Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Saturday 6 November – Recipe in progress

Posted by Paul901 | November 7, 2010 | 8 comments so far

I have a personal philosophy about Saturdays which I take seriously. Zero stress.

I have stood in shops many times with apologetic staff over some problem or other and I always diffuse it saying there’s more than enough in working life during the week, don’t worry, take your time etc. Today tested it severely.

A mate phoned me about 9am just as I was finishing my prep and waiting for Chris’ arrival at mine for coffees (and the coffee was something special today, more later). My mate joked about the Oxshott bridge closure and it dawned on me, Chris would be driving that way to find he couldn’t get through. I called him and left messages then something else dawned on me. He had his mobile stolen a couple of days before and may not have my numbers in the new one.

I called StevenD so at least one gathering rider knew, said I owed it to Chris to wait for him then hoped for the best. At 10am and at that point of leaving for Bocketts or not making my own ride Chris drove up. A relief and we got to Bocketts as quickly as we could conscious that riders would be waiting and getting cold.

On paper a fairly ordinary run to Newlands Corner and with Keith confirmed, any gaps in my knowledge would be nicely smoothed over, in fact it was good to see Dave at Bocketts as well so I could just turn the pedals, note the knowledge gaps for the future and be sociable out there.

Now the ‘recipe in progress’ heading is about the ride pace and tone and trying to cater for all. The idea is that it’s a less focused ride than the Sunday group for various reasons.

Firstly is fitness with riders who have to ride head-down on a Sunday and find it to be too much. Secondly for riders who perhaps are not out regularly. Then there are those nursing injuries and recovering. Lastly is that some want to take in the scenery as a distinctly sociable ride rather than a slower paced fitness pursuit. I’m not sure we got that right this week and it is possible that Saturday will see enough traffic for separate groups to head off.

Alternatively it might be that after the mandatory cake/pie stop some riders can return at a nice fat-burn pace and others at a gentle meander. I sensed that the back and front of the ride probably felt a compromise so it’s worth thinking about.

At Bocketts, I counted DaveC, Keith, me, Chris, StevenD, Lloyd, Trevor and Andy, making 8 riders in total . We set off along the Admirals Track toward Polesdon and a familiar voice greeted us by riding up behind us. JohnR had deliberately timed his ‘Dawn Raid’ ride and route to catch us setting off and worked his way through us chatting with familiar faces before heading off home. Incredibly sociable, brilliant John!

We gathered at the top of the tarmac run to Yew Trees, down it and up the other side and regrouped at Ranmore, had a fairly straightforward run along Badger Run and Collarbone to White Down and then warned riders about the chalky descent to follow. Since Wednesday night though and despite much rain Friday night, it was dry and I found it surprisingly easy.

Down past the farm most of us went oblivious that Chris had punctured at the foot of Whitedown and as we waited past the singletrack and over the road at the Abinger Roughs waiting-point it took us a while to realise this. We rode back, re-grouped, Keith and Dave had got Chris going again and we headed off. Dave took us on the route which neatly brought us down to the A25 at Abinger and then over to the South side and along the Shere trail, past Pretzel Alley and along the Greensand Way.

The final hard climb up to Newlands felt tough but I now enjoy this climb and hope to get gradually stronger on it over time. I think the re-fuelling was widely welcomed and my hunch that an egg bap would arrive quicker than bacon and egg proved correct. The ride felt like it could have been 3 hours but in fact was only a couple, time can be deceptive.

We took a conventional North Downs route back, Dave leading from the front, Keith peeled off towards Effingham and back at Ranmore, Chris and I rode leisurely back and bid farewell to the others. About 4 hours in total, felt about right for the blueprint.

For me personally, today saw an indifferent attitude to the puddles and mud. This was no small feat for me, I don’t do outdoor hiking, camping, the great outdoors etc. I am known for my creature comforts. I was filthy, the bike was filthy but from early in the ride I put my mischievous whinging away and said to myself that it could be worse, I could be trying to walk or run through it. It seemed to work!

I hope others enjoyed the ride and I’m sure we’ll work out the right mix or split needed so that the ride works for anyone who makes it.

Postscript: I don’t read coffee forums and I can’t stand the pretentiousness of “god shots” and so on. I don’t make a bad coffee though and the Cuban Serrano greens I have in my collection have never roasted fabulously. I have experimented with a’ drying phase’ and also high heat approaching 1st crack then much lower to coast to 2nd. In short, this roast was pretty special.

Standing in Bocketts, Chris had a choice of us heading to my Mother’s to clean the bikes where I keep the pressure washer or heading off to mine for a coffee. The coffee won and double-shot cappuccinos were in order. I hope it took the mind off the trails nicely.

Filed under Rides in November 2010


About the author

Paul set foot (or pedal) on a trail for the first time in May 2010 with zero experience and zero skills awareness and a fear that his Whyte901 would be a very expensive whim. Whilst a convert to the trails he still rides 10 times as many miles on average on his beloved tarmac as a darksideaholic. Paul actually turned up to a Leith Hill evening ride and pulled a Viner road bike out of the car, waved, rode off and wasn't seen again until the pub later that evening.

