Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Easter Monday’s Birthday Biking

Posted by Dandy | April 25, 2011 | 13 comments so far

It was the Young Dandini’s 21st today (is he really only 10 years younger than me???), so we had a rare outing together on the trails for myself and the Bambini Dandinis. My long-time cycling buddy Stu came with us, and we were very pleasantly surprised to see Jem come over to join us, too.

Al attacks the trail

The BD’s are not regular mtb’ers, and at 90kg the Young Dandini is more suited to his preferred sport of American Football (go the Northumbrian Mustangs!). So I had some technical but not too gnarly trails in mind, taken at a reasonably leisurely pace.

Car Park No. 2 it was, and we left there shortly after 0930 on another beautiful and sunny Easter week-end day. We span our way up Pitch Hill to the quarry car park, then up the bridlepath to the Windmill. Two Headed Dog was avoided on technical grounds, as I was told in no uncertain terms by La Dandina to bring the BD’s back in one piece 🙁  We soon picked up a cheeky little trail, which started with a bit of a drop-in that caused some initial consternation, but was soon swiftly dispatched by the BD’s once Jem had shown them how to do it.

Jem drops

Some misreading of my Satmap then took me to the Judges Seat, rather than hitting a trail further to the West. Not wanting to set a bad example, I gave it a miss today (ahem) and we soon headed off for some other fine trails. Conditions were beautiful, with plenty of grippy drifting on offer when you hit the cambered corners just right. So that was twice on the entire ride for me then.

Stu in the woods

One switchback corner caused particular concern for the less experienced riders amongst us, before Jem again showed them the way. A close inspection of the photo shows that Jem may have required a cheeky dab to remain upright, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. It was this trail, and possibly this corner, that saw Master Dandini’s front wheel wash out and he slid gracefully down the dusty trail on his shoulder.

Chaos corner Jem shows how

We took the easy options of spinning up a few road climbs to regain height, though the bridlepath leading to Jelleys Hollow did for me and the BD’s today (though last time I cleaned it despite the cracking hangover from the Hook Beer Fest).

A few more trails saw Master Dandini follow his dad down a few little drops I was expecting him to avoid, again with Jem in close attendance. Must have been the perfect lines I chose that made it look so easy for him to follow! Despite setting up a photo shoot opportunity, I then bottled out of the second jump on that particular trail. One to return to on a quiet evening and session, I think.

Jem parts Ladies Legs

We headed back to Peaslake via Claw Hammer/Ladies Legs, then Ewok Village, before climbing up the road to descend back down to the car park via the major trail that leads down to the car park from the West (a major trail whose name I clearly don’t know). Just before this last descent, we bumped into D-Dub who was out for a potter and heading back to the same car park. In a fit of enthusiasm, Jem latched onto D-Dub’s rear wheel (always dangerous to get too close to D-Dub’s rear, imho). This proved the case for Jem too, as a clearly obnoxious emission temporarily stunned poor Jem, leading to quite a stack where the trails cross a path towards the bottom of the trail.

Will Al turn

All I could see from a distant third spot was Jem disapperaing over the crest, followed by a large cloud of dust billowing upwards. No major harm done, it would seem, and after a dusting down, Jem rolled down to the car park in one piece.

A great ride, and good to see Jem out and about, and nice to bump into D-Dub too. We covered about 17 miles of mainly technical downs, using fire-roads or lanes to regain the height, which according to my Satmap was about 1,000 metres worth!  The trails were in great condition, and was I glad I was leading for most of the ride. Even in third wheel it was getting pretty dusty.  So much so, that I needed not one but two pints of Shere Drop to wash the dust of the trails from my throat 😉

Filed under Rides in April 2011


About the author

Having been mountain biking since 1996, you might have expected Dandy to have learnt to ride a bike by now. Several broken bones in the last few years prove the maxim that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

In between hospital visits, Dandy rides a brace of much-blinged Pace RCs, the 'green themed' 405 and the silver & gold 506. His winter hack is the Moles' favourite, an On-One 456 hardtail, now converted to an Alfine hub He also dabbles in 'the dark arts', keeping 2 road bikes in one of his seven sheds.

There are 13 comments on ‘Easter Monday’s Birthday Biking’

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  1. Tony says:

    Andy a classic genetics discourse of nature vs nature here. Is it nature that your off-spring are, like there father, so aquainted with crashing? Or is it nature, in otherwords enviromental factors, that cause us ahem (Jem), to crash. Discuss…..

    • Dandy says:

      I can’t work out if I’m missing the obvious here, and that you are implying that as far as the Family Dandy are concerned it is simply in our nature to crash, and that nurture has no impact.
      Or did you simply misspell nurture on both occasions?
      Or are you implying that D-Dub is also genetically programmed to .. err.. do what he does?
      Or am I being thick? No, dont answer the last one 🙁

      • Tony says:

        The joys of fat fingers and trying to write a reply on an iphone with auto correct! Nurture, nurture and nurture.

        I’m sure that the influence of nuture should deter your children from crashing. All those trips to A&E to see dad? However nature/genetics seems to have taken over.

        The workings of D-dub’s gastrointestinal tract is beyond the understanding of biology!

  2. JohnR says:

    The trails really are great at the moment – as long as you can keep out of the dust cloud. Once I got back from Leeds on Monday I did a quick afternoon ride to Leith Hill also taking in TTW3 and Infestation.

    Eventually I will have to spoil this good weather for everybody by taking the Mud X’s off my Five – which could precipitate a prolonged summer wet spell.

  3. Jem says:

    Hi Dandy

    Good ride and some cheeky new trails to try out again. Thanks for leading the way.

    Really annoyed I came off so close to the end of the ride. I have ridden that trail a few times, but forgot how much of a drop that ramp leaves, just hit it way too fast. Not sure how high I went before the inevitable “SHERE DROP”!! My leg seized up once in the car and hurts quite a bit today. I think I have probably ripped my rear left thigh muscle. Also ache in quite a few places.
    Also need another skid lid. Two fractures inside, no wonder my neck is sore.

    Must have been those guys standing at the very point I came off, recipe for disaster!! Never mind, what a plonker!
    Thanks for sorting me and my bike out. Dave C kindly removed my bike from the car at home as it was painful standing. Great to get out and Happy 21st to your son.

  4. Tony says:

    I bet you (Jem) had some explaining to Jill when you got home? “So a quiet ride in the Surrey hills was it?”

  5. Jem says:

    Yep Tony,

    I got as much grief as you probably did from Debbie for not maintaining her bike and fitting her steed with your cast off wheels!!

  6. Tony says:

    Grief from Debbie surely not? It’s merely co-incidental that I’ve ordered her a pair of Stan’s crest on Superstar Evo switch hubs this week.

  7. DaveW says:

    It was good to see you and your nippers Dandy, along with Jem and Stu.

    I had headed out early to retrace our route of last week led by Al.

    I also snapped a chain (name for route ‘Al’s chainsnapper’?), rummaged for a powerlink, only to find that the one in my bag was the bent one I took off last time a chain broke – doh! Ride curtailment and a long walk / freewheel was avoided by some fiddly re-inserting of a chain pin, using the extremely compact chain tool on my multitool.

    Along the way I had the pleasure of meeting and riding with James and Carl, who also kept me company when I stopped for tea and cake and then branched off before getting to the loamy switchbacks.

    Once in WtF wood I took a different route to the bombholes, before retracing the rest of the route and finally catching up with a familiar white mudguard sporting a Welsh flag and the attached Pace 405 being ridden by Dandy’s boy.

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