Most of the Moles were away this weekend in Wales, the ‘adrenaline junkies’ as I think MoleFather Dave put it. So it was good to see some company arrive when turning up at Bocketts this morning for my ongoing re-acquaintance with the trails.
A new rider Tom was first on the scene, clearly fit and plays a lot of tennis, then Karl who I am sure others will be pleased to see is back on the bike after his ‘Wedding Tackle ride’ (Fri 29 Wills and Kate etc., Karl corkscrewed a sensitive area or close to it IIUC). Jon, another new rider sounding far more Highland than his local address and DaveC to give us some direction. After some settling on the route, 5 made to set off for a Reigate XC and like Mr Benn, PaulM arrived. Six it was then.
When I say new riders, it was clear from the bikes that people had ridden before since I understood their steeds no better than I understand the rest I see out on the trails. I’ll leave DaveC to fill in anything notable. The rain of the past the few hours suggested the dust would at last be gone but perhaps replaced with a greasy surface. Yes and yes but since I coped okay today I am guessing these conditions were about as good as it gets.
Bocketts Farm, Caine Climb (well he does live there most the year), Crabtree Lane and finally Alsation opened the lungs in time honoured tradition. The GPS said to me that Alsation has about 175 feet of vertical climbing by the time you reach the top of it if anyone has ever wondered.
Life on Mars claimed its first victim when Tom’s arm snagged the barbed-wire right at the beginning (hope it wasn’t the tennis arm). Some first aid bits and bobs got us on our way again and on we went without incident to Reigate. In fact most incident today was simply the care needed along the route with many other cyclists and walkers out and about. At Reigate we rode along the top but before reaching the Gazebo (I guess that’s what it’s called) but at this point we went left through the gate and onto the singletrack. DaveC was concerned the chalk descent later on would be asking for trouble and so the early avert was to remove any temptation to find out.
Roots were slippery through the singletrack but fine, we hit the golf course at the right time it seemed and some fine snacks at Ali’s at Headley Heath was welcome as usual. Many walkers were out wearing numbers from then on, some enjoying themselves and others looking quite miserable, I stopped to help one lovely looking lady with directions (well you have to!). By the time Secret Singletrack, Alsation, Life on Mars and the reverse of our journey were complete we had the usual array of between 16 and 18 miles on the readouts depending on where we started and the variables involved.
Not the longest ride today then but good company and everyone perhaps less tired than some Sundays for whatever the afternoon held in store. I got to play with the new pressure washer and it does seem better than the last one which was short-lived. I’m hoping so anyway.