Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report – Sunday 5th May 2013 – Bank Holiday Sun?

Posted by DaveC | May 6, 2013 | 11 comments so far

Admirals Track

I thought I’d start with a photo of Matt and BigAl after they had completed a totally dry run along Admiral’s Track. No using the banks, no jumping, just plain old riding with no puddles. How long do we have to go back in time to recall when we could last do that?

The roll call today included me on my Spearfish, Matt on my Gyro, and Karl on my 29er Flow front wheel (and the rest of his Ragly MMbop), BigAl, Andrew, Kev, Jon the Greek, JR, Elliot and we picked Lloyd up at Polesden. Not a bad turn out and no doubt helped with the promise of dry trails and sun on a Bank Holiday weekend. I can’t believe I actually wrote Sun and Bank Holiday in the same sentence!

My plan was simple. We’d take a long route to Newlands and enjoy as many miles as possible. Admirals track led us towards Hogdens lane but we only did the down slope and then took Pamploma up to Yew Trees. Dry trails led to increased speed and I ran out of gearing chasing the Greek while those behind just saw our dust!

With Yew Tress out of the way we took the usual route of Badger Run and Collarbone before I had my first go at the log pile in Trouble in Paradise. I failed, but those behind me were spurred on to take it on and complete it, including Karl on his 69er for a day. Short and Sweet was next before hitting the Abba Zabba complex.

Lloyd on Chicken run

I think only Karl, Jon and Big Al took it on while the rest of us followed Lloyds example.

Karl after AbbaZabba

Karl was as “enthusiastic” as ever

IMG_2137sAK on chicken run

Over the road to the Blind Terror complex and this was completed in a variety of ways but happily there was no repeat of the “Dandy Balls” fiasco from a few weeks ago.

From there, swift pace was made as we headed through Abinger Roughs and on to the back of Shere before picking up our route to Black Heath (yep, I’m quite vague on place and trail names at this point!). At Black Heath we improvised, with BigAl in the lead and me offering helpful grunts as to the correct direction, but in general we were able to navigate our way so those behind us felt safe and secure in the knowledge we knew where we were going.

Al, DC and JH climbing St Martha'sFrom Black Heath there can only be the climb up St Martha’s before Newlands Corner itself. Happily I can report that I cleared it, albeit at a gentle pace but it’s always a tricky climb with lots of bricks and other obstacles to look out for.

Jon & Lloyd on St Marthas

We’d covered a few miles at this point and I think we are always pleased to get this climb over with. We took the road up to the far car park of Newlands to stay away from the non-bridleway sections! Well almost…

IMG_2150sMoless on Newlands

Cakes, bins and bacon and egg rolls were our reward and they were well earned. We took about 20 mins to gather our strength before pushing back on towards home. At this point I made a suggestion that we do the “Effingham ending” and it was at that point my left knee started to give me pain! Exactly which ending got a little confused as I was informed the one I was thinking of was “trashed” but we could do the “Lovely Linda” finish and then road it.

IMG_2151cs Moles at Newlands

And so we did. Linda was dry and loose at the top end, fast and furious the lower you went. No PRs for me but a bunch for some of the other Moles. Taking the road to East Horsley we went past the back of the Tennis Club and through the little tunnel.

DC at Horsely bridge

The final highlights of this dry ride were a mad dash across the grass at Effingham Common which left Karl shaken on his rigid Ragley.

Overall I recorded 30 miles on a glorious sunny day and felt suitably knackered in the afternoon. Roll on Summer (please…)


Filed under Rides in May 2013


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 11 comments on ‘Ride report – Sunday 5th May 2013 – Bank Holiday Sun?’

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  1. Elliot says:

    Following Matt down Abba Zabba while not slithering everywhere was a real treat, as was the rest of the ride…though not that strangely out place puddle at Blackheath. Really enjoying the Stache now I’ve had it for a while and glad I put faith in it being a bit more special than just the sum of the parts. An altogether much more enjoyable and dialled feeling bike than some online experts give it credit for – from a well cushioned position in a wingback.

  2. Matt says:

    Lovely ride with me starting to tune into the Gyro’s slightly odd characteristics compared to my usual Orange Five. Climbing seemed easier thanks to a few saddle adjustments but downhill in the dry of fat sticky tyres was brilliant. Really enjoyed all that.

