Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 13 December – Deliverance crash

Posted by Tony | December 13, 2009 | 21 comments so far

The sounds of man and his machine in perfect harmony gliding across gentle singletrack wasn’t what happened today, instead today it was the worst sort of man and machine noise that we heard.

Unusually this morning, as the Moles appeared in the Bockett’s Farm car park, it wasn’t raining. A ride without getting soaked certainly looked on the cards which makes quite a change to our recent rides.

I (lumi neo-retro Clockwork Orange) arrived just after 8:30am to find Dave there on his ScandAL On-one. After wondering for a few minutes whether we would be only riders Jez (Ti-nbred), John (Inbred) and Barry (retro throwback to a MTB time long forgotten) appeared. Barry’s bike is worth of a full description – a SS’ed steel Schwin of probably late 90’s vintage. 1.5inch tyres, 80mm SID (with no ano on the stantions and grease pumping out of the seals), V-brakes, bars the width a London courier would be happy with and bar ends. It was like having a MTB flashback. All that was missing was the 130mm stem. However everything was functional and that was the main thing.

After the usual …errr where should we go…we headed off in the direction of Leith Hill on the basis that it would probably be the best for well drained out trails. Heading out of the car park the Admirals trackway was pleasantly non-submerged for a change and we spun along chatting away. The sun even poked it’s head out a little. It was a fine morning to be out.

In quick time we headed past Polesdon Lacy, down Yew trees and up to Ranmore. We minced down Landrover (watch out for that first bend Matt), as everyone tried to keep the speed reasonable without locking up in the mud. Then over the railway line, through the bottom of Westcott and up the “improved” Rookeries.

The Rookeries is one of those climbs I’ve been riding for maybe 15 years and it was quite a shock to see what someone (Forestry Commision?) had done to it. Basically it’s been completely resurfaced with hardpack, making it completely smooth, no doubt at quite a cost. The steps are gone and so has the technical challenge until it, no doubt, erodes again. I’m not quite sure why it’s been resurfaced, for walkers? for horse riders? for MTBers? for safety? Well it was certainly getting eroded but I think it will now see people to ride down much quicker (not so safe?) and the big rainbar at the bottom of the slope will have some riders off since it’s out of keeping with the rest of slope.

At the top of the Rookeries it was up Wolverns lane through the singletrack at the side, past the fenced off Summer Lightning and through the bombholes to the base of the Tower. Overall it was a good effort to the Tower, I think Jez cleaned it, maybe John too? I tried the – off to the side route – and wheel spun. Barry found out how hard it is on a SS but made an impressive effort.

Up at the Tower there was time for a quick cake and tea but we weren’t lingering. The cold weather forecast for the rest of this week (although maybe not to metchecks programming fault for next weekend) seemed to be coming as the north wind picked up and made us hide in the Tower’s lee.

We headed off via Personal Hygiene and over to Deliverance. John was a bit behind us as we headed through the bombholes next to the cricket pitch. Jez, Barry and I bunched up together and Dave was slightly ahead, as we threaded our way through to the top of Deliverance. Once we got to the top of Deliverance, Dave had disappeared and we realised that he’d gone straight down as he told us he might when we were at the Tower.

As we almost got to the top we heard “the noise”. That unmistakeable sound of a crash. The metalic crunch of drivetrain on frame, bouncing bike and somebody oomphing. Once heard never forgotten.

Jez, Barry and I got to the top of Deliverance in time to see Dave lying on his back at the bottom of the slope, his bike about 10ft away. It was immediately obvious he’d taken a big fall. John arrived and Jez/John/Barry slid down the slope to check Dave out. I stayed at the top to make sure no-one else rode down til we sorted Dave out.

At the bottom of the slope it was soon apparent that Dave was in shock. White as a sheet, battered and bruised but thankfully not broken. The next issue was to get him up the slope and back home. He certainly wasn’t up to riding. Jem was the “Knight in Shining Transit” who came to our rescue (although maybe Dave isn’t exactly your average damsel in distress). John walked Dave out of the woods and we took the bikes, meeting up again at Coldharbour.

My ride was over as I waited for Jem. Dave was shaking, wearing all our spare clothing. Thankfully Jem arrived very promptly and the warm interior of a transit had probably never seemed so appealing before to Dave.

Over to Barry/John and Jez for Ride Report Part 2.

Deliverance had claimed another victim – after Mark’s previous “incident” (one of the other Moles). Hopefully Dave seems to have got away without too much in terms of injury but Deliverance now has even more respect for me. I don’t think I’ll be doing it in a hurry!

