Thursday, September 12, 2019

We are moving.

Chase The Rainbow has a new home.
We have now moved everything over to a slick and fancy Wordpress platform (It's been a long time coming) and you can now find us here:

We hope you like the new look website and continue to visit for travel and adventure inspiration, honest reviews, videos, and to follow our adventures around the world.

We love having you around.
Thank you from all of us here at Chase The Rainbow 💗

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Alpkit Squalline Jacket - first test/review.

Here's one I did earlier. 
It was my first look at the competitively priced Squalline Jacket from Alpkit.

It's been designed as stash-in-your pocket go-to waterproof/windshell for fast paced activities like trail running and mountainbiking. I like it, it's ideal for those days were the weather can be a bit mixed but there's no need for full-fat waterproof like the Gravitas Jacket.
At £49.00 it's well worth a look.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A day out cycling and packrafting.

Neil's latest "badly edited video" Blockbuster.

Follow him around as he cycles from home to the River Trent, then paddles around for a while, before cycling home again.
It's gripping stuff 😝

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Long Way Home.

Recently I headed over to The Isle of Man to take part in the, very brutal, Manx100 mountainbike race. It had been an eleventh-hour decision to go. At the same time I made another rather rash decision - I was going to cycle home too. The Manx100 didn't quite go to plan (that's another long story: see here) so when the sun shone on the morning of my departure back to the mainland I was emboldened and was looking forward to a few days of very pleasant cycling through England’s finest green and pleasant lands.

I planned to cut across country from Morecambe to Settle on The Way of the Roses and then pick up The Pennine Bridleway (PBW) from there all the way back home to Derbyshire. It was a basic plan with some wiggle room for any potential disasters along the way - which turned out to be a fortuitous plan, as it happened, because I didn't have a map or actually know the way.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Not the Manx 100 - again.

Last year a group of us set out to take on The Manx 100 on The Isle of Man. Unfortunately our ferry crossing was cancelled and we never made it.
This year we did actually get to the island, which was at least a step further, but our progress beyond that wasn't exactly a shining success.
At the eleventh-hour, barely a week before the race, I decided to join the lads - Mitch Bryan, Paul Moore, Johnny Smith, and Pascal "Fluffy" Lally -  for a go at this years edition.
The Manx 100 is probably the hardest 1-day race in the UK.
Sensibly I decided to enter the 100km version rather than the 100 miler; I wasn't suitably trained to tackle the long course. Sensible is not something that I do very often, it was very out of character.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Packrafting - How to add extra tie downs.

Here's the latest video from the YouTube channel, where Neil goes through the process of adding additional tie-downs to his Aqua Xtreme Commando Packraft.

You can see more from Aqua Xtreme 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.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Alpkit Soloist Backpacking Tent - First Look.

I've finally got my hands on one of these little fellas. The  Alpkit Soloist 1-man tent.
It’s a big deal in a tiny package.
Every batch has sold out on pre-order so far (Alpkit have the knack of delivering the right product at prices that are extremely attractive to consumers).  It’s a product that I’m really excited about and I’m looking forward to getting out and using it.

It's a mighty little atom that weighs only 1.2kgs and is retailing at only £125.00 inc the footprint. Take a look at the video and see for yourselves.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A visit to Celtic Paddles.

Today I took a visit to Anglesey in Wales to visit the Celtic Paddles factory.
I had a great experience and was surprised to find that it was a pretty big operation with a lot going on.

If you're in the market for a quality paddle check them out.
My very special thanks to James Marden for arranging a generous discount.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Aqua Xtreme Commando Packraft - Unboxing.

Finally my packraft has arrived. It's been a painful process watching it crawl through customs, and the subsequent fee to get it released. However, here it is:

You can see more from Aqua Xtreme 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.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Ronde van Vegas

A few weeks ago my mate Mitch called me about a local event called The Ronde van Vegas.
It's organised by local bike shop Velotastic and is classified as a Reliability Trial to "challenge and test your skill and stamina"
In a nutshell it was a 100km unsupported, unmarshalled adventure on the quiet roads, byways, and bridleways that surround Velotastic's home town of Chesterfield.
Entants were supplied with a GPX file of the route and details of the start/finish point at Holmesfield Village Hall. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Buying a PFD from Peak UK

Today I went along to Peak UK in Derbyshire to buy a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) for my packrafting adventures.
I received really good advice from Adam Gill and enjoyed a great customer experience. Peak UK will be familiar to anyone interested in paddle sports. If you're in the area (Matlock/Peak District) it's well worth calling in to browse their showroom.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New Partner Announcement - Aqua Extreme (Kayaks/Packrafts/SUP's)

I'm thrilled to announce that I have been accepted into the Aqua-Xtreme Brand Ambassador Program.
It's pretty amazing, and cool, that I got in, considering they had over 900 applicants.
I will be using one of their packrafts for some of my travel plans over the nexth 12 months or so; so watch this space.

I liked their pitch and it encouraged me to apply:
"Aqua Xtreme 2019 Ambassador Program is seeking committed top athletes ,adventurers and paddlers.
If you're passionate about watersports, exploring, and an adventurous storyteller with a social media following or a rebel who questions everything, we want to work with you."

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Paws for thought. Singlespeeding through Sri Lanka.

A Paws for thought – Singlespeeding through Sri Lanka.

There’s something about the sight and sound of rushing water that captivates me; be it the soothing chatter of a brook speeding through a shallow glide or, like today, the deep base of white horses breaking on a sun-soaked beach. Last night I was lulled into a deep sleep by it, and today I stood on its edge with a wash of cool, foaming, surf tickling my feet whilst I studied, mesmerised, the infinite variety of the forming waves, no two the same, ever.

