Sun, Sun, Sun by Matthew Higton
Anthony Wright - Croyde
one for the weekend
Anna’s shoot office
we have a very busy evening planned for next Thursday, 17th November and could do with a little extra help, if you are familiar with the shop and the brand, helpful, energetic, enthusiastic and have a few hours spare then pop in and say hello or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
we look forward to hearing from you!
We’ll be offline in the office from 11am until about midday today as we’re moving some plugs and cables about – you can still order online no problem, but we won’t be able to do phone orders or access the system here in the office – but if you need any help just call us on 01239 614122 and we’ll give you a bell as soon as we’re back up and running.
Now, what to do with that hour without any internet or power…any suggestions?
Spain owes Germany $200 billion, so borrows $100 billion from France and $100 billion from Britain in order to pay them back. But Britain is skint, so we borrow $100 billion from Germany to give to Spain to pay back Germany. Meanwhile, Ireland owes Germany $60 billion and is struggling to pay them back, so they borrow $30 billion from Spain and France to pay back the Germans. But Spain and France can’t cover the loan, so they both plead with Italy to lend them the money. The Italians already owe $1.4 trillion to France, Germany and Britain, so they borrow the $30 billion they need to lend to Spain and France to pay back Germany from Britain, adding to their already sizeable debt. But by now Britain is really struggling, so in order to lend Italy the money, they borrow another $1 trillion from Germany to give to Italy to pay back Spain and France who borrowed it from Germany in the first place. By now Germany is starting to feel the pinch too, so they ask Britain to lend them $5 billion. “No problem”, says Britain, we’ll just ask Spain.
For the past 6 months we have been working hard on replacing every single little bit of software that runs our business. From the website, to the printers that print the labels that we stick on your parcel.
Everyone who works at HQ has been frustrated that we have not been able to improve many areas of our service to you, just because of our software was old and stuff just moves on. Look at what your phone can do now compared to 2004.
So there is a conflicting buzz in the office today, feeling great to be moving on, but the fear of having to switch off something that ain’t broken.
But before we upgrade we need to say thanks.
Thanks to Matt and George for the old site. It’s done a ton of stuff well, people still like it and it’s never let us down. You guys built it well. We are fussy customers and tough to please, but you guys did.
And thanks to David Wellan. A local surfer who wrote and supported our business system on his own from the ground up back in 2004, that has chugged through 1/2 million orders. It’s how we were able to move to taking orders over the web and not just by fax.
Take one last look.
It’s tricky in the dry, slippery with leaves and moss grows in the cracks. It’s even hard to make it round in a vehicle.
This morning with leaves, moss, rain and a fresh 10mm layer of mud laid down by tractors Ruben lost the rear end and landed his best bike face down on the tarmac. And cut his leg.
Took him a while to smile afterwards.
Thanks to @maiamedia for sharing this recap of Coed-y-Brenin on twitter.
Things have been so busy here, I almost forgot that I’d ridden the Coed y Brenin enduro a week or so ago. It was a new enduro from the people who brought us the legendary Dyfi Enduro which celebrated it’s 10th year in May. 60 & 30k options for riders of all sanity levels.
I turned up to join the 500 or so other riders at the start line for CyB having not touched my mountain bike since Mountain Mayhem in June, so I was only planning to have some fun. I found that I only had a 1.75 ultra-light spare innertube that probably would have served better as a prophylactic than a spare for my 2.1s rolling over what I’d heard was a hell of rock shards (terrain that will sound familiar to anyone who’d ridden Dyfi).
So I set off with the intention of riding smooth and saving my wheels. That didn’t go to plan entirely, as I managed to hit a tree stump at about 20k leaving me with a bleeding shoulder and bars akimbo for the next few km til the feed station, where I spent a minute or two recovering.
The rest of the 60k route passed fairly uneventfully for me, with a mixture of big hills, epic views, soggy bits, cliffy bits, and rocky downhills, raising and lowering my spirits in turn until all too soon I realised the car park and the finish line were in sight and the ride was done.
