Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 22 June – Substantial Mole loop

Posted by DaveC | June 22, 2014 | 10 comments so far

DaveC on Crackpipe

What a great day for a ride! The sun was shining down as I made my way to Bocketts Farm meeting the GrandMole en-route and finding a few riders already assembled.

A plan had already been forged where we would head towards the A25 a meet a fast recovering and re-strengthening Jem and we’d do Hombury before climbing to Leith Hill tower for refreshments. The Moles assembled with James, depriving JR of his late arrival award. So we had Julian, Matt (Lord Lucan), Kev, Elliott, Chris, JR, DeeDub, James and myself setting off at 9:40am on the dot.

Pace was fast and my blocking tactics didn’t keep JR and co. behind me for long. A dry line was forming on Admirals Track and the dust was flying as we went down under the twin bridges at Polesden. Matt’s wish for a steady pace fell on deaf ears as JR once again took the lead. Chris and I formed a rear guard knowing the was a lot of climbing today. At Ranmore we tried to explain the concept of restraint to JR but it just didn’t seem to go in. We headed right on Ranmore Road before ducking in towards the Scout camp and taking a cheeky right to do the top section of “Wire in the Blood”.

From here we pushed on to ‘Trouble in Paradise’ and ‘Short and Sweet’ before engaging the the Abba Zabba complex where DeeDub when for it and the rest of us took the flowy route! I followed DeeDub and Kev down the “BT” and that soon flowed into “BT2” which all ran very nicely thank you!

James headed back at this point wanting to preserve some energy for his Jedi training tomorrow. A steady ride over Abinger Roughs meant we caught Jem just as he was trying to get set up for some photos. Crossing the A25 we had a jeering session with the lycra wearing Dorking CC but it was all good natured stuff. A swift climb and we were soon exiting near to the Volunteer pub and headed on to pick up the main bridleway into Car Park number…err…7? Dunno and can’t be bothered to look… Felday something or other. This meant another climb and a happy JR.

So, on Holmbury we cut across the bottom of “Telegraph Row” and climbed our way up before putting in a classic loop with Jem leading. His “Mondeo” (well Santa Cruz’ are common as muck in these parts!) seeming to allow him to fly up and down trails. I think today’s ride was an important return for Jem, able to ride without power assistance (the eMTB is in the shop) and take an active part in the route design and trail choice. Smiles all round!

Moles at Holmbury

Eventually reaching the trig point, we stopped for a team photo and then went off to nail “Yoghurt Pots” in the dry before heading to “Crack Pipe”. JR wanted to head down CP and take some piccies which also enabled him to ride down at his own pace unhindered by us boy racers (in our dreams…). “Slidey, Slidey” was my cry as I took in the switchbacks of CP. Rode it well but it had obviously drained well and even I ended up with some big rear wheel lock ups as I tested the Purgatory’s ability to grip under heavy breaking!

Dave Again!

Matt, are those Dandy's shorts, Asked Amanda

The Jemster looking a tad Enduro

Kev on Crackpipe

Julian on Crackpipe

Crackpipe DaveW and Chris

At the bottom of CP we assembled and turned right to pick up the bridleway down to Horsham Road. Regrettably this has had a surface treatment and was not as technical as it used to be and a tad on the loose side. No moles were damaged though. Then came my “great idea”, no lets not do the Mother climb, lets do the climb up through Smith’s Wood. Possibly not my finest choice given the climb was longer but it seemed like a good idea at the time! It was also getting us closer to the cake stop!

With tired legs and a need for refreshments we took the simple option of the bridleway straight up to the Tower. Here I consumed fruitcake and organic Sicilian lemonade. Much squash and cold drinks were enjoyed. At this point an Ellsworth Witness turned up piloted by Darren, with Amanda in her normal stoker position. We all sat together and were reluctant to leave as Amanda told us of her new plans and how she rode 100 miles off road yesterday. She’s a machine!

Darren and Amanda

With the new and longer Summer Lightning calling we all headed off together with the usual stunned looks and dropped jaws as the tandem flew into the trail head. I’m getting the flow better but I still think one berm is a tad close and/or tight, but it could just be my bad technique! Hey ho. The thing was we rattled through it all meeting one grumpy rider trying to head up the final stage the wrong way. He was right, there is no “Do Not Enter” sign, local knowledge, innit.

