Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 13 June – Pump it

Posted by DaveC | June 14, 2010 | 22 comments so far

Seven Moles met at the Peaslake car park for some of the best of the Surrey trails.

Jem and I drove into the car park to find James with his mate, John, already there. DaveW soon rolled in with Tony and an uncharacteristically early Paul also arrived! John was sporting a Genesis Altitude 10, out for it’s second ride. As a roadie and a triathlete John felt he’d be able to keep up with us ;o)

DaveW set off taking us up a different trail to the one I expected. I’ve no idea what the trail name is but it started with a fast section of singletrack and then ended with a sharp descent. I found myself balanced in a track stand followed by a slow (and intentional!) turn to take what looked like a less extreme route and followed DaveW down the final section. Here us two Dave’s waited while the others stood and looked over the edge. Nice and technical, right up my street if on the limits of steepness.

John might well have been forgiven for backing out there and then but DaveW assured him that was the last of the extreme stuff and we headed off again. We were to hear that statement a few more times. The next trick was the roll in to the top car park and then the climb to the windmill to watch DaveW do the extremely steep roll in back down again.

Once finished we headed to Two Headed Dog when Tony showed John the chicken run, deciding half way down it wasn’t so much of a chicken run as a different kind of skill required. After that I get a bit sketchy but we did some really fast singletrack while heading over to the Switchbacks which wasn’t the bit I thought it was and I found it very hard having to dab once. The exit was a bit pro but James, not knowing we’d all walked it proceeded to ride straight through it! From there it was a push up to the road and we took a quick break to take on some energy.

I think we then took in Christmas Pudding and Ewoks but I might have got the order wrong before heading back to do the T trails. The T trails were in almost perfect condition, not too dusty and yet firm and dry. My arms started to falter some way along the longer one that spits you out close to Death Star. We finished the trails off with the steppy descent to Peaslake to tea and refreshments at the end of the ride.

Jem and I stopped off at Pedal and Spoke to look at Jem’s almost finished new bling… more soon! I also took in the the Tall Boy but quickly handed it back as I could feel the bank account go into early signs of shock.

As we finished the main ride there others started to peel off while Jem and I cycled back up past the chursh so that Jem could follow me down Death Star and banish some demons with his new Spanish Mountain skills. DS was in excellent condition as well and we cleared it swiftly and headed back to the car for the journey home. Only 12 odd miles covered but some 2700 feet climbed and I felt pretty tired!

It also appears the DaveW and Tony didn’t go straight home…

Filed under Rides in June 2010


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 22 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 13 June – Pump it’

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  1. Paul says:

    Great fun guys! A mainly technical morning with plenty to get us out of the saddle.

    Thanks for leading us through it Dave’s and providing great insight to help us keep rubber-side down!

  2. tony says:

    “It also appears the DaveW and Tony didn’t go straight home…”

    More details of the new secret trail to appear soon but lets say it is “challenging”

    BTW sorry John about the 6inch wide swoopy, chickhen run with drop off’s to either side. It did seem easier in my dim memory. We weren’t trying to kill you honestly!

  3. paul901 says:

    Andy661 and I were looked after by Keith for our Sunday ride and it would be harder for a newbie like me to have a better ride. Not technical for the most part, 10 miles each way, some climbing but no Hors cats. I don’t know the name of the trails yet but basically west along the North Downs Way (as I understand it) to Newlands Corner.

    Both Keith and Andy are faster than me as riders and with his race next weekend Andy was using it for some interval training off the front. Except for the hills where injured Keith effortlessly dropped us at will it seemed, me in particular.

    I also noticed two other things.

    I don’t have the skill to ride even the easy surfaces as well, so many of you glide over the trails. Second that my bike was going up and down at the back when the Orange and Whyte FS beasts in front of me were gliding over them. This must play a part in there and I watched it deliberately quite a lot, for example the flint track on the way back approaching Bocketts and also Collarbone through the trees and over the roots. Hardly technical and so it felt like a double whammy having to ride a bit harder at the same time.

    As usual, once into the ride I feel faster, especially on smoother surface and when I see tarmac can’t help myself.

    I learned how my Maxle axle works courtesy of a puncture and also that changing an off-road tyre is much easier than road changes due to the way rims and tyres have been going, stupidly tight so you turn the air blue in frustration. Keith explained that his hands of steel were at work. Ahh.

    Sadly, the end of our ride was marred when an off-lead Rhodesian Ridgeback I think it was attacked a miniature Collie (mini lassie) which an old lady had on a lead. Usual thing, 3 or 4 bursts, fast and furiouis, Collie and owner shaken by the whole affair, blood drawn from her hand no doubt form just being in the way. She had all the shock the moles would have after a fall and what annoyed the hell out of me was the silent indifference as the offending female owner walked past. She had been about 5 metres behind and silent.

