Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Ride Report: Saturday 30 October – Let’s talk about mud

Posted by Cathie (aka Lost Lass) | November 1, 2010 | 9 comments so far

For those of you around in the 80’s you may remember a duo called Salt and Pepper who had a hit called “Let’s talk about sex” however this song played in my head “Let’s talk about mud baby” 😉

Saturday’s ride really was a fantastic ride, it started with our usual meet at the Bell carpark and a discussion about our attire, now the weather is cooler it is leading to more layers while we test what works without us getting too hot, one of us had taken to wearing our husband’s gear and received some friendly jibes and a new fun name of “fashion princess” (we later during this ride all found deserving names)

We decided on a route that we haven’t done for quite some time out over Headley, we were soon in for a muddy and slippery surprise, climbing Alsation was quite hard with the wet leaves and roots, at times pedaling and not actually getting very far but we made it to the top. From there we went past “life on mars” and just headed up past the golf course, and yup it was muddy!

From there right down the bridleway , across the road and through the woods to the junction that leads to Headley Heath, I there took the wrong turning leading to my nickname of “Lost Lass”.

We found each other and headed out on Headley heath up the sandy,stoney trail, that was hard work with the boulders, then we took a left turn, (where I will need Debbie to add detail to this post).

I do remember dark greasy mud that swallows your wheels but causes nothing but laughter. Then there is the lighter brown gritty mud which does spit at you but allows wheel movement. Dark greasy mud normally has suspicious puddles but lighter brown gritty mud has puddles you can cycle through. Dark greasy mud grabs your wheels and makes you feel like your wheel is going to fall off. Light brown gritty puddles make you dirty but allow you to cycle through.

I think there are 3 types of mud and 2 types of puddles, I was never a mud expert before 😉 So having climbed a hill of mud we reminded ourselves of “mud, mud glorious mud, nothing quite like it for cleaning the blood” 😉

Our gears and tyres were full but on we ploughed, using water from our bladder packs to clear the mud and allow us to continue.

There were some great assault courses too where you can choose greasy mud or try and stick to the sides with tyre grooves and choose tyre grooves or a barbed wire fence (I am really selling this ride aren’t I 😉 )

Up into Reigate we cycled up to the Oparium where the view was astounding and we took a group photo.

With just 1 hour to go before we would be home (according to Debbie, now know as Fibber Femole) we headed home through more mud, the 4 mudkateers; Fashion Princess, Tumble Totty, Lost Lass and Fibber Femole, wading our way through mud and puddles.

To think we could be at home doing house work or shopping for handbags “YAWN”

Bring on the mud, I haven’t laughed so much in ages, never has exercise been so much fun.

Cathie (aka Lost Lass)

About the author

Cathie was introduced to mountain biking by Dave about 9 years ago but only really been riding regularly since May 2008 when she invested in a new hard tail (a white On-One classic Inbred), a wise investment as a result of being able to trial different bikes at Cycle Works demo day at Holmbury-St-Mary. She also rides a full suspension Giant Cypher which was this year's treat and saw many miles during the summer of 2010.

Cathie has attended skills days with Dirt Divas at Swinley Forest, she would like to improve her skills on bomb holes and her favourite trails are the ride over to Newlands corner loving "Whitedown" and a favourite trail through Denbies.

Cathie loves meeting other female riders of all fitness levels and experience and is hoping for less punctures in 2011 now that both bikes are wearing tubeless tyres!

There are 9 comments on ‘Ride Report: Saturday 30 October – Let’s talk about mud’

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  1. stevend says:

    It has been muddy on a couple of trails over here in the Chilterns for awhile, but now it is almost everywhere (and that includes Swinley) During the summer you need to clean your bike from top to bottom maybe every two months, but I have had to after each of my last 4 rides.

    It always goes the same way, you start trying to stay dry and clean, then realise that it is a pointless exercise, accept it, and get very dirty. Then you have those anxious moments on the slippery stuff that is sitting on top of harder stuff and hoping you do not get stuck in the thick stuff.

