Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Some riding news

Posted by Matt | January 11, 2011 | 5 comments so far

After all the effort getting the website re-organised it will come as no surprise to many to hear that I’ve barely turned a wheel for the best part of three months. That’s quite a long time really and I wonder what’s the longest break others have had?

I could point to a number of reasons as well as the workload, including burnout, stress and an innocuous but persistent virus but the truth is sometimes something has to give. Looking back at past articles over the years I can see this as a recurring theme.

Of course the beauty of time off the bike means that getting back on it is all the sweeter. Last Sunday I managed my first miles of the new decade, on a road bike of all things. Around eleven gentle miles just to clear the lungs (still some work to do there) and get back in the flow.

I found that even easy miles still have an impact after illness. During the ride I could feel my muscles protesting somewhat at the workload (well, there’s gentle and there’s gentle isn’t there?) but I felt good when I got home. A couple of hours later though and I was feeling pretty tired again so my recovery is going to have to be a careful one or I’ll blow up.

My riding absence has also coincided with a writing absence which I’m also hoping to correct. It feels I have a lot to talk about, having just picked up some nice, white Stans Crest wheels on red Hope Pro 2 hubs which will be going onto the Orange. I’m quite excited by the instant 200g weight saving as well as the chance to use lighter non-UST tyres. Expect a review after I’ve got some miles in.

Also barely mentioned – and barely ridden thanks to the ice and snow – is my new Specialized Secteur Elite road bike. Many of us ride the blacktop, increasingly so I expect and this is my first proper road bike. It feels alien as I have no baseline. No idea where the grip is, what the bike can do or, more importantly how it will stop with those funny road brake things. Again, a few more miles and a bit of experience should yield a review.

Alongside all that there’s plenty of bike industry news to cover and components to review. It looks as though I’m going to be busy once again..!


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 5 comments on ‘Some riding news’

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  1. timbo says:

    Hi, If you now have a road bike then we tend to go out Sunday mornings at 7:30 from Kennel Lane. Our group are all starting to get back a little fitness from a few months off – so might be a good time to get out with us !


    • Matt says:

      Would love to join you Tim, thanks for the invite but Sundays clashes with our traditional Muddymoles ride.

      When I have some more familiarity with the dark side though I’ll get in touch as it would be great to mix things up a bit.

  2. OrangeRoo says:

    Hi Matt,

    You’re extended break has clearly been highly beneficial to the website as it is much easier to navigate and has brought it bang up to date – well done!!

    I too have only been with the Muddymoles in spirit recently such has been the pressure of work with travelling abroad and family life, Sadly, I have not been exactly a regular since my first Moles ride.

    In September a week after my annual cycle touring holiday to France my 2004 Giant OCR1 road bike was stolen from the station. Whilst this was a pain in the backside, I fortunately had taken DaveW’s advice and got M&S Contents insurance that provides new for old, and doesn’t require specific details of items less than £4k. So, after a week or so I was the proud owner of a Specialized Tricross Comp 2011 with the latest Shimano 105 groupset. It’s a bit odd looking with the cantilever brakes (good dirt clearance) but it’s a really versatile bike being good for the 22 mile road commute to work in the summer, great for taking the dog for a run on the towpaths around home AND great for my weeks cycle-touring loaded up with panniers. I have found I use it far more frequently than I did my OCR and it gives my Orange a bit of a rest.

    Talking of my Orange I ventured to Swinley with it on Sunday and had a great ride in the sun. I was really tired towards the end of the ride and initially put this down to my lack of MTB recently. On arriving home for the customary wash (me and the bike) I noticed that my front wheel was turning very easily. On further inspection a stuck piston was diagnosed and a new set of pads despatched to the calliper. It all spins nicely now, and could explain why I felt so tired after the ride – well that’s my excuse anyway!

    I hope to get out with the Moles again soon to show my allegiance to the Moles is not just in spirit.

  3. Dan Pullen says:

    Hello all and a Happy New Year to you!

    I’m loving the new site and it’s good to hear all the news.

    Dudes, I’m missing riding so much. After my trip to Afan in the snow at the end of November I had the inevitable ACL Knee Reconstruction Surgery I had mentioned, and have been riding nothing but the couch since early December. It’s been a really tough time. I suffered badly with pain and bruising afterwords and lost all strength and stability. But, due to working very hard in rehab (not the priory) and successful Physiotherapy, I’m now walking around again crutch free, driving again and, most excitingly of all, I did 10 miles on level 10 on the turbo last night which felt fantastic.

    It will be a few more weeks until I can risk getting on the Five, so I’m having Marc from Biketech give it a bit of tlc ready for spring. I’m looking forward to getting out there again and hooking up with you lot.

    Cheers and see you soon. Danny P

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