Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report: Sunday 21 June – Leith and Holmbury

Posted by Colin | June 21, 2009 | 5 comments so far

Neill rolls in on Leith Hill
How apt that on a day when we were blessed with the (otherwise thoroughly enjoyable) company of a few individuals who approach their flatulence with that old addage “better out than in”, we chose to head to Leith Hill and ride Windy Willow, to name but one of the many fab trails on today’s route.

It was nearly all over before the start for new rider Dean when that damn height restriction at the car park nearly took his bike off the roof of his car. We eventually got going after some lengthy pre-ride farting around by laid-back Nick (we’d love to know what you do Nick when you’re getting ready!).

The Dave-infested roll call was Jem, DaveC, Physio John, DaveW, DaveBus, Keith, Dean, Toby, Nick, Neill, Lee and myself and comprised a blend of Mole regulars, DoMTB regulars and the hussies who split themselves between the two clans.

Its not often that we’re pleased to have to make way for a walker/jogger, particularly when hooning it down Yew Trees, but in what must’ve been an omen for what was to come, a very pretty jogger meant we all had to stop to let her through. With tongues rolled back up and darker thoughts shelved, we carried on toward the top of Ranmore when we were greeted by a very vocal bunch of adolescent females cheering and sneering at us for being to old and too slow!!

Onwards to Land Rover which was fast and loose and quite (understandably) intimidating for Dean, who dispatched it in style – respect!

The Rookery is now becoming so ‘yesterday dahling’ in this fine weather – so much traction on offer in the dry and not nearly the same challenge as during the winter months. Its enjoyable nonetheless as is the climb all the way to the tower via Wolverns and then the bombholes near the cricket pitch, etc. A few braver riders including Take-On-Anything-DaveW, Physio John and Jem made Deliverance look easy whilst I for once was a cautious, not wishing to beat my expectant wife to the hospital-I must be growing up at last!

Again, the final rooty climb to the tower is nowhere near as hard in this dry weather so most of us made short work of that and settled down for a few minutes of refreshment and banter, which was flowing today with such a great bunch of characters present.

With DaveW and DaveBus in attendance we had the knowledge on board to head down Windy Willow which was great fun, particularly when a few of us tried the drops/jumps off the fallen trees. Physio John emulated AndyC’s Numbskull moment a few weeks back, fortunately without serious injury. Despite this, DaveW, Jem and I all had a go and whilst I landed the right way up without incident, my technique still needs work!

At the bottom, I persuaded the group to try what I call ‘Deliverance 2’ . This is to be found beyond the end of Windy Willow after a short singeltrack section and is a massive, steep roll-in that proved to be too much for a couple of riders, the rest of us making it down by hook or by crook with some major fish-tailing action on the dry and loose strip between the all-encompassing bracken.

Having already had to stop for Neill to fix a broken chain, Nick’s was next to expire, giving us all a little time to let the adrenalin subside before making our way back up and over to the Muther, for the normally fast and furious descent to Holmbury.

Once again though, our progress was thwarted by a pretty lady on horseback and DaveC pinch flatting. We then headed up past the cricket pitch at Holmbury and on to tackle Yoghurt Pots and Telegraph Road, both of which were riding really fast despite a few legs flagging.

Jem on Yoghurt Pots

With the high-octane sections pretty much over, it was time to put our XC heads back on and head back past the Volunteer and over to the Abinger Roughs, with White Down in our sights, which really did leave the stamina tanks on empty.

With the clock approaching 1, a few of us were already thinking about being greeted by the doghouse and it was just a case of getting back asap via Badger Run, Yew Trees and the Admiral’s Track. With my riding soon to be curtailed by a new arrival, great to get another 30 odd miles in the bag as that may be it for a few weeks for me.

A thoroughly enjoyable morning and thanks to all who came along and to DaveBus for the pics. I could have written much much more – it was such a great morning.

Filed under Rides in June 2009


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  1. Dave says:

    Well done Colin! I was worried I was going to have to write another ride report myself!

    It was a great mornings ride but I think you missed a couple of import quotes. Quote number 1 was “This ride’s turned into a f**king epic” and at the end of the ride the same “laid back” specialist was heard to say “I’m f**ked”

    I got some decent video again it’s just finding the time to edit it enough to please the critics.

    Windy Willows was a blast and there must a be a way to add some of the other bits we’ve been riding, Chocolate Jesus etc., in order to make linked mega trail.

    With my hip/back playing up big time I struggled with the power on some of the climbs and exits but still very enjoyable.

    Hope there aren’t too many divorce papers!

  2. Andy C says:

    Sounds like I missed a great ride, though not sure the Univega’s 3″ of travel & lack of brakes combined with suspect technique would be up to some of the descents. I hope Physio John’s ribs are in better nick than mine at the moment. Hope to see you guys next Sunday.

  3. tony says:

    Sounds like a great ride. I think I may need a dropper post next in order to ride some of these big bomb holes.

    Certainly a different morning to me. Three figures on the mileage, back by 12:15, including a full english breakfast in Brighton.

  4. Easynow Nick says:

    I have been called many things in my time, but thats the first time Ive been called a “laid back specialist” 🙂

    And as if I wasnt tired enough after the days ride, I passed a dead tree trunk in a field on the way up Wolverns lane and thought it would make a good subject for some photos.

    So when I got home I grabbed my camera bag and tripod and drove to what I thought was the closest carpark which was Broadmoor.

    Then what was supposed to be a quick short cross country trek to pick up the top of Wolverns Lane.

    After a mile hike up what is possibly the steepest bridleway in the Surrey Hills, I got there and started to walk down Wolverns lane.

    And walked…

    And walked…

    And I staretd to realise that we cover a deceptive amount of ground when we are on our bikes…

    Eventually I found the tree at the bottom of the Rookery by the ponds.

    Spent half an hour taking pics from various angles and stuff and then walked all the way back to the car in Broadmoor carpark…

    By the time I got home the second time, I really WAS f*cked 🙂

    And I didnt get the pic that I wanted either as the sun was too low. But I know where the tree is now so Ill pop back there one moring at sunrise and get the right light.

  5. DaveW says:

    Thanks to all for a great ride and apologies for being antisocial and shooting off and leaving you all after Ranmore, but I wouldn’t have got away with being back too much after two, when my missus was expecting me at the usual 12:30-1pm. As it was I made it home by 2:05pm by going ‘roadie’ from Leatherhead. Kinda got away with it what with it being fathers day. On hols now for a couple of weeks. See you soon fellas, D.

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