After sitting around with no cycling for 9 weeks, watching our glorious late summer pass by, I’m super pleased to be out on the bike. So with my first Sunday morning Moles ride since my fateful trip to Swinley coming up, I was somewhat less than delighted to open the curtains this Sunday morning to find it raining.
However I’m still so keen to be riding, a monsoon probably wouldn’t have put me off.
Arriving at the Bocketts Farm car park there was a reasonable turn out. Jem, AndyC (which bike is the Whyte replacement going to be? Put us out of our misery!), JohnR (another Inbred On-one joins the ranks), DaveW, Paul, Dave (on his new On-one ScandAL) and myself.
Paul looked like he’d killed himself to get up from Dorking in time. Leave yourself a little bit more time Paul! So with the usual chewing of the fat, dicussion of future races we’re doing—(!) more to follow on that—we set off.
I hadn’t really needed to worry about the rain. A quick ride up the Admirals trackway to Polesden, down Yew Trees and up to Ranmore and the rain had passed over, whilst the waterproofs were thankfully being stowed for the rest of the day, as AndyC correctly predicted would happen when he decided at the start of the ride to take his waterproof.
Just a quick side rant. We passed 3 MTBers going up to Ranmore. They looked fairly serious and like they were out for the day too. However one wasn’t wearing a helmet. I know it’s personal choice but after having previously waited for the emergency services for a guy with a fractured skull that made this choice, and with both Debbie and I having bust helmets in crashes in the last 3 months, I think it’s a very strange choice.
Back to the ride. It was the ride along Collarbone, then through the woods and past the fallen tree that Lee has cleared on my old 60mm travel SS. Maybe one day for the rest of us – but major respect Lee. Then along the singletrack to the top of White Down. We all gave Abba Zabba a swerve, but rode the Blind Terrors, with Dave showing us the way, although I did ride a couple of the chicken runs (Debbie I am being sensible, honest!). Then it was down to the bottom of the valley and the route that takes us round the south of Gomshall, Shere, across Albury Health, through Albury and up Water Lane to Newlands.
I’m not sure whether it was the conditions, everyone having a tyre puncture prevention strategy, or what, but apart from some walkers slowing us down momentarily this part of the ride flowed really nicely. The trails all seemed to be in good nick and the riding was very smooth.
Then it was the grind up Water Lane to Newlands Corner, with Jem showing us the way. I briefly thought that my fitness was coming back then blew up fairly spectacularly. A cup of tea was definitely required.
After a bit more chat, it was back along the North Downs Way, trying to see how many riders we could get riding around the concrete bowel at the top of Coombe Bottom at once. 5 or 6 I think. Then along North Downs Way, veering off to the Reservoir at White Down, and retracing our steps from earlier in the morning to the Bocketts car park.
It was a truly enjoyable ride I think. Good pace, distance, trails and eventually, weather too. What more could you ask for?