    Great company as well on Sunday, everyone seemed very relaxed and it’s nice to see our tops matching the fresh green leaves that have appeared!

    I didn’t feel too bad in the afternoon but the following morning I felt I’d been kicked down the road. Probably pushed things quite hard on Sunday’s ride without realising.

    Would have liked to had got out Monday too but was required to chill out at a friends BBQ instead – a perfect Bank Holiday.

    Thanks for the write up Dave, thanks for the photos John!

  3. Karl says:

    Yes a lovely ride indeed, with a very relaxed atmosphere in fabulous countryside full of the joy of spring, and sunshine. Grab it while you can!

    Some new routes to me that I enjoyed thoroughly.

    Thanks to Dave for the write-up, and route, but thanks most especially for the kind loan of one of your many 29er wheels for the front of my rigid Raaley mmmbop.

    What a revelation! I could not believe how having that big wheel up front worked so well… With the 2.35 Nobby Nic it seemed enormous, however, the handling proved to be impeccable. Much less twitchy than running a 26in. rigid, even with my usual 2.4 Nobby Nic Absolutely outstanding handling with a much calmer front wheel which seemed to be able to roll over everything in it’s path. So confidence inspiring in fact that I had no qualms about doing the whole of Abba Zabba, and rolling over any old size of log pile I came across. (dogs excepted). It may have also been the very slightly higher BB, but that in turn did not cause any handling issues as the wheel gripped corners as if altering gravity to suit, and went exactly where I willed it to go. Same uphill..No problems at all. Downhill was a blast..

    Only place I felt I needed suspension in fact was that furrowed field mentioned above. Bloody hell..

    I’m going 69er now for sure.. Just looking at wheels with the usual encyclopaedic help and advice from DC..
    Tyres will deffo be Hans Dampf after superlative comments about them by mad dog Jon H, and big heart AL. who have been early adopters of same.

    Like you Matt, felt ahem, ‘tired’ Sunday afternoon, but still had to do gardening duties! Would have liked to ride out on Monday too, but had a nice walk by the river and slap up lunch with the family instead.

    Got a bit of footage on the Go-Pro, but it seems to have a battery problem, so not much..

    Heroic picture taking by JR.. Respect.. however, can you choose a more flattering one next time please? Tks..

    Top Notch..

  4. KevS says:

    Possibly one of the best XC rides this year, so far, in superb conditions and great company!

    The lack of mud and muck seemed to lift everyones spirits, apart from a couple of miserable dog walkers as usual, but thats their problem.

    The St Marthas climb was its usual head down and get it done sort of thing but the dry trails sure made it easier to grind up over the techy section and clean it.

    Newlands in the sunshine for what seems to be pretty good coffee and cake now added to the feeling of well being before heading back East to Mole land.

    Dunno what to say about Karl’s choice of steed and wheels but he is never boring! 🙂

  5. Lloyd says:

    Great ride and loving the photos, especially Jon’s nonchalant wave coming to the top of St Martha’s – “it was easy,look did with just one hand on the bars”; and also the moles squadron coming up the hill in a green formation – except for Elliott

  6. Andrew AKAK says:

    Good ride on Sunday, its nice to cover some distance in a group and riding pics are always welcome!

    Quite fond of the Newlands provisions. According to my map the bridleway starts further up that road after it flattens? Or we could roll down the road and there is a route accross to the water lane climb 🙂

  7. Muddy John says:

    It was an excellent ride on a fabulous day, and a fine sight to see a whole peleton of Moles riding across the downs with St Martha’s in the background into the Newlands Corner.

    I am glad to see the Lovely Linda inspired Celeris so much, even taking MRs C back for a visit – good KOM there Jon.

  8. Big al says:

    Fantastic ride , beautiful weather and great route ,
    BUT I’m finding it hard to come to terms with Strava and dodgy GPS ‘s . How on earth can someone following you post a 4sec faster time than you when your holding them up ????
    Rant over !!!
    Does anyone know where I might be able to get help for this condition ?????

  9. Dandy says:

    Loving’ the massed Moles tops in the pics 😉

    Killer Karl – crazy guy, crazy bike 🙂

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