    We were brought to a stop yards form the Bocketts car park as it kicked off and so stationary. As the offending owner reached me I followed up persistent eye contact with a comment asking here was that it then. Not in an intimidating manner as you can’t do that with women of course. She shrugged her shoulders and said nothing. I asked her why she did not shout at her dog or rush over there to intervene. It wouldn’t take any notice of me if I did she replied. Oh, so you don’t have control of it in other words I added, you don’t think it should be on a lead with a muzzle if it is aggressive and you have no control over it. If it were me I would want your details. We didn’t really want to interfer but this was not pleasant. I think the ‘victim’ was encouraged by the moral support and began crying and pointing out her bitten hand. We told her we would be in the car park a few yards ahead and left them to talk directly. She came past us again and told us the other woman had fobbed her off and did not expect to hear further. I envouraged her to report it to the police, I mean this could easily be the ageing mother of most of us riders and not necessarily the first or last time for that owner. Andy checked her arm for further damage, thankfully none visible. She was tearful again and off she went. I phoned the police in the afternoon and made a statement, I learned the she had contacted them, good for her. It is unclear if the offending owner can be identified but it is possible the 3 of us will be contacted again. It wasn’t the incident itself which annoyed me, these things happen. It was the owner attitude. Rant over.

    Good luck to Andy next weekend and thanks Keith. I don’t have your details Keith but will happily take you up on the road ride if you’re around Tue or Fri of this week.

  4. Jem says:

    Grrrrreat ride boy’s.

    Thanks DaveW for leading the ride, I did not have a clue where we were even with a gps.

    That was evident when I nearly sent a group of girls hiking in the wrong direction. OOps!

    Now the ride is logged, some time up there on my own maybe the way to go to learn the terrain.

    Intrigued to know of this new secret trail. Ve Vil interigate voo, to find dis trail!!

    I put my demons to bed once and for all on Death Star, What was my problem!!??

    Also managed the swithbacks without dabbing, really pleased. My Spanish riding hols has helped my mojo.

    Also Keith and Co hope you enjoyed your ride to Newlands.

    Really enjoyed the day, still smiling.

  5. Jem says:

    Paul, glad to hear you are enjoying the riding.

    Maybe a large volume tyre on the rear would help the bouncing a bit, Dave C has just fitted a Maxxis Crossmark 2.3 (sweet). Ideal for this time of year, not too draggy.

    I would recommend a mountain bike course for fundementals, sounds crazy as you have been riding road bikes for years. I have done a couple of courses and found they have helped me a great deal.

    Never too old to learn new tricks.

    Well done acting as local dog warden. As a dog owner myself, people such as the women in question really pee me off. I agree with you, do not have a dog if you are unable to control it or at least attempt to.

    Myself and my wife walk from Bocketts often, we will keep our eyes peeled for said dog and owner in the future.

  6. Dave says:


    Glad to hear the three of you had a good ride.

    I feel yout anger regarding the dog owner’s attitude.

    Regarding the back pf the bike bobbing up and down I think a number of factors are at work. Tyre pressure and weight distribution are probably the main two. Not sure the full sussers are any more efficient as some of the energy will go into the shock rather than compressing the tyre. I’ve noticed it recently when I’m putting the power down on climbs and my weight of more forward (which doesn’t seem to make any sense to me!) and the rear tyre can skip. Doesn’t happen when there’s a spring and damper keeping the back wheel in contact with the ground.

    Smooth power deliver is another key aspect and that will come with more miles and experience over rough terrain.

    Also good to hear that Keith is well on the mend!

  7. Andy661 says:

    Thanks to Keith and Paul for a good run out on my last ride before Mountain Mayhem next weekend. Newlands gave me essentially 2 x 10 mile blasts and I put the hammer down where I could. Guess my fitness is improving (slowly!).

    Think it was the right ride rather than trying to keep up with the faster riders from the main group and possibly getting demoralised with some tricky descents.

    I’ll do a little write up in case anyone fancies it next year 😉

    Re the dog, it was annoying that someone could have a dog that large and go out KNOWING they couldn’t control it verbally or physically. Really felt for the old dear.

    Well Moles, I’ve done 525 miles since that first ride with you last December. Time to put it to the test!!

    Thanks for all your hints, tips, knowledge and encouragement.

    See you soon!


  8. Andy661 says:

    Just to add, I’m riding MM for Lupus UK.

    Lupus is a nasty disease that basically makes the body attack itself.

    We’re 70% for the way to our target. If anyone can help, awesome.



  9. DaveW says:

    Glad you enjoyed the route. It was nice being able to indulge myself in riding all of my favourite bits – which most of us have done before – along with a few sections and connecting trails which I have not ridden with the Moles before.

    A good report DaveW, considering you claim not to know the area that well!

    – Extremely steep roll in is known as ‘Caution Steep Slope’

    – Two headed dog is known by some as Sleepy Hollow. I like to take in the steeper two step roll in on the right as well. Tried it in the winter on my Cotic Simple with SID forks, which was a bit scarey! Would like to launch the second one (no, not on the Simple), but the landing is flat… maybe one day.

