Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Sunday 28 January – Leith and Holmbury

Posted by Matt | January 28, 2024 | 1 comment so far

The Moles at Dearleap in January
Just a short report today to cover the basics as I have a busy week on the site ahead.

Today we rode over to Leith Hill and Holmbury Hill from Bocketts Farm in Bookham. The day was mainly lovely bright sunshine, a cold wind from the south soon dropped off the radar leaving good dry-ish riding conditions.

Our Mole-meet included Elliot, Lloyd, JamesS, Richard, David and myself and our route, while reasonably direct, ended up being nearly 28 miles for me. Tony had family commitments while JR was still sliding rather than rolling down hills (mountains).

We headed along Admirals, down and up the Yew Trees slog to Ranmore, chased by a couple of tractors at one point. Woodland management, there’s a lot going on.

Pace RC627 at Leith Hill Tower

I’ve quite got into the groove on the Pace this winter, finally using it as intended to spare my full sus. Which… needs new pivot bearings anyway!

The Pace is never likely to be an easy winter pedal on account of its weight, but it is pretty stable and responsive for low speed noodling.

Over to Leith

Anyway, we headed along Collarbone, then a fast run down White Down. It felt a properly old school ride really, I’ve done this many, many times.

As we picked up Wolverns Lane near Wotton, we also picked up MarkC who was resigned to a solo outing on his new (to him) titanium Sonder. Serendipitously, we synced perfectly as he crested the climb from Westcott, and so 6 riders became 7.

We pressed on, and conditions remained benign.

As we neared Leith Hill I even followed Elliot down Bow to the Wow (its so long since I’ve done that I missed out a loop round a tree!). My enthusiasm was then sufficient to draw me in to climbing to the tower by the steep route.

Elliot adds air at Leith Hill Tower

Not stopping at Leith Hill for more than a few minutes, we meandered down the hill via the extensive trails, taking in Chocolate Jesus before the Mother down to Heartworks coffee.

Up to Holmbury

Next, Lloyd fancied adding a little bit of Holmbury in, so up it was again, to Telegraph which was running super fast today. I’ve not ridden it in months but it was great.

We ducked out to the right in the last third, planning Au Naturel but… woodland management! Arggh! The trails are out of action there for a while despite our best efforts.

Matt and James climb Holmbury

So, back home via Paddington Farm and Abinger Roughs, then more notalgia in the form of a slog up High Med to Ranmore. Our ride was so old school it had three Oranges and three hardtails in a group of seven today. And… it’s not often you can say this but… two Titanium Sonders!

My legs were working but I was hurting from the effort, particularly as we neared the end of the ride. I’ve been trying to push my fitness this January to get off to a head start for the year and I can feel some benefit. But a long way to go.

We finished with a mix of fast and fun Ricin Beans followed by the painful last climb to Polesden Lacey.

Along the way, we met a rider with only one arm. However you look at that, riding slippery off road trails with one arm puts all our efforts to shame. Chapeau, as they say!

Filed under Rides in January 2024


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 is 1 comment on ‘Ride report: Sunday 28 January – Leith and Holmbury’

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  1. Elliot says:

    I came up behind that rider just as he got on the bike and set off again. Couldn’t tell if he’d really hurt himself so asked if he was okay. Glad to hear he was just removing a stick and rides one armed anyway.

    Very nearly a clean sweep for British bike companies. I changed the valve core in the afternoon and it’s been holding air since.

    That’s the first time in a while I’ve cleared the steep side of Leith Hill. I’d like to take credit but it probably had more to do with a new line opening up around the bit I was getting stuck on before.

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