Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 14 March – Bitten by the Spider

Posted by DaveC | March 14, 2011 | 14 comments so far

After failing to adhere to my “no ride if it’s rained” clause I turned up to meet with Keith at 8am for an “enhanced” Killer Mole loop.

Keith (yes, I’m pointing all blame his way) had decided that the normal Mole Killer loop wasn’t quite hard enough. So, we added in Box Hill as well.

The route started at Bocketts Farm, went to Box Hill via the front bridleway, down in Brockham, from Brockham across to the back climb into Redlands Woods and from there to the tower at Leith Hill. From the tower we went down the Mother and then climbed up to the Cricket pitch at Holmbury and on to take in Barrys before refueling at Peaslake. From Peaslake up towards the windmill and the bear right to take in some singletrack before starting the long run towards the final main climb up to Newlands. From Newlands it was a fairly straight run back to home via the Effingham detour.

After all that my GPS still only showed 38 miles although the bike computer was showing 42. No idea where the 4 miles error crept in but it was a hard ride regardless and the HRM showed 3000 calories used by the time I got home. Sitting here now I feel pretty tired as the weather was fairly unkind to us from Leith to Peaslake making the trail wet a slippery in places. Wished for a granny ring much of the way my lower back gave me a great deal of pain while heading towards Winterfold Woods. By way of consolation Keith’s XTR was making a loud, wallet hurting grinding sound much of the route.

So, bitten by the Spider.

Last year Matt borrowed my Intense Spider 29er and got unceremoniously dumped into the undergrowth by it down a steep little step. Today it was my turn. After flowing through the pine needle carpeted trail that I think is called Ewoks and dropped down at the end into a rock strewn bridleway that doubles as a river I came upon a step that seemed to have grown since my last encounter with it. Given the overall racey nature of the Spider I was simply going to slowly and the front dug in throwing me off in a graceful arc onto a rocky floor. Luckily I was able to kick the bike off over the top of me and I layed there mentally testing limbs. Apart form a few bruises and a ripped arm on my Gore shell I got away with it again.

Keith is keen to pad the ride out to 50 miles so it’s back to the drawing board to see if we can find a bit more distance. Taking in Alsation will maybe add 2 or 3 more miles and we’ll look at climbing to Newlands via Martha’s Hill. Might need to consult Rob about adding some miles round Brockham.

Overall a great ride but I will confess to having a snooze on my return home!

Filed under Rides in March 2011


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 14 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 14 March – Bitten by the Spider’

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  1. Rob says:

    If you want to add mileage I would suggest continuing over towards Pfizer and head down the hill towards the A24 via Lawrence Lane. Then head towards Brockham on the lanes through Buckland and pick up your route. Other than that there’s nothing noteworthy as it’s very flat and full of footpaths!

  2. Toby says:

    Sounds like a good ride – wouldn’t mind doing that route with you guys sometime, sure I could find a few extra bits to throw in to lengthen it a bit.

  3. Matt says:

    I quite fancied this but couldn’t really get away with being out for so long on a Sunday. I may see about taking a day off sometime and slotting it in then.

    Anything round the 50 mile mark off-road round Surrey is a decent distance, it’s very frustrating to keep adding bits only to find the distance is basically the same. On the flipside, you often go out for a short ride only to find you’ve got 25 miles plus under the wheels and wonder ‘how did that happen?’

    My experience of the Spider was basically too much speed rather than too little, coupled with summer spec tyres. I can picture where you stacked Dave but haven’t been down there for a while.

  4. JohnR says:

    You could start off with Alsatian and the Epsom Downs route before taking Stane Street over to Box Hill and then on to Leith… Or go for the full Mole Mega Loop by throwing in a the Reigate run before picking up the Epsom Downs route at Headley. That’s got to be taking you up around 60 miles.

    I wonder when Mrs. R is going to be away for the weekend.

  5. Matt says:

    John, that’s a brutal suggestion!

    But I think I like it…

  6. Andy661 says:

    Not having able to ride for over a month with work and family shtuff i’m not really feeling qualified to say anything but its great to see that routes are out there that will provide great training miles in the months ahead.
    When my fitness improves further i’ll be tagging along with Dandy for the xc route down from Kingston. Which adds a further 20-something miles.
    Who needs Kielder?! Lol

  7. cathie says:

    I had been thinking it had been just over a year since the phone had rung on a Sunday morning with Dave saying “Don’t panic but…..”

    Dave’s going to retire from cycling and is going into acrobatics

  8. Cass says:

    Thanks for the use of your pump near the cricket pitch, although I got another puncture on the way to Summer lightning on the other wheel, I was saved by another very helpful mountain biker as I was completely unprepared. What was the pump you had as I’ve decided I could probably do with carrying a pump and some spare tubes around with me after Sunaday’s ride?

  9. Dave says:

    Hi Cass,

    No problem, this time of year always seems to be the worse for punctures as it usually coincides with farmers cutting hawthorn hedges!

    The pump was a Topeak Mighty Morph. All the Morph range are great little pumps with the foot peg making it easier to pump with.

  10. KC says:

    So, from my vantage point I would say that Dave should stick to cycling and forget the acrobatics! Whilst he made a great attempt at a 360 tuck roll the outcome resembles more a 180 with a neat half roll. I am clear that none of this happened in any coordinated way and hence my score is 1 for technical merit and 3 for artistic ability. The latter score is for not uttering one swear word throughout. Well not that I could hear above my laughter anyway!

    More seriously I am mighty glad Dave did not injury himself and have to be lifted home. Of course in his weakened state I suppose I could have nicked his magnificent pump!

    Great ride out albeit Muddy in parts.

    The addition of Alsation and Epsom along with St Marthas should add mileage if not thrills

    Watch this space as the quest to set up a mega mole epic ride begins

  11. DaveS says:

    So, Sunday having dropped my daughrter in Basingstoke and returned – I decided to go out from Effingham, upto Newlands corner along the “blackstuff” and then back home along the ridge possibly following a cup of tea. Approaching the Caff (note the big C) I spied 2 quite tired looking individuals perched on seats and quietly sipping well-earnt cuppas. Still owing Dave C a fiver for the blue handlebars he’d given me and, knowing I only had a tenner on me, having said hello I asked if he had a fiver on him. The nature of the man is such that he immediately and without question handed over a blue note and then quizzed why I gave him a tenner in return.. top chap! (note to self “bugger”). Having gulped down a quick tea and bun (OK, 2) we then commenced a steady return along the Pilgims way / drovers road followed by the drop down to Dirtham lane I’d done only the day before with the Saturday lot. It was great to meet up with KC and his sunshine band, but boy were they tired! Beware chaps, any longer and any hotter then whatever those boys did will hurt!


  12. Dandy says:

    LOL – why didn’t I think of that ???

    We can easily turn this into a 70 mile epic, Mr 661. As you suggest, we just start in Kingston 😉

  13. Dandy says:

    OK – that didn’t quite work out as planned 🙁

    I was trying to quote DaveS’s comment, “KC and his sunshine band”, which made me snigger.

  14. Amanda says:

    Hey Guys when we get back we can take you on a good epic mole ride starting at the 60 mile mark and by the time Darrens finished you will be looking at 90 as I reckon his GPS tells lies. If you need more information ask Adam about our adventures he might remember the Cwmcarn to Afan quite well……;) see you all in about 3 weeks hope the weather is warming up asIi have turned into a Southern Hem softie as we are still in wicked weather shorts and T-shirt.

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