Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 28 April – Still Sunny

Posted by DaveC | April 28, 2013 | 16 comments so far

Earlier in the week the weekend had looked like it could be a washout with hailstones forecast at one stage. Luckily the forecast changed as we got nearer the weekend and the sun stayed.


Not only is Colin looking like a 1980’s Littlewoods catalogue model for cycle jackets (52 weeks at £2.88!) he was also very cross. CX that is. So this was a bit of a land mark ride for the Moles. Granted we’ve had some pretty rough bikes out but never one that crosses the lines of road and mud as much as a proper Whyte CX bike. Very nice it was too but we’ve had to ignore all Strava times set by Colin today.

Colin, Ray, Lloyd, James, Tony, John, Karl, Kev and myself were joined by a couple of new riders David and Lee. We all aimed to make the most of what we hoped were still reasonably dry trails. Granted the puddles on Admirals Track were still in place but fingers crossed for the rest of the ride. Kev had decreed, given his rank, that we would ride to Leith Hill via the Fisheries and it seemed OK to me.

Up to Ranmore by way of Tanners Hatch it soon became apparent that the early cool temperature was not staying as sleeves came of Gore Phantom jackets and we streched out. At the top we headed towards McPhearsons to take in a swift descent passing Wobbem and RobM from DotMB. Colin seemed undaunted by the steep descent although there was a distinct wiff of Avid mechanicals disc pads when I hit the bottom left hand turn.RayLeeFrom the railway we treked to Unum and turned right to corss the raod and pick up the bridleway. Road and place names elude me here and laziness prevents me from looking them up but it;s a nice will section that includes a long climb at the end past a farm. A certain Grand Mole appears to have KoM up there but obviously JR didn’t know about it!

KevRay was also on the lead/chasing group as I watched them disappear into the distance

RayFrom there as nice climb up to join Wolverns Lane allowed us to join much more familiar trailsDave_Karl_LeePassing Jess from Singletrack School I exchanged the usual pleasentries while Colin got a slow shake of the head and told “that’s just wrong”. We quickly made for the top of Leith Hill and we wated no time in heading for refreshments. It was looking good for a clear climb today but I span out on som roots and Karl veared off course putting an end ot our attempts. Some made it, many did not!

And so to the new cake shop. It’s bit mixed really. £2 seems to be the price of choice and the flapjack is suitable large and sticky so I was happy with that. The hot chcolate less so. Personally when I buy a drink I want a drink. Not half a cup of froth and that is very much what I felt I got. Also I like strong chocolate and I don’t think you ever going to get that with that amount of froth. So, 5/10 for me I’m afraid. John said the tea was very nice.

Personal Hygiene was nice and grippy and Tony and I headed in first. Thie we followed witha run through Moonbase/Chicken Wings netting me a PR much to my surprise. I did clear my nemesis only to take an “interesting” line a little firther on. Passing the cricket pitch I also cleared the “thumb nail ripper” section, much to my relief, without incident and even took in the easier descent of Deliverence with Karl showing us how the real thing should be done.

Colin was getting soft by the time we finished Waggledance and without Dandy’s “Big B@stard” pump on hand he had to make do with my Mountain Morph. By the start of Summer Lightning it was apparent his latex had punctured!

Coling fits a new tubeSome of the others pottled off while Tony and I stayed to help and then give SL a bit of a session. No PRs for me but a great section anyway. Our normal route back via Wolverns Lane, the Rookery descent and then up to Ranmore via Low Med. Golden Nugget was mentioned and we headed there next. I can’t say it was totally dry but obviously dry enought for me to pick up a PR and although I could claim Tony held me up in reality he left me at the end as I ran wide on one of the final turns. David executed a bit of dive on the final turn but nothing damaged other than his pride. In fairness to him he answered the accident with the well trodden path of many Moles. “How much is a better bike going to set me back?”

At home I ended up with just over 25 miles on the clock so I think the ride look must have been 23ish miles in generally sunny weather. Maybe, just maybe… I’m not going to tempt fate!

Filed under Rides in April 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 28 April – Still Sunny’

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  1. wobbem says:

    Never seen such a motley crew of miscreants pass by me in such manner.

    Nice to see you all though.

  2. Colin says:

    Big thanks to Kevlar for his take on the route to Leith, much better than other options. Also a real pleasure to get back out with the Moles and see the old and new faces again.

    Hopefully my next ride (on a proper/heavier bike) wont be so long coming……..

