As usual, Metcheck got it spot on. Normal service has resumed and last night’s ride was wet, muddy, relatively mild and very tiring. After last week’s huge turnout, this week we were down on numbers with just DaveP, Jason, Matt, Tony, Lee and myself heading up onto the hills.
But first, Happy Birthday to Jem, who was taking the opportunity to celebrate in the pub, with DaveP and Jason determined to join him as soon as possible.
So we headed out in squally weather which gradually became more intense as the evening wore on. My plan was to go up Crabtree Lane, past the big field and then continue to the Westhumble end before taking the trail along and down to Chapel Farm.
Having got there, I thought a tramp over to Tanners Hatch and up Ranmore would make a change but it was apparant that Dave and Jason were in a rush for that pub. So, we headed down to the A24 on the road where we parted ways, the remaining four of us heading up Box Hill.
By the time we’d reached the top, me flat out, Tony cruising and suggesting there was no need getting to the top too quickly or we’d be waiting in the rain it was time to say goodbye to another rider (will we ever complete a ride with the same number we started out with?).
Matt’s bike was giving him grief with the front brake almost full on. Not the ideal arrangement and not helpful when you’re climbing Box Hill. While we headed toward Headley, Matt went back via Juniper Bottom for an early night. Hope you got back OK Matt.
So, six out and halfway round, three left. In contrast we got passed twice by the Reigate riding posse who seem to have been out hunting in a pack last night (hi guys!). Lee, Tony and I finished the route via the back of Headley, Secret Singletrack and ultimately Alsation. With just the three of us it felt as though we were setting a quick pace and at the end of 16 miles I was showing an average speed of 9mph. Not bad given the heavy mud we encountered in many places with a strong head wind at times too.
Those frozen conditions of a few weeks back are now a thing of the past. But last night, despite the wet, we felt warm for much of the ride and I can’t help thinking that it won’t be long now before the balance tips toward spring. See? I told you mountain biking is great for SAD syndrome!
Bookham to Newlands Corner is planned for Sunday with Holmbury tentatively sketched in for the first Sunday in February. Why not join our Muddymoles mountain bike ride group on Upcoming to keep up to date on what we’re doing?