Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride Report Wednesday 3rd Aug: Night ride

Posted by Jem | August 4, 2011 | 10 comments so far

Well this my first night ride for about a year. Do I need lights?  was the question to Dave. I can’t remember!

It had been a very hot day preceded by three or four hot dry days. So the trails were calling, it was due to pi..zz down tomorrow.

Dave and I rolled up to Hylands rendevous and were met by Markymark, Steven (i think), Dazzler And AJ on the Tandem. I nearly turned round at that point, thinking no way will I keep up with a small and fit group.

Darren assured me, no problem Jem you can hop on the back of the tandem if your struggling. That’s enough incentive for me to try and keep up on Dave’s borrowed 29er.

Markymark suggested the same route as last week, Bocketts, Alsation, Chainbreaker, High Ashurst climb (C1), Box Hill, China Pig, Mickleham, Norbury, Infestation and back to Bocketts.

Off we all set! Down the new found trail parrallel with the tarmac to Bocketts, pssssssss, thup thup thup thup, Sh….t!! Rear tyre side wall rip for me and an instant deflate. Must be something about Dave’s 29er tubeless tyre choice 🙂

Thanks to Dave and Amanda supplying a tube and gas cartridge, the team were on their way again. I was the rear gunner for the duration of the ride, so that no one was held up due to my lack of fitness and abilty. The only drawback was the excessive dust (think of D2D two years ago). Only a minor problem as the trails were blindingly quick (unlike me).

Everyone cleared the C1 climb but moi. They were waiting so long for me at the top. My lack of fitness together with a 1×9 setup, the legs were on strike and not crossing the pickett line. Suffice to say, pushing was my only way up today.

How do Dazzler & AJ go so fast down China Pig on a tandem? It defies the principles of physics on a bike the length of an Aussie road train!

The Ellswoth duo parted our company at the base of China and the remaining four dropped down into Mickleham over the A24 towards Norbury. Here I decided to set an easier cadence via the cycle path on the A24 and the leisure centre.

Then there were Three, off to Infestation and home. A couple of hours out on the bike at what seemed a fast pace for me, not so for the others i’m sure. Really enjoyed once again getting out with my mates.

Here starts the fitness regime, I’m on my way back… SWEET…

Filed under Rides in August 2011


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  1. Colin says:

    Welcome back Jem, you have been missed by all, me included and that’s without actually attending any rides myself. I know what I mean I think!

    Yet another disaster in the massive catalogue of tubeless disasters this year. On the strength of everyone raving about them, even I purchased the kit for my Stans rims. I’m glad I kept the receipt.

    Latex tubes, 2 years, no punctures. Game set and match I reckon.

    How about I start a ‘Tubeless or Tubes’ thread?????

    • Dave says:

      No need for a thread it’s easy really. Running non TL tyres you have to accept this sort of thing will happen. I’ve now had two Crossmarks go on the same trail but they have only just bought out a UST Crossmark in 29er and lookng ta the weight I’ll stick with what I have thanks. It takes only seconds longer to whip the valve out and pop a tube in that it would to change a tube.

      Ridden down there several times on the TL Ready Nobby Nics and so far so good.

      Anyway….just off to the garage to pop some non TL Ardents only a new set of Crests.

  2. Matt says:

    Yep, go Jem!! good to hear you’re back on the bike.

    I think that the trail in question is the main problem, not so much the tubeless format, there’s been so many tyre slashes down there. I won’t be risking it myself that’s for sure. Really though the odd tubeless tyre-slash is inevitable with Surrey flint.

    The main problem I think with tubeless is just the riders forget how to put a tube in quickly as they rarely need to! And then there’s the problem with other thorns embedded in the carcass – check your tyre regularly and top up the latex and you’ll be fine. Oh and that VAR tyre lever I have gets even the tightest tyres off the rim easily.

    I couldn’t get out myself as Helen was off to the gym. I did ride home on the road though (19 miles at 18mph avg) so I got my workout 🙂

    Glad you had a good one.

  3. Steve says:

    Excellent ride last night with some exciting near-tree incidents. Thanks chaps. How good was infestation eh!!

  4. Gordon says:

    After 4 punctures in 3 days on different wheels and bikes I decided it was time for a change of direction. Tubeless on a budget was my plan. I started with stretching a 20″ tube over the rim and slicing it to create a rim tape – but no luck inflating the tyre as there was a bump around the valve. Plan B was to use Stans rim tape (£15 for 2 wheels), a Stans valve (£12.99 for 2), bottle of Stans sealant and a good look at the videos on The result is 2 inflated tyres with no tubes. I wasn’t brave enough to join the ride last night with my untested bike, but I had a test ride. I set off gingerly with 3 spare tubes in my pack and the ride grew and grew as I increased in confidence that the wheels might stay inflated. Hooraay! And so it was a great ride up Leith Hill, no tyre trouble and they are still inflated.

    -Now to find the next chapter of “How to know when to top up sealant”

  5. Jem says:

    Thanks fella’s for your encouragement.
    Tubeless or non tubeless?? Well……………!!!

    you after a fight Colin? 🙂

    Gordon, I think every six months is ok unless you have had some big punctures. Top up after a large spill.
    If you leave it too long you will get a puncture which will not seal and on investigation you find a large ball of hardened latex. rolling around the tyre.

    Also it does not last as well in the winter, due to the drop in temperature.

  6. Dave says:

    Heading down Chainbreaker there were some massive moments in the dry dusty conditions but what a great trail for getting the adrenalin flowing.

    It’s a bit of a bugger now that I’m made it up High Ashurst climb twice that failure is not an option anymore ;o(

    Great ride though and especially good to be persuaded to go by Jem.

  7. Amanda says:

    It was great to have you back riding Jem and its was a fun ride even the High Ashurst climb which we ended up doing twice.

    I wont get into the debate re tubless as guess its down to personnal preference but I have been using stans for nearly 8 years or more and would never go back. But one thing I have learned is using the C02 cartridges to inflate your tyre actually makes the latex in the stans form a solid ball a bit like a snow ball, I guess this is due to the cold temperature from the C02. So if you are using CO2 to inflate your tyres at any time you will need to keep a closer check on the liquid in the tyres. I now tend to use C02 in races only.

  8. Markymark says:

    Jem, dude, we were hardly hanging around at all mate. You were flying for someone who’s not been in the saddle for a year or so! I barely got my breath back at the top of C1 and looked back to see you emerging round the bend. Keep it up like this and it’ll be SDW for you at Xmas, East to West!

    I had flint flying off all over the place down Orchard Alley. I tend to float over sections i know are tyre shredders, with good speed and light over the saddle plus the Nobby Nic DD’s giving me the extra confidence. I nearly stacked it on that pile of apples half way down though, as the front end made cider out of the pomme skid-pan nature kindly dumped there.

    Chainbreaker was as awesome as ever. I rode it better last week though. This week i felt i had too much speed and a few close shaves with the trees. You really have to manage your momentum down there!

    Well, its road for me this weekend as family commitments mean i’m unable to join up with you all, so i’ll be squeezing in some local tarmac to keep the legs spinning. I must admit, after the SDW my legs have never felt so good and i want to keep it that way for as long as poss…

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