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…