Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

A week of riding – 6 from 7

Posted by Matt | February 25, 2011 | 4 comments so far

This past week has been something of a milestone for me – quite literally really as I’ve managed for the first time to ride practically every day. It hasn’t been easy and has tried my wife’s patience to be sure, but somehow I’ve notched up road and off-road miles to the tune of 148.

Here’s a breakdown of my [rolling] week…


With my wife currently doing her PGCE, this was a rare chance to ride into work off-road. A careful slog, trying to keep my heart rate somewhere sensible (i.e. this side of 150 average) meant a longer ride time than usual but with the winter mud around that’s inevitable anyway.

28 miles racked up.


A busy morning for everyone meant I needed to get out and back by 10:00, so reluctantly I passed on the chance of a moles ride and headed out on the road bike. Leaving Bookham I found out the hard way that it’s essentially a 12 mile climb to Leith Hill but at least after that it’s downhill!

I really enjoyed spinning along at a brisk but not exhausting road pace and was back at 9:50 with 24 miles in the bag.


I don’t usually ride Mondays since the weekend gives me plenty of exercise but a friend has been badgering me for ages about coming out with his mates off-road.

The trails are awful at the moment, as you’ll have gathered but we still managed 18 miles, just about without mishap although it was marginal really!


The road moles were out tonight with Tony, Barrie, Keith and a below-par Paul901 setting a terrific pace for me to try and hang onto. Out to Cobham, to Ockham, to the Bell & Colvill garage at West Horsley, up and over the downs to Shere, onto Peaslake and Holmbury to finally get back onto the A25 in Dorking and then home.

A fast ride that had my legs burning and grateful I could tuck in behind Barrie and Tony as they chatted while spinning along up front at 22mph all the way back from Dorking. Ouch!

Another 32 miles on the clock though and plenty of smiles. It’s such a novelty to ride for 2 hours plus without really stopping.


A frog surprise tonight as we took to the hills on our regular Wednesday night ride, with D’Andy, Ray and Jez joining me for a hilarious mudfest of a bike ride. Really, it was fun! Just very muddy, but that comes with the territory with the moles doesn’t it?

That notched another 18 miles door to door for me.


Once more on the road bike, with the car being MOT’d (it passed!) and my wife needing a vehicle. I commuted to work and back again at a brisk but manageable pace.

Really by now my legs were feeling it but despite a lot of riding I didn’t feel especially tired and once on the bike found I was spinning along quite well. Just don’t ask me to walk up stairs.

To cap it all, just as I planned a nice chilled evening I was up all night with a sick child so I’m a bit zombie-like today after notching my final 28 miles of the week.

In all, 148 miles and while I can’t do that every week it was a great feeling to actually be using both road and mountain bikes for work and play.

I know a lot of people can ride like that in a day but most of the riding this week was quite intense and to string it all together day after day feels like something of an achievement. Recommended if you ever get the chance.


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 4 comments on ‘A week of riding – 6 from 7’

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  1. Tony says:

    Impressive Matt. As long as you don’t overcook it you’ll be getting super fit in no time.

    It must be the week for it. 4 rides out of 7 for me is above my average, although 2 rides in the Breacon Beacons was a high point.

  2. paul901 says:

    You’re going to be a blur in the distance Matt. I can’t really count the 20 on Tuesday in my case since I could hardly pedal. I cautiously ventured out today for a gentle 10 miles and felt like I am recovering but I suspect there are some who have ridden less this week.

    If you factor your off-road rides i.e. often said 2.5MTB:1 road mile then what would your distance work out at?

  3. stevend says:

    Well done Matt, I would consider c150 miles in a week a goal only to be attempted in the middle of Summer (though I managed 130 miles on a Spring holiday last year), but this week, with the weather we have had, and trails as bad as they could be ? You are maybe a little mad(?) but very impressive nonetheless. If we ever meet up I will not feel half as bad when I see you disappear into the distance.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks guys, I’m quite chuffed that I feel so good from a busy week.

    But Paul, I have to admit, even though in the past I’ve claimed an MTB mile is worth 2.5 times a road mile I’ve now changed my mind. For a start, on a road bike you ride about 2.5 times as far anyway!!

    Road riding is hard and *probably* those roadies are fitter than us mountain bikers. I take my hat off to those amongst who have ridden the road for years, I’ve been comprehensively dropped by you all on just about every ride so far!

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