With a mixed weather week forcast ahead I’d decided to aim for a shortish ride including some excellent little trails.
A “small” meander of Moles gather at the normal car park. Keith, Tony, Jez, MarkW, PaulM, Paul901, Ray, John and myself headed up to Ranmore with a plan to quickly head down through the vinyard taking in a new piece of trail pixie work en-route.
We decided to take in the first left before Polesden Lacey and headed under the stone bridge. Conditions on that downhil are always loose and rocky but I find the conditions are about perfect at the moment and carried speed into the lower section dodging the biggest of the flints. For me it’s then a question of how soon before anyone overtakes me going up towards Tanners Hatch. Soon enough John overhauled me and set about cimb followed by Jez, Mark and Tony. A very brief (for me) stop at the YHA was followed by the tedious climb up to the road. I guess I feel the same way about this climb as Colin does about Yew Trees!!
At the road we turned left and headed for the Vinyard. We took in Foxglove Ally on the way as it’s not something we’ve done much this year and provides a roller coaster like trail. Here I tried to show the Moles the new trail with everyone taking in the 1st section before Tony missed the route MarkW and I took and hence no one else got the full experience. Big shame but if the rain holds off for a little longer maybe we’ll get it on the evening ride.
Over towards Box hill we headed and set about the first climb up it of the day. Being quite early in the ride it seemed a little easier than normal with prospect of China pig urging everyone on. So that’s where we headed next. I headed off at a fast but steady pace hearing MarkW run wide on the off camber right hander early on. Plenty of grip and a long sweet trail made this a really pleasurable trail although I knew climb two up Box Hill awaited us at the end.
With little enthusiasm but no better routes offered we headed up Juniper Bottom where I dug in behind Tony as the climb steepened ahead of us. with about 30m to go Tony went for a lower gear and promptly ground to a halt right in front of me. Only quick reactions and a convenient gully allowed me to go round him and complete the climb in third behind Jez and John.
As heart rates slowed and panting eased we moved off again towards Headley to sample some culinary delights from Ali’s Cafe. Taking the normal route down towards High Ashurst and right through the gate we found the “puddles” had pretty much dried up again.
Ali’s cafe provided the normal feast at very reasonable prices as I took in the chocolate covered, raison filled, flapjack! Nice.
Secret Singletrack beckoned and despite the bracken putting in a late burst we managed not to lose any riders and still found the trail. Final run then through Life on Mars and down Alsation provided us with a ride of about 18ish miles including two hard climbs.