I had thoroughly enjoyed it. Even the bits I cursed. There had been terror, exhilaration, despair, pain, awe, joy and triumph along the way and things got even better when I found I’d finished inside the top 40… I certainly hadn’t expected that kind of result when I set out!
Thanks to Joe and all involved in organising such a great event.
If you missed it, there’s always the Dyfi next Spring, and I’ve heard that planning for CyB 2012 is already underway.
John at Advice to Sink in Slowly has just dropped us a line to say that their free poster scheme is now fully up and running.
If you’re a first year student studying in the UK, you can now request a free poster through the Advice website.
We’re also happy to announce that the free posters are funded by the proceeds made from the sales of the howies sponsored ‘Find Some Place‘ design by Lizzy Stewart.
Keep your eyes peeled for more great howies/Advice collaborations…
Content & comments deleted.
Enough has been said.
A great loss…
Our good friend Chez has been busy recently. He’s just added a bunch of new photos to his site, which is certainly worth a good look through.
I’d just like to say hello and good luck to our friend Mike Reed.
Today, he is setting off on his first ever charity cycle ride, from Sheffield all the way to Surrey.
He is riding to raise money for The Brigette Trust – a charity based in his home county.
You can track Mike’s progress, read his funny ramblings and throw huge sums of money at him over here:
Ride like the wind and eat like a pig Mike (and do watch out for those potholes).
If you have a glut of green tomatoes at home or on your allotment you may find this recipe comes in handy.
The recipe was passed down to me by my Grandfather.
Serve with cheese or cold meats.
Green Tomato Chutney
Cooking time: 40 minutes ripe tomatoes, 50-55 minutes with green tomatoes.
1 tsp pickling spice.
8oz finally chopped onions
½ pint malt vinegar
8oz cooking apples peeled and cored
2lb tomatoes green or red skinned and sliced
1 rounded tsp mustard powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
8oz granulated sugar
- Place pickling spice in a small piece of muslin
- Put onions into a saucepan with 3 to 4 tbsp of the vinegar and simmer gently until nearly soft.
- Add chopped apples, skinned sliced tomatoes, pickling spices, salt, pepper, mustard, rest of vinegar and sultanas.
- Simmer gently until the mixture is quite soft, stir from time to time.
- Add the sugar and more vinegar if needed.
- When the sugar has completely dissolved boil steadily until the chutney is the consistency of jam.
- Remove muslin bag of pickling spice.
- Pour chutney into hot jars and seal at once.
A little update from the Project Mongolia youth team.
We’ve been following their progress from the UK overland to Mongolia to gather first hand information on climate change to gather ideas and working with other young people.
Whirlwind of workshops
For the second half of our week, we’ve spent our time forming and giving climate change workshops for 16-18 year olds in schools. It has been a whirlwind experience of real nomadic life.
We arranged workshops for schools, armed with a projector and our props for the performance. We have survived the dodgy driving (which included nearly crashing) through the noise of UB – the beeping horn.
The first lot of kids to come in to the big hall of the state school, were about fifty 10 year olds. We made sure they could discuss in Mongolian, and when they fed back to the group, we drew pictures to represent their answers. Since then we’ve repeatedly refined and evaluated each delivery of the workshop, until on the last day we had it down to a T…
We were doing 2 workshops a day, rushing from one school to the next and adapting to the rough and tumble of school schedules changing our audiences.
The highlight for me though, and I think everyone in the group in fact, was the impromptu workshop we ended up giving after a 9 hour minibus journey which left us caked in dust and very sweaty!
We had planned to meet a bus load of keen young 16 year olds from a rural school near to where we were going to stay in a ger (a Mongolian version of a yurt) 4 hours before we eventually arrived. What we had expected to be more of a powerpoint friendly environment turned out to be a beautiful sunny hillside on the side of a flat-bottomed valley with only a small village of gers and wooden huts in sight.
Without prompting, these open-minded and open-faced kids fed back to the group through the medium of performance, just as we had shown them earlier.
