Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report – Sunday 5th September – Climbing

Posted by DaveC | September 6, 2010 | 10 comments so far

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.

Filed under Rides in September 2010


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 10 comments on ‘Ride Report – Sunday 5th September – Climbing’

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  1. paul901 says:

    This ride hurt. Thankfully I could still sit on the bike at the top of Box Hill which was a different experience to my first ride up there a few weeks ago. To be taking in an out-of-saddle trail like China Pig seconds later is masochistic but I enjoyed it today, last time I ground my teeth having come off on one or more of the roots. With Moles way up the trail (nothing unusual there) I was able to take it at a personal pace trying to remember all those skills course and Mole lessons and I wish I had a video on board as I will probably never ride it smoother. Moles probably can’t remember basic bike handling skills but my latest Eureka is that instead of leaning my body I can keep it upright and lean the bike instead. Don’t laugh! No foot down on the tricky dip / climb, ducked my head and I was quietly pleased to hear that not all the Moles ride the log pile which I find easy and if I can do it, anyone can.

    Happy Valley is misnomer, it’s all I’m going to say (but it’s a climb so I secretly love it anyway). The ride proved that one doesn’t need to venture far from Bocketts to take in 20 miles of fun, hell and a stimulating mix. I’m guessing it will all look rather different when the weather changes.

    The bit of the day which amused me most though was when PaulM punctured and I rode through the pack headed up to Ranmore in the naive hope I would be allowed the rare luxury of waiting for others. Was I buffalo, poor old Paul instantly became Norman-No-Mates as the Moles left him and shot past me, nostrils flared and hinting the KoM points. It sort of set the tone for the day, lots of laughs!

  2. John R says:

    I think you would have found Secret Singletrack even worse if I had not been through it 5 mins ahead of you all – I had to strip the bracken off my bike at the end!

    Great choice of route and I am only sorry I had to head home instead of doing Life on Mars with you. At least I got home near enough on time to avoid loosing any “wife points”.

  3. Tony says:

    The new trial off Ranmore through Denbies looks great for the second half. Sadly I was concentrating too hard on making sure those behind me didn’t get lost that I missed the turning for the second half. Trail interrupted!

    Happy valley was also very happy for me. I decided to head up at a comfortable pace until the chain decided to ship itself to the granny. Causing to stop in surprise and also get rammed by a 29er for my troubles. Well avoided Dave!

  4. paul901 says:

    Molesaurus letter H.

    H is for Happy Valley: a nifty little climb of short duration tightening gently to a final 1 in 4 gradient which the Moles take at ‘a comfortable pace’. Occasionally a rider displays a brow of sweat at the top of the climb but it’s not generally the done thing.

    Lots of laughs!

  5. TurnerGuy says:

    Sounds like a good ride, esp. the climbing!

    But you missed out not coming to Tunnel Hill – loads of single track if you know where to look – a little like Swinley but without the manmade tracks. One of the roll ins even made DaveW clench his cheeks (at least his facial ones – I wasn’t checking the other ones…).

    Matt would have benefitted as apparently a cloud of low-flying mojo descended over the place as we rode it as one rider who started without his managed to scoop up some more during the ride.

    I have a GPX of the route and some others so we could have a mole ride there before the weather turns – I might pop down there this Saturday.

  6. Jez says:

    I decided that I didn’t have many opportunities before D2D to do a long ride so carried on for a bit after leaving you at Headley. Notched up 58 miles before getting home at 4pm having been around Gatton, back to Box Hill over to Leith and back to Epsom!

  7. Dave says:

    Blimey Jez, that is a ride and a half…..well…actually it closer to 3 rides.

    Well done. Almost 6 laps of Thetford.

  8. Jez says:

    It’s given me a bit of confidence that I might be able to do 8 laps again given how hilly the ride was.

    Praise be to flapjack.

  9. stevend says:

    58 miles on Surrey Hills is a truly fantastic achievement, even more so at Moles pace. RESPECT.

    Can I please have your flapjack recipe ?


  10. paul901 says:

    Waiting for return phone calls and responses to documents so twiddling thumbs idly.

    Molesaurus letter Z.

    Z is for (the) Zig: a flinty nasty climb running alongside the famous ‘Zig Zag’ Box Hill road climb. Only the roadmakers had the courtesy to design in two ‘zigs’ and one ‘zag’ to flatten the gradient whereas the trailmakers were in sadistic mood the day they presented the MTBers with a single ‘zig’.

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