Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 3 March – Lament to the Box Hill Flap Jack

Posted by DaveC | March 3, 2013 | 16 comments so far

This is going to be a brief ride report followed by a heavy weight lament.Only 4 of us started out today, JamesS, his friend Carl, Andrew and myself. Various other Moles were otherwise engaged with Wiggle events, illness, travel or a combination of two of them.

Temperature was pretty low at the start and after discussing a few options and taking into account Carl needed to be back by 11am in Dorking I chose to do a local loop. This started with the familiar climb up to Ranmore via the twin bridges. From there we headed along Badger run and Collarbone where the winter mud was back with what is hopefully its death nell (we can hope!). A quick slide through Trouble in Paradise and we were soon taking in the chicken runs round Abba Zabba and BT 1 and 2 before giving Deerleap completa a good session. No Matt, I have no idea how I got that time either!

Low or High Med was soon ahead of us and we followed this with a course of ATTW3 (Westhumble etc.) which was in remarkable good condition and the Gyro certainly took it all in its stride. We parted from Carl at the A24 and the three of us…..ATTW3!!…..headed towards the bridleway to climb Box Hill. Well it never gets any easier.

Here we took on board some refreshments with me looking forward to a hearty piece of flapjack. Joining the queue everything seemed to be normal but as the cakes came into view I could see what appeared to be heat sealed flapjack with white chocolate drizzled on top. The rest of the cakes looked the same but I can say I tried any of them. Asking if there was any plain flapjack I was pointed to the aforementioned wrapped version. So hot chocolate and this it was.

Well, it might be a one off but if you need building material and the local supplier is out of Celcon blocks then this will do. Even dunking it in my hot chocolate didn’t help much. The portion size was also down in my opinion but this might have been as a result of broken teeth complaints, who knows. How far can a defining cake fall? A long way, especially with the density of this beast. On top of this the place has just lost it feel after their Olympic upgrades. For a start the roadies seem to have decided the benches are just bike rests, limited the seating to less than it used to be but really I’m just making excuses for my disappointment at the flapjack.

We left and headed past the top of China Pig onto the road and took a route along towards Headley and had a bash at SS. Before we made it to SS we bumped into Nick and Graham and someone else who Iw as introduced to (sorry!) who were trying to train to do the SDWIAD. I tried to cheer them along by saying it was the hardest thing Matt had done!

We soon made it to SS and I assume all the woodwork is to stop us but it could be to give tractionin the mud, that’s what I took it to be anyway. Same on LoM but that had more mud anyway. Also a lot of work seems to be happening round Cherkley Court now the Hotel (or whatever it is) have been given the go ahead. Our run down Alsatian was interrupted by two horses galloping up! Not a usual sight but we spotted them in plenty of time and pulled over.

Over the A24 and we saw Colin and crew. Unusually he seemed to have picked the wrong or right, depending on your point of view, bike from his collection and was on a 26″ MTB. Retro dude!

All in all I covered just over 20 miles and reminded myself how much local stuff there is! I won’t mention that stuff at the top of Box Hill again……


Filed under Rides in March 2013


About the author

Dave's been riding seriously since about 1997 and is one of the founding Molefathers — along with Matt and Mark — that came up with the idea of a MTB website for Mole Valley riders.

He's had several different bikes but it's now mainly 29ers in Dave's stable, apart from an Orange 5.

Current Bikes: Orange 5, Salsa Spearfish and Kona Big Unit

There are 16 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 3 March – Lament to the Box Hill Flap Jack’

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  1. Colin says:

    Dave, you have my sympathies re the NT cafe at Col de Box. In trying to become more ‘polished’ it has lost all charm and quality. I think the cakes are now sourced from Iceland!

    As for the roadies, just move the bikes, they’re all nancy boys anyway

  2. Andrew AKAK says:

    Good route for the conditions Dave, had 3 more galloping horses on my way home – its the ground conditions, just soft enough.

  3. Dandy says:

    Let’s hope the National Trust don’t do the same to Leith Hill tower. The treacle tart there today was epic. Just a shame they don’t do a decent coffee. We had a lady from the NT doing a survey, we marked it highly for everything, so let’s hope this helps maintain the status quo.

    We did suggest they install a shelter that can move around to the leeward side of the tower during winter and give some protection, preferably fitted with a heater and an espresso machine 🙂

  4. Matt says:

    The flapjack scandal now has me worried for the future of my beloved date slice! Yes, Mark’s comments do really date from 2006…

    Though not beloved enough to frequent Box Hill any more often than I do already, which – well put it this way, I haven’t seen the Olympic improvements yet!

  5. James says:

    Good to see you yesterday. We had a good ride too, over to the quarry and back.

  6. kevs2010 says:

    The only Flapjack scandal on the Wiggle Rough ride down at Amberley was the shocking statistic that I reckon I consumed my own body weight in flapjacks, fig rolls, and any other goodies at the feed stations! :-0

  7. MuddyJohn says:

    Kev was certainly very quick on the down hills right after the feed stations!

  8. OrangelessRoo says:

    I met D’Andy at Leith Hill Tower – two cakes again – it was cold! Authentic cake that.

    I’d started at Walking Bottom with Tom, Rob and Pablo, and got some heat up on a ride via Pytch Hill, Holmbury Hill and Leith Hill. Punctured on a quick descent but luckily out of the arctic breeze that seemed to hang around the Tower.

  9. paul901 says:

    I’m pretty sick and tired of poor and/or expensive cakes out there, drinks can be the same too, I rarely buy a coffee anywhere as you might imagine but I will say it’s okay when it is, knowing others are less fussy. I usually buy black tea or hot chocolate but sadly Col de Box serve up probably the worst hot chocolate I know. I always get them to put extra chocolate in and pretend it’s not anaemic but it doesn’t really help, it must be the brand.

    Anyway, it’s time for me to get the Whyte here, check it over and then head methinks for Ali’s cafe or Leith Hill Tower to blow some cobwebs away, likely to be a Saturday morning for me these days.

  10. Gordo says:

    I did a part of this ride in the opposite direction on Mon eve (trying not to say I did it backwards or in reverse in case it conjurs images of my pannier rack going before my front wheel..). Anyway, I got to Whitedown Lane and knew you took a short cut at the hairpin so I did the same. What followed was a few difficult minutes of pushing my heavily laden bike up cliffs. Whilst going up was tough, thank heavens I wasn’t going down! I am always impressed at the downhill skills of you gnarlmeisters.

  11. AJKiwi says:

    Well i cant comment on the flapjack scandel BUT did a 85km loop on Sunday with Darren and few of the locals over here up over a mountain pass taking in some stunning views but we did manage to stop off at a cafe near the end of the ride and whilst we didnt have any flapjacks we did manage to get fresh baked scone with cream and jam was delicious. Oh and by the way it was 38 degrees whilst riding perfect.

  12. tony says:

    You just don’t realise. You can’t just rest you carbon wheeled, electric shifting, £7K road bike up against anything you know! I’d probably ask a MTBer to clean their mud off the bench before I’d even consider resting my pristine bike up against it 🙂 Never mind sitting down on it and getting my Rapha/Assos dirty.

  13. paul901 says:

    I am guessing Mr Tony is one of those nancy boys that virtual rider Colin is talking about?…

  14. Colin says:

    Nah Paul, he’s a real man that one. And I’m no longer virtual, I’m real, I ride bikes again!

  15. Tony says:

    Well having ridden for hours in Dusk til Dawn or Mayhem mud baths and occasionally getting the mainly white pristine road kit out. I see it both ways. Still I can see the need to keep the object of desire road bike pristine.

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