Tag Archives: cycling

The Dave Rayner Fund

  • Posted by aron
  • 26 July 2012

The Dave Rayner Fund was set up in memory of the late Dave Rayner with
the aim to assist ambitious riders, like Dave, to make a successful career from
cycle racing on the continent of Europe.

Since its inception in 1996, the fund has helped riders such as David Millar,
Charly Wegelius and Bradley Wiggins make the transition.

To support the cause, howies are donating £5 from every bike tee sold between
23rd July and 30th July to the Dave Rayner Fund. So far we have raised
over £3000.

If you would like to make a contribution (and bag yourself a t-shirt in the process)
you can see all our cycling tees by visiting the links below.

Click here for men's cycle tees >

Click here for women's cycle tees >

For more information on The Dave Rayner Fund, see their website – daveraynerfund.com

The Outsider

  • Posted by alex
  • 6 July 2012

Outsider T-Shirt of the Month

Do you ever experience feelings of discomfort and dread when in large crowds?
Do you ever have an unquenchable desire to get away from it all?
Do you sometimes feel like you just need to escape?

Are you prone to bouts of uncontrollable happiness whenever you do your sports?
And do you ever experience cravings for high speed and peril?

These are all symptoms of an Outsider.

There is no cure.

But then again, who would want one?

The Outsider, Men's T-shirt of the Month and Women's T-shirt of the Month.

Tour de France

  • Posted by alex
  • 27 June 2012

You may have spotted this video on our Twitter feed, but the Tour de France starts this weekend with the prologue in Liège, Belgium.

Over the next couple of weeks, the world's most famous riders will be pushing themselves over some of the most breathtaking and backbreaking stages of cycling known to mankind.

There will be sweat, blood, tears and glory.

We'll be tuning in for a stage or two and running the office sweepstake in true convoluted howies fashion; an undecipherable points and scoring system with the victor buying an espresso machine for the kitchen with their winnings (hopefully).

In honour of this epic race, we've created these Tour de France t-shirts of the month. They're only around for the duration of the Tour and we'll be giving one away every week on the Blog and Facebook, so watch this space...

A-to-B. Via C.

  • Posted by alex
  • 20 June 2012

Routine can be a good thing, but I recently realised I've been stuck in the grind of A-to-B: Ride to work. Work. Ride home.

The routine has been broken a little in preparation for racing in Italy. So A-to-B has had a little B-to-B loop added at lunch, but last night reminded me it's a lot more fun when A-to-B goes via C. Especially when you don't know where C might be.

I live about 1 mile from work and it took nearly 2 hours to get home via a 30 mile detour on roads I've never seen, over hills I've never climbed and getting lost at a crossroads I couldn't get back to with a map, let alone without one.

Finding myself a little lost, faced with uphill one way and downhill the other, the temptation was to take the easy way out and roll down. But with the setting sun as my only bearing, onward and upward west was the order of the evening and eventually, all would be alright. At the summit, the Preseli's came into view in the distance with familiar-looking fields lining the river valley. It was clear I was heading back to B.

Today is the longest day. 16h 38m 20s of daylight (give or take). That's plenty of time to take the long way home.

Ever wondered where A-to-B might take you if you go via C?

Birthday Club

  • Posted by alex
  • 15 May 2012

Saturday was belting sunshine out west and Hazel had rallied us up for her birthday to ride the Tour of Pembrokeshire. We couldn't have asked for better weather to take in 75 miles of Wales by bike.

The miles passed as the skin got pinker, taking in coastline out of St. Davids and up towards the towns closer to home, before turning back over the Preselis towards the finish.

Plenty of riders passed us by while we stopped for lunch or to high-5 santa; our faux Birthday Club t-shirts giving away that we probably weren't taking things all that seriously. In fact, by the end of the ride, we had picked up a few companions along the way, making the ride that bit more fun.

