A surprisingly large number of Moles turned out for what turned out to be a ride light on rain, but heavy on mud.
We started off with 14 riders. These included, but are not restricted to (and if JR asks me to list them he can…) Pascal, who started and finished with us, Ray, who I managed not to leave in the car park but wished several times that I had, and Kev who I think made some comment about acceleration owing to increased mass.
Anyway, MarkyMark, he was there also, wanted to head over to Newlands having missed it two weeks previously and take in the delights of Black Heath. With no better idea and having made my reservations on the forum we headed off in that direction. Progress was steady up to Ranmore and it was on Badger Run and Collarbone that we really found the gloop. I’ve ridden Collarbone when it’s been worse but not often.
We picked our way to AZ, Dandy opted not to test the 506 over the log roll and I think Karl had a go at AZ jugding by the mud on his arse but I had ridden on, not wanting to engage in voyeuristic pursuits. Traction was limited, roots were slippery, some Moles took the road down to the bottom of White Down, other took BT and I skirted round the edge.
We took the usual route over towards the back of Shere and 4 Moles peeled off at the Cricket pitch to take on Black Heath while the rest of us headed the normal way towards Water Lane. Taking my newly ratio-ed SS up was no more difficult than I had imagined it would be and an errant piece of tree caused me to spin out half way up the steep section before the left hander. “Most” of the rest I managed but I won’t be troubling Matt’s time (with the same ratio).
Replenished we decided we’d push off home before the break-away Moles appeared. The usual return leg presented itself and we managed a couple of laps of the bowl even though it was more slippery than I would have liked. More puddle dodging and we stayed on the main byway rather than heading into the woods. We stretched out as we headed along Ranmore and any chance of a quick run into Polesden had no chance with walkers making the most of the “dry” weather. We returned homewards at a steady pace and everyone agreed it had been an enjoyable ride regardless of the conditions.
On Admirals track we found Karl, holding his left crank arm…