Thoughts from category: Travel

ramblings about riding

Sometimes you get days when you get on your bike, ride for ages, and think you could keep going and going.

Hopefully next Sunday is going to be one of those days for our very own Mr Ed and his girlfriend Lizzie (pictured here at last year's Thriller video shoot looking fractionally less attractive than they do normally). They're heading off together from Shepherd's Bush to ride 2,500 miles across Europe to Istanbul, and raise a lot of money for a good cause in the process.

Training has consisted of eating loads of peanut butter and marmite sandwiches and cycling around West London with books weighing down their panniers. If you'd like to follow their progress (and pain) over the next two and a half months they'll be updating their own catchily named blog:

Good luck and God speed, Mr Ed and Lady Lizzie. We'll be thinking of you.

office bikes

We have three new office bikes.


Sniggering aside, these bikes are for little trips down to Hammersmith, up to Shepherds Bush or for lunchtime jaunts along the river.

They've been christened Handle and Gretel, Dick van Bike and Jimmy Saddle (who was down the shops, buying elevenses during this photo call), are available for anyone at Fruit Towers to borrow and are much greener than driving a van (not to mention cheaper than forking out for the gym/that 6:30am spinning class).

Maybe one day, they'll get a grass covered passenger attachment


But for now, we'll have to settle for backies.

if you go down to the woods today

And those woods happen to be in Poland, you might find a forest floor filled with blueberries

Blueberry morning

Rozanne and Dan have just returned from a berry sourcing adventure across Eastern Europe, where they tasted an array of berry shaped fruit.


Howver, before they got to actually taste any berries, they first had several mini adventures along the way.

Berry carpet

After being greeted by a dog on the runway, hiring a car that sounded like a hairdryer and picking up a speeding ticket in the first twenty minutes of driving, they then got hideously lost (thanks to a self-programming sat nav system) and had to wait by some woods in the middle of the night for our suppliers to pick them up.


When our suppliers finally arrived, Rozanne and Dan were then driven through pitch black forests at 180kph in a blacked out Audi, plied with vodka, potatoes and breadcrumbed meat and made to sing along to Russian pop. And that's not even taking into account the 7 hour border crossing, rigourous strip search (of the blowdrying car) and more money changing hands they had to endure, all in the name of finding the best berries for our smoothies.

It was all worth it when they got there though as they got to taste loads of berries and meet this excellent chap

Blueberry bill

He is in charge of about twenty or so berry collection points, which is where all the farmers turn up each day, in Fiat Pandas laden with fruit to be sent further afield.

Collection point

Here are Dan and Rozanne sampling some berries

Dan and rozanne

And here they are post berry-buying-vodka-toasting-high-speed-driving-traffic-police-bribing antics, playing catch up kip.

Disco kip

Berry buying at it's finest.

long distance nick

Do you live on the coast? Know any nice places to eat or a man who crafts fiddles or makes surfboards for a living?

Then Nick would like to know.

Only 3 months to go

Nick is the chap responsible for most of the photos in howies' catalogues and for the next 3 months, he'll be cycling the 5000 mile or so bikeride clockwise round the coast of Britain.

As well as raising money for charity, he's also going to be making little films about the artisan types who live and work along the coast to post here.

Nick on bike

So if you know of anywhere along the coast that has:

  • Nice places to stay (with or without tent

  • Interesting craftsmen who like a chat

  • Good cafes (with cake and strong coffee)

  • Free hot showers/sofas to sleep on

Or if you fancy cycling a bit of the way with Nick (or just meeting him for a mid morning coffee break) simply post your comments below or contact Nick here.

He's going to be popping in to see at Fruit Towers in August (slight detour from the coast so he can catch Wilco) so we'll update you on his progress (and saddle sore) then.