

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-MTB-Push-Uphill

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-Cliffs-Sea

howies-Dyfi-Blue-Run-2

Local marathon runners (and lifeguards on our local beaches) Sam and Phil raced up this headland opposite our Youth Hostel at 5.30am over and over again.

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-Clifftop-Runners

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-Headland

Free Porridge

  • Posted by alex
  • 10 May 2013
  • Dorset Cereals Porridge

Our Porridge tees have been making a bit of a stir (sorry) amongst breakfast enthusiasts. In fact it's our best-selling tee of the year.

Our friends at Dorset Cereals love it too and have given us a few boxes of their porridge to give away for you oat lovers.

So, for a lucky few who order a Porridge tee this weekend, we'll be putting a box of their tasty porridge in with your t-shirt.

As always, first come, first served.

Update: We're all out of Porridge now.

Men's Porridge T-Shirt >
Women's Porridge T-Shirt >

howies Porridge organi cotton t-shirts

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.

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