A very wet and muddy ride report.
I don’t know what it was like where you live this morning but here near Leatherhead it was tipping it down almost, as they say raining cats and dogs (I’ll get onto dogs later).
It was definitely the type of weather where just over a year ago I would have pulled back the curtains thought “yeuch” and headed back to my duvet, but that isn’t me anymore! It is much more fun seeing the surprise on people’s faces – me being a fair weather cyclist ‘n all that when I turn up and it’s raining, I can almost hear the tills at the bookies trembling 😉
We had a new rider driving over from South London today to meet us, yet another incentive for me not to wimp out to the weather – Rachel makes cakes for a living and I feel that we need to look after our nutrition for the rides 😉
We cycled up to Bockett’s Farm where we were due to meet at 10.30am with new rider Rachel had arrived and found Debbie so there were 4 of us ready. We decided to do our normal warm up route which is a handy climb, a fun windy stretch spitting us out onto a track which is a handy spot to then decide where to go next, it is about a 50 minute trail and has proven a good variance of terrain when taking new people out with us and getting a feel of what they may feel comfortable doing.
It was a very muddy climb up the first section which is then rewarded with a brief sharp down hill and then into “The Girl’s Favourite” which is the windy stretch, short up and downs, a few roots but nice and wide and lovely views of farmland along the Mickleham bends. Along this trail Debbie got a puncture and having had our bike maintenance lesson in the summer between us we managed to get the rear wheel off, damage identified and cleared and a new tube in and the wheel back on.
Rear wheel punctures are a pain because of the gears etc. and it wasn’t much fun in the rain and what normally takes the boys 5 seconds took us in all about 20 minutes with much faffing around but that said Debbie was all set to walk her bike to the road and get Tony to pick her up and we had only done 5 miles, we managed to sort it all ourselves and carry on another 12 miles and lots of fun. So that was a real achievement for us.
So still in the rain we cycled down a narrow bridleway and along the A24 and then up through the main track in Denbies Vineyard. Rachel doesn’t live in the area and the views up in the Vinyard are great so we thought we would show her that trail.
It was a good choice as she hadn’t been to the Vinyard before and the rain stopped and the sun came out a little to open up the whole view across Dorking and Box Hill. As we were cycling up through there a little black dog came bounding down the hill and appeared to be without an owner and didn’t have a collar on him. Another dog walker offered to keep an eye on him in the hope the owner turned up.
We continued cycling around the main track when very close to the end we came across a couple looking for a dog, we explained that he was further down the bottom, they told us they had only had the dog for a day and he wasn’t chipped yet. TBH that dog was so lucky the other dog owner took care of him he could’ve have wandered off anywhere in the woods – anyway enough of my soap box – we cycled back down to see if we could find the other dog walker who had decided to walk up that way, so we turned around again, the black dog spotted it’s new owners and bounded up to them.
Soap box time again – the owners put him on his lead and turned around to just walk off without no word of thanks or anything to the kind guy who had walked that way with his kids in tow, instead of going in the other direction where he had been headed Ggrrrrrr!
Anyway the owners did apologise to the guy and we left them. Out onto Ranmore a little bit of road and past a church where (forgive me for finding this funny) an old fella had parked his sports car on the muddy grass (and I mean really muddy) and they were all in best clothes blazers etc and he couldn’t get the car moving, so 3 finely dressed gentlemen went to the front of the car to try and push it backwards while the old fella accellarated. I didn’t see what happened next but I did picture lots of mud being sprayed everywhere!
Then we nipped back into the woods and down, down, down and more down, down, down over lots of roots through loads of mud followed by a steep up and past a mansion house Polesden Lacey. Then back along some very muddy trails to Bocketts Farm where we were all looking quite dirty indeed.
A good 3.5 hours by the time I cycled home and Dave was sooooo impressed that I went out in the rain he cleaned my bike for me RESULT!
I was pretty starving by the time I got home though! Rachel has promised to bring us cake next time she comes out with us – no boys allowed on that ride 😉