Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Wednesday 13 July – Holmbury circles

Posted by Matt | July 15, 2010 | 21 comments so far

Last night we met at Felday Glade in Holmbury for one of the best rides I’ve had for a very long time. The fact we ended in a pub probably had nothing to do with it!

Our usual 7:30 meet time had to be extended as it transpired that the prime movers behind us meeting at Holmbury we unavoidably delayed and at Felday Glade, lack of mobile phone coverage renders you incommunicado. So it was that PaulM, JohnR, Trevor, Andy661, Paul901, Jez, Paul and myself waited. And waited! I needed D’Andy and James to turn up as I hadn’t given any thought to route anyway!

Eventually our nine strong group headed up onto the Hill after they arrived full of apologies, with Paul901 off for a 30 mile spin on his road bike. Did I mention we planned a pub visit after?!

I took us along the familiar lines of Cycleworks’ demo route and we were soon realising it was going to be a humid ride. Up towards the tail end of Yoghurt Pots we turned off right and headed along to the short descent and sharp upward climb that sees the meeting point of several well-known trails.

First I led us onto the middle and end of Reservoir Dogs down to the reservoir, it’s bone dry everywhere at the moment so the logging work hasn’t really wrecked everything. At the reservoir we re-grouped and headed down Barry Knows Best which is running brilliantly at the moment, I was following Paul (Biketech Mark’s mate) who in turn was following D’Andy and we had a blast over the jumps and berms.

The large berms at the end had us all grinning by the time we got to the bottom, then it was a slow grind back up to the top.

D’Andy then led us up Reservoir Dogs as we headed off for a bit of exploration. A loop round had us going in circles before we picked up Surfa Rosa for what was a tremendously fast blast through the trees, some of which are quite low hanging.

Ducking back into the trees after only a few yards on the fireroad we followed D’Andy all the way back on stuff we’d already ridden to eventually arrive at the Car Park near the top of Holmbury. My scant local knowledge told me we’d just ridden the only bit of Reservoir Dogs that we hadn’t yet ridden in reverse so after a bit of discussion we decided to turn round and string together the first section of Dogs through the woods and across the fireroad through the rhododendrons and then pick up Surfa Rosa again.

What a great blast that was, a longish bit of twisty high speed singletrack that gave us a proper workout, aided by recent experience to help the flow. At the end of that we then turned back, finished the middle and end of Dogs and shot down Barrys once again.

Second time down was a hoot, I was by now starting to get a groove and worried D’Andy all the way down and the Five launched cleanly off all the jumps and lips.

At the end I came into the final massive berms high on the left before sweeping down to the apex with so much more speed than I’ve managed before. I was buzzing at the bottom.

After returning to the reservoir we carried on to the summit and then started down Yoghurt Pots which is also in very fine fettle. I was really comfortable by now and at the bottom we inevitably decided that twice round was a good idea. So we did it again and I think went even faster, or at least smoother!

The final run back down to Felday Glade was another quick run, I pulled my punches slightly over the jump at the top but still got myself some air and landed without drama, before proceeding to chase down the hill.

What a great night of riding, I don’t think I’ve been on a ride where we’ve put the emphasis on finding and repeating the good stuff for a long time and I really think it paid off. By the end of the ride we were hot and tired but all on a high from having the chance to practice our lines.

All that remained was to head for the King’s Head in the village for a pint or two of Pilgrim, meeting Joe who was out with another group tonight and picking up Paul901 on the way who arrived at just the right time after his road ride.

All in all a very civilised way to spend and evening!

Filed under Rides in July 2010


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 21 comments on ‘Ride report: Wednesday 13 July – Holmbury circles’

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  1. John R says:

    Absolutely, Matt, it was a fine evening out on the Holmbury trails. I enjoyed trying to follow D’andy who was, apparently, taking it slow around Yoghurt Pots, but the blast back down Felday Glade was the best.

  2. Dandy says:

    Yoghurt & Real Ale! Not generally regarded as a classic culinary combination, but throw in some mountain bikes and riders with a summer thirst, and you have the makings of a fine evening on Holmbury Hill.

    Apologies for the late arrival of Mr Pro & myself, due to a lane closure in the Kingston one-way system and, ahem, me leaving work later than planned.

    I had nightmares featuring the incessant clicking of Matt’s Hope hub as he hunted me down most of the trails, I was riding in slow motion and couldn’t shake him off.

    That section of Surfa Rosa (?) was a mighty fine trail, though you had to take it speed (and make sure you duck). BKB and Yog Pots always deliver.

    JR – Time to buy that new Orange 5 that you know has your name on it; then I will be following you down Yoghurt Pots.

    That Hophead was a terrific pint, and the beer and the conversation rounded off a great evening. Cheers.

  3. james pro says:

    indeed a fine spin and i love the berms of barry knows best. A big thanks for the lift from Andy. My that saab shifts when it needs too! Not having to drive ment 3 pints of the local brew. Even got a free top up after hours. Top evening see you all Sunday.

  4. james pro says:

    indeed a fine spin and i love the berms of barry knows best. A big thanks for the lift from Andy. My that saab shifts when it needs too! Not having to drive ment 3 pints of the local brew. Even got a free top up after hours. Top evening see you all Sunday.

