I should probably start out by explaining that when I say ‘Brit brand trio’, I’m referring to Rab, Mountain Equipment and Montane. These three brands are the standard-bearers for the UK outdoor industry, and between them they account for over half of the products ranged on Webtogs.co.uk at any given time. It was these brands, along with another of our suppliers; US brand Marmot, that Webtogs MD Keith and I set out to visit last Sunday on a 5-day buying road-trip. I can report that it was epic thanks to the exciting new products on show… and the added bonus of getting to take the bike out on some awesome trails in the Lakes (Altura Trail, Whinlatter & The North Face Trail, Grizedale) and Peak District!
I managed to complete a full mountain bike ride yesterday with bike intact and a full complement of body parts, which is something to celebrate. Despite threatening skies, near total darkness and lashings of mud, this week’s Bike Club was a big success. Fun was had by all (3 of us) on a varied 15 and a bit-mile route around the forested hills and valleys of the Stourhead Estate, taking in Stourhead house itself, a close-encounter with a deer, enjoyable downhills and tiring climbs. Feeling thoroughly buoyed by the experience, I intend to keep carrying the Webtogs Bike Night torch on through the cold, dark winter months! (more…)
Our MD and long-running cycle touring enthusiast Keith spent his time off last summer cycling the a 800-mile cycle route along the Atlantic Coast. He encountered many revelations about kit, France and cycle touring in general along the way. Here he shares these revelations with us here on the Tog Blog…
I spent most of the winter thinking about what I was going to do for my summer cycle tour. I knew that I wanted to do a tour in France and that I wanted to feel like I had been on holiday, so after hours of research I settled on the Velodyssey.
The Velodyessy is a 1,200 kilometre bike ride from Brittany to the boarder of Spain. For ease of logistics I started from the airport at Biarritz and Cycled North. (more…)
Our MD Keith is well in to the first week of his epic trip cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End, camping as he goes. He began riding on Sunday 20th May and since then he has done 300 miles, 14370 feet of ascent, 0 midge bites, 27 near death misses by caravans, has a bit of sunburn, less fat and a good sweat pong!
He’s doing it all in aid of the Alzheimers society, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in the UK. Keith’s a prop forward so cycling a 1000 miles isn’t going to be easy for him…. If you would like to support him he would be absolutely made up, just click here to visit his Just Giving page.
He hit Loch Ness last night after cycling down through Glen Coe yesterday and sent a long update with photos of his journey so far. True to his word, he’s kept it hardcore and hasn’t stopped in to a B & B yet, camping or wild camping all the way……
As soon as we get any more updates, we’ll put them up here. If you’ve got any questions about his route, gear or anything else in the meantime, post up in the comments below!
Here at Webtogs, we are lucky enough to have some fairly gnarly mates, and they don’t come any gnarlier than Keiths buddy Nick Parks (not be confused with Aardman animation!) Nick is a full IFMGA Mountain Guide, and has been leading mountain expeditions on skis and on foot for almost 20 years, journeying with his clients to some of the most remote corners of the globe.
He’s currently helping out Bear Grylls in charge of rope safety, mountain safety etc for everyone on the new series. Whilst he is out filming, we asked him to test some gear for us in some of the toughest environments that Planet Earth can offer. We gave him some Keen H2 Sandals and Icebreaker socks to use & abuse, today we received this missive back from Vietnam where they are filming at the moment.
“Now my first despatch on the Keen sandals and Icebreaker sox…. first off a quick weather report so your readers can appreciate the conditions I’m testing these under. Vietnam is about to enter its rainy season, which means temperatures and humidity are at their highest, I can only describe it similar to being in a warm shower! Sweat is just pouring off us, our shirts are drenched, the only respite is in the a/c of the restaurants or from the rush of air travelling aboard our 4 wheel drives.
Sandals first, very impressed, super comfortable, no rubbing which is so often a problem in high humidity. The insole claims to be odor preventing and so far, admittedly only 3 days, that’s true. This is highly significant as I’ve never had a pair of shoes or sandals that didn’t honk to high heaven from day one! This afternoon we scrambled around on the boulders next to the Saigon river and they felt very secure. I particularly like the protection offered by the chunky toe piece, not that I’ve tested this feature but if I do inadvertently
kick a rock ‘m confident I won’t lose my toe nails!
Sox, equally impressive.. I was dreading pulling on boots and sox in this temperature although admittedly I did this under my room fan. Beautifully comfortable in my very basic jungle boots providing much needed cushioning. They stayed this way throughout a hot jungle yomp, never got sweaty and where even dry and not smelly! when I pulled them off 8 hours later! But most impressive I was the only person out of our group of nine whose sox weren’t penetrated by leeches, I’m not sure if Icebreaker advertise this fact… maybe they should.”
We’ll have more from Nick over the coming weeks as filming progress. We’re sending him some icebreaker boxers to make sure the leeches don’t go anywhere else they shouldn’t!