Tag Archives: ride

Easter Breakout

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 March 2013

howies Easter Breakout

We're taking the next few days off and heading out on some Easter Breakouts.

Chris is running the mountain ridges and forests of the Nantlle valley from Waunfawr to Beddgelert in north Wales.

Hazel is heading down Whitesands with a her parent and surfboards to brave the cold and score some waves.

Naomi is hoping for surf too - dipping in at Freshwater West for a deserted early morning surf in the West corner. Out for a hot brew and lunch. Back in early evening after a blood warming, coastal walk. And then a night around the woodstove, recounting the day’s adventures and laughs.

Emma is off with family to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and walking some of the North Downs Way.

Ade will be running his favourite local trail; a 10 mile loop up and down small valleys with river crossings, pine forest and twisting single track.

Alex is conquering the Preseili's on the road bike (and hoping not to need a rain jacket).

Jules will be strolling along the beach at Llangrannog with her dog "Juno" and chatting to people from different walks of life.

While Tom will be fixing freezing and burst pipes on his Caddy in hopes to get out further afield.

Let us know what you're getting up to on your Easter Breakouts.

Lunchbreakout

  • Posted by alex
  • 25 January 2013
  • lunchbreakout

Today's the day the snow becomes cold driving rain,
the day snot freezes to your gloves,
the wind slaps spit back in your face
and stops you almost dead in every pedal stroke.

Today's a great day for a ride.

MMXXII Missile

  • Posted by alex
  • 27 July 2012

The Sideburns of Glory t-shirt was a big hit. Poor Mike has been keeping the printshop lights burning long into the night trying to catch up.

It's all been for a good cause though, with £5 from every tee going to the Dave Rayner fund (more on that here).

This weekend it's The Marquis of Cavendish's turn to put us all on the edge of our seats as he faces 9 trips to the top of Box Hill before the final dash for the line in the Olympic road race.

We'd already drawn this up and thought it'd be nice to share it for the weekend. We weren't planning to put this design on a t-shirt but if you tweet @howies with #MMXIImissile or like the design on Facebook over the weekend, we might ask Mike to print a few.

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.

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.

Rest Less Success

  • Posted by alex
  • 27 March 2012

Last weekend the Rest Less Ride took riders across the whole of Wales from beach to border overnight. The roads were riddled with pot-holes, sheets of gravel and barrier-less hairpin bends, dropped into deep dark valleys, through forests and over 25% climbs in a race against the sun on the night the clocks went forwards.

The ride was born out of a story that writer - and friend of howies - Rob Penn, shared from a chance meeting on the road with a passing cyclist, reminiscing over night-long club rides in the late 1950's; the quieter roads, the lack of traffic, and the peloton pushing one another on through dawn.

The roads back in the 50’s aren’t too dissimilar to the country lanes in Wales, so only one question remained; "When shall we do it?"

On Saturday, 16 riders set off from howies HQ to Abergavenny, all that led the way were small road markings, the faith in the peloton and the promise that no-one would get left behind in the wilderness.

The pack was made up some of Rob's and our riding friends, who had come from across Britain, to take on this incredible adventure. A last supper gave time to go over the route, fettle bikes and exchange names with the riders who would help carry one another across the entire country in the dark.

Barely 10 minutes into the ride, a disturbed badger darted into the pack, causing a tumble. The sound of bikes hitting the ground and cries in the night halted riders in front. Once turned upright, we re-grouped and pressed on. What other dangers waited for us in the dark?

Winding out of the Teifi valley, the stronger legs set a steady pace along the undulating road to Lampeter. The hills began to get steeper, breathing deepened and gears simultaneously jumped in the dark to bigger cogs.

The descents made up for the climbs and soon everyone seemed settled, taking to the 40mph bends, down over humpback bridges, free wheeling to allow the legs to rest for the next inevitable climb.

At Lampeter we left the safety of the A roads and towns, heading into the wilderness. The quiet back roads were brown and green down the middle, with fractures to test skinny tyres and fords to test nerves; a surface barely ideal in daylight, let alone in the dark.

These country lanes were bound for the lake at Llyn Briane, up winding valley passes and through pitch-black, potholed hairpins. Chatter in the pack slowed as concentration increased to keep wheels in line over the rough surfaces and spotting markers to keep on course - we had not seen a house or car for miles and rumbling over cattle grids. There would be nowhere to go if you gave up here.

News of the coming halfway stop for hot soup refreshed tired minds. Eager stomachs wound up the pace and soon everyone was huddled around a 2-ring gas burner awaiting some real food. Passing round bread and stretching, we noticed the time, 3am. With darkness all around, we were halfway from nowhere and nowhere near somewhere with an handful of hours 'til dawn. The race against the sun had begun.

The climb past the lake, invisible in the dark, led to fantastically smooth tarmac lining the valley as it wound through the hills and over barrier-less summits with steep drops into the dark.

Approaching the pine forest, a broken chain tore apart Alex's derailleur, demanding some roadside repairs. Stopped in the silence, it was obvious the damage was irreparable. Cut down to a single speed, the best attempt to limp on, wasn't going to get the bike over the 25% climb of the Devil's Staircase and certainly not onto Abergavenny. It was game over for Alex.

The Devil's Staircase is famed for it's 25% walls levelling out briefly before the next step upwards. The set of short, sharp climbs marked the midway point through the wilderness. A series of sketchy but exhilarating hairpin descents to the valley floor followed. Mist collected between the hills as the road bounced along, mimicking the bed of the river until finally a junction and another short rest.

Signposts pointed through a dark forest to Builth, where the pack regrouped. The dawn chorus had begun, and the promise of daylight was in the air. The quiet A-roads were smooth and wide, with street lighting easing the dependence of lights which would surely be near the end of their battery life. These roads gave the pack their best chance yet to work together, forming a train of tired legs each taking turns out front to break the cold air.

Crossing the river, heading for Hay-on-Wye, the B-roads were foggy and felt chilly without the climbs to keep the body warm. Staying together for company and warmth, the pack pressed on in the mist.

Leaving Hay behind, daylight finally broke over the hills of the Black Mountains where the final - and hardest - climb of the ride came into view.

Every rider stopped to shed weight, jettisoning surplus layers and water bottles. Feeling sore and empty, the beauty of the scenery laid out in the early morning sun was enough to make the riders forget their tired legs. The end would soon be in sight, with a 15 mile whooping descent though the Llanthony Valley to breakfast. And it would be the best breakfast ever, in soft chairs with hot food.

The ride forged friendship through adversity; sharing the experience of digging deep when you’ve got nothing left, feeling sick, delirious and weary but pushing yourself and fellow riders further than you could possible ride on your own.

Despite the grueling climbs and rapid descents over tarmac laced with gravel and pot holes, 14 of the 16 riders completed the challenge - 124 miles, over 3000 meters of ascent with only one final question remaining; "When shall we do it again?"

A short video of the ride is here.

This one

  • Posted by howies
  • 1 April 2011

new ride

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 January 2011

This is what the next edition will look like.

We are waiting for the delivery.

There will be a fight between Pete, Aron, Hicksey, Ruben, Peter and me for the first copy.

We will let you know when they are in.

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