Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report: Sunday 18 April – Peaslake start

Posted by DaveC | April 19, 2011 | 14 comments so far

It was sunny but surprising chilly as we gathered in Hurtwood Control No2 Car Park for the mornings ride but then I do have to keep reminding myself it is only April!

DaveW on Holmbury

BigAl had kindly offered to string a route together for us today and the ride started with JamesS, DaveW, Carl, Leona, Jem, MarkW, Elliot (LordOnOne) and myself. I was feeling surprisingly tired as I started to struggle on the first climb up towards T1 (I think, naming not good round Pitch!) but conditions were great with plenty of grip and later too much dust!

T1 gave us a great opening to what the riding was going to be like and it popped out in just the right place to allow us to take in Death Star uncharacteristically early for a Mole ride. I love it. Rocks, drops and just the edge of control and speed that I like.

Possibly a harsh intro to Carl and Leona but due warnings were issued and everyone assembled at the bottom still able to ride.

Then the climbs start in earnest as we did the climb up from Barry’s to get to Holmbury Hill proper. Here it actually gets a bit hazy for me trying to remember the order we rode trails in. Some of this was BigAl’s excellent way of stringing routes together with minimal fire road use.

We headed over to RR just to check the extent of it’s removal and can confirm that it’s well gone. No more trail building of this nature is going to be allowed. It’s a shame, given the amount of work put in, but does illustrate that there needs to be dialogue with all parties to try and get some sustainable future for trails in this area.

In no particular order we did Yoghurt Pots, Secret Squirrel and Deer Stalker (without me getting chucked off) as well as the fire road crossing without me coming off. All in all a crash free ride for me! Always a bonus. I think Carl too the crown for offs today but in his words, “It’s OK, I’m getting good at coming off”.

The final run from Holmbury took in BKB and I got a bit of video footage by the first main berm. Conditions were fast and furious although I gave anything with a stump in it a wide berth after last weeks accident.

All down safely we headed to the store for refreshments and met up with JohnR as arranged. In addition Paul901 appeared in the store having ridden over on the road.

It was a great opportunity to hear from the new riders and sit in the sun discussing the rides, kit and technique. Before long though it was time to press on with the second half of the ride and time to say “Goodbye” to Jem who decided not to push himself too hard and head home. Well, that’s what we thought but he actually turned around and did BKB again!

So, ride Part Two included a run up towards the trig point on Pitch Hill with BigAl testing his chain to the limits and gracefully falling sideways with nothing to pedal against. A good opportunity to slowly take some more of the hill in and get ready for the ”new” descent he took us down.

This reminded me of Man Friday towards Redlands as it was the same sort of loamy soil but with a quite a few turns involved. An excellent trail but quite a big roll in at the bottom which is approached via a tight turn. This I bottled out on but Mark, BigAl and DaveW took it all in their stride. One to be visited again.

A quick blast towards the Windmill where we took in Two Headed Dog and headed over to Winterfold where we rode the Switchbacks via the bomb holes (vimeo). Only the second time I’ve done these and I felt it went a bit ragged as MarkW push me from behind but I got to the end without dabbing so I guess you call that successful!

At this point I think Leona felt we’d pushed her a bit far but it is a very demanding trail in my opinion. From there the trails were just swoopy as we took in Matt’s favourite Ladies Legs, Ewoks and then headed for the car park.

Pleasantly tired with some 17 miles on the clock, which never quite feels enough compared to some of our other routes but it does include 2250ft of climbing. 1700 calories also. Good to see Leona and Carl, also good to actually get out and ride with LordOnOne.

Filed under Rides in April 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 18 April – Peaslake start’

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  1. winterfold says:

    That roll-in is a pleasant surprise first time you ride that trail, I suggested some riders try it last week and can still hear the scream when they found it. Fortunately there was no blood when I got down there, wherever there is, I cant remember – on Winterfold somewhere isn’t it?

    At least we know ‘illegal’ trail-building is not an issue of the environment or trashing the woods now – the mess ex-RR is in as a result of being put beyond use is far worse than anything before it.

    Remember – careless talk costs trails 😉

    • winterfold says:

      Ps for the avoidance of doubt that last comment is light-hearted – not having a go

      • Dave says:

        None taken Winterfold! As I wrote it I said to myself “is that vague enough?”

