Sunday, June 25, 2017

A pebble in the pond. How young women are changing Nepal.

Al Seaton, Usha Kanal, Jenny Caunt, Roja KC.

Something is happening in Nepal. A wind of change is blowing, a gentle breeze that might yet become a tempest.
Sport, that great leveller of people, is beginning to make its mark. Tenacious young women like Ultrarunner Mira Rai and Mountainbiker Laxmi Magar have through their own efforts inspired other young women to dare to dream.
These dreams are then facilitated by people like Richard Ball from Trail Running Nepal, working tirelessly to promote running and running events, and helping and promoting the potential of Nepali athletes on the world stage. Richard, of course, makes a living from this, and rightly so, but he is also making dreams happen too.
Now we have Jenny Caunt, from Himalayan Singletrack, a mountainbike shop owner and tour provider based in the beating heart of Nepali tourism; Thamel, Kathmandu.
Jenny is also doing something remarkable. In the west we might call it progression, continuity, or something similar, we take equal opportunities for granted; in Nepal it is pioneering, it is the rejection of boundaries, prejudice, regression, in a deeply misogynistic society. She is empowering women to get involved in this completely male dominated industry, and she is giving them jobs - equal jobs.
And guess what? They're good at it.
Jenny is a very good friend of mine, and when she told me what they were doing I asked her to write me a little piece for the blog. I was proud of my friend and I wanted to help promote it.
What I got took me by surprise.
Jenny has written a very honest and open review of a transformation, and it isn't only affecting the girls.
She has thrown a pebble in the pond and the ripples are spreading.
I love this story, and I think you might love it too.

Jenny Caunt

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An unwelcome return.

After spending a month in Sri Lanka I was looking forward to getting back down the wood and enjoying the beautiful late spring weather.
Unfortunately it seems that other people have been enjoying the wood in my absence.
My log store (full of seasoning logs) has been razed to the ground, several other fires have been lit, a lot of my timber for projects has been burnt, signs and boundary fences damaged, the compost toilet has been upended, beer cans, bottles, and litter, are strewn around the area.
I'm disappointed that people feel that this kind of behaviour is amusing to them. I have put in extraordinary amounts of work only to have most of it destroyed by morons. I'd estimate that the real-time cost of all of this damage is in excess of £2000.
Fortunately the police have taken an interest and will be collecting the bottles and cans for DNA and fingerprint analysis. I sincerely hope that they catch someone for this.
I have contacted a local newspaper and I'm hopeful that they might run the story, if only to shame the scumbags that did it.
Actually there's not much point in trying to analyse the behaviour, if someone is prepared to do this then they really don't give a shit. 
At considerable cost I have now ordered, and will be installing, motion sensing HD surveillance cameras; if they come back then I'll try to make them famous.

Damaged boundary fences.

Tarp ripped down.

The ladders etc were chained to the log store. The log store is ashes and the ladders have actually partially melted.

The compost toilet has been upended. It must have taken them a lot of effort do this.

The large cordwood pile of Oak logs has either been burnt or scattered.

A number of very large Birch logs that I put aside for a project have been burnt.

Yet another fire. The morons very kindly burnt a lot of my timber.

You can also follow Chase The Rainbow here:

Thank you for looking, see you soon.
Please don't forget to Like, Share, and Comment, if you enjoyed it :)

Consume less, live more. Plant more trees.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Announcement: Laxmi is going to Sri Lanka.

We are very proud to be supporting, in partnership with The Yak Attack, Nepal National Champion Laxmi Magar's late entry in to this years "Rumble in the Jungle" mountainbike race in Sri Lanka.
Laxmi is a great friend to all of us and she is a truly inspiring role model to women in Nepal.
Laxmi was hoping to spend some time racing in The USA but for some inexplicable reason she has again been denied an entry visa despite a concerted effort by many supporters, in particular the wonderful ladies at the Soul Sister Cycling group.
Once we heard the news it was a simple decision - Let's get Laxmi out to Sri Lanka.

Laxmi racing at the 2016 "Rumble"
You can see more from Laxmi on her social media pages, please give her your support:

You will be able to follow her progress every day during the race from June 13th to 16th here:

You can also follow Chase The Rainbow here:

Thank you for looking, see you soon.
Please don't forget to Like, Share, and Comment, if you enjoyed it :)

Consume less, live more. Plant more trees.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The times they are a-changing. Springing into Springtime.

It seems an age since my last woodland blog. A lot has happened in the last two months; the Lesser Celandine and Wood Anemones have flowered and withered, a vast carpet of Bluebells then sprouted, flowered, and are now also on the wain. They have been replaced by Ramsons (Wild Garlic, delicious), the enchanting Yellow Archangel, Greater Stitchwort, and now after a day or two of light rain the Ferns have burst forth all over the place. The Springtime is a wonderful time to be at the wood.
I completed the construction of my compost toilet (more of which later), cleared some large fallen tree's, and installed a gate and some small sections of boundary fencing (for insurance purposes).
And best of all I have had a few friendly visitors popping along to see what all the fuss is about.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

News: Yak Attack - Pokhara IV Stage Race.

Yak Attack has announced a new four day stage race that will be taking place on the trails around the lakeside city of Pokhara in Nepal. The Pokhara IV.
Pokhara is a great destination. Situated on the banks of Fewa Lake, and with magnificent views of the surrounding Annapurna Massif, it is Kathmandu-lite. Less people, less traffic, less pollution, and with a really laid back atmosphere. It's the kind of town you head to for a couple of days and end staying a couple of weeks.
The trails around the outskirts of the city have a great reputation and this could prove to be a fantastic race. It's also a great introduction to mountainbiking in Nepal and should be less intimidating and thus more attractive to many riders than the legendary Yak Attack itself.
The Pokhara IV stage race will be based for its entirety in the city and will comprise of a six night stay and four stages. This means that it is possible to fly in to Kathmandu, take part in the race, and fly out again in less than ten days days; although I'd advise a longer trip to take in some of the superb short treks around the area.

This is what Yak Attack have to say about it:
Pokhara IV is a 4 day mountain bike stage race based entirely around the lakeside city of Pokhara.
Each stage will take riders on a different loop out into the Himalayan foothills on trails rarely ridden, all of which give outstanding views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
After completing each stage riders return to the same hotel and can enjoy all the luxuries on offer in the tourist enclave of Lakeside Pokhara.

  •  6 days / 5 nights
  •  February 10th to 15th 2018
  •  4 stages of approx 50km per stage
  •  5 nights accommodation in Pokhara
  •  Full race support, including water stations and route marking
  •  Coach transfer Kathmandu - Pokhara- Kathmandu
Best of all the entry fee for the inaugural race is a measly $395. That makes it one of the cheapest stage races on the calendar.

You can follow The Yak Attack here:

You can also follow Chase The Rainbow here:

Thank you for looking, see you soon.
Please don't forget to Like, Share, and Comment, if you enjoyed it :)

Consume less, live more. Plant more trees.