Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 24 October – Tumbleweed

Posted by Matt | October 24, 2010 | 11 comments so far

Bockett's Farm in autumn
There was tumbleweed blowing across the Bockett’s Farm car park this morning. Not literally of course, the area’s large army of joggers and dog walkers saw to that but for anyone who saw us set out last week with a gaggle of 15 riders it must have looked odd to see just two of us today.

I was mystified as despite a cold start it was clearly an excellent day for a bike ride. With a clear sky and a gibbous moon still evident long on the horizon I was expecting to see a good few riders but instead I was joined by CanadaRob and that was it. I was so surprised I found myself wondering if a late forum call for Holmbury had been pencilled in without my knowing!

Well, I was set on riding so Rob and I headed off at a steady pace toward Ranmore. There was plenty of large puddles on the Admiral’s Track heading to Polesden but once past those conditions were pretty good, albeit a little unpredictable with all the fresh leaf cover.

We took the stone bridge descent to Tanner’s Hatch which showed the recent rainfall must have been pretty heavy since there were large leaf bordered channels where the water must have flooded down.

After climbing to Ranmore we set off for Newlands via Badger Run and Collarbone, the damp giving us reason to be careful as we picked our way along to White Down. Then it was on to the Abba Zabba complex.

I was a bit circumspect round here today as the short rooty descents are punctuated with plenty of clay and wet chalk so we missed out Blind Terror 2 and also entered the big roll in from the side angle rather than straight down. Even so we managed to string together a smooth enough run through the beech woods.

Onto Abinger Roughs where we were passed by two lovely looking ladies on MTB’s, too bad they were followed by three ordinary looking men; I could easily have added myself to their number though!

Despite the distractions we meandered on, through Gomshall and Shere and finally crossing the woodland between Shere and Albury. From here we had the Newlands Climb in front of us.

I was feeling fine and just span it out as much as possible untroubled byany walkers or other riders. The reward as always was an Eccles cake and coffee at the top. As is often the case we also bumped into Graham and Andrew up here!

After a decent chat we all four set off for home via the North Downs Way, spinning along amongst a busy trail full of walkers and occasional riders. Some of their riding looked very occasional it has to be said. Eventually we parted from Graham and Andrew at Combe Lane while we pressed on for Ranmore.

From here it was pretty straight forward, along the Drover’s Road and then into the woods again to pop out near the reservoir, then back to White Down and the start of Collarbone.

Finally we arrived back on the top of Ranmore and finished with a run down to Polesden toward Yew Trees, passing Hannah on the way up. The final killer climb under the Yew Trees and onto the tarmac was as painful as it always is but was mercifully short.

All in all, with cold air, golden sunlight and trees positively glowing in their autumn colours this was a great day to be out on the bike. It’s just a shame that many of us missed it! I’m rather ambitiously planning four days/nights of riding this week, taking advantage of my wife’s availability over half term to get some commutes in as well as the Wednesday night ride. We’ll see if that’s just wishful thinking later on…

Filed under Rides in October 2010


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 11 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 24 October – Tumbleweed’

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  1. paul901 says:

    The sunday reports make sad reading for me Matt but, interestingly, they now provide inspiration for planning the Saturday rides.

    The route knowledge I picked up with you guys so far is invaluable but nowhere good enough for some of the routes. Time to look into the Satmap 10 (bigger than I would like but looking at DaveW’s it did look impressive) and the new Garmin 800 (pretty sure I will go this way for the road features) if the latter is now in the stores.

    I thought I knew the Newlands Corner run okay and so used that to get used to the Shimano kit I had installed riding solo about a month ago (as I think I wrote somewhere). It’s a favourite ride for me.

    I got lost somewhere after Abinger Roughs after crossing to the south side of the A25, literally went cross country along some fields, learned an alternative climb to the final one which brings you out along the North Downs Way a short way, stopped at the café of course and chatted to a nice blonde whilst eating my egg roll. It had been an egg and bacon but the bacon was awful and so went to her dog.

    That’s today’s tip for getting their attention by the way, feed their dog! Similar to you, her male companion appeared a couple of minutes later, ah well.

    Good to see you are back out riding.

  2. Dave says:

    I’ve gone down with manflu I’m afraid. Yeserday my throat was rougher than Dandi’s Mankini after a weeks trek across the Sahara (now there’s an image that will stay with you….or haunt you….for a while).

