Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 11 November – Remembrance ride

Posted by DaveC | November 11, 2012 | 10 comments so far

After having a virus for nearly 3 weeks I ventured out this Sunday to get the pedals turning again.

Remembrance Sunday at Peaslake

I met with KevS, BigAl, Lloyd, Elliot, Mike and JR. There was a plan to ride to Peaslake but via Pond Lane. All tracks we’d done before but not necessarily in that order! IN fact for the first hour or so it felt more like a Newlands Corner ride.

Anyway, with 4 Moles enjoying trails in North Wales there were 5 recovering Moles in the group today. This lessened the overall pace but I still found it a huge struggle as the longer hills ground down my depleted stamina. On the plus side we had a beautiful day as we headed down White Down in the Sun we encountered several photographers making the most of the slightly misty, low Sun light to add interesting affects to their photos.

We kept it simple and Elliot had the route in his head so we were just happy to spin the wheels. BigAl was spinning his new On-One Lurcher with On-One Rigid forks weighing in at around 21lbs for a 29er carbon single speed. By contrast Elliot was on his “steel is real” Singular Swift 29er which probably took the prize for prettiest bike but Al’s already had one of them!

Anyway, Pond Lane was it’s usual mix of difficult sand (doesn’t matter if it’s dry or wet) and newer dressed surface. This led onto the section into Winterfold that I call the “river bed” and anyone who has ridden it will know what I mean instantly. We climbed up and took in Ewoks, heading a little off piste before riding “John Webb” into Peaslake.

Here we realised we had about 20 mins before 11am and a congregation was gathering at the War Memorial. Managing to grab some refreshments before the village store closed we stood outside the Pub and observed the 2 minute silence with many other riders as well as locals. Quite a moving experience.

We made our way back to Ranmore the usual way via Abinger and up Low Med before riding down Dearly Beloved. All in all a great day with great riders, weather and tradition.

Filed under Rides in November 2012


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 10 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 11 November – Remembrance ride’

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  1. LordOnOne says:

    It’s a nice route for something slightly different and there’s room for picking different trails or tweaking out the wetter parts. Still getting used to the novelty of finishing a ride like that with dry feet.

    Thanks for the spin on the Lurcher Al! The lighter weight was very noticeable, with nothing too outrageous being used to hit 21lbs. Seemed like you were getting along fine but more than a few minutes would given me a beating. Still, there’s a lot of things I like about it and will certainly get something of this sort soon but need to finish other projects first.

    BTW Pedal&Spoke have posted about the new shop on their FB page.

  2. KevS2010 says:

    Great ride today with loads of different riding conditions thrown in to keep us focused.

    It was funny following the single speed rigid forked Moles and watching the the way their steeds responded to the changeable conditions.
    Kudos to Al and Elliott for staying on board on some of the more bone shaking downhills!

    The timing of our arrival at Peaslake stores was spot on and after being the last customers let in to the shop before doors closed for the Memorial ceremony was extremely fortunate.
    A Mole without his cake or cheese straws is unable to function, end of story.

    Being able to witness the Memorial ceremony somehow put things back into perspective and it was good to see the hundreds of people, bikers included, paying their respects in the right way. We are very lucky to be able to enjoy our freedom and ride in this part of the Surrey Hills.

    Riding back from Peaslake to Bocketts with the sun on our backs, dodging the many walkers out on Dearly Beloved and the Polesden Estate, made for some fun if slippy sideways action to end a great morning out.

  3. Colin says:

    Oh, I nearly made it my first moles ride for yonks and sounds like I would’ve been quite at home with the other ‘rigid’ moles out today on my Saxon Cross.

    The lure of a shorter ride and a large latte at Bike Beans was too strong tho.

    Maybe see you soon fellas

  4. Muddy John says:

    Really enjoyed my first full Moles ride since my break. The sun, brilliant blue sky and golden leaves made it a great morning to be out.

    And to go with the weather, Elliot’s route was a good ‘un too. I’d love to do it again in the dry – but surprisingly it was fun in the mud too.

    Just a shame that the Grand Mole accidentally turned onto Hole Hill in Wescot, missing out on the joys of a final climb up MacPhearson’s .

  5. Andrew says:

    Hi Moles
    Interesting to read that you have a number of riders “recovering”. I have had a year off the bike due to an all consuming course. I am now in the process of trying to build up my fitness and shed the excess pounds that have accumulated over the months off the bike. What are your tips? I am doing stints on an exercise bike and have heard from a number of riders that road riding is a good way to get fitness into your legs. Should I be tempted over to the dark side?

    • Dave says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I guess this is a question that lots of people ask over time. A lot of Moles have turned to the Dark Side but mainly owing to our appalling weather this year. Road riding is much more like a constant effort, endurance style of training, mountain biking is more like bursts or energy, interval training.

      My own effort has been to ride more and also mix it up with both types of cycling and also a little running. It was starting to show some signs of working before a virus knocked me out. The riders who do ride more (i.e. miles) are usually the riders at the front.

  6. Matt says:

    I managed to observe the 2 minute silence at Antur Stiniog as I was one of the few people in the cafe at the time and heard the beeps on the radio. I usually miss the time as I’m often doing something else, so it was good to have a quiet moment of reflection and odd to think you guys were doing the same 200 miles away.

    More info on our weekend coming soon, all very good fun.

    Don’t ask me about riding Antur Stiniog as alas I hadn’t booked the uplift, which is crucial. I was knackered by Llandegla and Penmachno the day before, which I thought would be the case, so had an intentional chilled out day!

    Wait and see what we thought of North Wales in November later this week.

    @Andrew yes road riding is a good option for building base fitness. I won’t make you trail ready but if you are coming back from a long illness it gives you a good chance to exercise at your own pace and for specific periods of time rather than mountain biking which is often all or nothing up the hills and resting on the downhills.

    If you have been out a while I’d take doctors advice if necessary and build up slowly, ready to hit the trails in the spring when they might be less slippery 😉 Then aim for shorter cross country rides to tune yourself into the mountain bike and the differing riding position.

    Sometimes it’s best to play the long game…

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