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.
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.
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.
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!