It was 36 hours since we'd rolled into Tangalle, on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, on our local singlespeed bicycles; seven days after leaving Jaffna, in the north, 804kms of cycling now behind us. My bike sat in the shade of our simple but pleasant beach-side accommodation, its tyres half submerged in the soft white sand. It was a nice place to end an adventure.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Marmite Malta. Hiking the coast of a country.

I breached the summit of a steep earthen track with sore feet, aching muscles, and healthy sweat on, and was immediately thrust in to a melee of tourists, touts, and taxi drivers, humming like the bees I’d been studying earlier around the abundant wild thyme.
Three days of blissful tranquility had preceded this moment - I made a dash for the nearby coffee shop and found myself a quiet corner.

A tip off about some bargain flights to Malta and a nod towards an interesting coastal walk from an acquaintance a few weeks previously had quickly snowballed into a rough plan. I tracked down the out of print guide, still available as a Kindle edition on Amazon, and a 1/50000 map of the island, and hightailed it over to this remote corner of The Union.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lush Shampoo Bars (Review).

Lush Shampoo Bars

As a committed environmentalist I'm always on the lookout for products that will reduce my footprint on the planet, and as a regular traveller I'm always on the lookout for products that will make my life easier and more efficient. (I appreciate the paradox in that statement and I do my best to keep air travel to a minimum and to offset it whenever possible).
So when I stumbled upon these little beauties I did a little jig of joy.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Malteaser.

A few days ago a friend of mine rang me to say that he'd spotted some cheap flights to Malta, and that he'd heard that they have a very nice coastal walk. So that's what we are doing on Wednesday.
Part of my plan for my year off was to have no plan at all, other than some loose ideas about places I'd like to visit and things I'd like to do. My no-plan-at-all-plan allows me to sweep up spontaneous opportunities, just like this one.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Catching up?

Is spring finally sproinging? Whilst it hasn't exactly been a long hard winter here in the UK it is still nice to pass the equinox and feel, on occasions, the increasing warmth of the spring sunshine.
I've had a fairly quiet time of it of late but I intend to put that right in the very near future.
Aside from a three week trip to Nepal for the Pokhara IV Mountainbike Race (which was mostly a much needed holiday riding my bike on dry trails), I have been working and saving hard in preparation for having a year off - I'll come to that later.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Alpkit - Woodsmoke Shirt - Review.

If you are a mountainbiker, skateboarder, snowboarder, or even a general outdoorist, you may well own a version of the ubiquitous chequered flannel shirt - it's very much a part of the look.
I recently purchased one such example from
It has quickly proved to be one of my favourite things. I have been out in it, I have cycled in it, and I have, appropriately, chopped up some wood in it.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Look out Nepal - Here's Nellie!

So far so good. My excellent friend Mitch Bryan dropped me off at Derby Railway Station, and with only a minor delay to the trains in Birmingham I boarded my flight to Doha seamlessly with the super efficient Qatar Airways. I scraped in on the 30kg luggage allowance with only 2.5 pouches of Aldi cat treats over the limit. The nice lady at check-in let it go, and the shop cat at Himalayan Singletrack in Thamel, Kathmandu was, later, very pleased.
The flight to Doha had barely anyone aboard and I had a row of three seats all to myself, that’s a rare luxury indeed for the frequent traveller; all I had to do was try not to fall asleep. Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh kept me royally entertained for quite a while. The inflight meal was a delicious Chicken Biryani, followed by an even more delicious blackcurrant cheesecake. I’m very happy about the improvement of inflight meals; I thought about the first one I ever had, on a Balkan Airlines flight to Bulgaria in 1984, it was so bad that on my return flight home I pretended to be asleep so that I didn’t have to eat it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2018. A shit-happens kind of a year.

2018 was a bit of a strange old year for me.
I was still firmly in the recovery stages from my shoulder operation by the time The Puffer (Strathpuffer 24 hour race) came around in late January. I was entered to race in the solo category along with a bunch of other mates with the same idea. It turned out that the trail conditions, fairly heavy with snow, were a bit too sketchy for me; I was still under strict guidelines from the Consultant Surgeon not to take any risks. So instead of racing I elected to man the pits and support the guys instead.
It was a nice way to experience the event, and I got a tremendous buzz from helping and encouraging my mates to finish, even though I would have much preferred to be racing. Hey-ho. This year I will be racing in a quad team for Alpkit. I'm really looking forward to this even though I am a bit short on fitness.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Sonder Signal Ti - Building a Dream Machine.

The Motel du Mugling is an oasis of calm on the bustling Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway. I called in and ate an unplanned lunch with my friend Sagar, the manager. It was unplanned because I had already eaten breakfast there a few hours previously; inbetween times I had made a minor navigational error and cycled 26 or so kilometres in the wrong direction before retracing my steps to begin all over again. My initial 90km trundle to Pokhara was now to be a slightly more hectic race against daylight.
I'd arrived in Kathmandu a few days prior to this and spent my time pleasantly hanging out in the - now traffic-free - tourist hub of Thamel, catching up with old friends, drinking coffee, and riding familiar trails around the valley rim.
Familiar trails with familiar friends on an unfamiliar bike.
I'd been given a great opportunity to ride the final prototype of the new Sonder Bikes Signal Ti 29" Hardtail with the explicit purpose of capturing some high mountain images of the bike in its natural environment (see my initial review here).