Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Ride report: Wednesday 23 June – Pitch and a Pint

Posted by Matt | June 24, 2010 | 10 comments so far

Last night, as JohnR pointed out, was a great night for a ride. Long, long daylight hours thanks to our proximity to the solstice, hot weather and dry trails meant we really should take advantage of circumstance. And what better way than to get in a spot of Pitch Hill riding followed by a pint in the Hurtwood Inn?

Yes, it was time to reprise our ‘classic’ Pitch and a Pint’ riding!

Tony was kind enough to offer me a lift and we were trailed over there first by Colin in his passion wagon and then by DaveW as the ever resourceful moles took various different routes to Peaslake. It was all starting to feel a bit wacky racers to me!

At the car park we found the place was full of riders, not all of whom were with us. The mid-week Surrey Hills effect was in full force though as once on the hill I think we only briefly saw a trio of other riders. Where does everyone go?

There were 14 of us, heading out tonight. Tony, Colin, DaveW, JamesH, JohnR, Trevor, Amanda, Chris, Adam, Darren, D’AndyC, Paul and myself joined eventually by BiketechMark. Quite a crowd and a strong group of riders.

We headed straight up the hill and headed toward car park no. 3 via some steep roll-ins before crossing the road and heading up the steep climb past Caution Steep Slope and on toward the Windmill on Winterfold. Soon we came to the first tester of the evening, Two-Headed Dog.

I’ve come off down here before but tonight was fine, this time a remembered not to carry too much speed over the lip at the top. Darren and Adam both decided to have a go at the really steep drop that is favoured by few apart from DaveW (when he has his flats with him or a pair of spd shoes to fit his pedals!). Both rode the drop well but I can’t ever see myself doing it, especially after seeing Adam nearly endo on the second part as the sharp drop nearly caught him out. Fortunately no harm done though.

Crossing th eroad we headed on up to the Judges Seat where I’m ashamed to say we spoilt a couple’s picnic by turning up en masse to admire the view. They were very good about it but if I was them I wouldn’t have been too impressed. They did get treated to Adam launching his bike confidently off a couple of the gnarly lines up there though, while the rest of us looked on impressed.

Soon after we left them to some peace and headed off toward Jellies Hollow (I still prefer Jenny’s!) along the lovely rollercoaster trail along here. I had a contact elns that kept lifting in one eye which made my progress a bit hit and miss but it’s great fun along here, one of my favourites.

Looping back on ourselves it was off to the bombholes, followed by the twisting singletrack that comes after. I struggled for a rythmn along here and reckon I’ve been spending too much time covering miles rather than testing the Five. Now it has the Nobby Nics on though it’s feeling much grippier which helps.

Gone In Sixty Seconds has well and truly gone, so it was off back toward Pitch, working our way round past the Windmill and the rooty steps down to the road. We tried our hand at a few jumps along the way as we headed uphill (all stalling on the steep sandstone climb) before we finally came out at the start of the T-trails.

These we in great condition as we shot off down them, my ropey technique making itself felt again as I kept braking in the berms but even so swift progress was made. Onto T1 and Tony was close behind Chris and me. He’s quick along here so Tony amused himself ringing his bell at us, how he did it without falling off at the speed we were going I don’t know! This long trail seems to snake forever through the pines and we were all panting at the end.

A short rest, then it was onto to T2-5, on the whole I really like these later T-trails but I just can’t seem to get cleanly through the narrow tree and stump opening about a third of the way down. It’s very frustrating!

By now we were pretty close to the village, with the last stepped gully taken fast but haltingly by me as I careened off the sides a few times. Passing the opportunity of an immediate pint (well, most of us did Andy and DaveW eh?!), we rode up to the start of Barry’s via the off road climb and then came down it at a fair old lick as the night started to fall.

The final bermed sections seem to be getting better and better and once or twice I could feel the bike was running quite well as I entered high and swooped downwards at each turn. I could tell from everyone’s reaction at the bottom that we’d all had a blast along there.

Back to the pub then for a lovely pint of Shere Drop (once we’d finally been served by the slow staff). We weren’t the only riders drinking there either as there were a few groups coming and going, underlying that at least our sporting activities occasionally bring in a bit of cash to local businesses.

All in all, a very enjoyable ride, 9 miles or so of intense riding, lots of fun and smiles all round.

Filed under Rides in June 2010

Matt

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 he's now running a YT Industries Jeffsy 29er and a Bird AM Zero Boost.

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 10 comments on ‘Ride report: Wednesday 23 June – Pitch and a Pint’

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  1. tony says:

    I was ringing my bell to come past 🙂

  2. Matt says:

    Were you? I misunderstood ;o)

    I thought you were just being exhuberant!!

