Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Cycling News, Reviews, Chat and Ride reports

Ride report: Sunday 4 July – Take 2: Surrey Hills Home Guard

Posted by Muddy John | July 5, 2010 | 5 comments so far

Whilst most of the Moles headed off to Swinley for Sunday, I had too many commitments at home to get away. So I made some feeble excuse about feeling unfit from not getting out on the bike for a week, and posted an alternative ride option on the forum.

Arriving at Bocketts car park my traditional 5 minutes late I was greeted in the gentle mid morning sun by Erick_M and Paul901, who had no doubt been lured out by the thought of a civilised 9am start to the day. Especially for Erick, who had to get the train down from Wimbledon to ride with us. It makes me realise how lucky most of us are to have such beautiful biking countryside on our doorsteps.

Erick was resuming biking after several months break, Paul just converting from road biking and me a superannuated member of Port and Stilton, so with the fitter, more skilled contingent of the Moles in action elsewhere, we were the Surrey Hills Home Guard. As none of us were up for anything extreme we decided to head to Headley Heath, so after a warming nip up Alsatian and along Stane Street we stopped for a well earned breather on The Gallops. I explained to Paul and Erick not to worry about the step over the log half way down and set off down Chainbreaker. Stopping just after the log I expected a wait for them to arrive, but they were on my tail – in fact I was probably holding them up.

Finding the High Ashurst climb a bit crowded with DoE hikers, we took Happy Valley up to Box Hill village and along the road into the back of Headley Heath. Somehow I always manage to find my way across Headley to the car park, but never manage to follow the same route twice. By now it was after 10am and for the first time I can remember, Ali’s Tea Shop – the mobile snack van – was open. Paul particularly enjoyed the Cornish pasty, and having lost my water bottle the tea was my only drink for the morning. Whilst we finished our drinks Paul eulogised the benefits of his recent training day with Danielle of Astounding Adventures.

With the ferns really high on Secret Singletrack I was glad to make only one wrong turn, but it was still a blast. Then we were back up to the bomb holes for a bit of technical work before taking the road back to Box Hill for China Pig. I think this was the highlight of the morning, beautifully dry and no problem on the off camber sections. Almost enough to make me think of trying the log pile… or not.

Time was pressing on so we took Crabtree Lane back up the hill, where I caught up with an unusually chatty roadie on his way towards the sawmill – not really roadie territory, perhaps he is feeling ready to leave the dark side. As I pointed Erick and Paul back towards the car park, the Home Guard concluded operations in just under 4 hours, covering 23.7 miles door to door.

Filed under Rides in July 2010

Muddy John

About the author

John has been biking in the Surrey Hills since the late 1990s but only started riding with the MuddyMoles in 2008. In the couple of years since then he has learned more about mountain biking from the Moles than he learned in the previous ten.

Having remained loyal to his vintage pale blue and orange Stumpjumper hardtail since the last century, he has recently explored the limits of his storage space and his wife’s patience by adding an On-One Inbred Singlespeed and an Orange Five.

John is usually wearing or riding something blue and does not eat any raw fruit beginning with the letter T.

There are 5 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 4 July – Take 2: Surrey Hills Home Guard’

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  1. DaveW says:

    Glad you had a good ride fellas.

    Erick – Sorry to miss your return after that long absence. Hope you make it out again soon mate.

  2. Matt says:

    Nice write up John, I was in Cardiff and missing a ride of any kind.

    I rode Secret Singletrack on Friday though coming back from work and it was almost too overgrown for comfort. If I hadn’t known the trail I think I’d have been off as that bracken is now head high and can easily snag handlebars.

    China Pig was riding very nicely last time I went down there with DaveC, I had no pressure as he kept losing his chain on his ‘project red’ so could just ride at a pace I felt comfortable – I did ride over the small logs but was definitely slower than some of the guys I’ve chased down there!

  3. paul901 says:

    A big thanks to John for looking after us. Erick and I were a similar pace up the climbs for different reasons and whippet John sat under shade and waited for us. I was in no danger of catching John down any of the descents and was busy revelling in the new found skill to navigate the trail, deal with obstacles and feel confident rather than heart in mouth.

    John was like a guide giving us fascinating bits of history at various points. It was the explanation of the bomb holes that prompted the ‘mini mole ride looking after the trails whilst the Moles played away’ name of Home Guard. We didn’t et as fas as working out who was Pike, Jonesy and Capt Mannering.

    I had to get off and walk up the steep part of Happy Valley (and another climb whose name I forget) so HV joins the Newlands Corner climb as personal challenges to overcome

  4. Cathie says:

    Sunday was gorgeous, I was out with a new rider and we enjoyed our time around the North downs. We don’t all have to be fast and furious to have a good time 😉

  5. Muddymoles says:

    Astounding Adventures Fundamentals

    Paul finds the Core Skills course from Astounding Adventures to be just what he needs to kick start his mountain bike career

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