Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Girlie Bike ride or walk? The tale of the missing compass…

Posted by Debbie | August 4, 2010 | 8 comments so far

It feels like a Sherlock Holmes mystery to be resolved.

The plan started late last week; Tony away for a few days, Alex at football club and yet another gorgeous week of weather. What should a girl do? In the past it would have involved a serious shop, a day lounging around or disappear off with other girlies for a day or two away…

A sign of maturity – get out on the bike!

Saturday, a lovely ‘short’ route with Cathie, Cath, Alice & Dave up and around Norbury Park routes. So Monday afternoon off I adventure, only gave myself 90 mins to blast around local paths. No problems and I feel great. Fast for me, no stopping and felt exhilarated.

Tony in Rome rings up… “How’s your day been?”

“Oh, Ok – just went out for a quick bike ride”…

”Oh!” went the conversation!

Today, left myself a 2 hour gap, and decided to try and join up a few routes that Tony’s been trying to tell me about – as the femoles know, my internal compass is usually sound – but not today.

My first problem was climbing up Alsatian, sort of forgot how long the trail went for, blasted too soon and felt a little icky by Cherkley Court. Oops! Then cycled up to the first ‘Tony direction’… ”Turn right immediately as you get to the golf rails”… found it no problems (now he tells me it’s called ‘Life on Mars’) this leads me to my next lost compass moment.

The route is uphill again and I’m sure its more fantastic in the opposite direction! However, out of saddle & push, first tree stump shows me my first walk over – wimped out of a bunny hop – so at my next I was determined to pop over en-bike. At least I can still do them (Alice and I were chatting on Saturday about bunny techniques… hops obviously).

Such a great trail, and I can’t believe we’ve not done this path before. Finally, I wiggle out of the single track onto Mickleham Downs and here I face my next compass dilemma.

I was aiming for Chainbreaker but took a left too soon and soon realised the nightmare of what faced me ahead. Don’t worry femoles, I’ll never make the same mistake again, what I faced I’ll call it “Suicidal drop off” [Tony – sounds like us MM should ride this ASAP!] route down to the car park!

Guys, I’m sure you have a proper name for it, but “Yikes”! Madly there were bike tracks down, but not mine – I slid down on my cleats and gladly wimped out. A fantastic push down Little Switzerland to the end.

Next dilemma, where to next? Up chalky Stane Street? Nope, I haven’t had my quota of downhills yet. So I scouted right, to be overtaken by a bunch of roadies all calling out “Hi!”.

Down past Burford Bridge, underpass and then my natural instincts took me right to Leatherhead – whatever was going on in my mind – it took a few minutes before I realised I had wanted to go a different way, brakes on, quick turn around and back up to Crabtree Lane and turning right at the path that contours Norbury park.

It was here I decided I would write up a blog, as a route definitely needs a rename. Sorry boys, but Jem’s favourite has got to be renamed to ‘femoles favourite’! We love zooming down this path. Determined to reset my compass again, I aimed back up past the big house, across the road and down the ‘Catherine’s … “even I didn’t use my brakes” path’ – femoles will know what I mean.

Zoomed up and around and past Infestation. My compass was back on full alert, I wanted a fun downhill not another Yikes moment, so on my last run downhill, to see one of nature’s finest, a deer jumps out and gallops over the path and into the woods. Finally past Brocketts Farm and home.

I feel exhilarated and the whole ride gave a better purpose to my day (should have been planning some work at the laptop today!), as well as a great windup for husband dear, who won’t be out on his bike until after the hols…

So my last dilemma is, what direction should my compass take me tomorrow?

Filed under Rides in August 2010


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  1. Dave says:

    Yes, I know where you mean but it doesn’t have a name. Haven’t ridden it for ages but the trick was “stay in the gully” from memory. It;s just steep and chalky where as Chainbreaker is at least twisty as well!

    Tomorrow try “Life on Mars” in reverse!

  2. Matt says:

    I know that Yikes descent and have been caught out exactly the same as you Debbie.

    One minute the trail seems quite boring and easy rolling, suddenly it’s straight down a chalky gulley with your bum on the back wheel if you’re lucky. I’ve walked it a few times myself.

    Yikes indeed!

  3. tony says:

    As is the way of trail naming. The one next to Chainbreaker is now “Yikes”.

    I used to regulary ride down this track with the Corridori rides. With 60mm forks and V-breaks is was always hairy, especially trying to stop for the road at the bottom.

  4. paul901 says:

    Is Yikes the one next to Chaibreaker through a gate. On my 2nd Mole (i.e. MTB) ride it looked like a vertical gulley that no-one in their right mind would want to go down (or up!)

  5. tony says:

    Hi Paul

    That’s the one. Yikes is a good name for it since it sort of lulls you into a false sense of being able to do it. Chainbreaker is much nicer.

    Debbie also modestly misses out telling all us men that when she rides chainbreaker she does the log step off too.

  6. Rob says:

    It is steep that trail and not one I ride as you lose height too quickly – far better to do Alpine or Chainbreaker.

    However, when I rode with a group from Redhill a few years back when I was a relative newbie, one of the riders was challenged to ride up it !

    I thought to myself “No way – that’s impossible!”

    Off he went with a run up from the road, one handed whilst tuggin’ on his JPS Special ! Up he went and got to the top. He rode down again with twice as much confidence with rim brakes and 80mm forks, fag lodged in between bar and brake lever reservoir, still burning. He made every trail we rode look so easy, on a bike that was far less capable than everyone elses ! I think it is fair to say that these types of riders are just “natural” and just ride, whatever.

  7. John R says:

    I remember doing that route with Jez, a long fast downhill then suddnely “yikes”.

    It was my second ride with the Moles, so I foolishly assumed if Jez could do it so easily, then I could do it too. My feet were not clipped in, so it was the first downhill I completed connected to the bike only at the handlebars.

    So, “Yikes” sounds a great name to me. Maybe one day I’ll try it again.

    Paul – yes, it’s the one we saw after we did chainbreaker.

  8. james pro says:

    Not done it before. Sounds fun.

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