Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Bridget Mole’s Diary

Posted by Mark | September 24, 2010 | 12 comments so far

With thanks to Helen Fielding…


Cigarettes – None
Alcohol – No units
Cycling – 25 minutes

As my commitment to some D2D training I had decided that I would try and ride 4 evenings this week, with a pattern of short ride, long ride, short ride, long ride. So brimming with eagerness I got ready and dragged my bike out of the shed. I was dismayed to find I had a flat front wheel, but decided that I would fix it and then get going. With my puncture sorted, I set off.

Imagine my joy 5 minutes later when the bloody front tyre went flat again. I walked back home and took the tyre back off. After finding the thorn that I obviously missed while checking the tyre first time round, I repaired puncture number 2. I then went to put the tube back in and pump it up. In doing so I noticed the sound of escaping air, and then discovered that the valve seating was split too! With my patience at an end I took the tube out, and threw it so hard I almost managed to get it onto the shed roof. I put in a new tube and then with my anger bubbling only just under the surface got on my bike and went for a 25 minute dash round the streets of Fetcham and Bookham.


Cigarettes – None
Alcohol – No units
Cycling – 1 hr 10 minutes

Better luck tonight. I got ready as soon as I got in from work, and went for a variation of the Norbury Park circuit I have been doing for the last few weeks. Up to Bocketts Far, along to the Sawmill, then round the Updown Wood circuit. Back past the Sawmill along the old Juniper Hall drive, then down through the woods to the Scrubs, and through the trees to the unmade section of Crabtree Lane and then along to the top of the Westhumble side of Crabtree.

Usually I turn right and head across the hillside and then up to the end of Wiggly Wood. Tonight I decided to try something different, so headed down Crabtree, intending to pick up the track that comes out in the top car park. It was as I rode down the hill I remembered where that track came out, so instead went half way down the hill to the long track that eventually comes out below the Radio Mast at Norbury House.

I must have had some sort of schism at that point, as I then rode straight up the track, past the Radio Mast until arriving at Norbury House. All I could hear at this point was my laboured breathing and the sound of blood pumping in my head!

After the climb I continued back up to the Sawmill, then down the bridle path, back to Bocketts car park. All in all a good blast round


Cigarettes – None
Alcohol – No units
Cycling – 45 minutes

I opted for a road ride tonight. I set out just after collecting Katie from Brownies, so this was an all lights on ride. The route was fairly uninspiring, but it served its purpose. From Fetcham through Leatherhead Town Centre, then round the back roads where I lived when I was a child, eventually coming back out on Epsom Road. I then went down Copthorne Road, and along Kingston Road past Tesco and B&Q.

I turned left after crossing over the M25, and then back down Oaklawn Road toward Leatherhead tip. After that it was back across Fetcham Splash (without catching any couples engaged in “adult” activities this time!) and back home.

This ride did give me a real sense of D2D preparation, as I wore the same cycling kit as I had on Tuesday evening. It was a none too subtle reminder of the joy of putting on stale, smelly and slightly damp cycling kit, just like at Thetford!


Cigarettes – None
Alcohol – No units
Cycling – 1 hr

I opted for another Norbury Park variation tonight. Initially this was the same as Tuesday, but instead of turning back to the Scrubs after passing the Sawmill, I carried on along the old drive, and picked up the track that eventually brings you out in the Crabtree Lane car park mentioned above. I then turned right and rode back up the road to the top, then up the unmade section until I came out at the corner of the large triangular field.

After that I opted for the easy route and road all the way down the bridle path, past Roaring House Farm, across the crossroads and all the way down to Bocketts Farm. After that I crossed Young Street, and then dropped down through the Thorneycroft estate, round the side of Leatherhead Leisure Centre and back home.

It’s been a busy week and I have really enjoyed my rides. I am hoping that they will stand me in good stead for Thetford, but feel that perhaps sleep deprivation training would be more appropriate!

Work commitments next week will probably mean my opportunities for riding are a bit more limited, but anything will be a bonus before next weekend.