Filed under Rides in December 2009


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  1. Dave says:

    Mole Down! And the Mole is me.

    I think I’d been lucky up to this point. This was by far my biggest fall in the last 10 years. I think I rolled at least 3 times as I recall 3 seperate head bumps following by laying at the bottom of the slope thinking “I’m just oing to stay here for a while”. It’s a really funny feeling as “bloody draining out of my face” is exactly how it felt, following by sitting down with my head between my knees feeling it run back into my head. Also weird realising my vision had gone a little when Iw as at home but I put that down to tension constricting some blood vessels in my neck/head as as soon as I relxaed in a warm bath it snapped back into shape. I think I knew within 2m that I wasn’t coming out at the bottom totally intact. So it’s still fingers crossed that nothing is broken but I’m goign to see how I feel in the morning as I have full range of movement and a cold compress dulls whatever pain there is with certain stretches.

    Guess I won’t be doing that for a while again but I’ll probably follow Colin in his XC God route for a while…….hmmmmm ;o)

  2. James says:

    Sounds like it was a nasty fall mate. There is nothing like the feeling when you know you have lost it! Glad you and the bike are ok. Just sit back and enjoy the x factor final!

  3. Colin says:

    I can’t think of a worse punishment for an injury, poor chap.

    Dave, sorry to hear the curse of Deliverence has struck. Don’t worry, the red mist will soon take over the XC-only rhetoric and you’ll be nailing Deliverence one day again soon.

    Glad you’ve gotten away with it but expect you’ll be stiff in the morning. How’s that for teeing Lee up to comment !

  4. Matt says:

    Sounds like you were very lucky to walk (stagger?!) away from that one Dave. Deliverance is not a place to crash on at any time, let alone in the cold and wet of a winter’s day. Could have been very uncomfortable if you were unable to move and forced the lie there for any amount of time.

    That aside, there’s always the problem of wondering just where the hell is your bike going to end up as you fly through the air. Hopefully not on your head!

    Get well soon, guess you’ll have a headache for a day or two? Keep an eye on that obviously.

  5. Andy C says:

    What sort of a report is this? How’s the bike for lord’s sake? I was planning on test riding his ScandAl to see if it’s suitable for a build up with an Alfine hub into a winter hardtail. Can I borrow it over Christmas if you won’t be using it for a while?

    Seriously Dave, glad to hear that it does not sound too serious, and I hope you can still move most body parts without stiffening in the morning. Err, not that I’m trying to pry into your personal life, honest! (Though if you do have some home-made videos?)

    My hand should hopefully get the all-clear before Christmas, so if the ScandAl is available …

    I may defy (slightly) medical advice and join you guys next Sunday on the – wait for it – Pace.

  6. tony says:

    A big fall on Deliverance is certainly a terible thing, but at least the pain/fear/shaking is over quick…whereas X factor has been on for weeks and it was on for 2hours tonght. Aaaarh…

    Andy – you are all heart… the ScandAL was fine but the bars were irretrivably bent out of shape 🙂

    Sorry I’m going to miss the unveiling of the against medical advice Pace. Glad to see that you’re almost back.

  7. Dave says:

    An oversight well spotted Andy and it was an awful ride again! You are of course welcome to borrow the bike with bent bars any time you want. It would handle an Alfine as well as Tony’s bike and not rust either.

  8. James says:

    Glad to see the hand is getting better Andy, I should be riding on the Sunday so I will have to give the new-ish bike a clean! Decided on some sludge tubes as the last ride managed to pick up 3 punctures and finished off the rear pads!! Still spending money on the bike to the wifes disapproval. Well done to Joe for winning the X factor, I only watch it because the wife does!

  9. Mark says:


    Sounds very nasty. Glad to hear that you are still just about in one piece.

    At least the bike didn’t hit you in the back of the head on the way down. Only a complete goon would let that happen.

    Hang on a minute, that’s what happened to me!

    Take care mate

  10. Jez says:

    Well there’s not really much to add to the ride report. We had a uneventful blast down Wolverns after leaving Tony and Dave.

    Tony is right about the Rookery, you can go very fast if you want to down there now. John wanted to get a move on so we just made a direct way back with no further mishaps.

    Dave went really really white! Hopefully nothing more than the shock of such a big tumble. I was all set to do Deliverance for my first time but arrived at the top to see the worrying site of Dave at the bottom. Nothing like a heap of mountain biker to make you think again.