  3. Kevs2010 says:

    Super fast ride report Dave and nicely summarised.

    What a great morning to be out with dry trails and the sun on our backs with some new faces joining us.

    Wobbem, I was just saying to Tony as we rode past the car park on Ranmore road, whose that scruffy bloke, looks like Wobbem! 🙂

    Colin! Big kudos man, doing everything we did today on a crosser was impressive. How’s your back?

    Oh and where’s this Kevlar tag come from? 😉

  4. Dandy says:

    It seems I wasn’t far behind you guys up Tanners Hatch this morning. Having been on the lash yet again last night, I had a bit of a lie-in and met the Diary boys up at Ranmore for 0930.

    Managed to clear the Abba Zabba tree with a little more aplomb than last week, but avoided ‘Buster Gonad’ with the excuse that I was showing a couple of ‘early fallers’ the chicken runs to help them down withouf further incident 😉

  5. MuddyJohn says:

    Great ride and an interesting route from the Grand Mole. I’m loving being back out in the Surrey Hills after a few weeks off – and so nice to get such good weather.

  6. Matt says:

    [in a David Attenborough voice]

    What we have here, is the lesser-spotted Bean.

    He has evolved to be able to survive in all environments, be it road, off-road or a weird mix of the two.

    The outcome of this process remains unclear. After years of adaptation, he is no longer truly comfortable anywhere that includes a bike, as can been seen by his pensive, meerkat-like state of alertness, the lack of camouflage in his blue attire, and his bicycle themed socks (designed to attract females in a gaudy display of preening).

    It’s thought, in time, the lesser-spotted Bean will provide the model for future riding, by eschewing the 26 inch wheel altogether and by showing that a skinny, knobby 700c tyre does just fine in the Surrey Hills…

    [end of David Attenborough voice]

    That’s a great picture Colin, I first saw it on my phone and had to check it out on the PC to see it in it’s full glory. I knew I was going to miss something by not riding yesterday but didn’t anticipate that!

    Glad you had a good ride guys, I was just too exhausted after a few rides recently. I might be keeping up but it’s taking it’s toll until my fitness improves. Hope to be out on the road a couple more times this week to build that base.

  7. KevS says:

    Talking of a gaudy display of preening … whats that weird red rubber thing he is trying to stuff into his tyre?

  8. Colin says:

    Lol. Anyone else for such mirth, whilst the target is on my back ??!! Thank god i ditched the white gore phantom, or i really would be getting stick

  9. Karl says:

    Most enjoyable ride, and thanks for the swifto ride report Dave.

    Great fun being out in the sun, thanks for the bright route Kev.

    Only thing not ideal about the morning was getting told off by the Kiosk lady at the Tower.. I thought it might be quite a nice idea to be able to see the cakes before ordering one, and she treated me to lecture on how busy she was, and the cakes available were on the chalk board, and why didn’t I read what was available, and that there was a long queue..etc etc..!! I didn’t order a cake therefore, and additionally had to ask her to replace the tea bag in my cup please as it looked like hot water and milk..

    Not like me to be unsympathetic, but what daft behaviour.

    That’s a rant isn’t it?

    Anyway, Brill ride with nice people.
    David asked me about his MTB options on the way home, but has kept radio silence since rather ominously…

    V. good to do a bit of Gnarr too.. Gnarr, I’ve missed you.

  10. Tony says:

    Great day out for a ride. The Camber 29er seemed to be perfect for these conditions.

    I certainly enjoyed the social side of the riding and the challenge of riding trails again. Not going off piste on Golden Nuggets was the highlight of the day! The cup of tea in mug and the mystery unseen flapjack at the Tower a close second.

  11. ray k says:

    Thanks chaps for a
    Great ride I too had a tough training week and road mole’s little show of catching a couple of roadies up to Ranmore just turnred out nasty for me.leith tea stop was disapointing what away to treat new customers hopfully the lady was just having a bad day. Ì seem to instigate a few of them in the opposite sex!

  12. David says:

    Really enjoyed the ride, fantastic route. Thanks for all your encouragement and patience.

    Been on ebay, can’t find any good second hand lungs, heart nor hamstrings, so better shelve out on a real bike then I guess, rather than the “toy” one as Karl coined it.
    Already got Karl sending me the links, so Birthday round the corner.

    Definitely see you boys soon, can’t make it out weekly but will be there from time to time.

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