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  1. paul901 says:

    How does one get to and across ‘Fetcham Splash’ as it was mentioned to me a while ago.

    Although if it’s the local dogging hangout I’ll give it a miss, I mean I wouldn’t want to embarrass any Moles caught there :-0

  2. Mark J says:


    Not sure if any of the Moles have ever been “caught out” at the Splash, but I happened accross a couple of “young lovers” there a while ago…

  3. Cathie says:

    Much dedication Mark, I too would have got quite cross with that flat tyre

  4. Dandy says:

    Disappointing alcohol consumption, Mark. Good job you’re too young for Port ‘n Stilton, otherwise we’d have to blackball you as being too much of a drinking lightweight.

    Well done for getting 4 rides in though. My week reads like this:

    Mon – 2 x 40mins commute; finish of half bottle of red wine left over from Sunday

    Tue – 28 mile road ride; no alcohol

    Wed – no cycling, 4 pints bitter

    Thu – no cycling, 1 pint bitter, 2 glasses white wine

    To pre-empt the usual crude comments, when I use the phrase ‘blackball’, I mean and not some dodgy initiation ceremony involving shoe polish.

  5. StevenD says:

    The trouble with you Dandy is that you are all Port and no Stilton.

    I agree with your sentiments, I find real ale a very good recovery drink but I much prefer a mature cheese with my red wine. By the way, what do you mean ‘left over’ ? LOL.

  6. paul901 says:

    Although Dandini has been known to redeem himself with a Kopi Luwak Macchiato and Ovaltini in the mix…

    By the way Dandini, I mentioned those Knogs I ordered, I have an Olive green one on the back of the off-road lid now!

  7. DaveW says:

    Agreed, no alcohol consumption over several days is appalling. I have been cutting down of recent evenings, but this amounts to (roughly):


    No cycling

    2 bottles of scrumpy and a v. large VAT


    3 miles station return trip

    Large bottle of belgian blonde beer


    3 miles station run

    17 miles offroad

    2 large glasses of port


    1 hot toddy.


    1 bottle shiraz

    Cheese consumption has been limited, but stilton consumed on 3 of the 5 days. Mature cheddar on 2 days. Brie on 2 days.

    Do I qualify for Team P&S next year? (Although I don’t intend to stay up beyond my bedtime, so maybe a Gorrick Race or two…)

  8. paul901 says:

    Christ DW, no wonder your gas is legendary!

    Qualify for next year? I think it’s the existing P&S boys who are going to have to re-apply…

  9. paul901 says:

    Mark J, thanks for the Fetcham Splash link, you’ve no idea just how useful that is.

    I used my ride yesterday as a testbed for many things. First time using Shimano gears after XT has replaced SRAM X9/X5 and did not want to familiarise on a Mole ride, checking the layers for crisp autumn mornings, riding to Bocketts instead of driving.

    From Oxshott the A244, bypass and then A24 up and over to the A246 Leatherhead bypass/climb is 6 miles and busy roads. Alternatively, Blundells Lane descent means cold then you have the Stoke-Fetchamn climbing and descending then Ridgeway climb, about 5 miles.

    I was able to take the A244 to the mini roundabout, Oaklawn Road over the M25 to Woodlands Road, Fetcham Splash opposite Springfield Drive then the climb up Ridgeway to Bocketts. No descents to make you cold and 4m which is friendlier as a pre-ride to the start point. I can see me doing this regularly unless winter gets the better of me.

  10. Dandy says:

    Impressed by DaveW working the port into his weekly routine at such a tender age. In a few years time we expect him to have developed the red-flushed features that characterise the P&S crew.

    Of course this is all down to the port, nothing to do with working our aged bodies to the limit hanging on to the wheels of the ‘less mature’ riders. Though by all accounts, Guaca was piling on the pressure at the end of yesterday’s ride. We don’t like to peak to soon, unlike the over-enthusiastic young ‘uns !

  11. Dandy says:

    I like that image, Paul. It’s got to be the subject for a T-shirt?

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