To let all know that Moles don’t hibernate just yet, here’s a brief summary of the mid-week ride. As Big Al had turned up on his single-speed Ibis Tranny (I’ve never recovered from the results of searching ‘Tranny’ on Google), we opted for climbing Box Hill from several different directions.
After a quick call from Tony to confirm he would join us ‘en route’, Big Al, DannyP, JonV & myself headed off up the crappiest bridlepath in Surrey before heading left towards Bocketts. After some of the ‘off-path’ cheeky trails, and after further exchanges of voicemails, we joined Tony down by the River Mole.
Alsation was next, with Big Al making great headway I must assume (as I couldn’t see him from my position at the back). DannyP had requested a revisit of High Alpine, so with Tony now leading we all had a great run down. The tree at the end claimed no victims this week.
The ‘C1’ High Ashurst climb, however, did score a few more victims this week, and was followed by the Brockham descent. This time we turned left to take the chalkier descent with a little more ‘flow’, rather than the straight on approach.
The Smith & Western climb challenged Big Al again, and we all had fun negotiating the cows that habitually block this trail. One even swished his/hers (I didn’t check) tail into my face as I passed ! This climb also saw my rear tyre slowly deflate, but after a few pumps with the Big Bastard (TM), I resumed the climb. Further pumps were required before I got to the top, before finally changing the tube in the S&W car park.
We had barely started the run alongside the fence before the start of China Pig when I heard a loud curse from JonV behind me. I stopped and waited for 30 seconds for the lights to return to an upright position, but as they didn’t seem to be moving I went back to investigate.
Turns out his seatpost had been playing up, and in trying to adjust it on the move, he came a cropper. With hardly being able to take any weight on his lower leg or ankle, I led him down the wider, less technical, Happy Valley descent. After another voicemail exchange, we rejoined the group in the car park. Apparently China Pig was ‘interesting’, especially as we’d had light rain for the last 30 minutes or so to add a little slickness to the trail.
Tony left us at Mickleham to head back to Leatherhead town centre, while the rest of us headed up to Norbury and the sawmill. More by luck than navigational skill, we took the most direct route to the Hylands Garage in an attempt to prevent any further damage to JonV’s leg.
Medical update: After a trip to A&E yesterday, nothing is broken, probably just tendon damage. Should be back on the bike in 2-3 weeks. Just in time to make up the numbers for D2D, eh Jon?