Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report – 27/05/12 – Many Moles died

Posted by DaveC | May 27, 2012 | 14 comments so far

Dead bikes at Holmbury

The lead photo shows a group of dead bikes, shortly after their riders perished in the heat. It was hell out there, bring back the rain!

…yeah…OK, I’m joking!

Probably not the best day to chose to put in a big loop but hey, why the hell not. Mountain Mayhem beckons and it’s good to know that we can do close to the distance of four laps (if not the altitude gain) back to back.

12 Moles assembled at the earlier time of 8:00am, myself, Matt, Tony, JohnR, BigAl, Karl, MarkyMark, Steve, Ray, JonH, Jez, PaulM. Paul was on his first ride on a Niner Jet 9 and a very fine bike it looked. The plan I had was to head towards Newlands Corner, turn left at some point and take in Peaslake and head back to Newlands from there. A brief discussion with BigAl uncovered a desire to head to Holmbury and try to crack JonH’s Strava time on one of the sections of Telegraph. So, the plan was hatched.

We headed off to Polesden, headed down towards Hogdens Lane, maybe with some protest from Matt but it was quite quiet and he need not have worried, we climbed back up using Pampalona and on to Ranmore. We had a slight confusion as we lost JonH, BigAl and JR so Tony headed up Hogdens while the rest of us used Yew Trees.

From Ranmore we took in Badger Run, Collarbone and headed for the AZ complex where JonH lost half a point for hesitation and had to come back for another go. The rest of us took in the option and Matt headed down BT2 followed by a few others. The easier line of Numbskull lead to BT where Matt and I headed to the right and then diverged over the roots before meeting back at the road where Ray was waiting.

Moles at the Holmbury trig point

We made our way across Abinger Roughs before heading to Raikes Lane on the bridelway from Paddington Farm. There Al lead us into the car park and climbed up towards the start of Yoghurt Pots. Here MarkyMark, known for his weather features, agreed with me when I fed him his own line about it being drier then Ghandi’s sandal. (this was later confirmed when I took my helmet off at home and saw the dust line). Before taking in Yoghurt Pots we headed to the trig point where many riders died followed by their bikes (see opening photo). Actually it was a cracking day, beautiful views and summer like conditions.

I rattled off a personal best down Yoghurt Pots although I, allegedly,  held Matt up! Pretty much straight into Telegraph Row where I quite like the new, higher line, that appears to be forming after the tree stump dip. As I commented later, the line directly in front always works for me! So we headed towards BKB but I had another side wall cut on a Maxxis Crossmark which although I love the tyre dearly I think has put a nail in the coffin for me.

Tube in, we took in BKB which was running well although, and I haven’t actually checked, I suspect JohnR blew my time away again! Refueling commenced at the store and ended with the group splitting as Matt, Tony, Jez and JR headed back up under strict curfew.

A little more route planning with BigAl’s help and a desire from me to take in Eric as we headed to meet up with Pond Lane. Climbing up past the church we headed directly to the trig point and while MarkyMark dealt with his excitement in the bushes we commented again on the heat. Excitement dealt with, Eric was dusty and slidey but in good shape if getting a trifle worn in places, one of my better times as well. Up towards the windmill on the road we darted left and climbed past the corpse drop before hanging right and taking in the singletrack leading towards Clawhammer. Clawhanger hung in the balance as we forked left to take in Secret Santa before riding the river towards Pond Lane.

Pond Lane only has one dandy section in now so progress was swift and we were soon back on well ridden trails towards the back of Albury. Here the sand has started to dry out but I’ve ridden it in much worse conditions so it was still riding well. Stingers were starting to show their teeth though!

Hackhurst climb

The climb up to Newlands was bound to be hot but having complete the steep section and turning left the sun started to reflect off the chalk surface with a vengeance. The stop at the cafe was short but useful as we took on more fluids and I stretched! Heat was high and it wasn’t long before we decided to head for the trees and relative cool of the track back. We kept it simple, just two revolutions of the concrete bowl, and a steady pace along the B.O.A.T.. Reaching Ranmore again JonH chirped up that he fancied trying Dearly Beloved and so he and Al took off to do that while the rest of us, now starting to wilt, headed back down Yew Trees. I was now on my water bottle as I’d drained my 3l bladder and really starting to tire.

