Variable weather and the Bank Holiday weekend saw little response on the forum and I was expecting a small turn out.What I actually found when I got to the car park was a reasonable group that soon swelled to 18 rider (17 left the car park….but I actually forgot one!).
So, the memory test! I was there!! BigAl, Wayne and his mate Ian, DannyP with MarkyMark, Jon and Jon (too many Jon’s to remember how to differentiate), Toby and George (Cocks, no offense, as in Dorking), Rob (DotMB – Yelli Screamy), Ray (he got left behind as I didn’t see his van!), PaulM (far from last to arrive today), Tony (close to last), JR, Karl, Dandy and…….(imagine a long pause here while I stroke my beard and contemplate the list, recounting a number of times to try and work out who I left out)…of course, JasonP, the big ring basher (allegedly). Phew.
So I’d had it in mind to head to Leith Hill and after winding the Cocks up about it (as they had ridden over from there) we headed off to Ranmore to head down via Landrover. Incidents started before Polesden though as JR had a chain failure and Tony had a tyre that was not sealed properly. Tony soon put some air in and JR headed home to change the chain and rejoin us later. It was soon clear to me that I wasn’t on my best form and I adopted a lead from near the back technique which kept the group together as no one wanted to second guess my directions!
Landrover was soon upon us and DannyP and MarkyMark set a blistering pace followed by Jon on his GF 29er. From there is was the normal route up to the Wolverns Lane via the Rookery climb. The surface was slidey compared with the last few months as rain was now penetrating the soil and puddling in the usual places. The sand on the rookery climb benefited from the rain though and had packed down nicely. We made our way to Deliverance and the usual suspect took it on with Karl and maybe Jon riding it for the first time. I followed George on the side traverse descent which is a much gentler but still fairly technical (don’t look right!) little trail.
Toby then showed us a section called Chicken Skin which was twisty, droppy and I thought pretty technical. I almost endo’ed at one point and lost my bottle a bit after that. Short and sweet the pack split there (having carelessly lost BigAl and DannyP) and half went round Chicken skin again while the rest of us headed for tea at the tower. A few of us were feeling pretty tired now but after some refreshment we asked Toby to lead us round some more loops which took in Chocolate Jesus although not in the order I have done it in the past. All in all some excellent trails and the way they are strung together made it flow so well in what is really quite a small area.
Time was pushing on and Jason was up against a deadline so we took a final trail led by Toby that got us back to Wolverns Lane and fro there back to Ranmore via
High Low Med. Most people were feeling as though they had a good work out by now and we decided that Dearly Beloved would be the best way down. We didn;t meet any walkers coming up so it flowed really well until I saw a puff of Latex from BigAl’s bike quickly followed by a bang as a flint put a good inch worth of slice through his rear Ardent on the final left turn. We sent the others on while he and I put an tube in and made use of Wayne’s tyre boot.
We completed the ride by crossing the stone bridge and turning right directly after it and finishing the ride on the bridleway. All in all and excellent ride taking in many trails I hadn’t done before and giving everyone an excellent workout. Apologies to leaving Ray at the car park and to DannyP who missed out Chicken Skin.