Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Wednesday 3 November – Summer again; well except for the dark, the wind, the mud…

Posted by Tony | November 5, 2010 | 7 comments so far

Considering it’s now November the weather was incredible, almost like summer. Unfortunately not in a glorious dry dusty trails way, but just in an incredibly warm way.

It must have been well into double figure temperature wise (16-17degrees?) and after almost freezing a couple of weeks ago on a Wednesday night ride, I was definitely overdressed. As most others soon found too. Although it was windy a gillet and a sleeveless top was plenty.

A “select” group of riders met at the Hylands garage. Danny (no shock trouble this time), a rare Wednesday off-road appearance for Paul901, PaulM, Matt and myself.

Matt’s Orange Five was definitely in need of some TLC. With the right shifter caput he was down to 3 gears using the big/middle/granny. Also his chain was seriously rusty and in need of a good lube – with Matt threatening to write an article on lubes – that usually brings out multiple opinions. Although not threatening to lube has chain??

We headed off up to Wiggly Wood and down via the back of Polesden. Everyone should note that as you head past the riding stables and bear off right into Chapel Hill woods the “unmarked path” has a large hole dug in the middle of the trail, it could really catch someone out.

The other issue last night was the amount of leaves on the ground, such that the paths we’ve been following all summer now are tricky to pick out – as I demonstrated with a little off piste route in Wiggly Woods.

For this part of the ride as least the trails weren’t too muddy, but you definitely knew that grip was at a premium especially if you hit a patch of chalk or deep leaves.

We headed down the banked descent to Badgen Farm and up to Tanners Hatch. Instead of taking the long drag to Ranmore Common we headed straight on to the steep climb where Matt, to mis-use the phrase “Matt had one gear and the idea”, shaming us 27gear equipped boys by clearing it with his one granny gear. Then is was onto Ranmore and across to Collarbone, which is getting back to it’s winter worst.

A breather at the end of Collarbone saw us regroup and again talk about how warm it was! Then it was a (not so for me) careful descent of White Down, which took plenty of attention. We continued over to Abinger Roughs and at the clearing after the Roughs we turned off up to the climb past New Barn Farm.

Strangely for the Moles we don’t have a name for this climb. “Relentless” seemed to be a good summary from Paul901 since there is nowhere to hide going up this one. It wasn’t helped by the chalk and leaf covered gullies which caught out the unwary (me!). Matt and Danny seemed to polish it off no problem though.

Waiting at the top we all commented how warm it was (I know again…). We headed off along the North Downs Way and round the back of Crocknorth Farm and along the long run down to Dirtham Lane/Effingham. The top of this run is turning quite muddy but it’s still rideable (Paul901 – wait until you see it in Feb), the rest of the way down is still a big ring blast. Super quick, hard to see in the leaves but oh so much fun.

Then it was a run down to Effingham Common, across the tiny singletrack path, which takes plenty of concentration but again is rewarded by plenty of speed. The usual Effingham Common swamp hasn’t yet made it’s appearence. Finally it was a drag through the horse churned mud of Banks Lane back into Bookham.

A great ride, with a ominous foretaste of winter mud.

Did I mention that it was warm?

Filed under Rides in November 2010


About the author

There are 7 comments on ‘Ride report: Wednesday 3 November – Summer again; well except for the dark, the wind, the mud…’

We love to get comments from our readers - if you've spent a few moments to comment, thank-you.

If you haven't had a chance yet, jump to our comments form if you have something to say.

  1. Matt says:

    I think your assessment of the weather was a little optimistic Tony as my car seemed to think it was about 13deg – still very warm though.

    I quite liked the full sus with only three gears and a wide range. Stuck in the middle cog at the rear the three front ones seemed to cover all the bases really. It might catch on…

    Quite hard work in places but very easy spinning elsewhere. An ideal ride really with the mud there to keep you honest. Paul loves it ;o)

  2. paul901 says:

    I do like a good whinge (can’t imagine anyone has noticed) although in a light-hearted way so I enjoyed this ride more than I usually let on. I reckon the illness which saw me skip D2D and then recent man-flu meant I had about 80% riding strength when I contrast it with the Reigate Hill ride and climb with Dave, Darren and Amanda a few weeks back. So, I had to work hard and was consistently off the back and hurting. The others play down that they are fast riders and were coasting to my eyes, trouble is if I were at full strength they had another notch or four they could easily have gone to.

    It was amusing at 7:25pm when ‘norman no mates’ wondered how many minutes to leave it before driving home. Then within 30 seconds Danny, Paul and Matt arrived.

    My computer said we covered about 20 miles, my watch said 10:25 as bikes were packed up after chatting, chip shop was closed so it was off-home for less substantial snacking instead.

    My MTE torches have arrived so I am looking forward to trying them out locally before the next group night ride.

  3. Paul M says:

    A good blast on a strangely warm night – did you mention that Tony 🙂

  4. tony says:

    I think you’ve invented a new MTB niche Matt. 3×1 Just get a SS cog for the back, a chain tensioner and ditch that XO rubbish. Waaaay ahead of the curve.

  5. Jem says:

    Wet and Warm?

    Just how I like it !!!

  6. Muddymoles says:

    Saturday Moles Saturday 6th Nov 2010: Recipe in progress

    I have a personal philosophy about Saturdays which I take seriously. Zero stress….

  7. Related: Ride report: Saturday 6 November - Recipe in progress | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Leave a comment…

Have your say – we'd love to hear what you think.

If you have something to add, just complete this comment form (we will not publish your email address).

*Required information.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.