Dead Mole Society? Well, there were Moles, there was a Killer loop… Dead Mole Society? Well it made sense to me when I was discussing it with Chris while climbing up toward Holmbury Hill.
Killer Loop – tick
DaveW and the Tunnel Hill crew – tick
DoMTB crew – tick
Meet PIJ – tick
Avoid the several hundred MTBers in the Surrey Hills today – tick
Today’s ride ticked all the boxes.
So with apologies to some of the recent riders who have joined us, the hardcore of the Moles set off for an earlier ride with a fair pace over 40 miles of Surrey’s best routes.
10 Moles and 9 bikes meant that Amanda and Darren were on their Ellsworth Tandem while JohnR also appeared on a shiny new steed… Jez, Jem, Tony (the Missing Mole), Keith, JamesPro, Chris and myself made up the rest of the Mole Pack… errr… Moletitude of Moles.
So, with high speed and low drag being our objective we set off up Admiral’s Track for about 500m before JamesPro let one go, his tube that is. With a bit of faffage that was soon sorted and we set off again towards Yew Trees and the long climb up to Ranmore. Being the slower rider in the pack I was soon dropped as the rest of the Moletitude pushed onwards. They paused briefly at the road for me to catch up and I went straight through to lead the charge along Badger Run and down Landrover. Smoking brakes was my trade mark going down and JohnR found his new steed sure footed.
Across the railway and onwards to the Rookery and then Wolverns Lane. Pace was still fast and I found myself at the back again. Staying at a comforatble pace I was able to keep rolling with minimal stopping once I caught and and we headed towards the start of Summer Lightning. Here we stumbled on DaveW leading the Tunnel Hill crew on a trip round the best bits Leith has to offer. A brief chat and onwards to the top of Deliverance, the bomb holes and then a quick right left at the Cricket Pitch to take in a roll in that Toby showed us.
To JohnR’s disappointment we skirted round the tower to take in a few more of Toby’s bits and then towards the High Ashes descent by way of Chocolate Jesus. Tanking down the Mother we emerged on the road and then, somewhat foolishly but never-the-less true to the original Killer Loop, we turned left and lost a load more height so we could have a really tough off road climb…
Up on Holmbury we headed to the Trig Point before taking the scenic route towards the Reservoir and ultimately Barry Knows Best. Flying down BKB being hassled by a Tandem is not an experience I’ve had before but with Tony blocking my path (tongue in cheek comment) I had little option but to just do what I could to stay ahead of Darren and Amanda. Tea stop ahoy, we took in a refuel and had a chill out before heading off again, first saying farewell to JohnR.
Leading off up Walking Bottom Road towards the car park I ran into Rich and DaveBus from DoMTB, just having time to raise hands in salute as we rolled past each other. MTBers were all over the area as a Race was being held in aid of the local school. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as well!
Heading up towards the next car park we went a little too far to the left and ended up coming down through the Quarry area. JamesPro has a bit of a spill at the back but seemed OK by the time he made it down. We did the lesser roll in towards the top car park and then the climb to the Windmill but turning hard right at the top and taking in the swooping single track that eventually leads to Ladies Legs. Excellent conditions and a real blast as I was hassled by the tandem again. Then onto Ewoks and the long steppy descent.
There I’m kind of out of place names but it wasn’t long until we were on familiar gorund again as we worked out way towards Albury and the next climb up to cake stop number 2. I was adopting the rear guard position again but keeping it steady I came up to the car park in good condition and looking forward to more flap jack and hot chocolate.
While standing round chatting I was amused to see BikeTech Mark appear spouting abuse in his good natured way and I realised we must have arrived at the same time as PIJ and his team. So, finally I got to meet PIJ, a frequent commenter on this website, and thank him for a route we did the previous Tuesday.
Cold is a motivator at Newlands this time of year and we soon headed off back towards home but aiming to take in the Effingham descent. Pace continued to be fast and we took in the concrete bowl with the tandem getting in on the act as well. Dizzy and disorientated I led them off again, finding the PIJ and team had now caught us up. Gradually I reeled PIJ back in as I got dropped by the rest of the Moles.
Waiting just after the gate we rode on to the next gate where we turned left and began the Effingham descent. Keith dropped a gear to start leading the pack by the time we got down to Effingham itself. From here it was a straight run and on this ride I felt no need to shepherd the group back to Bocketts as I peeled off left with Tony and Jem as I read off a total distance of just over 40 miles with 4700 calories in the bag. Sitting here I ache a fair bit but what a great ride!
Next week the big race, gulp.