did anyone do the Winter Challenge yesterday and what is the feedback ? over 800 people took part.
SPAM Winter Challenge
You mean the road race?
I did it.
3:52 to do the 50km. I was well fooked at the end.
Fastest for the 50km was 1:46. I assume he was on a cross bike.
For me it was a good way to kick start my 'get fit again' campaign. In no way was it a technical MTB challenge. Lots of hard pack or tarmac roads.
All the same it was well organised and I enjoyed my day out on a very chilly Salisbury plain.
The SPAM folks have a rally hard time of it. If they plan for a wet year, it freezes hard. If they plan for a dry/hard year, it rains! That's the Plain for you!
Top folks, though, them SPAM peeps!
The start was an interesting affair with 400+ riders doing 50k alone, i really wanted to get near the front! they said get behind the barrier to start so off i went like a good fella, only to realise that the start was out the main gates onto the road... so there must have been a good couple hundred riders infront, hehe oh well.
Also not sure when they actually started the timers but was a good mass rolling start then up a great big hill, cool! Due to the mass of riders (more than i'd ever ridden with at once) i didnt get to overtake anyone until over half way up. Luckily due to the amount of roads, lanes and tracks overtaking was fairly easy.
There were a few sketchy grass descents and the occasionally loose stoney track which caught a few people out.
Most of the grassy sections were semi frozen with the odd thawing slippy patch and a few steep grass climbs.
The singletrack finally turned up a few km from the end as a reward, short but sweet, some abergeaney rider cleared a path through as we dodged in and out of slower riders and hammered it to the finish line, i completed it in 2:30 which i'm well pleased with, winter/night riding has paid off!
Was a well organised mud free event (i finished totally clean) with plenty of tea and cake at the end.
The route was interesting enough for me, if you like riding bikes anywhere then you would probably enjoy it.
I enjoyed it to. I've rode this in all weather conditions through out the years & it's all good just to be riding. There were lots of photographers all round the course - but where are the photo's?
piccies on-here http://www.photo-it.com/spam/winterchallenge2009.htm
thanks for the pics link, but anyone care to explain why the original jpeg file costs Â£15!!!
Nice photo's - of me anyway!!
Good way to get moving after Christmas, I bimbled round on the SS with a friend. Got up all the climbs, which I was pleased with. Clearly a course designed to cope with wet weather, good atmosphere, but a little dull overall (I was spinning out a lot on the flat/slightly downhill stuff). The one singletrack section I kept getting stuck behind people, which was a bit annoying, but it shows that the event attracts a good cross section of people and encourages less experienced people out, as well as those who do a lot of events.
How would I improve it? Maybe a bit more variety earlier on, most of the challenge came in the last third of the 50K.
Had a slow run with 3.47 mainly due to total lack of fitness, think it would have been closer to 5hrs if it wasn't for the road sections! When it did finally thaw out a bit the mud stuck to tires like glue,nice. Lost 2 mates on the first hill climb out of the event but managed to catch one up just as morale was suffering - great start to 09, can only get better.
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