There were impressions of horses and carts, some as rivers, houses, fires and yaks, and a real understanding of what needs doing in Mongolia to change how they are already affected by climate change, and what they can do to stop contributing to its effects.
Earlier in the week, James H (Norseman black t-shirt winner) and Cat from Endurancelife dropped by for a cuppa, a chat and a run. (Well, James ran with us. Cat was resting her legs after finishing the Iron(wo)Man Wales triathlon event on the weekend in 15.43).
Last year, a few of us from howies went along to 2 of the Endurancelife Costal Trail Series of races and we loved them. Well organised, great courses, and with 10k, Half, Marathon & Ultra distance options at each location they offer a great challenge whatever level you run at.
This year, I’m planning to run at as many of the CTS as I can, starting with the marathon distance runs in Northumberland this October and Gower in November.
I can highly recommend coming along to at least one of these events, and if you find me at the start/finish line I’d love to say hi and have a chat about running shoes, riding bikes, or life in general.
The response online (especially twitter: #microadventure) has been amazing with a steady stream of submissions coming in.
To give you an idea, here’s the most recent entry from your fellow microadventurers:
A little reminder for the rest of you – we’re half way through the month and adventure is still on your doorstep.
1. Start and finish at your front door (or your office)
2. Travel through non-motorised means (unless your idea needs a bus / train)
3. Try to last 24 hours
4. Sleep outdoors
5. Have an outdoor swim – you’ll feel great afterwards
6. Tell your story
Share your stories, blogs, films, sketches, photos or even poems before 30th September for your guaranteed adventuring pleasure (and some epic prizes including four £250 howies vouchers):
So what you waiting for? Rain doesn’t stop play and tomorrow’s the weekend…
Last week we were talking about Wales and how much we love it.
It came about from a holiday by Visit Wales who brought Piers & Emma to Wales for a week. Their trip to Wales saw some of the finest spots in the country and included some of our favourite things, like mountain biking (which turned out to be theirs too).
We helped them with some comfy Autumn Welsh layers and offered you the chance to win a few too.
As it happens, our winner is more of an Emma than a Piers, but don’t worry Tess, we’ve got some great ladies stuff for you. We won’t send you Pier’s jeans.
Tess Schuberth, Nolton Haven
A few of our favourites:
Anne Ward, Llandudno cable car
@DaveMaphone, Back of the Carneddau
@bigtopdesign, Porthsychan Bay
Thanks for all your entries.
Here’s a really nice idea that’s been posted on the Guardian & Observer website this week.
Those clever boffins have launched the national book swap as part of their autumn Book Season.
They’ve gathered thousands of free books ranging from fiction to children’s books and have dotted them around the country ready to be found and enjoyed by whoever happens to uncover them.
For the swap to work though readers are being asked to download a book plate template (or pick one up in this weekend’s editions) and leave a book of their own somewhere so that the cycle can carry on.
The lucky ‘finders’ are then asked to upload or tweet where they found the book, and are then asked to post a review of the book on the website once they’ve finished reading it.
To read more on how you can take part, click here
happy hunting and reading everyone!
We’ve been watching a bit of the Tour of Britain this week and with Stage 4 in Wales yesterday, it was a good reason to go along and watch.
Starting in Welshpool, the riders took on just short of 184km of Welsh roads, riding to Caerphilly. Climbing through Brecon, yesterday boasted the highest climb on the tour and what I regard as some of the most beautiful scenes in the country.
The first sprint of the day saw Bauer, Ghyllebert and House break away from the peloton and hold the lead until the final stages of the race where the gap closed for the final climb into the town. Following the race GPS and updates on twitter, you could see the 4 minute breakaway gap narrow towards the final stages of the race, adding to the anticipation at the finish line.
The buzz of excitement was fantastic as the finish time coincided with school kicking-out. Local kids peered over railings on tip-toes, furiously banging signs and cheering as the final kilometer was announced and the riders flew into town, passing for mere seconds after waiting so patiently to see them in.
