Mud and slide were pretty much the name of the game today.
Initially I thought it would be a small ride but with Mr Mechanical crying off early I wondered if it would it would be even smaller. I need not have worried as when I arrived in the car park a few familiar faces were already there. This grew and the core Moles came out of the woodwork with Colin, Lee and Barrie putting an appearance in. The rest of the group was made up by Kevin, Ray, Lewis, Emma, Andy661, JohnR, Adam, Jez, PaulM and myself, make a starting line up of 13. Unlucky for some!
We headed out for Leith Hill and Admirals Track gave us an idea of what we were heading for with lots of surface water and mud in places. Up to Ranmore via Yew Trees and then onto Badger run to drop down via Landrover. It’s here the the “some” tuned into “one” as Jez made it only a few metres before fidning he had no front brake. Walking back up we sent the others down while I pondered the problem with Jez but a loose banjo joint and liquid marks on the tyre indicated it was home time for Jez. Jez also now faces the problem of retrieving his bleed kit from a garage in deepest Bookham. Apparently he’s going to hire a special forces team to get it back so Colin and I have teamed up to split the bill three ways if a trenching spade and nylon hammer are also retrieved!!
Heading down Landrover was fine if you stuck to the gully where the grip was but the leafs over mud provided little in the way of traction. Emma on her “hybrid” style tyres was not finding a lot of traction or enjoyment today. From here we headed towards the Rookery Climb and pushed up there. Barrie tried his Mr Smooth on a group of femail bikes at the top but they soon pushed off.
The familiar slog up Wolverns Lane with a few riders opting to go the wrong way up Summer Lightning, tut, tut!! While the rest of us regrouped up at the main SL start where I arrived to find the same group of girls just leaving again. On the way we past Jess and Danielle, showing a group of cyclists how it should be done.
A few comedy moments were enjoyed as various riders failed to make the big bomb hole just prior to Deliverance and then we headed off with our sights on the Tower and some cake. We took in the big roll in that Toby showed me on the night ride and then I showed Lee a new bit of singletrack that he hadn’t ridden before.
The Tower provide little shelter as the Moles moved round like Penguins in order to try and keep warm. With cake and hot drink on board we headed off via Personal Hygiene where I nearly over cooked it as the entrey appears to have steepened out somewhat ove rthe last few weeks. Adam took in Deliverance while the rest of us headed for Waggledance and I entertained the Mole collective with a comedy off piste incident much to Lee’s amusement.
Regrouping at SL we headed off giving a gorup in front chance to clear the first section. As I headed into section 2 I’d already lost sight of Adam as was just about to head in after him when I head a female shout “Dave” after me. Now this isn’t something that happens much to me so it warranted some investigation where I found Mel who I hadn’t seen for must be nearly 2 years so it was great to see her and have a quick catch up. Hope to see you out with us soon Mel! Those DoTMB lot are OK to ride with once in a while but the Moles are far friendlier!! ;o)
Mud and grit started to play havoc with gear trains from this point on, with my 9 speed playing up on selection and Kevin developing chainsuck on the final 2 climbs.
It was a great ride even after accounting for the mud and good to see some riders I’ve not seen out for a while. Roll on next weekend!