SPAM Winter Challenge 2013


Today I decided that I would do the SPAM Winter Challenge this Christmas (29th December to be precise). The SPAM Winter Challenge is a Mountain Bike Enduro run mostly on the hard pack, all weather trails of Salisbury Plain. As a descendant of the original Salisbury Plain Challenge, this is the original Winter MTB Event.

I did this event 2 years ago with only 6 months of mountain biking under my belt and I was far from fit. It was a tough, freezing cold and damp day out and I can’t honestly remember if I truly enjoyed it or not. Mountain biking was new to me and I had no idea what to expect. I opted in 2011 to do the 35km route and I finished well after some of my new mountain bike friends who had ridden the 50km route.

While I am not a super fit athlete or especially confident in my distance cycling abilities, I have no hesitation in signing up for the 50km event this year. Properly prepared for the weather with clothing, more confident riding abilities, fitter and more knowledgeable about nutrition and fuel for my body mean that I don’t fear the distance or the terrain, and I am looking forward to getting prepared over the next month or so.

SPAM winter challenge

If you live anywhere near Salisbury Plain and fancy a ride over the Christmas holidays this is a great event. There will be a few hundred riders, plenty of cake and tea and support for your spare tubes etc from Marlborough based LBS, Bertie Maffoons.

Edit – I forgot to mention that this went raises money for local charities such as Wiltshire Air Ambulance and also causes like Help For Heroes.

It takes place on Salisbury Plain and is one of the few events that is given permission to cross MOD land.

Learn more and preregister to enter at the website here –

Completed my Search for Dirt

I set out today to complete my 250k target for the Strava Dirt Search challenge for July.

For many this may not have been difficult especially the roadies out there, but with 2 kids and a full time job, finding the time to ride twice a week and averaging 30k+ each ride was hard work.

This would not have been possible if I hadn’t made a point of riding to work each Friday this month. Each of those days was worth about 40k and today I did around 60k.

My ride home was the bulk of this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I put the SPD pedals back on and that really helped the long up hills and to keep a rhythm the last 10k or so on the road.

I did find I was getting some pins and needles at times in the soles of my feet and my knees ache a little. The knees are just my body I believe but I will have to take a look at the pins and needles.

If anyone has a clue what that is, please comment below…