With a couple of days riding left to go, check to see if the Tour is running through a town near you today. Get out and support – it’s a spectacle not to be missed.
New tees going up on the site in the next couple of days.
But you didn’t hear that from me, right.
The Dyfodol youth team are now in Mongolia having travelled overland to Ulaanbaatar by train. Taking the train was a statement of intent for a positive change to the environment.
Now at their final destination, the team of 11 are working with their Mongolian counterparts to discuss the direct impact of climate change on Mongolian lives and putting together a campaign for young people to work within communities and set up climate change projects on their return to Wales.
Some thoughts from the train:
I felt a bit emotional on our last day onboard the Trans-Mongolian.
Traveling here to Ulaanbaatar, required 7 train changes and moving the clocks forward 7 hours. Living for five nights on the same train.
I think we had all became quite attached to it; the clunking of the wheels 24/7, the random jerks, jolts, and halts all seemed so familiar and friendly by the time we left it’s hard to imagine how very strange it feels to be sat, not rocking too and fro.
Poland – flat, green fields with occasional farms and minimal trees.
Belarus – less farms but more little ‘cabin-esque’ houses and trees.
Russia – expanding, spartan, dusty plains and Peter and the Wolf style looming forest with scattered little villages of oddly shaped houses, painted bright blues and greens.
Meeting cool passengers, telling us their individual stories.
Collecting footage of the sound of the train.
A Thai man playing us tunes on a ukelele.
Mistakenly thinking spending 5 nights on a train as boring and dull – wrong!
Some thoughts on climate change in-country:
It’s a big problem… a huge problem. Especially here, in Mongolia. 90% of land is vulnerable to desertification. It’s landlocked, mountainous terrain with high altitude. There is a moisture deficit, low humidity and high temperature fluctuation. Not a good start.
Humans drink a lot of water and use a lot doing other stuff like farming and within industry. Development in an area like this, where water is scarce already, is a bit of a no-no, but we do it anyway. In Mongolia the mining industry is using a lot of water where there isn’t much already.
The land is often over-used – leading to land degradation, depleted of nutrients and plants can’t grow. Deserts start to take over.
Building stuff like roads doesn’t help with the dust.
It rains all the bloody time in Wales and don’t I complain about it. I long for the sun most of the time but in fact we’re pretty damn lucky.
Humans too are suffering from the lack of water with soil fertility problems and lack of green cover. If less food can be grown, less people eat. Respiratory diseases are on the up because of the atmospheric dust. People are having to move to places where they have a better chance of survival.
We visited a major reforestation project where a green belt of trees is to be planned pretty much across the whole of Mongolia to stop the spread of it’s deserts. This consists of a lot of planting, monitoring, research and training.
Using indigenous trees, they have put in a lot of effort and generated employment within the local community (a local family looks after the site we visited, in exchange for a bit of space for agroforestry) and have trained up a load of people to keep the project full of momentum.
Trees take root, they support life, encourage rain fall. They are a physical barrier and they break up wind. They provide shade, habitat, employment, food if managed properly. All over pretty amazing.
It’s not just planting trees that stop deserts from spreading. Stopping the causes in the first place is a much better way:
Sustainable agriculture, better grazing management, greater respect for nature, tighter laws, better technology that has less impact, monitoring, international support and action… these are a few of my favourite things…
Some good news to round up the week – the SAS raffle is us up again to £4356.90.
Compared to last year, we’re up on ticket sales by a good whack so we’re heading the right way! That said – remember we’ve got a long way to go for our December target.
Keep plugging away and filling in the tickets in your parcels.
Gerwer and Stranger bombing hills in San Francisco. Fast. No pushing needed.
(note: may contain naughty words).
Our kayaking friends set off yesterday to begin their circumnavigation of Wales.
Initially, the guys had planned to leave from Newport, Pembs and paddle up the coast. However, the weather forecast suggested otherwise and the boats were taken up to Chester to the safety of the canals.
