Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 22 January – frosty

Posted by Matt | January 23, 2023 | 4 comments so far

Heavy frost over Norbury Park, January 2023
Time for a Sunday ride; so time also for a short ride report…

Short, mainly because for me the ride itself was short! I have been distracted these past weeks and have stayed deep in the burrow. Small wonder with weeks of rain, followed by heavy frost and sub-zero temperatures.

This has conspired to leave me considerably less fit than my norm, meaning regular riding is tiring me out. So today I decided to join the group for a truncated ride, aiming to get home with some energy remaining.

Heavy frost over Mickleham Gallops, January 2023

It didn’t quite work out that way.

I rode with Lloyd on Friday evening and just 19 miles of cross country left me with a headache all day Saturday. Today Lloyd, Tony, MarkC and Elliot were heading to Reigate, after unexpectedly soft conditions near Thorncroft on Friday night left Lloyd with a bashed knee. I decided to tag along, to kick start a Sunday habit and say hi to the chaps if nothing else.

It was pretty cold this morning though, a bit of a shock to my system. So cold in fact that my ride ended up averaging -3° and dropped as low as -7° at the outset. It certainly made my forehead freeze, but at least provided some sparkly photos.

We rode through Norbury and on up to Mickleham, following a familiar route. At Headley cricket ground I parted from the group to head back, having done enough exercise for my first Sunday ride of 2023.

I took a meandering route home, via Secret Singletrack at Headley, then Pot Noodle on Mickleham and on to Norbury Park where I winched up and rode along to Crabtree Lane. After climbing up to the car park I followed the old Norbury driveway to the sawmill and back down to Roaring House Farm and round the big field to Bookham in the weak winter sun.

Moles on Nickleham Gallops, heading toward Headley

Even this relatively easy route, covering a total of just under 17 miles left me tired, and Sunday evening gifted me another headache. Not enough miles in my legs, not enough core strength to support myself on the bike – I guess I am riding back to fitness…

My fellow riders managed 22 miles and a lot more climbing, and I heard Lloyd found more mud to stretch out on. With the rain and then the big freeze the trails are a bit porridge-y when the ice softens, we can expect the next week or so to be a little mucky as a result.

As it was, with the mud largely frozen I quite enjoyed myself on Pot Noodle, but the priority was to keep moving and to keep warm.

I was rather glad to get home, with quite dense freezing fog as I came down the last hill. As always, it was good to be out, but the bike is going to have to wait a while to be washed.

Frozen ground, frozen mud on my Bird Aether 9

Filed under Rides in January 2023


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 4 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 22 January – frosty’

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  1. Tony says:

    I’m glad you got out since it’s always hard to gain back that fitness and the first steps are sometimes brutal. It was a great morning to get out if you were dressed appropriately since for the most part the trails were frozen solid even at the end of the ride. For instance Lloyds Left Legs bottom part was running excellently.

    Nice pictures too.

    • Lloyd says:

      Good to see you getting back out again Matt, I am sure you will be beasting along in no time.
      Having ignored Patti’s ‘suggestion’ to not go out in the icy conditions I was being hyper cautious, right up to the time I had a lie down in deep and wet mud. As there was no way of pretending me and the bike had not parted company, a lot of discussion then ensued on thinking of how I had got mud all down one side that was not the result of a fall. We did not come up with anything credible.

    • Matt says:

      I did enjoy being out and it made change to get back at a relatively early time. Can’t wash the bike though as no hose (nozzle frozen solid). Was expecting frozen mud on Friday night but it was horrible sticky muck.

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