    As a bonus though, the autumn colours and nature itself is quite magnificent at the moment. eg There is a trail through Fire Wood near Christmas Common; this wood, of beech trees, is so named as in the autumn it has a red carpet of leaves completely covering the woodland floor and it makes an amazing site.

    Yes it is all fun, I am glad to know that it is just not us boys who seem to enjoy themselves more once they are dirty.

    What have I learnt ?

    Getting very dirty is fun.

    I have now mastered a 15 minute clean of bike and drivetrain (using garden hose, warm soapy water+brush, and old rags) – note it really is quicker to clean your bike straightaway.

    How to work the washing machine, yes it is true.

    Steven

  2. Matt says:

    That sounds suspiciously like my route to work that I did three times last week. Very hard work.

    Yes, the dusty blasts of the summer are long past and those mud swamps will be there for months now. But it does give a great contrast.

    These are really the worst conditions as things are slippery on top of still firm ground which makes things unpredictable. Once the winter rains have cleared the top surface it actually becomes easier.

    The upside is the tree colour is stunning.

  3. tony says:

    With four of you out you out numbered the Sunday morning boys outing two to one!

    BTW was it Muddy?

    FibberMole (love it) came back covered and had to be hosed down before she was let in!

  4. Tumble Totty says:

    I too was hosed down – on the front lawn before passing as far as the side gate – so that wasn’t at all humiliating; and with the pressure washer I might add! On the bright side my bike was also cleaned for me! Fab ride.

  5. Fibber mole says:

    To add in the gaps from ‘Lost lass’ tale….. as the human GPS system of the femole team riders….

    We crossed over the road at Headley Heath, down to Walton on the Hill over the M25 bridge, making our way over to Walton Heath Golf course, taking great care to avoid the golfer balls towards The Sportsman in Mogador, back up towards the main car park, back up over the M25 up to the North Down’s Way to the folly at the view point. The a great fast descent, only momentarily loosing ‘lost lass’ to chatting to other MTBers. No fibs, the ascent back up the bridleway, being a soul destroying drain, and this is where we came to our final discussion on the many different types of mud… as we made our last splash around the back of Prudential and on the final lap back up to Headley. It was at the top of Pebblecomb Hill, I made the infamous statement that we should be back home within the hour! Come on guys… help me out here – it shouldn’t take long to get back from this point…. Unfortunately ‘Lost Lass and ‘Pink Princess’ got lost again, leaving ‘Tumble Totty’ & myself to have to back track on ourselves, adding extra time to our return. AND we lost ‘Lost Lass’ and ‘Tumble Totty’ at Headley Tea shop caravan …and no not to a pitstop! When we finally got back to the top of Alsatian Hill, I was so glad to be on a downhill rush…. as I doubt that I could have forced my legs up another hill.

    My Saturday afternoon was spent desperately trying to stay awake….as the whole fantastic ride did take it’s toll – but it was worth it. My ‘background’ tune by the end of the day was also a Salt & Pepper tune…. “ah push it….push it real good”

    What I’m looking forward too is the muddy photo additions to the tale… come on girls – upload!

  6. Jem says:

    Fashion Princess looked a mess when she got home.

    Come to think of it, what she was wearing she looked a mess before she left, apart from my cycling shorts of course.

    So Tumbling Totty has taken to mud and hose wrestling on the front lawn, HAVE YOU NO SHAME, what will your cat’s think?

  7. Lost Lass says:

    Hi Jem I think you are mistaking Tumble totty for lost lass, I don’t mind but the cats may get confused ;-0)

  8. Lost Lass says:

    Hi Fibber Femole, thank you for filling in the missing pieces 😉

    Dave dragged me out in the rain on Sunday for 2 and a bit hours, and I confess to a gentle 40 winks in the afternoon.

    I shall get the piccies uploaded asap!

  9. catherine says:

    sounds like a great ride, as i was reading it i was putting the names to faces but by the time i finished and read the comments iwas total confused i had c for lost lass. j for Fashion Princess. d for Fibber Femole. and r for Tumble Totty, please let me know how many i got right, see you all on sunday.

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