Leaving Chester they will make their way south, using a variety of rivers and canals before reaching the Severn estuary and heading once more to the open sea. Fingers crossed that by the time they reach the sea again, the weather will be kinder.
With no comfy hotels or B&B’s, just will power and paddles, the guys are trying to raise money for Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre. Any donation you can make, large or small will help expand their research, education and awareness-raising activities to protect Cardigan Bay and its important wildlife for generations to come.
Here’s a little podcast from the boats:
You can also follow the journey on twitter with @MayberryKayak @CBMWC @WTSWW and of course @howies
Wales. It’s where we live, where we work. It’s where we run, ride, skate and surf. Wales is great. That’s why we’re down here, in beautiful Cardigan Bay.
Apparently though, Wales can be a well kept secret and word doesn’t always spread on how good things are here out west.
So Visit Wales has decided to bring Piers & Emma to Wales for a week to show the world there’s a lot more to a holiday than lying on a sun lounger. A trip to Wales, however, wouldn’t be complete without some Welsh clothes – so we sent Piers and Emma a nice howies package full of some comfy Autumn layers, jeans and of course some great merino.
Wales might want Piers, but we want you – tell us your favourite place in Wales and we’ll send one lucky winner a package like the one we sent Piers.
Upload a photo to facebook or tweet us a pic with #iwantpiersjeans. You can email email@example.com or even post us a good old fashioned letter to HQ. We don’t mind. Just tell us why your Welsh place is so great.
It might be a quiet bit of singletrack, the best trail-running route or your favourite beach. Wherever it is, we’ll stop counting entries Sunday night, when Piers and Emma go home.
PS. If you’re more of an Emma than a Piers, don’t worry, we’ll send you some ladies stuff instead.
Your hard work is helping to keep our beaches clean, some of which are closer than you’d think, with SAS visiting Newgale in Pembrokeshire and Langland in Swansea last weekend.
If you surf (or even if you don’t) SAS have just put a whole lot of research together in their Sustainable Surfing Guide which you might find interesting. It’s quite a read, but will help understand why SAS have devoted their time to working against sewage pollution, marine litter, coastal developments and climate change to maintain our precious beaches.
You don’t have to be a surfer to love, enjoy or use the sea, or even the beach. If you are inclined to do something to help protect our coastal areas from environmental damage, buying a raffle ticket is one easy and effective way to help. Get them online from SAS, or get them from the postman in your next howies parcel.
What are your plans for the weekend?
We’ve just had a mail from our man Nick Radford, inviting one and all down to Gwithian beach in Hayle tomorrow to watch himself and 15 other guys do their thing on beautiful classic 1960s-style longboards (single fins and no leashes) – all in aid of Surf Action.
Surf permitting it will all kick off tomorrow morning, so get down there bright and early to secure a good lookout point. If you mange to take some good pictures be sure to email them into us!
As well as watching the guys there’ll be a big BBQ, family entertainment and live music too.
A perfect way to spell the end of the summer holidays if ever i saw one.
I got sent this splendid teapot as a prezzie this morning.
I shall be using it to make my afternoon brew.
Thanks Jenn x
Wales Giant Vegetable Society
Runner up – Best in Class (Carrots) 2011
We’ve been talking about running 100 mile races and planning long distance adventures but then family, work, the lawn, firewood, excuses and mind all allowed me to repeatedly have an excuse.
We had been trawling the net for local bike and running events and stumbled on a Pembrokeshire event. 3 Marathons in 3 days.
And on Friday last week everyone was just up for it, so we entered.
My mind was ready.
Can I do it? Others have.
Will I be able to finish all three? Maybe not. My mind is set that day 1 will be hard. Day 2 harder. Day 3 is the home run, or walk if need be.
So in the middle of November Chris, Ruben and myself will be running along the Pembrokeshire coastal path from Dale heading upto Dinas Head. Until then we will be running, rabbit.
