Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Heading deep into Wales with Howies

This weekend was spent in Cardigan Bay shooting some pictures for Howies on the Cotic. They took us to a beautiful wood lodge in the middle of a nature reserve. It was a really interesting experience. I have always really liked Howies style, their catalogues really capture the very free, easy, down to earth lifestyle that their clothing promotes. Being there the atmosphere shooting reflected this attitude and in many ways it really felt like living the brochure. If you have never heard of Howies I would check it out, I think they are very unique in their approach, placing as much importance on the philosophy and ethics behind the brand as the quality and style of their clothes.

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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

When theres too much wind to kite!

Went out today with Dan and Amy down the bay in some proper heavy winds, Land sailing is definately the way forward. We were getting full on catapulted up the hill and pretty much ripped from the boards in the gusts - soo much fun! Finally managed to get Amy on a longboard, here she is styling it like natural.

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Monday, 10 March 2008

BUSA MTB 08- CwmCarn washout! - Swansea take the win.

1)Swansea boys on top of the podium.
2)Me and Jack (AKA Hill)
3)Will Mk2 - Just goes to prove where theres a Will theres a way!
4)Will storming his way to the finish line

The Welsh racing gods came out in force for the BUSAs, to ensure an unforgettable weekend of big gusty winds, torrential downpours and hundreds of dirty soggy students. The turn out was awesome with CwmCarn absolutely full to capacity and 290 riders on the start list. Loads of rental vans were rocking about rammed with bikes people, and all the other random stuff required for the student champs such as the air horns, cowbells made from swingarms, cow print pyjamas etc. Its always good to see such solid investment of so many student loans!!

Initial impressions of the track were that it was tame and pedally especially when comparing it to Dunkeld last year, however this changed dramatically come Saturday. The weather really helped liven the racing even if it did scare off the spectators. The final section of the track became fairly hairy with the wind, the last jump was taped in and took a few victims, I watched 3 people in a row get taken by gusts and blown clean off their bikes coming off the bridge before it. Chris Barnard receives trail points for pulling out awesome whips over the last jump while the rest of us were hanging on and hoping. Barnard had some of the best style of the weekend on a bike that very closely resembled a shed, he really needs to get off his lazy trucker arse and get back out riding again, oh and rebuild the hardtail!

1) Barnard whipped.
2) Me over the last double
3) Al showing off the gold.
4) Vanning it.

First run was nuts, no visibility, wet sticky track and loads of blown out corners. It only took one run to remember why we do it and to make all the other shit and hassle that comes with racing worth it, no normal ride will ever be as intense. Alex Roberts was first to set the bar for Swansea and put in one of his best performances yet on a borrowed Solid, One word to describe Al's bikes is bodged, this just goes to show how much potential he has if only he could learn how to tune a bike without making use of the hammer! A few too many mistakes and getting held up by traffic left me back in the rankings. Jack set a decent time, looking incredibly fly in his new SH kit. This left Will Soffe who was seeded 5th and the last Swansea rider on the hill. Will has started this year with so much confidence and determination, and had really set his sights high for this event. He came down absolutely storming leaving him in the hot seat after the first run.

Second runs were very cold and wet, with a lot of drowned looking people at the start hill. The rain had cleaned the track up a bit but it was now resembling a river most the way down. Severe goggle issues left me completely blind 100m off the start hill killing my chances of a decent second run. Alex was able to knock another 3s off his first run and sticking him in 17th. There was some real tension at the finish while we waited for the final riders to come down and see if Will could hang on to the top step of the podium. He showed some great consistency coming in only 2s short of his first run however Ralph Jones and Chris Hutchens just sneaked in front, still 3rd isnt too bad for a fresher! Rob Hinds had a huge grin on his face all weekend and made it into 92nd place which is definately not bad for his first DH race.

Importantly this left Swansea to take the team win, we have all got a bit used to the 3rd step of the podium and there was a moment of doubt where we thought we had missed the podium completely as 3rd and 2nd were called. This was followed up by the XC boys taking the team win on the sunday, leaving Swansea's record of being undefeated in all cycling events this year intact.

The weather meant all but hardened few bailed to warmer places on saturday night so the epic BUSA party never happened. Big thanks to Paddy who pulled off another awesome event with the help of Dragon DH, CwmDown and Extreme Medics. Bring on next year!!

Full results at

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Sunday, 2 March 2008

Busting the Kites out at Llangennith

Pictures from top: 1) & 2) Dan going huge with the blade. 3) Me hanging low. 4) Paul grinning like a nutter! 5) Aint it pretty!

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