Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report – 1st March – Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus

Posted by Dandy | March 3, 2015 | 5 comments so far

Secret Singletrack chain gang

Secret Singletrack chain gang

Eight of us made the St David’s Day ride, and they shall be identified only by their sick gangsta tags: Dandy, Muddy Dave, D-Dub, Jemster, James (who’s clearly not that sick), Lord On-One, RoadMole, and Southside Johnny.

Apologies for the late ride report, I’d like to say pressure of work prevented me from writing this up earlier, but I know what sort of ridicule I’d receive if I made that comment.

Having carried out extensive research earlier in the week, we’d determined that the Mickleham trails were holding up best in the damp conditions, so that’s where we headed. Climbing Crabtree Lane, and possibly due to my prompting, Southside Johnny led us into the ‘badger run’ in the ribbon-like copse that runs alongside the main bridle path. RoadMole elected to continue on the official right of way, only to receive abuse from a grumpy old dog walker who accused him and his fellow two-wheeled hooligans of churning up the tracks.

Somewhere around Mickleham

Somewhere around Mickleham

‘View to a kill / Bat Run’ wasn’t too slippery, but there was a delay at the end for a few of us as one of the log rolls claimed a victim. We avoided Ranmore completely, and headed down past The Stepping Stones to tackle the main Stane Street climb for the first time.

First time climbing Stane Street - still smiling

First time climbing Stane Street – still smiling

The Snail / Tactical Nuclear Penguin was next up, and again was running fairly well with no incidents, as far as I recall. The ‘Trim your bars’ climb was not easy, but the regular Sunday crossing of paths with Nick & Graham gave the perfect excuse for a pause and a chat, and a chance to regain our composure.

The triple-decker of Paranoid/Bat Cave/Tankslapper was next on the list. I wasn’t brave enough to tackle the gap jump, as the sticky conditions weren’t giving me the confidence that my run-up speed leading up to it was enough. I think the log rolls on this trail may have claimed the odd victim here, too.

Southside Johnny on Tankslapper

Southside Johnny on Tankslapper

Muddy Dave on Tankslapper

Muddy Dave on Tankslapper

All enjoyed Tankslapper, with Southside J tackling it for the first time. The second Stane Street climb was less well-received than the first, but climb it we did before heading across the Mickleham Gallops to Headley Heath and Ali’s Tea Wagon …

… which was shut. Some stayed to chat further with Nick & Graham, who’d just beaten us to the tea wagon, while the rest of us gave SS a go. This was great fun, with the bracken having died back and the loamy soil draining well.

Dandy leads the Secret Singletrack charge

Dandy leads the Secret Singletrack charge

The tea wagon opened shortly on our return, and the queue of hungry bikers duly depleted Ali’s stocks of cakes and bacon butties.

Happier with cake

Happier with cake

With pressing lunchtime commitments for some of us, it was a shorter than originally planned route back. Secret Singletrack, followed by Wizards Sleeve, this being a new trail for some of the group.

Southside Johnny led a few intrepid souls up to the Norbury Radio Mast, while half of us took the more leisurely route back to the saw mill. From here, any group cohesion totally fell apart, with some stopping to chat to more walkers, while those in a hurry headed directly home. A great ride, setting me up nicely for the four hour lunch to follow.

Filed under Rides in March 2015


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 5 comments on ‘Ride Report – 1st March – Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus’

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  1. Matt says:

    I have to say Dandy I’m getting really worried about you. I think you work too hard and should consider cutting back your hours.

    I very nearly joined you on Sunday morning but a last minute late night/headache (ahem) put paid to that. Shame, it was a cracking morning to be out and that’s the kind of route I would have gone for at this time of year.

    My fitness is returning so will soon be joining you on Sundays again…

  2. tony says:

    It was a typical D’Andy route. Not a moment of flat and nicely technical. Very enjoyable although the wait for the cake van to open was the worst part. Good job I had the rain jacket packed. Bloomin freezing at Hedley in the wind.

    In fact so tired was D’Andy by this ride he had to have Tuesday morning off. Top slacking… At least he managed to keep his wheels upright on Sunday ……………unlike Tuesday morning!

  3. J-R says:

    A great write up and a great ride – I really enjoyed my first run down Tankslapper and revisiting Wizzard’s Sleeve.

    There is a B&W pic of DC that you didn’t post:

    Come on Tony – we need more details of Tuesday’s events.

    • Dandy says:

      The infamous “LayDave in Red” pose … I though I’d spare the world that one, as these articles are often read during meal breaks, and I know how difficult it is to clean laptop keyboards.

      No major dramas yesterday, other than my semi-fat front tyre failing to keep me upright on V2AK … twice. Only pride was injured during these falls.

    • Tony says:

      Details – oh alright.

      Riding down to the start of V2AK with D’Andy following along the fence line after the house. I got to the start of V2AK, stopped, turned around to see D’Andy’s bike on the trail but where was D’Andy???

      A few moment later he emerges out of the brushes. Apparently his “front wheel just washed out”.

      He’s obviously just tired after the long work hours he’s been putting in.

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