Sometimes with cycling to work and rides penned in the diary, I forget how great it is to ride without an agenda - not riding to train, abandoning the GPS and the ticking clock, no pace to keep or person to beat.

Note to self: Ride more. Train less.

Roll on summer.

Lunch.

The top of the climb. On top of the world.

Rest Less Ride Film

  • Posted by alex
  • 4 May 2012

On the night of the Spring Equinox, Rob Penn and friends took off on an overnight cycle ride across Wales.

The Rest Less Ride took the peloton of 16 riders from the west coast, all the way to the east. They cycled unlit back-roads riddled with pot-holes, gravel and barrier-less hairpin bends. They passed through deep dark valleys, through forests and up mountains, in a race against the sunrise.

The Rest Less Ride celebrates the pleasure of cycling and the friendships it forges.

Getting out the door

  • Posted by howies
  • 12 April 2012

Exercise makes me happy. If I run a couple of times a week I think clearer, I sleep sounder, I eat better, I work more productively. I am happier. And yet, I can go for months without going for a single run. What's with that?

It took a chance meeting with Olympic athlete Steve Cram to tell me what the problem is. It's the front door. It's there, and its shut. He told me, "it doesn't matter if you're a professional athlete or training for your first fun run, the hardest part is motivating yourself to get going. If you can pull your trainers on and get out the door, everything else is easy."

The good news is he also told me how to open the door. Its a 2 step process:

1. Set yourself a goal.
Enter a run / bike ride / triathlon / adventure race / bog snorkel.
Nothing too hard, just something you couldn't do today.

2. Tell EVERYONE.
Parents, children, postman, neighbours, doctor, God, Twitter followers,
ticket collectors etc. There's no turning back now.

It works. For example, I haven't been swimming for 5 years. Then yesterday I entered a 1.5 mile swim to the Isle of Wight. I now have exactly 94 days until I walk down the shingle beach and into the waters of the Solent. So today I found my old trunks at the back of my drawer and tomorrow morning I'll be in the local swimming pool.

David came to howies to show us a website he built with a couple of friends to help people with the difficult Step 1.

You can guess what it does. It gets you out the door.

Words: David Wearn

www.findarace.com

Challenge yourself to something new and when you've found a race, let us know where you're racing on facebook, or tweet us with the hashtag #foundarace. You might even find a friend or two to get out the door with you.

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

The Brenin jacket

  • Posted by alex
  • 6 March 2012


For the past few months we've been putting a prototype of a new howies jacket through it's paces.

The Brenin is our new lightweight biking jacket for Spring. Actually, it does a whole lot more than that. We've designed it to be windproof, breathable and packable. We've also added in stretch panels on the arms and torso – making it a perfect-fitting outer shell for either bike or run.

The tailored body panels are designed to stop wind and chill from getting in, while the stretch sections let body heat out and give you greater freedom of movement. The jacket's cuffs and drop-tail have subtle reflective detailing too, making you visible to motorists at night. And these flashes are located so they won't be covered up if you're wearing a backpack. It's even got a hydrophobic coating on the body, to help splashes roll off.

Not bad for a jacket weighing-in at only 200grams (that's about the same weight as a banana). In fact, it's so lightweight; you forget you're wearing it.

Beyond the bike, we've also taken this jacket over the hills on foot. We've run it over a hundred miles of trail, slogged out a few ultra-marathons, not to mention plenty of lunchbreaks. And it did the job every time... right to the finish.

Teamed up with one of our long-sleeved Merino base layers, the Brenin jacket has already become a howies staple for those staff members lucky enough to have snapped up one of the samples. For the rest of us, we'll just have to wait 'til we launch the finished product in March.

But don't just take our word for it:
"The new howies Brenin is a fantastically well designed lightweight jacket that packs as much style as it does performance out on the trails in the British weather." – BikeMagic

"It’s the first time we can really say… one style fits all! Star Buy - 96%" – CyclingShorts

The Brenin jacket is available to buy here

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