Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report: Sunday 9 May – Push it!

Posted by DaveC | May 9, 2010 | 12 comments so far

The idea was for an early start again with an 8:00am off from Bocketts. We didn’t quite make it, owing to various last minute distractions but we were well ahead of our 8:40 ride time. I don’t think we aim to make this permanent but I do like the early return and IF we do get a Summer this year it’s a great way to avoid the full on heat of Midday! Here’s hoping!

So the team consisted of 15 riders with 14 bikes. Yep, the Ellsworth Witness was back out on the trails this time being ridden by Adam and Darren with Amanda on her Epic. Matt, Mark, Keith, Barrie, AndyC, James, Andy661, Paul, DaveW, Tony, John and myself completed the roll call.

I’d voiced the opinion that a ride over to Langley Vale and then back to Box Hill was a good idea and there being no dissenters we headed off that way. Although I started off strongly I was under no illusion that once the climbs of Alsation hit in I’d be sent to the back of the group and so it was!

Keith, on his new Five, paced, me up the climb and we made steady progress pushing hard up towards Nower Wood. From Nower Wood a quick road shimy towards the Cock at Headley before the run towards Langley Vale. A couple of climbs and a fast left hander that had me yelling to Adam on the front of the tandem to slow down but we all survived and made it to the top.

Here came the stoney, chalky descent that DaveW calls “Horse Piss Ally” was ahead of us but apart form a little softness on the soil it was the usual flinty, fast descent with a few deeper, tighter ruts than I remember! Excellent fun although the tandem riders both got to the bottom rubbing their right arms where some contact with a hidden branch had been painful.

From here the road tramp up to the start of Stane Street begins and again I watched as the quicker riders forged ahead. On the final drop down though I carried some speed as we entered the bridleway and managed to track Matt most of the way up until it levelled out. A fairly straight run back to the top of Alsation although the descent past the golf club is always interesting with a bit of moisture around.

James’ tyre gave out at this point and a tyre boot was put into action to protect the new tube. Once down we set out for the top of Chainbreaker where I took a fast and brake squealing line (changed pads, changed or cleaned rotors and the brakes still sound like a pair of fighting cats) thumping over the log and speeding off, just catching the slightly less elegant thumping sound of DaveW sliding off on the roots. No damage done and a lot of happy riders at the bottom before the slog of heading up the High Ashurst climb.

I like the climb but I could see the riders ahead too close together and I gather a few people had others off with no where to go. My legs weren’t in it but Keith’s effort is worthy of mention as he cleared the vast majority of the climb before failing at a root(?) as the trail turns left. No idea if anyone cleared it or how the tandem did.

Road dash to Box Hill for a tea stop and a quick chat while we tried to decide if China Pig was going to be too slippery. We decided to give it a go but it was a tad slippery although mention goes again to Keith, as while Andy and myself picked a route around a log pile Keith just road at it and cleared prompting the rest of the party to follow suit. More antics lay ahead as I slid off down the bank and then caught the others up as they too slid on a particuly tight off camber rooty turn. Given the right conditions it’s a great trail, add a little moisture and it’s a real handful!

At the bottom I suggested we head back to Norbury to do a bit of a loop that I’ve been doing with Jem. Nothing special but it adds some fast miles and I also watched the colour drain from Matt’s face as I suggested the Radio Mast climb. Off we headed and I have to confess I walked some of the climb as tired legs and no granny ring got the better of me. We did a few loopy sections to add some miles as the group stated to split so people could meet their various promises.

Amanda, Darren and Adam head off for another hours ride while the rest of us headed back. Something in the order of 24 miles and about 3000 calories for me so a pretty good ride!

Filed under Rides in May 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 12 comments on ‘Ride Report: Sunday 9 May – Push it!’

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  1. tony says:

    Going down chainbreaker stuck to the back wheel of the tandem was highly entertaining. They do pick up serious speed and I was giving it some stick to keep up. At the bottom the smell of hot brakes from the tandem was seriously strong and Adam reckoned he was getting a bit of brake fade. Yikes!

    Nevertheless it didn’t put me off having a go on the back later. Chalk down a new off-road experience. Maybe I can get Debbie have have a go on one with me too.

  2. Rob says:

    Glad you liked my building up of the logs on the fallen tree on China Pig. I stopped there a few weeks back on a solo ride to do it as it really spoilt the flow of that section.