  11. Bazza says:

    Hi All

    Dave your entry in to strictly come sliding was unanimous and the impression of Casper at the bottom of deliverance was funny!….. Joking aside, glad you were ok and nothing too bad came of your tumble, you did give us a bit of a shock! for a few moments though.

    Tony thanks for the pretty accurate description of my retro Schwin, a trusty old Steed, which has been relegated to taking my little boy out with bike seat, however a one of reappearance in its SS mode, till my other bike is finished, with some gear kindly vultered from Colin. The size gear was good, but was annoyed I had to dab up to the tower, the tyres were great slicing through the mud!, the brakes (crap), very grabby with when you put a lot of pressure on the lever, headset very sticky and the forks were unbelievably bad, just a joke(talk about them being knackered), MM! There’s a point do you fancy given them a service on them for me….? The narrow bars feel much better than the wide sit right up position of my trek, it’s almost the same position as if an American patrol officer has stopped me and said hands on the hood punk (not that I would know what that feels like, but have seen it in the movies!..) but one thing is I do like the simplicity of the single speed and enjoyed it on Sunday. We ended up with a quick run back down Wolvens lane and a steady climb back over to Ranmore, courtesy of John, which was kind on our legs and then a quick blast back down Yew Trees and back to Bocketts, then spin the Mickey mouse gear I am on, via the road back home to Ashtead.

  12. Lee says:

    Tony, you need to stop messing around with this IVF stuff and we need to get promoting a much stronger, more instantaneous and naturally occuring form of Viagra – “Deliverence, one hit and it will leave you stiff for days” (or perhaps that should be stiff and in a daze!) – Colin – is that OK?

    Dave – massive respect for going stright over the top of Big D. Glad to read that you have been able to brush yourself down. Kind of ironic that the last time I saw you go down it you only had one functioning brake and cleared it with consumate ease. That’s MTBing I guess. You may have just set back my Deliverance courage levels by a full six months or so. No bad thing.

  13. tony says:

    Just as a quick update from Dave. He tells me that he appears to be OK but he’s sufferring from whiplash….not sure whether this was anything to do with the accident… not to pry into peoples personal lives…..

  14. Paul says:

    Wow, sorry to hear you wiped out yesterday Dave!

    I hear that drop takes its respect back from time to time. I’d say it’s certainly done that this time – ’cause you’re no rookie.

    Hope the recovery is as swift as your fall sounds 🙂

  15. DaveW says:

    Sorry to hear about the tumble Dave, but glad you and the bike are okay. Matt’s right, of all the places to fall, that’s got to be one of the worst.

    (Certainly not a good idea to ride down it when you are alone – like wot I did on Saturday…)

  16. Erick says:


    Glad to know you and the bike survived this one without too many scars…

    I was really looking forward to got out and ride on a dry-ish Sunday for a change, but after checking my brake pads before leaving home, I realised that I had less than 1mm left…

    I’m not sure about you guys, but these were brand new pads, and they literally lasted 1 ride (two weeks ago, when we were ridding under some substation rain I have to say). But still, just one ride?!?!?! I was using Formula one the rear and EBC on the front, so, almost 40 quid literally turned into dust…

    Superstars are definetely the way forward in the winter.


  17. Dave says:

    Hi Erick,

    Yes, currently I think Superstar are £24 for 4 sets or there abouts. So they might wear at the same rate in these conditions but our experience doesn’t show that to be the case and I am happier with the cost per ride!

    My shoulder is easing somewhat today but my neck is suffering a bit. Think I might bring a full susser out on Sunday if I’m fit enough!!

  18. Erick says:

    Yeah, if only they had pads in stock. Apparently Formula pads will only be available on January. I had to order some EBC ones, around 13 quid a pair.

    I have to say, the mudd is taking its toll on the Zesty. My bottom brocket feels quite stiff (doesn’t seem to turn freely as it’s supposed to), the headset has some sand in it (I can hear the cracking when I turn the handlebar) and I also had to bleed the diskbrakes (fluid was very dark).

    My mechanic skills are definetely improving though, I’m planning to strip the headset and bottom bracket to relube, happy to get some tips….


  19. Muddymoles says:

    Ride report: Wednesday 16 December – no show, no snow!

    A small group of us head out looking for snow but find frozen mud and sleet. Oh well, at least we were warm

  20. Muddymoles says:

    Looking back – 9 for 2009

    A look back at the highlights of Matt’s MTB’ing 2009 and a summary of his stats.

  21. Related: Ride report: Wednesday 16 December - no show, no snow! | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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