Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 25 July – A Tale of Pairs

Posted by Paul901 | July 28, 2010 | 3 comments so far

Another Home Guard ride set off today with most regular Moles recovering from their Wales trip or otherwise committed. It was a day of two pairs for Andy and Andy (Turnerguy and 661), Paul and Paul (M and 901) and hill and hill (Holmbury and Leith).

Much route checking, bike fettling and an extended cake stop made this ride less technical and more endurance. For PaulM and I who put an extra few minutes onto our cake stop it was also a 6 hour event and the Andys will not have been too much less, unless they hammered back as planned. I think this ride will have burned a few calories for us all even if the ride was not that intensive.

We set out towards Yew Trees but turned right for Pamplona instead, not as dusty down there as I recall it from our last visit. At the bottom we continued along the lo-ooo-ng, gentle flint climb up to Ranmore Road. I understand this climb may not have a name so for now it’s called “Green Grass” – you constantly search for a good line and no matter which you choose the grass just has to be greener on the other side!

We rolled over and down to Landrover but left it for the easier descent west. The plan was to get to Holmbury directly, take in some fun and see how much time we had left for Leith Hill.

On arriving at Holmbury we headed for the top, the stone circular seat and the view of the surrounding hills, Dunsfold Aerodrom etc. We caught an unexpected view when spotting the remains of a roll-up on the ground and speculated that the Summer Solstice ride was in fact a drive there, bikes off the car for a quick photo shoot and some serious mellowing with sympathetic substance. No, surely not…

Time was short as it was already around 11am so Barrie Knows Best and Telegraph Road had to be sacrificed if we were to make Leith Hill and a cake stop was a popular team goal. Yogurt Pots it was then, a blast as usual and PaulM thinking that some of the dips may be getting steeper down there. It must be astonishing to see his Brother ride down there given the reports of how this race champion made light work of a tough 35 mile ride without stops when last over visiting Paul.

Mother took us to Leith Hill and Mother scolded me harshly. 10+ hours per week of current riding makes fatigue inevitable at some point and I was in the red zone form here, no cold sweats on the neck or forehead, just a loss in power as we reached 4 hours along this part of the ride.

For what it’s worth I had rested the day before, hydrated continuously, had breakfast, eaten a banana and a power bar already. Just one of those things and at heart rate recovery pace was fine for the rest of the ride. Time for a gentle week basically.

The Leith Hill Tower refreshments were as welcome as ever, much talk of bikes as usual and during the morning we had tried to solve the mystery squeaks on Andy’s FS Whyte. We know we improved things and made suggestions Andy will no doubt check for good measure. We may have found the culprit, a mouse living within the seatpost or something similar.

The Andys left for a speedy response at this point whilst I was glad of the rest time and PaulM did not take much persuading for seconds of cake and coffee. Another pair of pairs then!

The ride back towards Bocketts was enjoyable and I don’t think it took in the usual suspects. The two Pauls descended the steep, rooty tower climb and turned left for the long valley to take us back to the A25 some way west of Westcott.

Rather than ride alongside the A25 to the triangle at Westcott we instead went over the style and took the rough hillside down past the corn towards Combe Farm and up the slopes of Ranmore giving a breathtaking view of the Panorama with Dorking to the left, the valley and railway line below and the hills we had left behind in on the other side of us. One of those place you can stay still and lose time. It brought us out by the side of the red house and car park on Ranmore Road.

I am guessing the ride was about 27 miles give or take. Not a huge distance given the time involved but plenty of it was a grind on the ascents and stony surfaces. As usual, good company made for an enjoyable time.

Filed under Rides in July 2010


About the author

Paul set foot (or pedal) on a trail for the first time in May 2010 with zero experience and zero skills awareness and a fear that his Whyte901 would be a very expensive whim. Whilst a convert to the trails he still rides 10 times as many miles on average on his beloved tarmac as a darksideaholic. Paul actually turned up to a Leith Hill evening ride and pulled a Viner road bike out of the car, waved, rode off and wasn't seen again until the pub later that evening.

He also confesses to having owned 3 coffee roasters, 2 expensive grinders, several elite coffee machines and a rotating stock of 10+ green bean coffee varieties at any one time. He spent 2 years developing a coffee grind reference table, has an RO water filter system for absurdly pure water, casually drops words like backflush, spritzing and Euro curve into a conversation, has compiled his own coffee roasting handbook based on 5 years of roasting and still denies obsession. Er, right.

There are 3 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 25 July – A Tale of Pairs’

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  1. TurnerGuy says:

    We (the Andy pairing) went right from the Tower over to the Cricket pitch, past the little footpath which now has a barrier and a “this is a footpath” sign and ducked in left about 15 metres further down, into some dippy bits and up past the top of Deliverance and into WaggleDance (?) which then feeds almost immediately into Summer Lightning and then down Wolverns Lane and the bridleway to Westcott. Nice long descent 🙂

    Then we went across the green by Nirvana and up to join a route across the railway line that I did with the moles recently. Instead of following the switchback climb up the downs I said lets try a more direct rouote but it was way steep and led to some bike pushing…

    I will pay more attention ot contour lines in future…

    Then when we got to Ranmore we missed the bridleway I was aiming for (went down the wrong side of a house) but thought we could continue on the byway as marked on the map. This was in a poor state of use/repair, even with some hardcore on it and it was very bumpy, but downhill. I think Paul901 would have cursed! We should have doubled back 🙁

    Eventually back to the car park after 2 sometime I think, maybe 2:10 ?

    I thought the “Green Grass” climb was worse than Mother due to the traction issues with the flinty rocks, but that’s maybe because I didn’t know it and it seemed to go on forever.

  2. Matt says:

    The Green Grass climb is actually Hogden Lane, and yes, it’s hellish! I hate it for exactly the reasons you mention Andy, long, little variation in gradient and flinty (a tyre-wrecker). Some days you can float up it easier than others mind but it’s a bit boring.

    Sounds like you all had a good ride, 27 miles is plenty.

  3. tony says:

    I must be strange since I love Hogden Lane/Green Grass. It’s my preferred route to Ranmore when I’m riding on my own. I really like the technical challenge of it. Although I did once completely flatten over a rim wall coming down it.

    Also on this subject, when I’m on my own I like to ride the the “scouting for boys” descent off the start of collarbone but the MM never seem to want to ride it! We usually ride Landrover instead. It even used to have the classic “Steep descent – cyclists are advised to dismount” sign.

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