    A new trail on Brockham Hills has been built by some adventurous bikers/DH’ers. If you go down the fast descent from Boxhill Road towards the A25 you will find it. Half way down there are some steps on your right hand side. Stop here. Directly opposite these steps you will find a trail heading steeply down and winding through the trees. Its fast, sketchy and twisty with a double jump half way down (rollable) Makes an interesting alternative to the normal trail down. Just turn right at the bottom of the new trail to join up with the BW and turn left to take you over the railway line and down to the A25. Ride there at your own risk as it clearly states “no bicycles”.

  3. Kc says:

    This was a really great ride out for me on the new 5. A mixture of climbs, descents and xc tested everything.

    On High Ashurst I was defeated by my lungs, not a root, but at least I have a target to beat. As for the log jump, I not sure I made a conscious decision to do it but since it looked rideable I just went for it. (Note to self; having a more capable bike does not mean I am any more capable myself)

    I confess to being an F1 nut, but nothing could keep me awake yesterday afternoon, especially since I was home alone!

  4. Andy661 says:

    Another great ride.

    (not sure my legs agreed with the above this morning though!!)

  5. Matt says:

    I really enjoyed the ride yesterday as it had quite a mix of conditions, from simple XC mile-bashing to some tricky stuff down China Pig.

    I haven’t ridden it for a while and it was a bit of a challenge on my worn tyres! Just didn’t seem to hit a flow with other riders struggling too, but a useful reminder of how nice it is.

    Some of the Norbury Park bits we covered, while not technical, made me wonder why we don’t sometimes do those bits more often.

    My legs are pretty bombed today too after a good few miles recently.

  6. DaveW says:

    A great ride yesterday, with the pace picking up nicely as we begin to see our summer fitness develop and Adam, Amanda and Darren inspire us to go just that little bit faster!

  7. James(H) says:

    Another great ride and a big thanks to Adam for the park boot patch, thats 2 I have blagged, must buy some! I did manage to repair the latex tube 🙂 after all so I will have to stick it back on the bike. I also arrived home by 12.15 and didn’t get stopped by the police again!! Result see you Wednesday night. Good turnout too.

  8. bazza says:

    Good turn out and great to see a tandem blitzing round, felt knackered (the lights were on but there were defintaly no one home!) yesterday, i ended up just rolling back down to ashtead


  9. MarkW says:

    As always another great ride out. I’m sure there is ‘science’ that if you ride those roots, quick enough, down china pig you won’t slip off……..!!!

    Mighty impressed with the boys on the big bike, could of sworn i saw them pulling a manual!!

    See you next time.


  10. John R says:

    Great ride on Sunday and I really enjoyed my go on the back of the tandem – even if most of it was up the steep climb to the Norbury radio mast.

    I don’t know what the right technique is for the wet roots on China Pig – but it definitely isn’t the way I rode them!

  11. DaveW says:

    I would love to make the 8am start (I mean a real 8am start, not meet at 8am, faff about doing bike maintenance – mentioning no names armourandy ;o) whilst the others chat for half an hour and then ride!), but I appreciate that some people have to travel further than I for the start (or don’t have ‘living alarm clocks’ in the form of small children, or are just plain lazy). Perhaps as a compromise, it would be good to meet at 8:15 or 8:20 and be ready to ride at 8:30???

    The beauty of starting earlier is that you avoid some of the stress and occasional splintering of the group as those of us with commitments have to rush home – and of course getting home a bit earlier keeps the other halves happier, which makes Sunday afternoons more agreeable.

  12. Colin says:

    I think the 8:30 start is good for the whole group as any earlier would discourage a number of people.

    However, I’m finding lately, I just can’t justify buggering off for 4-5 hours on a Sunday morning and nor do I want to every weekend.

    Last Sunday I went out solo at 7:30 and rode for 2 hours non-stop at moderate pace, over to Abinger and back, 20 miles door to door.

    I was home by 9:30, had had my fix, felt good and my clan were pleased to have me back home so early. Missed the social side but it was nice to get the same fix distilled into 2 hours instead of 4!

    So, i’ll be doing this probably once or twice a month from now on. Leave early, XC ride without stopping, cover 20 miles, home early.

    I fully agree the start time should be the start time and faffers should get there earlier!

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