Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report – Sunday 5th August – Our Darkest hour

Posted by DaveC | August 6, 2012 | 16 comments so far

Before I write about the Summer weather I’d like to drawer your attention to the Mole image. Our homage to Mr Bradley Wiggins has involved Moley growing the requisite side burns and posing in front of a patriotic triple!

Wiggo Mole

So, first Sunday ride in glorious August, has to be sunny? Wrong. In fact I got wetter yesterday than I did at Mountain Mayhem, mainly due to me sleeping through the storm so Tony may well disagree but I got soaked.

Even with the forecasts 10 of us started out, myself, JonH, Karl, Kev, Andrew, the other Matt!, JohnR, Dandy and DaveW. And JohnR had said a few days earlier that Leith Hill would be a good choice given the sandy, good draining nature of it over there. I checked to ensure we hadn’t left Ray behind and off we went.

Classic sort of route taking in a rather ginger descent down Landrover and the rain was pretty much at a constant drizzle. The track to the railway is getting very narrow as nettles and brambles hang over, heavy from the rain. Flesh takes a beating as thorns rip in and tiny streaks of blood appear on forearms. It’s also mainly a chalk gully so super slippy in those conditions.

We headed over to The Rookery climb and the fast Moles shot off to take on Strava in unlikely conditions it may just be possible to grab a new PB on a climb. At the top no one seemed to have much heart for tricky stuff so we headed up Wolverns Lane and made our way to the top of Deliverance to regroup.

On the way we passed Jess from Singletrackschool who was coaching some 5 attentive cyclists in the art of drops and jumps. I gave the multiple QoM of the area a royal wave and I went passed. This was the first encounter of the day.

Stopping at the top of Deliverance only long enough to regroup we headed straight to the tower for a hot drink and cake. We weren’t exactly broken but we were beginning to wilt a little under the persistant rain. EVEN Kev was beginning to moan.

Quickly home via Summer Lightning was the decided route even though Karl found it hard to disguise his disappointment at the lack of gnar to shred. Personal Hygiene proved tricky enough to get too let alone get down with any degree of control. Half the Moles opted for the rocky climb descent (if you see what I mean). I think DaveW and Karl took on Deliverance but I wasn’t watching! I was just listening to see if I was going to hear the wrong type of sound……luckily they both made it down smoothly.

At the end of the first section of Summer lightning we again stumbled on Jess and co and I was greeted by Sarah who I’d missed on the first passing but is someone who has ridden with Cathie and myself on a number of occasions. Sarah was brushing up on her technique so I hope she’ll make it out on a Mole ride soon! Even Jess was starting to look a little wet and deflated after admitting that her mud0guard adorned road bike, bought purely as an offering to the God of Rain, had failed in the task at hand. Then she blamed science, so I left.

Back down Wolverns lane and I commented on the fact that most of our baggies were hanging slightly lower than normal. Even the very subdued Dandy couldn’t brighten the outlook, especially given he’d turned up with the same Kona shorts on as me. But you have to laugh. Don’t you?

Well I nearly didn’t when Karl’s tyre let go heading up Low Med but by that time the rain had actually stopped so it wasn’t too bad although I had to faff around changing the Mountain Morph head over to shraeder valves. This left 5 of us as the other half headed for home. Funny really, even in all that rain and mud we still enjoyed the ride. Maybe we were still basking in the reflection of bright shiney golds!

I’d like to say a special thanks to my friend Joe for modding the Mole while Matt is away.

Filed under Rides in August 2012


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 16 comments on ‘Ride Report – Sunday 5th August – Our Darkest hour’

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  1. Lloyd says:

    Sipping a fine claret in the sun here in France and not missing a wet mole outing at all.
    Do like the Wig-mole, any chance of including this on the new mole top orders.

  2. Muddy John says:

    Well, I enjoyed the ride – despite hearing my brake pads being sanded away with every turn of the wheels. I’ve now ordered sintered on the basis they might last an extra week or so.

    Can any of you remember, many years ago, when the main complaint on an August Moles ride was the cloud of dust thrown up by the front riders?

