Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report: Wed 22nd April – The Usual with a Twist

Posted by Colin | April 23, 2009 | 7 comments so far

A warm spring evening, dry trails. Well it’d be rude not to wouldn’t it? Without squadron leader Matt (on domestic duties) it started off fairly routinely in so much as – meet at Bookham, start riding up Crabtree Lane and then casually start throwing route ideas around because we were too busy chatting before we set off.

As Muddymoles has grown in popularity and we have got more and more folks joining us, not only have we got to make many more friends along the way, but the fairly random attendance (in some cases) means routes become more varied and interesting as alternative ideas are injected.

So tonight, John R joined us (on my singlespeed Inbred he’s borrowed to see how he gets on) suggested a different approach. So Jem, Dave P, Dave C, RoadieDendron (Tony) and myself headed up to Ranmore and then headed VERY swiftly down McPhersons Mount to the railway line and the back of Westcott. The trail is so named after John’s friend who was the first person to clean it, as a climb, and I’ve only ever ridden it once.

Its funny how there are trails that we tend to ride only in the ascending mode, whereas if you turn them on their head, they are ace fun to ride down! Then we headed across the field past the back of Westcott on more virgin trails to pick up with White Down, which I wasn’t particularly looking forward too. Until tonight.

You see, I’ve been bitchin for a few weeks that I seem to have lost my climbing mojo of late and have been nowhere near as spritely as I feel I was last summer. Tonight, Jem offered that my seat looked a bit low. I’ve been working off a standard measurement on all my bikes and it appears that somewhere along the way, I’ve cocked up.

Taking his advice onboard, the seat went up by about an inch and hey presto, problem sorted. I felt great (well as much as you can do) climbing up White Down, what a relief. I’ll never be challenging Tony up the hills, but at least I’ll be able to hold my own again.

Back to the ride, we just headed back to Polesden via Badger Run and Yew Trees where Dave P got revenge on me for cutting him up earlier by repeatedly locking his back wheel in the dust and shrouding me in a cloud of the stuff-lovely. As if this wasn’t bad enough, then everyone started doing it. Grown men who should know better acting like kids – brilliant. It brings me back to a conversation at the weekend with my daughter who concluded that men are just young boys in big bodies!

So, with just a twist on familiar trails, a highly amusing ride, reasonable workout and another 17 miles on the clock. Leith Hill beckons Sunday and it looks as if we’ll be dodging the showers. Never mind, I’m not sure I like all this dust.

Filed under Rides in April 2009


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  1. Matt says:

    That extra inch makes all the difference (fnaar!). I hate riding uphill with the saddle too low, it really makes you feel feeble.

    Shame I couldn’t make it last night but the missus sprung a surprise ‘school committee’ thing on me so I was babysitting. Shame, the weather is perfect at the moment

  2. Dave says:

    We almost had to change our name last night as well, to Badger Chasers. Coming down Yew Trees, turning down the descent before the climb up under the two bridges Jem, and then I encountered a very surprised Badger who didn’t really know which way to run. Boy can they motor when they want to. Excellent!

  3. Keith says:

    Hi guys

    I have been following your site for a while and have been venturing out onto the hills following your routes (where I can!)

    I am new to this and am keen to join in a ride soon. I only have a modest front light (Cateye EL530 Front Light). Will this be sufficient to start with or do I need to move to a more powerful version?

    BTW thanks to Colin for posting the route up on Bikely. I tried parts of it out and it is certainly technical!!


  4. Colin says:

    Hi again Keith, glad the route helped. Try the Swinley one – its fabulous and very accurate/easy to follow.

    As you’ve seen, we’re heading to Leith on Sunday which should be a great XC ride with a bit of optional gnarly stuff thrown in.

    I really want to find the full Windy Willow trail up there which is quite difficult to find. Hope to see you Sunday or one evening soon.

  5. Easynow Nick says:

    Colin, the only difference between men and boys is the toys get more expensive. 🙂

    And what is this ‘dust’ you speak of?

    I have heard of this mythical substance, but alas, for what seems like a lifetime, all I have encountered on my quests when allied with the Moles is mud. 🙂

  6. Dominic says:

    Just a quick note to say I took the lads I ride with over to Abba-zabba and the following roll-ins all the way down to the abinger roughs, they loved it, well 2 of us did the other 2 chose to miss out ‘cos we are off to wales in 2 weeks’ so did not want to damage themselves.

    We then went on to BKB but did not ride it instead went on up to yhogurt pots and did them then home, 25 2.5hours including loooooong chat at the top of abba-zabba……..

    So thanks to the moles for showing me how to ride them!!!

    Also rode the log pile on the way over, as per that piccy Matt put up, yes you need to be fast over it so you do not nose dive at the end but was good to do it!!!

    see you all soon


  7. Colin says:

    No worries Dom. I’m not sure Matt or I showed you how to ride them (though very generous of you to say), more like where they are!

    If you fancy joining us Sunday for Leith, at a much more sedentry pace, it’d be good to see you. Even better if you know the whole Windy Willow trail.

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