Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Ride report: Sunday 7 August – china pigs and a broken cock

Posted by Matt | August 9, 2011 | 7 comments so far

This week we had a huge turnout of riders considering it’s the middle of the holiday season and a good few of us are away. Oh, and there was the matter of Andy661’s wedding reception the night before which could easily have accounted for me had I not been the nominated driver.

Congratulations Andy and Shernett in any case!

Fortunately my sobriety meant I was able to get up to Bockett’s as usual, to be met by a few of the Dorking Cocks – Toby, George and Matt, plus a couple of new riders, JonV and JonR joining DaveC, JohnR, Ray, Kev, Ian, Keith, Jez and Wayne.

After a bit of discussion we decided we’d start out toward Reigate for an XC-type ride. I had no intention of risking the flinty path down to the bottom car park but a few did and lo! it came to pass that Toby picked up the puncture stick with which to beat himself.

The rest of us carried on to Alsation which I spent chasing Ray up the climb on my singlespeed. He didn’t pull away but I didn’t catch him either but by the time we’d reached the top there was a bit of a gap to the peloton where we were soon joined by Toby and JohnR.

On we went, into the woods for Life on Mars uphill. It’s quite a slog, especially hopping over the odd log here and there but still flows fine uphill. Although the reverse direction is more satisfying it must be said.

Dave and I were swapping shepherding duties between the front and back, trying to make sure everyone was sitting at a comfortable pace without getting lost or dropped. We set off for Headley and clamboured up to the car park via the bomb hole area which sees the end of the relentless, generally uphill climb from the Mole at Leatherhead.

From here we wasted no time crossing the road and working our way round the bridlepaths to the North Downs Way which would take us along to Reigate. So far, so straightforward really, just a nice brisk pace in warm sun giving a nice workrate with the trails generally in perfect condition.

As we rounded the open field on the tops toward Reigate, JonR stacked heavily into the fence at the bottom having tested the limits of his front brake on the loose gravelly turn. Fortunately no harm done to bike or rider with the fence absorbing most of the impact.

By the time we reached Colley Hill at Reigate we’d made such good time that we decided to push on toward Gatton Park to see if we could remember Phil’s secret trails that he showed us a couple of weeks back. They take you down, right to the bottom of Gatton before you climb back up but are a nice twisty alternative to our previous loop.

I followed Dave through the singletrack and found he was going at quite a pace whereas I managed to stall on a couple of the rooty turns. It’s possible my Nobby Nics were a bit under-pressure at around 24psi but more likely it was pilot error trying to find a flow.

As we headed back up to the tea rooms inevitably we bumped into Phil himself with his mate Stu who were headed in the opposite direction. Small world!

Despite Ray appearing keen on the idea of cake and coffee it was generally agreed it was still too early to stop so our next target was Headley but not before parting from George on Colley Hill who had plans for an all-you-can-eat curry for lunch!! Those Dorking Cocks know how to train!

The rest of us crossed the M25 on the footbridge and jumped straight into Margery Wood. It was rolling really well and we struck a decent pace through there before we eventually arrived at Walton Golf Course and turned sharp right to follow the twisty trail around the edge which has a nice flow to it.

By the time we’d crossed into Walton village it was Ian’s turn to pick up a puncture and while we waited for a fix Phil and Stu reappeared – I can only guess at whatever route they had taken but they joined us for the long fast descent and then the climb up to the Headley car park for a spot of coffee ‘n’ cake.

It was great to have a leisurely pause in what had so far been a good canter around the East End of the Downs but eventually we were on our way again, hoping to round out the day with a bit more singletrack.

First off was Gear Selecta! which was a hoot, all off camber, rooty, rocky and fast. Quickly down over the rough stuff and then steadily uphill until the sudden climb at the end had everyone (except me on my singlespeed!) crunching gears!!

We pressed on, at a good pace across Headley as Matt from the Cocks started to suffer from his cake stop. So that was one broken cock at least! To be fair, he wasn’t having too much trouble hanging in there and was more than happy to lead us down China Pig. Until the first turn at least… (sorry Matt!)

I followed DaveC and then Toby down the long, long trail after giving a few moments for them to go ahead. I just let myself get into my own rhythm and found the trial much to my liking as there was tons of grip. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever been down China Pig faster, it felt incredible.

I finally caught Dave (who had also been passed by Toby) near the end, on the sudden off-camber uphill left which tends to catch people out. There’s a high line appearing now which makes it a bit easier but you still have to be in the right gear at a time when tiredness is setting in. Even so we were all buzzing by the time we reached the end.

Parting from the Cocks at the foot of Juniper, the final few just had to get up and over Norbury Hill to find the car park. Ray and JohnR sparred their way up the steep radio mast climb while the sensible – and tired – ones amongst us took the steadier route.

All in all a total of 28 miles for me door to door (probably 26 from Bockett’s) made this a really morning’s exercise!

Filed under Rides in August 2011

Matt

About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Bird Zero AM Boost.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 7 comments on ‘Ride report: Sunday 7 August – china pigs and a broken cock’

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  1. Dave says:

    ‘Twas a fast old ride that! Everyone kept up well, even at the end.

    It was also good to be able to show the Cocks some new bits of trail in return for the bits Toby has shown me.

  2. KevS says:

    Great route men and at a fair old pace as usual with some fun bits thrown in.

    I must say the new stuff from Phil sure livens things up at the Reigate end and adds some interest at the far end of the ride, always a good thing.

    When I rolled up at Bocketts at 8.30am I thought there must be another group setting off from there as there were 5 new faces to me but the 3 Cocks soon made themselves apparent! 😉

    JohnR’s stack into the fence near Reigate was his way of introducing himself to the Moles, well that’s what he told me as we ground our way up to Reigate hill!

    Is it me or is that Muddy Dave getting faster? Could it be he’s lost weight, got fitter, is on something or the big 29er is allowing him to float like a butterfly?
    Maybe a combination of all these ingredients but he is deffo faster! 🙂

  3. PIJ says:

    Hey thanks’ Matt and KevS for the positive comments – nice to have added to your portfolio of routes. Pity you can’t get over to Caterham as that’s a pleasant enough ride with some lairy but short climbs – and one quite nice, but equally as short, downhill.

    Myself and Stu did the “under the M25 to Headley” loop for a change. Kind of wished I’d not as Banstead Heath seems a tad neglected over towards the A217 and I cut my face on a low hanging branch [although walking around Brixton with a cut face this week has it’s advantages]. Oddly enough where I cut my face was almost the same spot Stu split his head open. Personally, injuries aside, I’d have thought this a better route back for you lot – and as we caught you up it must be a fast one as well, seeing as it’s a tad longer to the duck pond that way? Of course the puncture may not have helped time wise; I don’t think that we were riding particularly fast. It would make your ride into a big old loop instead of a there and back spin.

    Luckily you avoided me as “Machette Alley” [thanks for the name Karl] near the M25 was really bad this week, and I got some grumblings as trail leader for that one. Still, what’s a bit of tetanus amongst friends?

    PIJ

  4. Toby says:

    Yep, that was a good ride, really enjoyed it thanks. Funny that puncture I got, I was one of only 3 people who didn’t go down that bridleway from the start.

    Enjoyed the route and which included a couple of paths I’ve never done before which is always a good thing.

    I also particularly enjoyed ‘Cocks’ Matts performance today including the incident on the Golf Course with the poor young lady and then of course his lead off down China Pig, very funny.

  5. MuddyJohn says:

    It was a great ride – the ride around Gatton was great and China Pig was in perfect condition.

    Good route, Matt.

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