Tuesday, July 11, 2017

News: Yak Attack announces re-branding.

The big news this week is the announcement from Yak Attack about an essential re-branding process.
Here's what Race Director Phil Evans had to say about it on the Facebook Page:

"Yak Attack was originally chosen as the name for the world's highest mountain bike race, which was founded way back in 2007.
Since then the name Yak Attack has become synonymous with mountain bike adventures and challenges and has been used as a collective name for all our other races, adventures, and challenges.
As the company is growing incrementally as each year passes, we felt it was time to give Yak Attack it's identity back as being the "to-do" high altitude mountain bike race not only in Nepal but worldwide.
For this reason all our races, including Yak Attack, Rumble in the Jungle, Pokhara IV and all our mountain bike tours will now go under the umbrella of Mountain Biking Worldwide.
Over the coming weeks/months there will be a little bit of re-branding, website updates, and a whole new simplified application system.
We're very excited about the future of Mountain Biking Worldwide and look forward to welcoming riders new and old to our ever growing calendar of races, challenges and adventures.
Hope you like the new logo  © A Friendly Web Dude"

So there you go, everything in a nutshell.
If you fancy the adventure of a lifetime then sign up for one of their truly great races or have a look at the amazing guided trips that are on offer.

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.



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Helping Paws


Helping Paws is a new charitable venture that all of us at Chase The Rainbow look forward to fully supporting into the future.
I will be adding a direct link to the website as soon as it available. It is the brainchild of Yak attack supremo Phil Evans, and Corinne Smith. Here's what they have to say about it on their Facebook page:

"During visits to Sri Lanka and Nepal, we have been moved by the plight of countless animals that are left to cope alone, and have been humbled by the endless work of the animal charities that we have been fortunate enough to have had contact with.
This has inspired us to also try and make a difference and hopefully play a small part in alleviating the suffering for many animals left without loving homes or care in times of need.
Through community and education programs, our aim is to bring about a progressive change in the way animals are perceived so that more people will consider helping and homing many of the strays. We also aim to instigate vaccination, neuter and care programs to ensure healthy animal communities and provide a community shelter with a trained local where animals can visit for food, or be taken for treatment.
Obviously, even with small and humble beginnings, we can't bring about these changes alone, and so in the near future will be calling on all our families, friends, associates, and associates of associates to help us in whatever way they can. In addition to fund raising, we will be looking for advice on education programs, volunteer vets, teachers, etc etc, so please keep us in mind and keep looking out for Helping Paws updates.
Thank you
Corinne Smith and Phil Evans."

You can follow their progress on Facebook 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, June 28, 2017

News: The UK Singlespeed Championships.


Beer drinking, debauchery, tomfoolery, shenanigans, cycling?
That'll be The UK Singlespeed Champs then.

I've signed up even though the looming spectre of my shoulder operation is imminent. Hopefully I will be recovered enough to trundle around slowly. If not then I'll go along, drink beer, and cheer.

It's taking place in The Lake District on September 1st-3rd and is sponsored by a brewery; that's about all you need to know really.
However if you'd like to join in the fun then you can read all about it here: UK Singlespeed Champs
The entry fee for the whole weekend is a trifling £32.45 and all profits are donated to local charities.

If you'd like to enter then you can do so here at the Eventbrite website: Entries

There is also an Event page on Facebook here: SSUK17

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.



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.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A (silly) walk around Bluebell Wood.


A few days ago I decided to film an impromptu walk around the wood using Facebook Live so that people could see how beautiful it is. I was very excited and got a bit carried away :D
For those who haven't seen it on our FB page here it is for your amusement.



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.



Wherever the wind blows.



Life in the last year or so has been something of a whirlwind (slightly more than it normally is).
During last Summer I moved house. At the end of Summer I finished a contract that had lasted two and half years and took off on a trip, at very short notice, for almost three months in Nepal. The Nepal trip concluded unexpectedly with me being at the sharp end of helping to run the 2016 Yak Attack Mountainbike Race.
Two days after returning from Nepal I purchased a 6 acre wood with a friend, which then ended up being a solo purchase. Then my Uncle offered me a ten week contract rebuilding a fire damaged recycling plant in South-West London, which happened to start just five days after formally signing for the purchase of the wood, and ended up being a sixteen week contract.
During this time period I, unexpectedly again, ended up with a small shareholding in Yak Attack (due to the overwhelming generosity of others). Shortly before finishing my contract in London my friend Phil Evans (Yak Attack head honcho) asked me if I would like to help out with this years Rumble in the Jungle race in Sri Lanka which quickly escalated into a month long pre-race expedition to check the condition of the trails and to reconnoitre any potential new ones.
See what I mean? And breathe...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chalk & Cheese. The trials of a woodland hobbit.

