Inspiration / Outdoor /
Getting to know Biggleswade and our new store manager
Ahead of the opening of our brand new store in Biggleswade this June, we caught up with Dave Hounsome, the new store manager to find out about the local area and what he loves about the outdoors.
1. What inspires you most to get outdoors?
For me it’s what you take from previous trips, that feeling when you come down a piste or you’re at the top of a climb and there’s a wonderful sense of achievement and calm. You’re away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. I think the enjoyment of the physical excursion and that feeling is what keeps me inspired.
2. What activity do you spend most of your time outdoors doing?
Now it’s mostly mountain biking, but it all started with hiking back at home in the New Forest with my family. I’m also really passionate about snowboarding and road cycling, I just enjoy whatever’s available to me in my free time.
3. What stands out as a highlight from all your outdoor adventures so far?
It’s got to be one of the big trips I’ve done. I was lucky enough to go touring around British Columbia for 2 weeks which was amazing. We got to visit the mecca of Mountain Biking: Whistler. We saw so many amazing cyclists out there, you really feel that it’s the pinnacle of the sport.
I’m also really proud of the fact I’ve got a lot of my friends into snowboarding. My trips started with just a couple of us going away for a week but now there’s up to 12 of us, snowboarding is a brilliant activity to be involved in.
4. What's your favourite travel destination?
I loved travelling the Garden route in South Africa, it’s one of the most stunning places to go. I think I’m always aspiring to my next trip, you always look forward to exploring somewhere unknown.
5. What's your favourite piece of outdoor clothing?
My most beloved piece of kit is my old The North Face Redpoint jacket. It’s a perfect thin and lightweight insulated belay jacket which is great to have in your pack, I always take it mountain biking with me but it’s also great for wearing day-to-day. Even with all the wear and tear it’s still going strong after all these years!
6. Is there one piece of kit you always take in your rucksack?
Yes, I always take multiple Buff’s with me. They’re just so versatile. I’ve used them for almost everything, but to name a few: a headband in the heat, a facemask in dusty conditions, balaclava when snowboarding, a sweatband when cycling and even an emergency bandage!
7. What's the best local walk?
I’ve just moved to the area but walked some of the Green Wheel, starting near Jordan’s Mill and walking past the wind farms up the River Ivel. It’s a great walk, perfect for all abilities as you can cut it short and wander back into the town at any point. It would make a really good dog walk or family walk as you can take cover if the weather turns and the terrain isn’t challenging.
8. What are you most looking forward to doing in the Biggleswade area?
I’m really looking forward to running the Green Wheel, I think I can plan a good 5-10 mile route which should help me explore more of the area.
9. What's your favourite place to cycle locally?
Chicksands bike park is really nearby, I used to get the train there out of London so I’m really excited to have it so close! Jordan’s Mill is a great place for road cyclists and seems to be a hub for local road cycle clubs.
10. If you're just in Biggleswade for one day what's one thing you can't miss?
If you’re with the family I’d walk some of the Green Wheel and get a good cream tea at Jordan’s Mill. If you’re feeling more adventurous then hit Chicksands Bike Park for some trail riding!