Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

A few random thoughts

Posted by Matt | August 5, 2009 | 2 comments so far

It’s been a while since I last had a bit of a mutter on this website. What with regular ride reports and bits of news on various products etc. I haven’t really talked much about what I’ve been up to or are planning.

So what’s up? Well, first of all is a family holiday to the Yorkshire Dales, to Malham to be precise. I’m taking the Muirwoods of all things but there’s more to my madness than you might think. Taking an old skool steel framed hardtail to that part of the world is bad enough but with it running a carbon rigid fork and V-brakes it’s going to make things even more interesting.

To spice things, I have a basic, old and worn Conti Vert on the front but due to hub spacing problems in the wheels I acquired I’ve had to put a 1.9 Edge on the back. Hmmm, narrow rear tyre, rocks, big hills? Yes, I agree, but I haven’t got time to faff and the problem only became apparent when the Verts rubbed against the non-driveside chainstay – I normally have Fat Boy slicks on the bike so I never realised before.

The reason I’m taking the Muirwoods is to pull the tag-along, although not off-road, since the Muirwoods has gears and my Inbred does not. Oh how I wish I was taking the Inbred as there seems to be some decent riding to be had according to the neatly turned out MTB The Dales website. Given more time I would have liked to arrange to meet up with Brant to see the state of Ragley development but just can’t manage it this time which is a shame.

I’m going to have Mark with me on the holiday since we’re related by marriage. Most of the time we’re like those uncles in a Jane Austin story who sit in the background and let the women do the talking but we’ll be cutting out for at least a half day and I have a couple evening saunters in mind too. At least he’s taking his Inbred, even if the forks are shot.

So, some tough miles on a shonky tyred, V-braked, rigid forked hardtail. Well, it’s a niche I suppose. Incidentally, AndyC is also on his travels this week, riding Wales north to south, give or take, with his daughter. I wish him better luck than he’s had recently and it will be interesting to hear how he gets on and how he thinks he might replace that lovely E5.

On another tack, somehow a fair number of us Moles have managed to get drawn in to the Marin Dusk til Dawn in Thetford although we haven’t yet sorted out places. I’m hoping that’ll get sorted in my absence and we can then allocate places. We’ll have at least one team for our fitter riders just to see what’s possible, and giving Tony something to aim for, but have no plans to challenge for victory however laughable that statement sounds. We’re not pros.

Of course there’ll be a B-team and a lags team as well and we’ll see which one I end up in. It’s a sort of Goldilocks set-up with three teams of varying ability, fitness and skill. Having said that, everyone’s good at something so there’s doubtless a role for the professional drinkers over the course of the night. I’ll have to get my finger out and design some team shirts and logos.

So there you go for now. Some decent riding, a bit of competition and some team shirts and merchandise to look forward to. Looks as though I’l be busy… I also have some thoughts on a series of articles but will keep those to myself for the time being.

Filed under Lifestyle, Mutterings in August 2009


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 2 comments on ‘A few random thoughts’

We love to get comments from our readers - if you've spent a few moments to comment, thank-you.

  1. Dom says:


    I have e-mail you about the BHF ride I did, not sure if it got through.

    Did the 65miles in 6.5 hours of riding, out for about 7 with water/puncture and check point stops. We averaged 10.1miles per hour.

    Was good weather, last sunny Saturday we have had which meant I got through about 13 liters of water.

    I raised about £350 in all.

    Hope to see you lot out there soon.



  2. Andy C says:

    “So, some tough miles on a shonky tyred, V-braked, rigid forked hardtail”. Welcome to my world, again 🙁

    Cycling a great route on a crap bike is far better than a crap route on a great bike. Plus, you really appreciate disc brakes, suspension etc. when you finally get back to it.

    For this week-end’s Brechfa Enduro, my daughter and I have not decided yet who gets the “on loan” V-braked Stumpjumper and who gets the On-One 456. I’m pushing for the On-One, but Ellie is playing the “medical card” and claiming the width of the Spesh’s bars is hurting her shoulder. Doh!

Leave a comment…

Have your say – we'd love to hear what you think.

If you have something to add, just complete this comment form (we will not publish your email address).

*Required information.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.