By the top of the Rookery my water was running out and Jem headed for his car. We took in the normal route back of the back end of Westcott and the Low Med climb before the Dearly Beloved descent and the Polesden climb. All in all some 46km (this is in metric both to annoy StevenD and protest to Strava for not having a statute setting as per Garmin Connect but I had Strava open already) and just over 1000m in climbing

Filed under Rides in June 2014


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 10 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 22 June – Substantial Mole loop’

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  1. JR says:

    What a good route that was, despite the painful slog up to Starval Corner and Leith Hill. Although Elliot seemed to shake of the normal laws of gravitation and scampered up on his fully rigid SS.

    I couldn’t resist attacking the climbs, it was my first proper ride for weeks and my legs needed a bit of a workout. And by the time we hit High Med I was totally wasted.

    Great to see Jem in such good form today, he flew up some of those climbs and looked like a pro coming down Crackpipe.

    Hope there are plenty more dusty days to come.

  2. Julian says:

    thanks a lot for taking me out again after more than half a year! It was a lovely day and a great ride with you!
    Hope to see you soon again!

    Regards, Julian

  3. StevenD says:

    I am glad you all a good ride, it was some weekend – why can we not have more like this ? I went out on the pedals on Saturday and then watched motorised versions at Castle Coombe yesterday. At my age, you ride miles not kms, whatever next, decimal coinage ? 😆

  4. Matt says:

    That was a cracking ride, something I seem to have said a lot recently. It really was very hot and I managed to get through the entire contents of my Camelbak for the first time this year.

    That was the first time I’ve tried the ‘new’ trails from the Tower to Summer Lightning and I have to say they weren’t too bad, but very tiring to string all those berms together. How durable it is remains to be seen but at least they’re not that horrid armoured variety now present at Swinley.

    Also on that topic, the final rooty section between Deliverance and Waggledance needs a bit of tweaking at its out of keeping with the feel of the rest of the trail and might catch people out in the wet. I don’t particularly mind it but its about keeping a flow going.

    Yoghurt Pots was running well, I followed Jem down the classic old section and we ended with virtually identical times, Crackpipe was quite a challenge as the surface is certainly pretty loose now but I really enjoyed it.

    As for the Starvall Climb, only Elliott comes out of that with any credit, he was awesome climbing it on his 32:18 gear. Very impressive. I made use of my granny ring…

  5. KevS says:

    That was possibly the best ride of the year so far?
    It had everything thrown in to keep most people happy albeit with a nasty grind up to Starvall Corner and Leith Hill tower. Much cursing in the peleton and sweat running down our faces, thanks Dave! That was much easier than climbing up the Mother ……. Hmmmmmm?

    Enjoyed the Jemster’s single track guiding on Holmbury and yes he was pushing the pedals hard up the Telegraph climb as my legs were telling me so! Go on Son!!

    Top piccies from JR, prompt ride report from Muddy Dave and after one hell of a ride not much got done Sunday afternoon at GM towers! 🙂

  6. Jem says:

    That was the best day’s riding for a long while. I certainly enjoyed the portion of the route that I completed.
    Sorry for all the climbing I seemed to include in the route, but it looks as though it was well worth it with the trails in such good condition. Blame Dave for the Uplands farm climb. I would have taken you up the Mother 😉

    Leading out On Holmbury, my thought was I must not hold you lot up. So the pace was set with that in mind. I certainly could not have kept that up for too long. In all honestly it was fuelled by adrenaline, as it was great to attack the singletrack due to those perfect conditions.

    Hot and tired last night and felt as though I had been in the tumble dryer on full power. All good I suppose, “no pain no gain”

    Enjoyed Yog Pots, being spurred on with the clattering of Matt’s Retro Five behind me! Nearly as common as those cussed Mondeo’s in these parts. Also the same happened on Waggledance keeping me on my toe’s were Darren and Amanda on their tandem.

    Made you feel alive, Ding Dong!

  7. Tony says:

    Sounds like a great ride guys. Missing the dry and dusty trails. Keith and I will be out soon on the MTBs hopefully with some climbing legs

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