If you fancy pushing your limits too, come join us.
here at Carnaby Street we are proud to announce our new staircase gallery exhibition courtesy of Jim Shannon and Toby Deveson, a collection of photographs from India’s Holi Festival, it will be running for the whole of September and looks stunning so come along and take a peek while it lasts.
prints and framed pictures are available so feel free to enquire within the shop or directly with Jim and Toby.
Most days we get returns. It’s part and parcel of selling stuff.
The bulk is exchanges because the size was wrong or the colour didn’t go with the bike.
Then we get stuff that went wrong. It shrunk, split, faded, ripped or something fell off.
Customer service do great work in getting stuff repaired or replaced and back out and if it can’t be sorted replaced or credited.
The stuff that can be reused is given to charity and the stuff that can’t goes to be recycled.
Before it does we snip off the bits that people call and ask for.
So if you have a loved howies garment that needs a button, take a picture of the one you need and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will have a look through the draw.
We sponsored a team tee for a group of Welsh young people embarking on a journey to Mongolia by train. Brought together by a shared passion for positive action they aim to share their collective skills with local Mongolians in order to start a youth environmental movement in a country already affected by climate change. Upon their return, their knowledge will be put into building sustainable development projects with Dyfodol (their parent organisation).
Despite already intermittent to non-existant internet, Isabel and the team have managed to get an update to us.
And it begins…
Some of us started in Aberystwyth, some in Borth, some in Mach and some in Cwmbran, what matters is that we all made it to London Euston for the same time!
After an unbelievable feast, which might carry some of us through the entire 8 day journey, we set-to discussing guidelines for the trip (no shaving other people, don’t drink in the day etc) and filling capsules with turmeric. We all sat excitedly discussing how not to miss a train and how best to deal with rabid dogs. No one can say we are not prepared.
We traversed the London tube system, some of us for the first time, to the National Science Museum, where we took a whirlwind interactive tour of climate change to set the scene for our adventure.
Poland – Belarus.
We woke in Poland having slept through Germany overnight on our first sleeper train experience! Although slower than flying, the rocking motion was enjoyable and relaxing. The train feels familiar, we’ve made it our home already. It’s comfy and clean.
We find our way to our next train which will take us from Warsaw, through the rest of Poland, Belarus and eventually to Moscow, Russia.
At the border between Poland and Belarus the train stewards bark us back into our cabin, we obey and in come 2 sets of passport control. The guards don’t smile and don’t give anything away when they stare you in the face to check your ID.
After the passport guards have done their thing, we come to the strangest train experience of my life – beyond Belarus the tracks change in size, demanding the whole train shunts into a warehouse for changing gauge. Men scurry around below attaching, detaching, bolting, unbolting bits of the train. Bizarrely this is also an opportunity for some ladies to sell raspberries! Then all of a sudden the carriage lurches and we slowly begin to rise up into the air! The train is lifted up so that they can get underneath and do their thing.
After the excitement of hanging in a train wears off, we begin to see some of our team occupying themselves in activities only performed when you’re cabin bound e.g. waxing mens legs for fun and breaking things (how do you say ‘sorry – it was an accident’ in Russian to a big scary lady)!
We set off again and eat a meal of nearly cooked noodles, miso soup, some nice fresh salad and finish off the raspberries.
We sleep well apart from a few times when I’m lifted in the air by a bumpy bit of track… Next stop Moscow. Can’t wait!
Our friend Matt 45 took some inspiration from our mutual friend Nick and went on a little tour of his own along the coast of Kent. Here’s what he had to say.
What a great weekend! It started with massive disapointment as my riding partners dropped out of our trip to Paris to watch the final stage of the Tour De France. All for forgivable reasons but it left me with three days booked off, my bag packed and no one to ride with. The thought of riding there on my own was out of the question as it’s such a great experience watching the Tour that I’d always want to share it with someone.
Luck would have it though as whilst thinking about where I could ride I stumbled across the http://slowcoast.co.uk/ website written by Nick Hand as he rode the coasts of the UK, a must if you haven’t read it, and if you have, go read it again. This got me thinking about riding coast to coast but on a fixed wheel, with that thought in mind and with only three days for riding I traveled down to Faversham and set off to ride the Kent coast.