  5. Andy661 says:

    Another top ride (albeit a tiring one!)

    Was great to have a beer with everyone and have a good chat. Normally I’m just staring at people’s backs and then in such severe oxygen debt that I can’t string a sentence together! 😉

  6. Toby says:

    Good to see the ‘Moles’ stopping off for a pint at the Kings Head. It was us ‘Dorking Cocks’ sat out the front with Joe, its our favorite beer stop and I’m sure you now no why.

    Anyway, sounds like you had a good ride, we really should join up for a ride on Holmbury/Leith hills sometime, I’m sure we could show you some new tracks.

  7. Matt says:

    Hi Toby, I didn’t quite twig it was you guys – feel bad now! Hope you had a good ride.

    Pub was great, we’ll probably try that again – bar staff were generous at topping up! Proper pub.

    Would like to follow you guys round Leith/Holmbury sometime, I reckon there’d be a few people interested in that.

  8. Toby says:

    No worries Matt. How about doing a ride from outside the Plough at Coldharbour next Tuesday evening at say about 7.30. There wouldn’t be many of us, perhaps 2 or 3 and whoever of the Moles who could make it.

    Just spend a hour or 2 on Leith Hill doing loads of singletrack stuff, some you know and maybe some you don’t. All followed by a pint in the Plough and that way it doesn’t interfear with our usual Wednesday night rides.

  9. paul901 says:

    I thought it would amuse the fellow Moles when I turned up and lifted a lightweight carbon road bike out of my car. Those heavy full sus bikes started growling at it but the Viner is used to it at home now as it shares bunk with the Whyte. I think showing those brutes my barbed wire scars from Wolverns Lane the previous evening did the trick in any case. A bit like that Clint Eastwood spaghetti western when he rides back into camp and is let off because of his neck wound.

    I fancied the sociable pub time afterwards so it was a good way to overcome the withdrawl symptoms I get if I am off the road too long (that will be about 2 days usually then).

    I did the complete opposite to my planned ride through Dorking which was supposed to go onto the A24 bypass, up the A246 to Bocketts, along to the left into Beech Avenue then lots of nice climbing, over Ranmore Road and down Whitedown.

    As I set off I couldn’t understand why I was seeing signs for Ewhurst and Cranleigh until it dawned on my I had turned right from Felday Glade and not left. Ah, what the hell I carried on and road to Ewhurst, on to Cranleigh and then joined the A281 into Guildford, rode up Pilgrims Way, round the back of Guildford that gets you onto the A25 and on my way back at that point. Then it dawned on me the A25 turns right and that I had to climb up to Newlands Corner and was staggered that I made lighter work of it than ever before. 2 months of off-road Mole riding really is bringing on my fitness.

    On the final B2126 run back from Gomshall to Holmbury I discovered the mosquitos more than I have noticed them off-road before. It was all steady climbing and yet was not hard work, although I was riding 2 hours for 2 days back to back I had good legs, as we say.

    I was really pleased to roll back up to the Felday Glade car park at about 9.45pm to catch the Moles just off to the pub round the corner so the plan worked well. As soon as I get my night lights sorted I will join a Holmbury Hill session as I loved my first acquaintance with it this month.

  10. Dandy says:

    Tuesday night sounds good, especially as I won’t be out on Wed night as we’re off to Wales at ‘sparrows fart’ on Thu morning. Will need to obtain a special pass from SWMBO though, seeing as I’m away until Sat night.

  11. DaveW says:

    I’d be up for that Tuesday ride Toby.

  12. Toby says:

    Dandy & Dave W. Assuming the weather is ok (not peeing down) I’ll be at the Plough Coldharbour 7.30 on Tuesday so hope to see you and anybody else who wants to come there.

  13. Andy661 says:

    Will try and sneak this one in 🙂

    With the weather so nice feeling like i need to start getting the miles in to get some improvements going!

  14. Dave says:

    Hi Toby,

    Would really like to get out but with a trip to Wales starting on Thursday I’ve had to cram some work in Tuesday evening so won’t be able to make it. Maybe we can do it again in a few weeks?


  15. Toby says:

    Well, I’ll be there anyway in a Dorking Cocks top just so you know who I am so if anyone wants to come along feel free. Happy to do another week as well if that suits but am away for the middle 2 weeks of August.

  16. DaveW says:

    I’m still up for this one.

    See you tomorrow Toby.

  17. Dandy says:

    Regret I won’t be able to make the ride tonight now. I have too much to do both work & domestically before our departure for a long w/e in Wales on Thu morning. I saw Matt last night, and he’s sadly in the same position.

    Would love to join you next Tue if you’re out, as I can’t make our regular Wed night ride due to work commitments next week.

  18. Toby says:

    Dave W, See you there this evening. Dandy and others, I can probably do next Tuesday too if anybody wants too.

    I’m sure Dave W can let you know if its worth it or not after this evenings ride.

  19. TrevorT says:

    I’m up for this one, see you all there.

  20. Dandy says:

    Toby – Will be in Coldharbour tomorrow (Tue) evening, 27 July, if you’re about. Cheers

  21. Toby says:

    Yep, I plan to be there too subject to the weather being ok

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