Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report: Sunday 1 November

Posted by DaveC | November 1, 2009 | 3 comments so far

With some of the core Moles digging their own hills in the Bordon Enduro it was left the few to ride in the rain.

Winter is here.

Waking at 8am my first thoughts included a realisation that my alarm had not gone off, followed by the serious option of staying in bed motivated by the sound of the rain on the window. Having wimped out recently and also not feeling on top form for the past three weeks I was determined to get out and ride in true hardcore Mole style.

Base layer and Goretex shell seemed to work as well as anything would and I arrived at car park to see the shoulders of James and Iain drop as they realised they couldn’t get back in their cars and go home. Soon we were joined, unexpectedly, by Mark and the set was now complete.

We agreed that short and sweet was the ideal ride for today so we headed off to the Saw Mill and looped left round the top of the hill before climbing up to Norbury House and down past the Phone Mast and sketchy right turn to take the trail back to Crabtree Lane before climbing up Box Hill. Leaves were the order of the day, wet leaves, very, very wet leaves. Oh, and wet chalk and roots.

I opted for the Juniper Bottom climb rather than the front face to give us some shelter and maybe a little more grip. I always find it a killer climb as it steepens towards the top. Interestingly there was an obvious river bed where a lot of water had flowed down the day before, pushing the leaves into two banks. Even more interesting was the site of a mini wave heading towards me where todays water had obviously breached some blockage. It was probably pushed by a good 4-6 inches of water.

A quick fuel stop at Box Hill (thanks Iain) was followed by the Juniper Bottom climb in reverse as a bit of a reward. Mr Crud deserves another mention here as the much ridiculed Fast Fender is proving to be an excellent addition to my bike. I still think that the SKS Shockblade offers a better all round front end solution though. Given that the whole blade moves with the front wheel, I could feel water spray onto my shoes and ankles as I turned the wheel on the descent.

A quick blast back over Norbury and we arrived back at the car park for an early bath and glow of smug satisfaction and superiority over those who opted for their beds!

Filed under Rides in November 2009


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 3 comments on ‘Ride Report: Sunday 1 November’

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  1. James says:

    It must be me, this was my third ride with the moles and the second of which I have been drenched! Still had a lot of fun and at least I am running discs rather than the vs on the old bike which helped me stop. Should have fitted the rear crud guard although at least I chucked the front one on. Everything is now drying out now! I did notive that water has entered the display that shows which gear you are in on the shifters. Is that normal?? Thanks to Iain for the flapjack and hot chocolate and Dave and Mark for their navigation. Can’t wait for the next ride….

  2. Dave says:

    Hi James,

    Yes, quite normal!

  3. Matt says:

    Haha! That was a sodding wet day! mind you, when you say:

    glow of smug satisfaction and superiority over those who opted for their beds!

    I’d have to say 8 Moles out in total on one of the worst riding days in a couple of years is pretty good going!

    Fair play to anyone who rode this morning.

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