He also confesses to having owned 3 coffee roasters, 2 expensive grinders, several elite coffee machines and a rotating stock of 10+ green bean coffee varieties at any one time. He spent 2 years developing a coffee grind reference table, has an RO water filter system for absurdly pure water, casually drops words like backflush, spritzing and Euro curve into a conversation, has compiled his own coffee roasting handbook based on 5 years of roasting and still denies obsession. Er, right.

There are 8 comments on ‘Ride report: Saturday 6 November – Recipe in progress’

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  1. John R says:

    As I headed down Alsatian with the Dawn Patrol I thought I may be in with a chance of seeing the 10am group start out, so I headed up from Bocketts Farm to the car park and spotted the tail end of the procession hitting the trail.

    It was a great chance to say hello to some once familiar faces, and I look forward to being able to join you around the end of the month.

    Paul, you seem to be developing an obsession with coffee – I always think you can tell a lot about somebody by their personal photo and yours says it all!

  2. paul901 says:

    I’m not John honest, I’ll let you into a secret but shhhh.

    In the past 6 years I have owned 5 coffee machines and used countless other consumer and commercial machines. I started with a Gaggia, then a Pavoni (still have it), then a Brewtus II, then an Izzo Alex MKII before changing to the Izzo Alex Duetto which should outlast me. Same with grinders, I owned a blade grinder, then a Macap 4, now a Mazzer Mini Electornic.

    And roasters, I owned an iRoast, then a Hottop roaster, then a Gene Cafe roaster, I have used and observed commercial kit friends have too.

    And water, I installed my RO water system 2 years ago.

    And coffees, I have a grind table of 30 or 40 different coffees and how they grind (never seen anyone else do this, ever). Took me many months to slowly compile. I have at least 20kg of at least 10 varieties of greens at any one time and often much more, I have written articles and joined in many coffee equipment and taste tests. In other words, I was obsessed, I went through the whole journey and now it’s a dedicated but relaxed enjoyment. I can even be seen socially in $bucks although only drinking black tea!

    One or two tell-tale photos to be found here!/album.php?aid=2063680&id=1424880488

    I drink poor coffee if I have to and want the caffeine, I draw the line at the jar and the spoon. t’s a bit like a trail-only MTBer being made to ride on tarmac. No, the jar and spoon is worse, much much worse.

  3. StevenD says:

    And now hauling this thread back on topic…. I am partial to a Colombian blend by the way. A great ride on Saturday. I really enjoyed myself; it was good to meet some of you again, and others for a first time. The route is now in my Satmap and I recognised a lot of it from my last visit. Although that hill to the cafe is a real b*****d to get up the reward at the top sure helps. Bacon is good, Bacon & Egg is better but Egg only.. Nah, not for myself.

    Sorry if I went too fast (did I say that !!), just not used to being up front. I had to stay there in case it never happens again. But I felt good and know on (most) other days people will be waiting for me.

  4. kc says:

    Sure was good to be out with you guys again and feel the miles in my legs. I had the students back home with me this weekend hence the need to peal off and head back to Effingham.

    I upset a roadie on the way back after wafting down the Effing decent I caught him on the A246. Of course as he had been shamed by a muddy mtb he gave chase and caught me again after the Effingham Golf Club T lights. It was fun!

    Great ride. Thanks

  5. tony says:

    Talking of coffee machines. Completely OTT I have an un-used Rancillio Classe 8 3 group sitting in my garage. OK if you want to set up a Starbucks rival but not much good for anything else!

  6. paul901 says:

    A lot of coffee geeks look for used commercial machines on the assumption they are stepping up a class from most consumer machines. Of course they are but are usually unaware of the pitfalls. Multiple groupheads to maintain, sophisticated proprietary electronics expensive to replace, hard life already in their working life, often need higher amps than domestic supply, huuuuuge footprint for domestic kitchens, massive water boilers that need an hour or more to warm fully, absolutely must be plumbed in with in-line water filtration. There is a reason they are commercial machines as they are a bit like running a Maybach around town. It’s why the ‘prosumer’ machines market developed and the best now want of nothing.

    Sounds like good theatre though Tony if it were hooked up in the garage, Americans tend to do exactly that!

    I’ll be interested in the story when next on the trails if I can keep your wheel.

  7. bottleneck says:

    I had a great ride and saw some fabulous scenery. It was great to have such local knowledge, and also assistance when I had an unexpected flat. Keith – I owe you a tube!. A great bunch of guys and a great day out.

    As someone who has ridden just 3 times in well over a year, the group pace was too fast for me it’s true. I hope to get back to a faster pace, hopefully I still have the motivation for training I used to have in my youth.

    I wonder though, if there is perhaps a necessary place for a slow weekend ride – there will always be people recovering from injury, new to the hobby, or returning after a long hiatus. For new people wanting to join the club, a slow paced weekend ride would be a good way to assess the level of a would-be Wed/Sunday rider too. I think it’s good at many levels.

    Anyway, a great day out, a traditional cross country ride I will remember for weeks to come.

  8. Dandy says:

    Through the magic of the world-wide-web, we can always sort out a ‘newbie/recovery/jus’ chillin’ ride somewhere in the w/e.

    I hope to take advantage of one very soon, maybe not this Saturday, but possibly 20 Nov (I hope). Go easy on me!

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