    I did manage to tidy the garage up on Saturday though and got most of the floor hoovered….

  3. Amanda Brooks says:

    Well Adam Darren and I went to Afan on Sunday and spent the day riding in the sun there it was a wicked day and we had the tandem our for a blast.

    So whilst we may have missed the normal Sunday ride with the moles we still had a blast and think a few guys are still rubbing their eye in amazment at seeing a tandem flying down the trails with a mad looking woman on the back laughing hysterically and egging them on to try and keep up.

  4. Dandy says:

    My poorly legs, after suffering from some sort of bug for the last week, were not up to an XC blast; and I had a sneaky suspicion that an XC blast was on the cards for the Moles. I suspect I would have slowed you both quite considerably had I joined you to make it a threesome!

    On the way to Bocketts the previous Sunday, I’d spotted DaveDubya heading towards Dorking with a shiny Titus El Guapo on the roof. He was testing the ride and set-up on some of the more technical Leith Hill trails, and was planning more of the same this Sunday. As this was likely to be more stop/start and less taxing on my doddery pins, I tagged along. I was also hoping to subject the Moose Cycles Ibis Mojo demo bike to a similar test, but they couldn’t sort the brakes out in time; so it was back to the trusty On-One Inbred 456 hardtail.

    We took in many of the Leith & Redlands faves, e.g. Deliverance, Wave of Mutilation, Foot & Mouth, Windy Willow, Chocolate Jesus etc. I was quite chuffed to tackle the WoM tree root/bole on the hardtail, though I came close to pitching over the front 🙁

    The generally heavy conditions, and my lack of practice/confidence following enforced absences due to broken ribs, meant that I was approaching some of the drop-offs slower than I would like, so minced around them. Dave of course, tackled them with his usual aplomb (though he also confessed to a few ‘sphincter tightening’ moments due to the conditions). Knowing Dave, I made sure I was well upwind on these occasions 😉

    We did pick up a couple of stray Moles on our way round, BikeTech Mark and his mate Paul having started out from Box Hill around 10am. We also bumped into quite a few familiar faces around Leith Hill, including Joe from the Cocks.

    You were spot-on in summarising the conditions though, Matt. Aside from being a little too damp in some of the darker recesses of the woods, it was a cracking day for a ride. I intend to join you again next Sunday, hopefully fully recovered.

  5. Matt says:

    Haha I knew my spidey-sense was telling me something! Sounds a cracking ride, I haven’t been down WoM for a long time but remember both clearing it and crashing on it…

    Amanda, would have loved to join you guys at Afan but just couldn’t get the time away unfortunately.

    Glad the day wasn’t wasted.

  6. Tony says:

    I had to be back early so missed out the muddy conditions but enjoyed 2 hours spin on the road bike.

    Have a good ride on Wednesday evening. I’m frustratingly close to fanastic looking Rockies mountains this week but sadly no mtb- ing.

  7. DaveW says:

    I would also have loved to come to Wales, but couldn’t get a pass. Hopefully next time. Some of those switchbacks must have been interesting on the tandem!

    As divulged by Dandy, I’ve been trying out my Titus on Leith over the past couple of weeks, with the intention of tweaking the setup, exploring a bit and making the most of the conditions before it gets too gloopy up there.

    Sunday was a lovely day and it was good to share some recent trail discoveries with the Dandyman and to explore some more.

    It was also good to bump into Mark and Paul and funny that we ended up as the larger group (briefly, until we went our separate ways once more).

    And for the second week running I saw Nick from diaryofamountainbiker at the tower, this time with Rob on his nice new Mmmbop.

    Last week I saw Lordonone senior at the tower and he took a load of snaps of the el guapo, so one or more may be on their blog and/or flickr. I haven’t had a chance to look lately.

    I hope to be out on Wednesday as normal, but may need to play with my new toy for another weekend or two if the conditions last. Perhaps Pitch next week…

  8. MarkW says:

    Unfortunatley, I was a bit under par on Sunday and my good lady encouraged me to stay home! (I think she regretted it though as she later discovered how restless I can become without my weekly fix……!) Agreed it was a great day, hope the weather repeats this Sunday and hopefully I can come out to play!

  9. Muddymoles says:

    Ride report: Sunday 31 October – Spooky horse

    Late autumn, Halloween, spooked horses and of course mud feature on todays ride to Leith Hill and back.

  10. Related: Ride report: Sunday 31 October - Spooky horse | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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