Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday, 14th June – Return visit to Limpsfield Chart

Posted by Dandy | June 15, 2015 | 14 comments so far

‘Chart’ is an Old English word for rough ground, though I’d like to think there was nothing ‘rough’ about the calibre of riders who pitched up for the return visit to a route we Moles first rode back in January.

Ready to roll

Ready to roll

Our local guide was, as before, Mat from Redhill CC; ably assisted by Gilly who made sure any stragglers didn’t stray too far from the planned route. From the Moles we had Elliot, SSJ, D-Dub, Duncan (who returned for his second Moles ride despite the carnage on his debut ride last week) and myself; with Laurent (or Fishybob to give him his ‘nom de forum’) also joining us from DOAMB.

Matt and Jenny

Our native guides

We were expecting the trails to have quickened considerably since our mid-winter visit, and we weren’t disappointed. Knowing that they were fast and flowy, with little in the way of steep ups or downs, I gave the rigid-forked ‘dale single-speed another outing, relying on the 3” Maxxis Chronicle inflated to a mighty 7.5psi for any front end bounce. I also knew that Mat was likely to be riding his rigid-forked single-speed, a Planet-X Dirty Harry, so I didn’t think my choice of bike would see me too much out of my depth. Of course there were hills to negotiate, but only two of them saw me having to get off and push up for 30-40m or so. Kudos to Mat for riding all the way up both of them!

With a route almost identical to January’s, we started off with a fast run through some bomb holes, which did expose Duncan’s relative inexperience to off-road riding as he failed to negotiate some of the step ups that followed the downs. His antics did keep the rest of us amused though, so thanks for the entertainment. N.B. I feel that having provided much ‘entertainment’ myself over the years, I’m entitled to a little schadenfreude; sorry Duncan.

Camberwell Green is a trail who’s features are succinctly captured in its name, there’s plenty of off camber; and it’s, well, green … or at least bordered by a lot of greenery. This was a great trail, so good we rode it again on the return leg. Other familiar trails were also negotiated, with Handbag also being ridden twice. I had great fun in keeping up with the fully-sprung and geared riders in front of me as we swooped (in my mind’s eye) down the trail.

When cafe culture goes bad

Local ‘cafe culture’

Somewhere along the way I noticed the sign informing us we had reached the Greensand Way’s half-way point, with Haslemere being 55 miles back to the West, and Hamstreet 55 miles to the East. The trails had a familiar Surrey Hills feel to them, but with mellower gradients than we’re used to. Having negotiated Handbag for a second time, the siren call of the Tudor Tea Rooms in Westerham could be clearly heard by all of us, and we eagerly set off down the fast road descent to the village.

On my last visit, I suffered from ‘cake envy’ with those who had chosen the carrot cake, so I knew exactly what I wanted. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, as it tasted great, but I couldn’t help thinking that SSJ’s and Elliot’s Chocolate Truffle cake looked even better. I know what I’ll be ordering the next time then.

Tudor Tea Rooms in Westerham

Tudor Tea Rooms in Westerham

As the Churchill statue on the green was in the middle of a restoration, surrounded by plastic and scaffolding, General James Wolfe (born: Westerham, 1727 – died: Quebec, 1759) at the edge of the green had to deputise. This gave us a perfect opportunity to bait Laurent with the French armies defeat at Quebec, though he could argue that they had the last laugh as Wolfe was killed in the battle.

Surrounding the Frenchman

Surrounding the Frenchman

It was time for the long road climb back up to the Greensand ridge, with an unsuspecting roadie providing the perfect target for Mat, Elliot and a fat-tyred SSJ to catch and pass on the ascent. We more or less retraced our steps along the same flowy singletrack, until we reached the cars to give us an excellent 25km, 500+m ride. We will be back for more, with maybe an evening ride giving us a chance to sample the ale at Westerham Brewery’s Carpenters Arms.

Filed under Rides in June 2015


About the author

Having been mountain biking since 1996, you might have expected Dandy to have learnt to ride a bike by now. Several broken bones in the last few years prove the maxim that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

In between hospital visits, Dandy rides a brace of much-blinged Pace RCs, the 'green themed' 405 and the silver & gold 506. His winter hack is the Moles' favourite, an On-One 456 hardtail, now converted to an Alfine hub He also dabbles in 'the dark arts', keeping 2 road bikes in one of his seven sheds.

There are 14 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday, 14th June – Return visit to Limpsfield Chart’

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  1. Elliot says:

    I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with any of the available cakes Dandy. But buy one get one free would have been nice!

    The trails over that way aren’t dissimilar to what’s in my local woods. Not hugely steep but quite fiddly in places. Handbag was my favourite from January and still is. It’s one of the faster more flowy trails, on which I found myself swinging the back of the bike around corners more often than actually steering.

    BTW did anyone else spot the sign for ‘Jackass Lane’ on their way back through Oxted or was it just me that found it funny?

  2. JR says:

    The carrot cake looked a very good choice, but I was instantly drawn to the coffee and walnut cake. That’s probably my favourite to bake because the raw cake mixture tastes so good and the final product has such a range of texture while feeling like an espresso party in your mouth.

    But I then noticed the dark chocolate cake brooding at the back of the display, and when the girl mentioned it was a chocolate TRUFFLE cake it instantly revived memories of exquisite truffles gently melting in the mouth in the heat of a strong cup of tea.

    It was a very good cake and I would probably choose the same again, although I would still be torn by the prospect of the coffee cake. Perhaps the only answer to this dilemma is two cakes.

    Oh yes, the ride was very good too thanks Matt and Gilly.

  3. JR says:

    Now, now dear!

  4. d-dub says:

    I’m always amused by Jackass lane and one day when I’m not steaming past at speed, I must stop and take a picture. I went for the coffee cake which was really good – I was particularly impressed with the amount of walnut pieces in the sponge (the latte however was poor – even with an extra shot I could hardly taste or smell any coffee). I’d definitely go back for the cake and the breakfasts look good, but I’ll be drinking tea!

  5. DuncanG says:

    Yeah, yeah. I’ve definitely got a bit still to learn, starting with those U bends. Must try not to do those reverse summersaults too often. The knock on the head clearly affected the cake choosing section of my brain. The Bakewell wasn’t bad but with fewer summersaults I probably would have gone for the carrot.
    Nice ride report and great pictures.

    • Dandy says:

      Don’t worry, Duncan; we’ve all got a lot to learn. MTB’ing is like golf in that respect, you have a good fast run, or clear a decent jump/gap; then someone comes along who’s twice as fast or jumps twice as far …. then there’s the pro’s ! It’s still worth persevering, if only for the cakes and ale !

  6. Gordo says:

    Cake and Ale? Hmmm, I wonder.

  7. DuncanG says:

    The summersaults in the bomb holes didn’t put me off. In the immortal words of Arnold “I’ll be back”.

  8. leeroybrown says:

    Hi all
    Limpsfield chart is my local spot, if anyone fancys meeting up ?

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