Braap braap.

The last few weekends have proven to be quite diverse, and occasionally challenging.
One weekend was so vile that I opted to stay at home and get stuck into the construction of the compost toilet just so that I could escape the horizontal sleet and snow occasionally. I spent both days alternating between bouts of potential hypothermia and hiding out in the kitchen brewing coffee and simultaneously de-frosting my lifeless fingers.
I did eventually pop down to the wood for an hour or so when a glorious break in the weather materialised late in the day. I wandered around daydreaming and had a little session of bramble pulling (it's very therapeutic).
Amid all this darkness the Bluebells have begun to arrive.
I spotted one sprouting through the leaf mould whilst clearing an area of brambles (I currently do a lot of bramble clearance) and once I had my eye in, as it were, I began spotting them everywhere. I'm pleased to report that the springtime display should be wildly profuse, they are in every nook & cranny it seems. It's dead exciting (for me at least).
The Bluebells are beginning to make their presence felt on the ground.

Friday, February 3, 2017

A bridge over (un)troubled waters.



I've been building a few bridges lately (actual as opposed to metaphorical).
When I announced that I had bought the wood quite a few friends offered to come down and help out. Unfortunately the January weather seems to have put them off, I'm sure come the spring they'll be beating a path. I won't hold it against them, I have questioned my own sanity on more than one occasion recently. My parents have been regular visitors and have helped me out a lot. My old mucker and mountainbiking wingman Mitch Bryan called in to assist me in between his rigorous Strathpuffer training sessions and has promised further labour in the near future when his off-shifts coincide with mine. And my good friend Phil Evans (he of Yak Attack fame - the race organiser/director no less) lent me his considerable construction knowledge for the bridges. We spent the best part of a cold Sunday digging, sawing, and hammering to our hearts content. Phil has also pledged further assistance and I will happily take him up on it; particularly when it comes to laying a base for the shed and then constructing said shelter. I, in return, provided fresh coffee and Chocolate Hobnobs, a fair exchange if ever there was one.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekend (woodland) Warrior.

Bluebell Wood. 

After the agonising four week wait for the completion of the legal process for purchasing the wood I have now been able to get down there and get stuck in.
I managed a few days immediately after the completion date before I had to pack my bags and head to the big smoke for work (London. Noisy place).
I have been down and done a lot of work during the last two weekends. It's hard graft at the minute but it's a very rewarding process.
I'm slowly getting a feel for the place and finding my bearings.
The wood is triangular in shape with a 350m road frontage (not too noisy except for commuters using it as a rat run during rush hour) and about 150m at its widest point. It slopes gently upwards, in an east to west direction, from the pointy end to the wide part; and has a lovely little brook meandering throughout its length. The westerly end on the road side of the brook has a steeper gradient. The perfect spot, it seems, for rope swings (Unfortunately I've had to remove them for insurance purposes).

A crappy screenshot from Google maps but you get the general idea. 
Rather fortuitously the quiet corner furthest from the road is relatively flat and is the perfect spot for my HQ. This is where I'm currently focusing my time. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

If you go down to the woods today...


...you might find me there.
I got confirmation from the solicitors today that everything has gone through smoothly and I'm now officially the owner of almost 6.5 acres of mature woodland.
It hasn't been an entirely smooth passage however.
Unfortunately my mate Dave couldn't raise the necessary capital to fund his half of the purchase and so I had to make a decision; let it go or go for it. I went for it.
For the first time in many years I've had to borrow some money, but sometimes in life you have to take a risk.
I'm finding the whole thing both exciting and slightly scary in equal measure. One thing is certain though, no matter what happens now, I am going to gain a great deal of pleasure from the whole adventure.