Not as tired as Karl apparently as he missed the left turn towards the two bridges and came back up to have another go. Back at the car park we said our thanks and goodbyes and headed home.

I could have called this post “three words” as by the time I put the bike way, got inside and three words was all I could coherently string together until I’d had a little rest and some scrambled egg. Cracking ride!

Filed under Rides in May 2012


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 14 comments on ‘Ride Report – 27/05/12 – Many Moles died’

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  1. Karl says:

    That picture is genius!

    Excellent ride… Superb..

  2. Big al says:

    Great ride as always , enjoyed a coupe of cool beers in the afternoon !!! The perfect day !

  3. Dandy says:

    I think I would deffo have died trying to cover all that in yesterday’s heat ! Sounds like I have a lot of base endurance training to get through before I join you again on one of these epics 🙁

  4. Markymark says:

    Great ride! Nice quirky sections courtesy of BigAl again over on Pitch. Indeed, drier and dustier than Ghandi’s flipflop.

    I felt like i was on holiday in Portugal or somewhere. Nice to scoop down Blind Terror on such confident grippy roots for a change.

  5. Matt says:

    Love that ‘bike graveyard’ pic that Tony took, hilarious.

    I’ve added a couple of extras pics courtesy of JohnR who continues to snap some excellent shots (thanks to everyone who captures our antics on film btw).

    Was nice to see the DoMTB crew at Holmbury too, another big ride group!

    Now, onto the serious business 😉

    I was definitely held up down the the majority of Yoghurt Pots as I’d caught Paul and Dave by the first bombhole – just one of those things, but I’ve never ridden the first turns so quick. Having said that JonH’s joint KOM of 1:15 is astonishing – kudos Jon!

    On Telegraph, I’m quite shocked to see my time on the bottom half is good enough for 4th of 312 riders, just 3 seconds behind Al and Jon. Particularly shocked as Karl seemed to just dance away from me for the majority of Telegraph today!

    On to Barries and I think it’s Tony’s turn to take a bow 🙂 I managed a decent PB today of 2:42 but I think Tony will tell you I could have knocked 10-12 seconds off that after I had to ask him to pull over!! He was the only one with the sensible hat on taking care past the trail builders… Was really flying today, was well happy with my time for the final section too.

    He (and John) got their own back as we returned home via the long climb up from Hackhurst Down. I set a time up there which is 6th overall, Tony 20 seconds ahead of me while John is over 30 seconds further up the trail from there. Awesome effort guys.

    And Tony disappeared on the long, extraordinarily fast descent down to Horsley which we sometimes do on a night ride. I was pedalling in the big ring for most of the way too!

    Great to enjoy a cracking ride with everyone.

    In the afternoon I was mostly… exhausted!!

  6. tony says:

    T’was a fab day out with the trails in fine condition and amazingly good weather. The pace was good too and my legs seem to be getting better recently.

    The ride back was a touch rapid. We had a blast down Rad lane following John (I must go and see The Jedi sometime!) who is quick downhill too these days. I even enjoyed the climb back to the north downs and finally of course the singletrack down to the A246. Where I was in 42×12 from the top to the bottom.

    The Grand Prix even kept me awake for most of the time.

  7. Lloyd Brown says:

    I did die on the bike on Sat. I did a 30 mile loop along similar lines, except I had no fun! I was hurting from about 10 miles and got steadily worse, I suspect I let myself get dehydrated. How I wished for the ability to be teleported home at the bottom of Whitedown as I contemplated the climb – the last 5 miles was a nightmare. I tried to MU but it was very much a case of man-down for me this weekend.
    I hope for better on Wednes night.

  8. MuddyJohn says:

    Thanks for the route leading on Holmbury, Al – a great route, as always. It was a shame to leave at 11am and miss out Pitch Hill but the ride back with Matt, Jez and Tony was at treat too, especially following Matt down through Fetcham Woods. And arriving at Weybridge 20mins ahead of my Mrs R gained me valuable extra “wife points”.

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