    – next stop was Judges seat. The smaller drop off here is in danger of getting a bit overgrown. I did the middle one (Judges Cushion?) – It was only the 4th time I’ve done this and I think the smoothest attempt to date. Again the larger one on the right looks doable, but the landing is a bit flat – maybe one day…

    – Jellys Hollow? followed by the Bomb holes and the Switchbacks. Gone in 60 seconds has gone.

    On the out of control dog with complacent owner – I know it is hard to think of these things in the heat of the moment, but if something like this happens again, we should try and get a photo of the owner and ideally the dog too.

    Well done for sticking up for the old lady, having a go at the selfish scumbag dog owner and phoning the Rozzers you Newlands crew – I’m proud of you.

  10. DaveW says:

    Obviously I meant to congratulate DaveC on DaveC’s report, not myself…

  11. paul901 says:

    Thanks for the comments. If it had been abusive I think pics / video would have ensued but we tried to find that line between supportive and not inflaming the situation so cameras stayed in pockets. It would not have gone well had it escalated. I mean 3 hungry bikers, ‘Iron Hands’ Keith despatching said hound quickly, meanwhile Paul gathering herbs and chain oil off the bikes for a marinade and weekend warrior Andy showing us how to pot roast, survival style. Probably best it diffused the way it did!

  12. John says:

    Tony – I’ll take your word for it that you weren’t trying to kill me – but the “6inch wide swoopy, chickhen run with drop off’s to either side” was a bit scarey!. I think I made amends tho for having a few go’s at the ‘bombhole’, eventually clearing it I think on my fourth attempt – that was a bit scarey as well!!

    All in all, I had a great day out and can’t thank you all enough for a great ride. Despite my lack of handling skills and ‘bottle’ thought i didn’t do a bad job of keeping up with you…..!?

    I’ll be back……..

  13. david how says:

    is it just me who can’t find ‘upcoming rides’ ? i have been watching this site for a couple of weeks now and cannot seem to find the bit about upcoming rides. i made one attempt to find your group last wednesday but failed. i keep reading reports about your great rides and would like to join you sometime (if you’ll have me !)is there something i am not doing right ? dave.

  14. tony says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it TerminatorJohn.

    It’s usually easier to improve your bike handling than your fitness. You’ll be hitting the bombholes in style next time.

  15. tony says:

    Hi David. 7:30pm for 7:45pm start every Wednesday at Hylands Garage Bookham (just Google Maps Hylands Garage Bookham and you will find it.)

    Maybe we’ll see you on wednesday.

  16. Dave says:

    Hi David,

    At the very top of the website is a white box marked “Upcoming Rides”. Click on the link and it takes you to the Upcoming site. Join the group and when Matt posts a ride you’ll get an email! As he’s injured it’s not been used for a couple of weeks and we’ve done it via email.

    Basically Tony is right as well!

  17. kc says:

    It was great to see Paul and Andy waiting at Bocketts on Sunday as it is much more enjoyable riding the trails with company. Thanks to you guys for joining me and I may well turn out for a wander around the trails on Weds night too.

    The dog incident marred a good ride out but from my viewpoint both Andy and Paul seem to be 100% committed to their training at the moment; hats off to you guys.

    For me, buoyed by the weekend I cycled to work on Monday only to find I ran out of energy in the afternoon and could not face a rain soaked return leg!

    Still it is good to be back on two wheels, especially when I am not looking at them disappearing into a tree with me attached!

  18. James(pro)H says:

    what a lot of posts…….a great ride and thanks for the lift in the disco John. I seem to find more strength and really enjoy the technical stuff. The on-one really is coming into its own and man and machine is bonding!? Well see you all tomorrow..

  19. Andy661 says:

    In a Smashie n Nicie styley (“do a lotta work fuh charidee but don’t like to talk about it mate”):

    Thanks DaveW!!!!! 😀

  20. DaveW says:

    No probs Andy

    C’mon you Moles and blog readers, don’t be tight – Andy661 has put a lot of effort into training for the gruelling Mountain Mayhem event and it’s all for a good cause –

  21. Andy661 says:

    Thanks Paul901 [ any man who buys a Whyte HAS to be a decent bloke… 😉 ]

  22. Roo d'Orange says:

    Sounds like you had a real treat! DaveW knows a thing or two about the routes from Peaslake. Sad to have missed it.

    My good lady banned me from riding out with the Moles early on Sunday as I was riding to Box Hill for a family picnic later. Trouble was whilst I was en-route she collapsed at home and didn’t make Box Hill at all! I should have gone with the Moles….

    As a responsible dog owner it amazes me how stupid and inconsiderate some other owners are. Ridgebacks are big dogs, bred to hunt lions! It could happen again, so I would go for photo evidence any day. and force the owner to consider others.

    It’s busy close to Bocketts – The Moles helped shed sheep there a few weeks ago and discussed the fly-tipping with the farmer…..

    See you next time,

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