Salisbury Plain and the lost village of Imber by Bike
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This is a cross country trail ride on Salisbury plain, one of the largest wild places in southern UK. The Plain includes areas of special scientific interest and many square miles of open countryside with a variety of habitats and wildlife including the only colony of Great Bustards in the UK. The Plain and village of Imber remains in use for army training purposes but the principle roads are open to the public a few days each year. On this particular day there's also a fleet of vintage Routemaster buses providing scenic rides; very out of place from their original city roads, but adding some interest to those who like old buses!
Our route on two wheels will enable us to sample different aspects of the plain, including the lost village of Imber with it's rather special church, locked in time. From the wide open slightly desolate landscape, views open up off the escarpment to surrounding lands, and the famous Westbury Whitehorse. The route is over all terrains from tarmac through gravel, and grass land. Short stretches of road riding are also required.
We will stop for lunch and rest breaks and also for bigger refreshments a mile or two before the end, probably at a place that's a cafe, farm shop and pub. We will sometimes go at a reasonably fast pace but also wait for slower riders to catch up. This ride won't be an endurance test (unless you have not ridden for a long time) but it does undulates a bit with one or two more significant hills, notably at the start as we climb onto the plain. There will be an important safety briefing which you must adhere to, in particular staying on route and not trespassing on the MOD land which can be highly dangerous.
What to bring
IMPORTANT - PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE ALL THE FOLLOWING:
Bike: a mountain bike or hybrid with strong tyres (no road bikes), and gears that work. Please service your bike before coming. Breakdowns will upset the day's plans and we may be in a remote place at the time.
Helmet: OutdoorLads policy requires you to wear one
Clothing: lightweight and layered, shorts are great even in rain as they allow free movement of your legs. Avoid jeans, which are uncomfortable when wet, and baggy tracksuit bottoms, which can snag in the chain. Colourful and/or reflective clothing will make you more visible to other road users
Footwear: grippy soles if your bike has standard pedals
Gloves: cycle gloves help avoid blisters, and make a huge difference should you take a tumble
Punctures: spare inner tube, bike tyre pump and tyre levers
Tools: any special tools that your bike needs
Small snacks: such as chocolate or energy bars
Plenty of water: in bottle/s on your bike or in a daysack/bladder
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Eye protection: # important - it may be dusty# avoid getting grit or insects in your eyes; sunglasses are OK if they are not made of glass and not too shaded
Sun cream: take care, even on overcast days
Storage: small day-sack or a bag on your bike
Food & drink
You'll need lots of water, a packed lunch and energy snacks. These can all be obtained nearby the start but once we leave there won't be anywhere at all to pick up provisions.