Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report – May the 4th be with you Leith

Posted by DaveC | May 5, 2014 | 13 comments so far

Anway, barring iffy Star Wars titles we had a fine and dandy ride, sans Dandy, over to Leith Hill in the sun. Well, fine, dandy with a few mechanicals….

JemWe had 10 riders turn up in total. Joining me was Nick who had travelled from Whitechapel to see what we had to offer, JamesS, Kev, JR, RichieRich, DaveW, Karl, Elliot and Jem. JR had mentioned a Leith Hill ride so with no stronger route we headed off without him as he breached his own lateness record (well that’s unlikely really he can be pretty late).

Admiral’s Track was full of water again but we mainly managed to avoid it by using the banks and were soon at the top of Ranmore….without JamesS. Kev went back and found him with an unfortunate “the valve core came out with the cap” incident. I later remedied this by stripping the tread of the plastic valve cap by over tightening. Thank heavens he hadn’t blinged his Trek with anodised caps! That was mechanical No1.

Prior to the fix we had the Landrover descent (Photoset on Flickr, link at end of post) and then we were soon over towards the Rookery climb. Here mechanical No2 reared it’s head as my SS dropped it’s chain. Not feeling like dealing with it there I trudged up to the top of the climb where I noticed a chainring bolt was missing.The chainring debacleHere I amazed the collection by opening my magical pouch of spares a pulling out a spare one! Then I realized how lose all the bolts were and how deformed the spider had become. After a few moments work and a bit of brute force I managed to install the missing bolt and get the others done up tightly. A quick adjustment of the dropouts and an even chain tension was achieved. I won’t live that one down quickly.

We climbs Wolverns Lane and took “Marky Mark’s” alternative route to the Tower which we by passed, much to Karl’s surprise and horror, and followed DW for a run through Windy Willows. This is an excellent complex of trails and includes some of my favourite sections on Leith Hill. It was a tad muddy but nothing too bad. Karl managed to get a little over enthusiastic at one point but no damage done! We then slogged back up to the Tower for tea.

Once refreshments had been enjoyed we followed the New Summer Lightening extention back home. I’m getting better at flowing the berms and overall I think it’s an OK trail, not great, in fact some of the sections are just dull and sanitised compared to what it has replaced but that’s progress, as they say. Mechanical No3 happened just before the Cricket pitch.

Kev exited without any drive and he clearly had a broken mech hanger. Quite badly broken and in three pieces there was no way that was going to get him home. Out came Dave’s magic box again and I decide that a Spearfish (pre-2014 model natch) might just get him home. So after a bit of faffy (as Matt is fond of saying) we got rolling again with strict instructions (which he ignored) to Kev to go easy on the gear change! Karl showed Nick the Deliverance detour and Nick soon followed while the rest of us tackled the roots.

From here it was relative plain sailing as we cruised the rest of Summer Lightening and onwards towards Low Med and Dearly Beloved for our route back home. One other meeting of note was the couple on the home made MTB Tandem. A Raleigh  front end with a Giant rear end to give rear suspension. 24″ wheels, phat tyres and 225mm rotors. It seemed to go OK!

About 25 miles in the end and a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Photo set

Filed under Rides in May 2014


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 13 comments on ‘Ride Report – May the 4th be with you Leith’

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  1. tony says:

    Nice photo of Jem in gravity mode hanging it out on Landrover’s roots! Jem – I hope that you gave the other guys motivational words of encouragement as you past them on the climbs.

  2. Lloyd Brown says:

    what was JR riding – the hinted at 29er?

  3. KevS says:

    All hail Dave’s magic thumb, no, box! 🙂
    We only had 3 mechanical incidents, there have been worse but I can’t remember when.
    Looks like my Solaris is needing new gear hanger & rear deraillure but amazingly Dave’s thinking out of the box repair got me all the way home from Leith despite me treating it badly! 🙂

    Nice route choice made for less mud and more fun and the noodly bits North West of the tower are always fun. No Moles were harmed in this adventure so all good!

  4. Karl says:

    Highly enjoyable ride with the sun shining through the trees and not too crazy muddy. Thanks Dave for swift ride report and pics, and JR pics.
    Really nice to ride out with the Moles + Jem, especially since he towed me up most of the last two hills..Thank you!! Love that bike.
    If I’m ever daft enough to do another long ride single speed again, I’ll certainly ensure that Jem is on the crew.
    I notice in the photos that he has the best riding position on the SL berms.
    Glad Dave sorted his tension so completely, and that Kev did not rip off any frame or wheel bits. Shame about the mech though.
    Nice route to the hill JR and nice noodly bits behind Leith thanks to DDub.
    Despite covering 25 miles and climbing 2707 feet, I didn’t even die.

    So that’s good.

  5. Elliot says:

    I’d almost be disappointed if there wasn’t a mechanical during a Mole ride. It’s all part of the amusement, or not if it’s your bike and you can’t fix it. Gives everyone a break. Actually, according to Strava I wasn’t moving for almost two hours of yesterday’s ride. What a doss!

    That Bosch powered machine is a beast. It must use a lot of energy just propelling itself, never mind the rider perched on top, judging from picking it up.

  6. Matt says:

    Well that was a great weekend for riding a bike! Shame I didn’t in fact ride at all, although glad to have avoided a mechanical-strewn ride if I’m honest.

    I’m not sure what my problem was, spent Saturday digging in the garden and mulching (very important to do in May!), then spent most of Sunday and Monday too tired to even sit and read a book. Guess it could have been from not drinking enough while in the garden all day and the effects of sunshine, or maybe I’m getting old. I certainly felt old!

    Onwards and upwards… good curry with the mole son Friday night btw.

  7. TonyC says:

    Hi, We are the couple on the home made Mtb Tandem!

    Apologies for getting in the way we were a little slower than usual! It’s harder work on a tandem and our energy was waning as we had cycled across from trails at Winterfold and Pitch Hill etc..

    Thanks to DaveC (I guess it was he) (and for the pic.) for the warning about the more gnarly section ahead; a few of the crests on the new trail had such sharp pinnacles at their peaks that we could easily have come to mischief due to the length of our bike; we tend to land on the timing chain! It appears that Tandem riders have not been taken into account during the trail building! ha! Ha! …. and I don’t understand why not?

    For anyone interested in the challenges of mtb tandem riding we put together a short video of our exploits over the weekend

  8. Andy says:

    I’m going to be on holiday down Dorset in June with my MTB, i know the Purbecks well, but any chance of getting the GPS files for your routes, if not even a map of the route would be appreciated.



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