Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

29th August – Restless legs syndome

Posted by Tony | August 30, 2012 | 5 comments so far

“Restless leg syndrome is a disorder in which there is an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations. Causes, incidence, and risk factors; Restless leg syndrome (RLS) occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults.”

I don’t think that MTB is usually causative but it was tonight.

Deciding at 7:20pm that it had stopped raining and a Moles ride might be fun isn’t the best idea when Moles rides start at 7:30-7:45pm. I should have sent a mail to let the others know, then set a Strava section for the route up to Hylands Garage (judging by how fast I rode up) and not have been suprised to see the twinkling red LED’s of Lloyd, D’Andy, JohnH and Lee (remember him) disappearing along Up and Away.

Lee was keeping it simple on his Cotic Simple singlespeed and without waiting for stragglers (me!) they had left early (7:41 – damn early) with a route to Ranmore and Effingham in mind. After some pressing the pedals I caught them just before the start of the bridleways.

Well I was glad that we’d all made the effort since after some heavy rain during the day, it was a beautiful evening and quite warm out of the breeze. With a lovely harvest moon according to Lee (I don’t even think that he was referring to the Urban Profanisaurus this time).

Wiggly wood was slightly slippy, as I caught my breath at the back of the pack, then with a foretaste of things to come, the bridleway down to Chaplehill wood was narrowed with lots of nettles that were weighed down from the day’s rain. The first of many stings started to make the legs tingle. Lee and I saw Lloyd catch a big slide on the off camber right turn on the hill – nice riding.

We crossed Freehold Wood to Tanners hatch then up to Ranmore and thanks to Lloyds warning missing the dodgily placed log at the bottom of the bermed bank just as you drop into Connicut Lane.

The summer had definitely gone, as the trails showed the first signs of returning to deeper mud, particularly as we crossed Ranmore to Bagder run and Collarbone, then especially as we headed over to the top of White Down and round to Sheep Walk Lane.

At this point we headed over to one of those trails that we don’t ride very often but which is an excellent decsent. The trail under the bridges, across the excellently named Dick Focks Common. We don’t even have a name for this trail – very unusually for the Moles. Maybe Dick Focks down? Tonight it was a real challenge to ride quickly since it was very overgrown in places and you couldn’t pick any lines, see any rocks, or in my case with the dubious honor of going first, follow a rider in front. It was real hold on and hope stuff in places, or in Lloyd’s case, stop when you had gone too far off the track into the undergrowth. At least this time I came down with a chain remaining on my bike.

Regrouping at Honeysuckle Bottom we were a buzz with adrenalin and masses of nettle stings. We gently rode up to the saw mill and made variously terrible attempts to clean the impossible climb. I passed a walking Lee with me going at a glacial speed and sort of slowly rode into a tree, blocking JohH behind me. Anyway it was a nice walk to the top.

The drop to Coombe Lane seemed a bit trickier than normal – maybe the rain had washed some of the track away, but we all just about made the stop for the road and were intact as we headed over to Sheepleas. Here it was a bit of a memory test where to go, but we made it around and spun on the road to East Horsley, before dropping into Effingham.

As we got into Effingham we split up and I headed back on the road to Fetcham. Just over 17.6 miles on the GPS.

It wasn’t until I started washing the bike that I noticed how much I’d been stung. “an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations” indeed. After a long bath things weren’t improving and I certainly went to bed with Restless legs syndrome.

It seems that at the moment we sort of have the worst of both worlds on the trails. Mud and nettles. Still it was a great evening to be out with some fellow Moles.

Filed under Rides in August 2012


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  1. Matt says:

    I can beat even that Tony as my efforts on Tuesday night have seen a return of the virus I had a couple of weeks ago – with a head cold thrown in. Great. I have worries of D’Andy’s extended poor health from virus issues so had to back out of last night.

    Sounds like a missed a good ride sat in the pub with Darren talking websites instead!

    On the subject of restless legs, I often have this after a night ride or a prolonged spell of riding. Various causes apparently, possibly a reduction in salts due to sweat but I have found the best solution is to stretch the calf muscles – seems to make a big difference for me.

    Although I can’t actually be suffering from RLS if it only affects older and middle aged adults surely?!

    • Tony says:

      I did wonder who would be the first person to notice the “middle aged and older adults” reference.

      I’m sitting here at the desk trying not to rub my itching legs.

      Finally – after your speed up Box Hill are you looking for sympathy?

  2. Lloyd Brown says:

    Great evening out. A little muddy and squirilly in places but good for the bike skills and most important, no rain.
    D’Andy, Lee and I guided John to Downside through Bookham common, at which point it seemed rude not to stop at the Cricketers pub for a pint of Shere Drop.
    As for restless legs, that is the worst bout of nettle sting I have had post ride and had to take an antihistamine tab to try stop the stinging. Perhaps the nettles were particularly virulent along this route.

  3. Dandy says:

    Nonces, the lot of you ! Just do what I do after every ride, brush the mud off the legs with a stiff garden broom and slather them with Swarfega before hosing them down from the garden tap. The leap up the stairs and surprise … err, better stop there I think !

    It was a fine ride, especially following Tony and Lee down the nameless descent. But how come we always seem to end up in a pub on every Wed night ride that I join? Is there a linking factor here?

  4. Tony says:

    Softening in your old age D’Andy. I thought you use the wire brush to clean the legs off?

    Wow you got to the pub. I can’t believe that! On a ride with you too.

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