From my bedroom the morning looked windy, grey and grim, not a promising day for a ride. With Dave C giving in to the lure of the duvet, five hardy Moles assembled at Bocketts – DDub, Elliot, Karl, Dom (all the way from Putney) and me.
No route had been planned and although not raining it was very windy, so we settled on the unusual plan of doing a Newlands Loop, but anticlockwise along the Drover’s Road to Newlands, then back along the valley past Abinger. That would give us shelter in the woods when heading into the wind and more exposure when the wind was behind us.
Avoiding The Admiral’s Swamp with the now standard ascent of Ranmore via View to a Kill and the track up to the church, we decided it was dry enough to take Wire in The Blood and Collar Bone, then Short and Sweet along to Drovers Road. Although there were plenty of puddles and a few muddy bits we generally made quick progress to Newlands.
In view of the wind we thought an indoor tea stop would be best, so we parked up the bikes at Tillings Corner House. Although it was well filled with mums and toddlers there was room for five slightly muddy moles, and later on some roadies.
Water Lane was good fun downhill from Newlands, and after the well ridden tracks through the woods behind past Shere and Abinger, the west wind blew us along Deerleap and up High Med to Ranmore.
We decided to finish off with Ricin Beans, which I had enjoyed for the first time on the Wednesday night ride. We had soon got deep into the woods and were trying to decide where to go next when I remembered Dandy’s directions in the dark “Turn left at the big tree” – which is exactly what we needed to get us onto the delightful slippery twisty trail down to the Youth Hostel and on to Bocketts. Overall 26miles and 2,000 ft were covered in what was a much nicer ride than the morning had promised.