Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report – Sunday 28th August – Memory test

Posted by DaveC | August 28, 2011 | 15 comments so far

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.

Filed under Rides in August 2011


About the author

Dave's been riding seriously since about 1997 and is one of the founding Molefathers — along with Matt and Mark — that came up with the idea of a MTB website for Mole Valley riders.

He's had several different bikes but it's now mainly 29ers in Dave's stable, apart from an Orange 5.

Current Bikes: Orange 5, Salsa Spearfish and Kona Big Unit

There are 15 comments on ‘Ride report – Sunday 28th August – Memory test’

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  1. Oh yes, truly an epic ride today people. Really enjoyable with so much new stuff! This area just keeps on getting better and better doesn’t it!? Big thanks to all for an awesome morning.

    Should keep me stoked until Wednesday!

  2. John R says:

    That was might fast for posting a write up Dave. And well done on the memory test too. I didn’t realise we had left Ray behind, he was certainly with us by the time I rejoined you at Wolvens.

    My chain break is the latest in a catalogue of chain woes, including a potentially nasty break a couple of weeks back on the steep road up Pewley Hill in Guildford. Suffice to say I have learned for a series of incidents:
    – Don’t buy Shimano 10sp Chains, becasue if you have to remove and refit them they soon fail
    – Whippermann Connex chains have a great removeable link design making them dead easy to remove and refit
    – The Connex link can be used OK with Shimano chains.
    – A new chain and a worn cassette are bad news.
    That’s enough learning for me.

    PS It was a great ride too – I clocked 25.5 miles, with the detour back home.

  3. Big Al says:

    Great ride as always , good to be back.
    Once again thank you Wayne for the tyre boot.

  4. Karl says:

    Superb ride!! Loved it…

    Enjoyed very much Chicken Skin.. (twice),.. and Chocolate Jesus, and Deliverance certainly got the adrenaline going.. Thanks for noticing my rear wheel had disengaged Dave! Phew.

    Great to see so many kindred spirits enjoy this fabulous area. Meeting new faces and discovering new trails.
    What better way to spend an August Sunday?

    Bloomin marvelous.

  5. Jason says:

    Always good to read about the trails around Surrey since I moved away to be by the sea. Was hoping to get back up to Holmbury Hill this weekend, but the thought of battling bank holiday traffic put me right off. Very jealous of those riders who have so many superb trails on their doorsteps.

    If any of you guys are interested in reading about the riding available in Sussex, check out my blog : )

  6. Brett says:

    Sounds like you chaps had fun. Myself and a friend are planning to go to boxhill for the 1st time as we’re looking for some downhill action/general track riding. Can you inform me/us where is our best place to start? Where is the car park? I used to go to boxhill many moons ago (motorbike) but have revisted my old bmx days with the purchase of a jump bike – I will not grow up! Many thanks for any info.


  7. tony says:

    First off sorry about the tyre faffage. The new Conti tubeless tyre I fitted the previous day had sat on the bead fine but seemed to have a number of small sidewall leaks. As I stopped and pumped the damn thing up, each time it got a bit better and eventually it sealed. Next time it’s a few test rides of more Nobbly Nicks.

    The ride was really quite standard until after the tower (I cleaned it absolutely no problem but no-one was there to see me!…honestly) when Toby took us on a magical mystery tour of the woods to the North West of the tower. We usually have a play down towards the quarry (BTW what was the model 4×4 off-road trials thing all about – weird) and around that location but Toby took us to a whole new level of trails. A continuous sweep of tiny single track that probably would look like a statelite location malfunction on a GPS route. I loved it! Why haven’t we ridden any of these trails?

    For a big group it moved along alright too. A great morning out.

    • Dandy says:

      Don’t apologise for the tyre faffage, it gave me a chance to have a break from all that climbing,and it meant that you carried my ‘big bastard’ around for me all day !

      I wasn’t too impressed when you kept passing me on every hill whispering ’32 tooth’ out of the side of your mouth. To explain, I was trying out my Alfine hub set up on the Inbred, and have a 34t chain ring which is just too much for my spindly pins to push on the steeper ups. I shall be swapping out for a 32t pretty damn soon.

      The route was great, especially Toby’s labyrinthine singletrack route around Leith Hill. Plus it’s always good to take a new bike (and a new drive set-up feels like a new bike) down Deliverance 🙂

      • tony says:

        I forget to mention that I was your “pump bitch” (don’t look that up in a profanathorus). It was a great peice of kit – I need to get one.

        32t – well I’m not the most spinning of little gear climber but I’ve got a 32tx18t on my Alfine and at least once a ride get into the 1st gear


  8. Yelli Rob says:

    Truely great ride, thanks chaps, don’t s’pose any one saved that route for future ref by any chance? That Upper Leith Hill bit was awesome.

  9. Toby says:

    Thank you Moles, enjoyed the ride and pleased that my little tour of Leith Hills singletrack seems to have gone down well, if only we had the time to incorporate a couple of extra bit I was hoping to include or perhaps its best to save them for another day.

  10. Markymark says:

    Great ride chaps. Loved the techy windy bit on top at Leith. Have only really done Windy Willows in there and was amazed at how much more there is. Bloody great fun.

    The super-serious look on the blokes face with the clipboard scoring the 4×4 toys ability to manoeuvre the quarry terrain cracked me up!

    Doubt you’ll see me for a week or so as the Mrs is due to drop this week. I do aim to keep spinning though with sneaky spontaneous road rides from home to keep the legs up.

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