Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report: Sunday 15 July – Swinley

Posted by DaveC | July 18, 2012 | 7 comments so far

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.

Heading home

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.

Filed under Rides in July 2012


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 7 comments on ‘Ride Report: Sunday 15 July – Swinley’

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  1. Markymark says:

    Sounds like i missed out guys! I love Swinley and dont ride it often enough. Have been hitting the tarmac since MM due to family commitments and timing issues but ready for some trail action again shortly.

    It looks incredibly dry considering the deluges we’ve had.

    Anyway, looks like the jet-stream is shifting back to its normal place and we’re looking at 26 – 32 degrees next week which should get the trails back on track nicely.

    Yippee kay ay.

  2. PaulM says:

    Yeah, its was a great morning with the ground in far better shape than expected. Thanks for connecting it all up nicely guys!

    Thankfully there were no major incidents but I’ve taken away a few comedy snapshots in my head!

    Handstand – Labyrinth – Karl…nuff said 🙂

  3. KevS says:

    Sure was good to get back to Swinley again and thanks to our “guides” Big Al, DaveC and JR (the map reader)!

    Conditions were a delight after Mayhem’s mud and although wet the muck seemed to wash off as we went round so all good.

    Karl (The Fearless) always seems to loom large in the menory on these forays …. I remember him on my rear wheel hassling me down tank traps … then it all went quiet until he rejoined us on the fireroad at the end. Must have been an unscheduled dismount and you gotta love him for trying soooper hard with his new Jedi skills! 🙂

    Good to meet some new faces out with the Moles as well.

    Shock to the system as I jumped into the car ready to head home and realised Muddy Dave was already in the passenger seat in his underwear, so as not to soil the seat in ‘er indoors car!
    Thankfully we didnt get stopped by the law on the way home …..

  4. MuddyJohn says:

    I thought Swinley was in good condition last weekend and a perfect place to vist following our Jedi sessions the previous week. Good call Karl – and great leading Dave n’Al. We will have to visit again soon if the Surrey Hills don’t dry out.

  5. Karl says:

    Falling Off is the new Staying On..

    No it’s not.

    I’ve made public humiliation my friend… so thanks for your ‘kind’ comments.
    That’ll help.

    Thought I could fly with new Jedi skills and went too quick.. Only crashed twice tho. Much honing required.
    Having no fear is apparently genetically incorrect, as death can be fatal.

    Kevlar gloves have saved me a finger a fortnight. Top investment.

    That’s really quite enough about me.

    Thanks for ride report Dave, and leading, and being the ride glue.
    Thanks to Al for leading and showing how to ride.. at least for the 15 seconds anyone can keep up with him.
    Thanks JR for camera.. pics.. and map. Also for drag racing acceleration demonstrations on every uphill.. How do you do that?
    Thanks Tony for help with handstand on Labyrinth… and yes.. was a bit close.
    Thanks to AndrewH for doubling the value of our car pool.
    Nice to see JamesS and Jason.
    LLoyd and Kev, understated and cool as ever..
    PaulM and KevS.. No snitching on forum!

    In the absence of D’Andy, Dave has taken over the mantle of parading in underwear.

    Evidently, someone’s gotta do it…

    Oh.. and it WAS muddy.. You’re just used to biblical mud.

  6. Andrew says:

    Yes, it was muddy. I think we’re all getting a bit hardened to it. Hopefully we’ll be recalibrating soon if the rumours concerning the jet stream prove correct.

    I made a few noises of thanks back in the ride post, but it certainly bears repetition. Sorry, I’ve not yet worked out everyone’s names let alone who was chiefly responsible for arrangements, but you know who you are so thank you!

    Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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