I’ve never done lone riding for that long a distance and I’m going to find it hard to go back to riding with people now! The feeling of being your own boss and setting your own pace is amazing, every time I wanted to stop to take photos I did, everytime I wanted to explore a new town I did. It never felt daunting about how far I had to ride, and the costal bike paths were incredible. The ride to Reculver was sea on one side and wheat fields on the other with the bluest skies and no one for miles, I couldn’t stop smiling.
Like an idiot I packed loads of stupid stuff including too many cameras, a BBQ and not enough water. The BBQ was a stroke of genius as I brought some fresh mackeral and cooked it on the beach after a horrible trek through every A road in Deal. I cursed the BBQ about a million times as it took up half my bag, but after my meal I was ready to get down on one knee and propose.
I’ve seen it all now, from the old fashioned arcades at Margate to the always impressive cliffs of Dover. I feel like I’ve got the Nick Hand bug as now I just want more. The beauty being there is so much more coast to ride! But maybe next time I might try some of these Gear things that everyone keeps talking about. For more photos check out the blog post on
Or just pop down to Kent and have a go yourself!
Cheers then Matt/45
If you train but never race then you’re missing something.
Are you worried you won’t finish?
Just not fit enough at the moment?
Just not enough time?
Will you not race because you think you won’t win?
Do you think your not just not competitive?
Worried about an accident?
Worried about being the only amateur in the group?
I kick all these around my head sometime. It always seems to be the mind that is the hardest thing to hone.
At this years Cardigan Street Race Ruben and I got stuck in with our limited road race experience in the Cat 4 last race of the day. 40 minutes of lapping the town and then 2 final laps of sprinting.
After 10 minutes of hanging onto the leaders I began to descend into the race within race. Pulling riders along, shouting at those who wouldn’t do any work, picking up the tail of lapping packs, avoiding crashes and trying to keep the mind from quitting.
35 minutes in the race begins. The leaders pack catches our small group and we join the fray, people right round the course are screaming support, a break happens on the inside line and the chasing bunch are on the outside, a rider hits the barriers and stays up after a two footed stumble, I hit a pot hole my hand came off the bars and the bike jack knifed but I held it, a tyre blows like a gunshot and then the bell tolls for two final laps.
I’ve lost track of where I am in the race, I am gulping for air like a fish on the rocks, my legs are at the top end of dead but I have a overwhelming feeling of being very alive.
Not the “lucky to be alive” or ”lucky to have my health” alive, but an intense focus on my being and place right there in that race on this planet.
Then 500 yard from the finish line my rival, the guy who battled it out with me for 40 minutes, the rider who did 20 % of the work comes through from the back and is heading to the finish, I pick up his wheel, out the saddle hard up the last climb to the high street, the road begins to descend and then 100feet from the finish I break from his wheel and take it on the line.
I finished, I won and lost, I kept the lid on the quitting grey cells, I thrashed my best bike and I’m still telling the tales from the race.
If you have never raced try it. If you sign up you’ve already won.
For those of you who haven’t sat down at your computer since last week, we were selling our miniramp on eBay over the Bank Holiday weekend.
It was our hope that the ramp gets out of the warehouse and skated, while providing some money to ensure kids in Kabul can continue to get skating when times are hard.
Thanks to everyone who got involved, the hammer went down at 7pm last night for US $2,950.31 / £1800(ish) – which should pay for a knee pad or two!
Thanks for your help this week – we’ve raised another £500 towards keeping our beaches clean.
Slowly but surely we’re getting towards our £25k target so don’t give up now. If you’ve already bought tickets and got more in your howies parcel for the weeekend, why not sell them to a friend at your bank holiday BBQ or trip to the beach?
We all live downstream from someone, so let’s make an effort to keep our water clean.
howies is an active clothing company that believes in making higher quality, lower impact products for our sports and day-to-day lives.