        However, I might need to borrow your dictionary for the definition of “pleasent”. All good fun though!

        • Winterfold says:

          Well it has to have the cheekiest start of any – but the riders I pointed it out to had not clocked it – it’s surprising how many people ride around with their eyes closed.

          Surely it can’t last long? ‘enjoy’ it while you can.

          (the drop is steep but its still smooth while trail is relatively new – I prefer that to less steep but rooty – kill your speed and a good push just as you roll up and it’s very doable)

  2. MarkW says:

    Thanks All. That was one of the best technical rides I have done for a while!

    Unfortunately what our computers can’t measure is how much movement and concentration needed, on and around the bike, to get you through the trails safely and inportantly whilst having fun!

    Albeit only 17miles I felt more knackered than the 31miles last week! Hope to do it all again soon (Leona, I hope it didn’t put you off too much as I think you managed, very well, given everything thrown at you as lesser mortals would have given up!).

  3. Karl says:

    A huge thank you to you guys for such a fabulous ride!! Am still energised from it now.. wonderful.. What a variety of trails, landscape, views, scents, and surfaces.. A most superb ride.. Will try and replace the flying through the air with skill next time..
    Karl Krash.

  4. LordOnOne says:

    Really fun ride with a number of trails I hadn’t ridden before. That descent was great once I put the seatpost down…the roll in was a nice feature. Thanks for having me along and good to meet you all!

  5. Jem says:

    Thanks for a well put together loop Big Al over Holmbury.

    I really really enjoyed getting out with some of my brother Moles Sunday. It made my day to do some good technical dry trails. Puts a large smile on my face.

    Carl cheers for the coffee and cake, I owe you one.

    After you all departed, I started heading towards the car park. Thought bugger it, BKB is Sooo close, then my bike led the way.
    It was well worth the climb back up. Nearly overcooked mid way on the pair of dusty berms, I turned in too hard from left to right and the front wheel washed out. But thanks to my flat pedals I was able to put my foot down realign the bike and carry on without stopping or falling, felt realy cool as if I meant to do it.

    Then met some friends from Cycleworks at the village stores and stopped for another chat.


    Will not be out for a little bit, renergize and see you hopefully soon.


  6. Jem says:

    Looking at the picture of a few of us sitting on the bench eating CAKE at Peaslake

    Have a look at the pictures on Flickr.
    Look to the right of my helmet hair. Could that say Cake Lane???

  7. DaveW says:

    Yes, a great ride Al – knitting all those trails together in a totally different way made a refreshing change – and the new to me trails were a treat too.

    Thanks also to Al and Mark for contributing to an often extreme downhill pace at the front – and to Leona for setting the uphill pace (although I’m convinced Leona could leave us all for dust on the climbs if she chose to and was simply keeping the lead riders company. Leona – you must join us when Adam and Darren are out – they are more in your league I think.)

  8. Winterfold says:

    Hello again Moles

    I was up at my namesake hill today and the trail I thought was Sw1tchback5 has been put beyond use (ie do the b0mbh0le5 then you used to cross the bridleway, the section past the bridleway was what I thought was switch backs, and well its borked).

    Have I got the wrong name – or have the trail trolls employed by our friendliest local landowner been busy?

    The other 5w1tchbacky trail heading into his land further West (where the fire beater things are) is still rideable, right until the last steep bit, the last bit of which has been demolished. A nice surprise – I pushed back up. This demolition looks pretty recent.

    The one inbetween on Hurtwood land with the ditch 3/4 of the way through remains marvellous.

    Anyway, watch out for surprises.


    (PS I am pretty rubbish with trail names, I just know where they are, If Ive got the names wrong let me know cheers)

  9. Dave says:

    Ahh…that sounds like the swithcbacks alright. That’s a real shame, finished is a really quiet area I would have said as well.

    Not sure about the others you mention, just don’t know the area well enough.

  10. Winterfold says:

    Dave email me (if you can see my email address) and I will try to send a GPS track.

    If you cant see my email leave a not here and I will send it to Matt.

    (Your ride leader seems to know his stuff though so prob knows them.)

    Remember careless talk costs trails etc.

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