by Dave Anderson
November 20, 2012
We receive a fair bit of spam here at Singletrack Towers but here’s some news about SPAM – the winter challenge that’s the perfect counter to a Christmas of excess…
SPAM Winter Challenge 2012
After last year’s slightly earlier date for the event; the Imber Range opening and Christmas / New Year celebrations have fallen such that the Winter Challenge is back to the traditional calendar slot. This year’s event will take place on Sunday December 30th 2012; an ideal opportunity to work of the Christmas excess, and build up a thirst for the New Year celebrations! The SPAM Winter Challenge is Salisbury Plain’s classic Mountain Bike Endurance Event. Online Entry is available at www.spamwinterchallenge.co.uk, entry will also be available on the day.
It’s a relaxed affair, held on all-weather trails and offers a great fun day out. The riding isn’t particularly technical but the weather conditions can make it more challenging. You can choose to fly around your chosen route or take it at a more leisurely pace, it’s up to you. There are three distances to choose from: 25km, 35km and 50km; the bike of choice is nominally a mountain bike but there are generally a few cyclo-cross riders out as well.
The course is suitable for riders of all abilities including youngsters who can undertake either the 25km or 35km routes, providing they are with an accompanying adult (not recommended for under 8 years). There is also a family entry available on the 25km route for just £30 (two adults and up to four children) making it great value. We are really keen to encourage youngsters to ride and would like to get more families involved. With that said, children and their accompanying adults should be aware that this is an off-road event with some steep climbs and kids should have had some experience of off-road riding before they embark on the course. With the right clothing, equipment and encouragement, we’re sure all riders will relish the challenge!
Safety at SPAM Biking events is a primary concern. There are lots of marshals out on the course and professional medics on standby at the start/finish area (helmets are compulsory).
On site catering offering hot and cold drinks and food will be on site from 8am, and volunteers from Dorothy House (local hospice) will be tempting all with a delicious spread of cakes at the finish line with proceeds supporting their cause.
Bertie Maffoons Bike shop will be on site with spares and kit for any last minute fettling or an extra layer of clothing if required. The Erlestoke base provides plenty of hard-standing parking and toilets are available on site. We recommend spare warm dry clothing for after the event.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to local charities. In previous years we have given to Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Help For Heroes, a number of local schools and pre-schools, Salisbury Hospital and The Lion’s Club to name but a few.