Does it get any better than this? First Sunday’s excellent blast over to and around Leith and then tonight, a varied and speedy route made all the more enjoyable by the glorious weather and dry trails.
Attendance this evening was a little down on recent numbers with Jem, Tony, DaveP, Nick and myself heading out from Bookham. With no Matt to take the reigns and everyone else seeming quite happy-go-lucky, I suggested a route that met with approval.
So Wiggly-we-only-ride-it-at-night-as-we’re-not-meant-to-Wood took us via the bombhole at the back of Polesden (again, a night ride only option) to meet up with the bridleway past Tanners Hatch.
Its a kind of religious thing with me that I simply have to ride the wall ride where the bridleways meet and it was made more interesting tonight as Tony was on my back wheel. Reflecting now, I’m not sure he was aware of my penchant (I didn’t forewarn him either) and when I headed up the bank higher than I ever have before, I could hear some choice words behind me. I managed to get back down cleanly without collecting the surprised Tony, though I gave myself a bit of a shock (but nobody need know).
I suffer from a real boredom threshold issue with ways and means of getting up to the top of Ranmore so suggested we head straight on-ish at Tanners instead of the usual fireroad climb and, thanks to the weather, it turned out to be a good call – a long, varied and challenging climb and mercifully different from our usual. One to remember for the future.
Next stop it was a dry Badger Run leading us to extract revenge on White Down – time to kick its arse by descending at speed as opposed to the pain of climbing it on Sunday’s ride.
The normally sticky, gloopy clay of the cattle trail was incredibly dry so swift progress was made along to the Pilgrims Way climb back up to the top. The gearing on the singlespeed seems to work very well for me up here and I made a break from Jem and Tony, knowing I would not be on my own for long. Lets just say that the two fittest Moles and the quickest climbers didn’t disappoint. My solitude was short-lived.
From the top of Ranmore, next was the fast, steppy and rooty descent from Denbies to the chapel ruins at Westhumble where once again, DaveP indulged in much ribbing while he lounged around on his full susser while the real men got beaten up on our boneshakers.
Crabtree Lane then lead us to the quicker-than-normal trail across to the telephone masts on Norbury and from there we simply had to finish off on Infestation, the exceptionally rooty descent behind Bocketts farm, followed by the flowing singletrack in the woods.
After unanimous agreement as to how fast and enjoyable the ride had been we headed our seperate ways. Vital stats – 19 miles, average speed a respectable 9.5mph and I saw two owls on the wing and nearly ran over a badger! Oh, and Tony’s heart rate maxxed out at 178bpm!
The weather is set to continue and it would be foolish not to make the most of it before the inevitable monsoon season returns. With that in mind, the next Moles ride sees us heading off to Holmbury on Friday night (Mother’s Day friendly alternative) to sample the pick of the trails in perfect shape. Having declined on babysitting grounds, I suspect Matt may be desperately trying to find alternatives. Come on Matt, you know you want to!