    Mind you, when I let you go on the next section you promptly disappeared into the distance…

  3. paul901 says:

    It’s a fine balance for me between training to get up to group pace and the all important rest. So with 20 miles of hill cimbing on the road bike on Friday, 20 to 25 miles of the Sunday 20 June Mole ride to Leith Hill and then another 20 road miles on Tuesday I was keen for my Weds night on the Whyte to be really easy. I needed Old Iron Hands to turn up and say his ribs still hurt and let’s do some slow speed technical skills. So, when I rolled up at Hylands in the car and Keith’s first words were “right, there’ll be no letting up tonight, we’re riding to Box Hill so I can gauge my recovery against the time it takes” I could have sunk into my MTB shoes. However, the Pitch and Pint crew were right to say you can’t pass up the best weather and evening light of the year so off we went.

    I know Adam has done the climb in 6m something and reckons under 6m is achievable, that others are in 7m to 8m territory and I also know the road is called the Zig Zag because someone had the sense to break the climb into 2 zigs and 1 zag.

    I guessed some pillock had left the off-road climb as one sadistic unwielding incline but hope dotherwise. I did not know they had left the cruelty of a loose stoned surface.

    So it’s with interest that before posting this I read Matt’s report of the 21 Feb Box Hill climb as “With Denbies behind us we turned toward Box Hill for the Box Hill climb. With just the one gear it was all I could do to keep the cranks turning as I followed Jem up the hill. By the summit I’d clocked a time of about ten minutes, painfully down on my best of around 8:30 and well short of Barrie’s 7:35 or so time. Depressing but at least there’s cake to reward you on a daylight ride”

    The good news (for Matt) is that I can take that depression away as I did not manage it in 10m and I was not restricted be a singlespeed. Nevertheless, I was surprised that with lungs bursting I made it in one go without giving up and that I took about 11m05s which I don’t think I would have managed a month ago (either the loose surface or time). In that quiet, personal challenge sort of way I’m pleased as punch with this and it gives me a starting target.

    If you’ll forgive me I also know I can put the guantlet down to Adam now and challenge him to either road or off-road Box Hill challenge. For any stake :-0

    Big talk? Not at all, it’s become apparent to me in the most recent rides that due to either free-spinning hubs or pure weight advantage I reckon I can have anyone on a decent surface. Did I mention that challenge is downhill by the way, lots of laughs!

  4. John R says:

    Paul,

    if you saw Adam tackle the outrageously steep section of Two Headed Dog you might think again about your downhill challenge!

    Keep working on the flinty climb – the first milestone is to clean it, then under 10 mins, then . . . . . ?

  5. paul901 says:

    The thought of it sends me to the bathroom and if there was so much as a root or twig on the descent I’d be absent with a lame excuse! In all seriousness I look forward to watching in admiration how some of the quick guys take obstacles that curently make my face say “WTF, they’ve got to be joking, ride down that!”

    I know Adam road races as well so I wouldn’t be daft enough there either.

    Riding down Secret Singletrack and Alsation last night, ignoring the brambles and nettles I felt for the first time why the interesting stuff becomes addictive so I’m not surprised that after riding for years the Moles love the challenges out there.

  6. StevenD says:

    Excuse me chaps but I think you are doing this all wrong… ending the ride with a beer !

    I had a magnificent evening with a friend, going from Marlow-Fingest-Skirmett-Frieth and back. It was a glorious evening, wonderful rides through the woodlands and visiting 3 pubs.

    Drink beer as you go, not when you get back ! 🙂

    One thing we can all agree on, what glorious weather we are having, let us hope it lasts.

    Best

    Steven

  7. DandyC says:

    Sounds like we’re all enjoying the warm weather, long may it last. But Steven, you really wouldn’t want to tackle some of the Pitch Hill trails after a couple of pints, the beer is defintely best left to the end on this hill (and believe me, I like my beer, especially the Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale and Shere Drop that was on offer in the Hurtwood Inn last night).

    Come and join us for a Sunday ride some time, if you fancy a change of scenery.

  8. StevenD says:

    @DandyC & all moles, yes I do intend to meet up with you guys before the summer is out. I feel my fitness is coming back and I would not want to hold you up too much.

    Steven

  9. kc says:

    Steve

    I shall be out for a rehab ride on Saturday after cracking a couple of ribs. Can’t do first thing in the morning but will be free the rest of the day

    Pace will be moderate and will be based on XC rather than technical terrain

    Anybody welcome to join in

  10. StevenD says:

    @kc, thank you for the kind offer but this weekend is difficult due family commitments and a World Cup BBQ. I think my only chance to get out will be 7am tomorrow morning… and with this weather, why not, plus I get out before the other idiots who clog up the trails, lol ?

    I will be in touch with the Moles in August when life gets a bit simpler (ie no kids activities to support).

    Steven

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