Karl made an early shout for a Swinley ride wanting to make full use of his newly honed Jedi skillz.
It’s not normal for a Sunday ride to be called in advance as early a sthe Tuesday before but this is what happened. Now Karl is known for his…err….enthusiastic….style of riding. Some liken the style to that of a kamikazee jelly on ice but I digress, even if he is the only person I know to ride in kevlar reinforced motorcycle gloves!
I wasn’t expecting a massive turn out but I was surprised to find 12 riders lined up for the starting gun. I was accompanied by Kev, BigAl, JR, Lloyd, JamesS, Jason, Paul, Andrew, Tony, PaulM and Karl. PaulM and JR were there well ahead of Kev and I for a change.
We headed for Stickler and I gritted my teeth and followed into the “slightly too long in my opinion” Stickler and by the end of it, 9 of us were left. BigAl had correctly instucted us to bear left at the first fork but coming into it again some had gone round again rather than bearing left as per the signs. Oh well! At least we were all intact and we eventually met up with everyone again to take on Tank Traps (other names may apply)!
Turning right we headed for Corckscrew via Seagull (I think!) and had a little play at the roll in on the way. Generally the ground was in good condition with just a few water filled sections and the mud was nothing by “Mayhem Standards”. We made our way back to Tank traps and did that again before heading towards the jump gully.
The Forestry workers had been hard are work in that area and the normal route was out of bounds so we dropped down and road up the main trail along side of the the gully. A few Moles headed into the gully while I stood with my back to it eating JamesS’s dried Mango slices. Very tasty.
Up towards the resovoir we entered the singletrack and turned left rather than right for a change and this took us towards the ski jump section. This seemed to have suffered in the rain with 3 distinct gullys. If you get in a gully, stay in a gully!
More climbing, of which there is a surprising amount of in such a “flat” area, as we headed up to take in Deer Stalker. I followed BigAl and kept up with him for maybe 15 seconds before loosing him in the trees. This has to be my favorite trail but I was already tired by this point and the climb back up to take in DS2 and Labyrinth meant that I was ready for cake.
We took my normal route back via the wide fireroads and were soon enjoying fruitcake and hot chocolate before heading back to Leatherhead courtesy of Mrs GrandMole’s car.