  3. DaveW says:

    Jez and I legged it after getting our breath at the top of Med and headed back to Epsom via Ranmore Church and Stane Street. I was ‘straining my greens’ by the side of the trail, when the doamb lot came past. No-one offered to shake my hand for some reason… It was good to see Terry, Rich (loney), Tim and Wob (occasional mole ride attendees), Adam (batbling), etc. albeit briefly, who were just returning from a Reigate loop. Jez and I headed up Staine Street and the diary boys headed back via Mickleham top, which might have been a better choice given the state of Staine Street. I rolled into my drive just before it started lashing it down again – both the bike and I needed a good hose down and my boy was as always amused to see his old man covered in filth and smiling on the doorstep!

  4. KevS says:

    Another fine summer’s day ride with the Moles.
    Thunder n lightning, lashing rain, deep puddles, mud, slippy roots but still hugely enjoyable in a perverse sort of way.

    Once you got soaked and caked in gloop it didnt seem to matter anymore and we just ploughed on.

    Conditions were a tad tricky in places as I proved by crashing into a boggy bombhole while coming back down off Leith Hill just past the cricket pitch.
    D’Andy obviously thought it looked like fun and joined me at the bottom of the pit by crashing on top of me, both bikes and us entangled. (note to self, always ensure I ride behind the Gnarr shredder) 🙂

    No real harm done but why is it that we always seem to crash on the same side as previous incidents, Ouch again!

  5. Markymark says:

    Keep smilin’!

    I’m gagging for some off-road action and will be back in baggies shortly. It’s been bibshorts and tarmac for me since MM!

    Unfortunately couldnt make sundays ride, the kids gave me and the mrs their stomach bug on saturday and, like DaveW, i too was ‘straining my greens’ so to speak, for the entire weekend.

  6. Karl says:

    Raising above the scatological down-turn of the posts above..

    Liking the 3 ring mole….. Doh!

    Agree with Kev and Dave on water and mud quotient.. I too had to be hosed down in the garden..

    Early in the ride I warped up behind D’Andy on Landrover at a wild and uncontrolled rate, which resulted in some terrifying panic braking, slewing, wobbling, and generally trying to stay on, as I discovered he was not doing a normal D’Andy speedy descent. Was very lucky to get away with that one! So Kev.. Too muddy and treacherous to be close behind anyone.. even D’Andy!

    To set the record straight on Deliverance, Jez went down 1st, from the right hand side secret route, which is just as steep, but not as high.

    Then it was me.. using the corrugated iron at the bottom as brakes… eek. Then D’Andy dropped down in fine style.. Was a bit disappointed not to see Matt2 come down on his beefy wheeled Spicy, but apparently, unlike us, he has an operational brain, and an ability to exercise discrimination. His speeds uphill on that tractor were mightily impressive.

    Following Kev along Wolverns I noticed how smooth and effortless his riding is.. Think I learned a lesson there!

    Thank you Dave for the tyre changing help on Low Med.. Sterling.

    Agree too, that despite the mud, it was still an enjoyable ride..

    • Dandy says:

      Apologies for mincing down Land Rover, Karl. I got a bit out of shape on a somewhat uncontrolled descent of the first half, and on spotting the tree, I took the opportunity to slow up and ‘recompose myself’. Obviously I didn’t get the chance because as soon as I did I heard from behind that slithering sounds of rubber losing its battle against grip, accompanied by your cursing. “Best let go of the brakes then” I thought to myself.

  7. Big Al says:

    Sounds like I’ve been missing some great riding the last couple of weeks !! I’ve just got back from 2 weeks in Spain . I managed to clock up 400 hilly miles on the tarmac in temperatures up to 40 degrees !!! hope to be back out at the weekend .

  8. cathie says:

    I love the new GB Wig-mole

    Have to add that I missed Dave’s muddy arrival home but when I rang him to see if I could tempt him for a burger at Caesars I got a big FAT YES! 🙂

  9. DaveW says:

    Scatological? I was only having a wee-wee……straining%20the%20greens

    Just for clarity, I didn’t ride down Deliverance, but minced down the chicken route behind JonH.

    Karl – agreed regarding MowMatt’s climbing – if he ever comes out on his XC bike, I’m going to be making my excuses and going home!

    Cathie – has Dave ever actually turned down the offer of a burger? ;o)

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