Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Wednesday 9 September – Ranmore/Horsley/Sheepleas loop

Posted by Colin | September 10, 2009 | 7 comments so far

What did I comment after Badger-gate last Wednesday night? “some uneventful rides would be good…”

The forecast was light rain and unlike the last two Wednesdays, thankfully it was just that. In fact, at 7pm we had a mere couple of drops and a rainbow. With the sky over Leatherhead looking grim, our crack unit of riders (or should that be crap) headed off over to Ranmore and Sheepleas, in search of more fast, long and fun descents as experienced on Sunday.

DaveC, continuing his love affair with his new Intense Spider, JohnR, P7 Matt, Mark (welcome back its been too long!) and yours truly on my heavy but bouncy thing headed up towards Ranmore via Wiggly Wood and after throwing ourselves up and down the wall ride on the way to Tanners, we sheepishly took the footpath route to the top which is yet another alternative to Yew Trees thank god. In fact, there was no sheepishness about it, its a great route and wasted on those perverts who choose not to ride mountain bikes!

Our progress along Badger Run was thwarted by a massive fallen tree which is not particularly exciting. However, whilst trying to find his way around it, Dave elected to pull a chunk of the stricken trunk away to demonstrate ‘yep, its rotten’. Things like to live in rotten trees and sure enough, five seconds later, Dave announces in a very rational, calm voice (as is his way) “oh, I seem to have disturbed a hornets nest” as he brushed several of the large and angry things away.

I was having none of this calmness and as about 30 of them headed for the rest of us, I reckon UsainB would have struggled to keep up with me as I first ran and then performed a Zorro-esque jump onto my bike and pedalled like fury.

With calmness restored we backtracked and took an alternative route over to the White Down car park and on to Drovers Lane to begin the descent action. First was Sheepwalk Lane to the sawmill and then on to Sheepleas after a bitch of a climb, rewarded by anther long and fast descent. Alas the final gulley-ridden section with some great berms was also blocked by a fallen tree but it didn’t ruin the fun too much.

After yet another fast blast, we hit the a246 and then picked up the bridleway back to Oresten Lane in Effingham, signalling an end to the adrenalin action for a nice gentle pedal home.

Once again, another quickish ride at over 10mph. The pace on Moles rides of late has definitely picked up and I think a few of us are trying to prepare a little bit for D2D, whether knowingly or not. I’ve also noticed that ride distances have increased of late. Tonight’s for me was 21 miles which is not unusual for a nightride, whilst Sunday rides often hit 28+. A year ago night rides tended to be 12-15 and weekends about 20.

So we’re either getting fitter or maybe just staying out longer than we should. I think its probably the latter and my wife would no doubt agree.

Filed under Rides in September 2009


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  1. Matt says:

    Sounds like fun Colin – I really wanted to be out as the conditons looked great. Your comments about our speed and distance are interesting.

    I call ‘late summer syndrome’ where the trails are perfect, the weather has cooled just enough to make riding really comfortable and you kind of know that autumn rain and winter mud is on it’s way – hence the pace picks up for all those reasons. We’ll soon be back to reality.

    I remember Dave, Jem and myself reaching Newlands in about an hour from Bookham along the NDW in similar conditions. On singlespeeds.

    Of course, the D2D ‘race’ isn’t a factor at all… ;o)

  2. Andy C says:

    Animals last week, insects last night. I think we need David Attenbrough on next Wednesday’s ride. Maybe I should pack a pocket guide to the Flora and Fauna of Britain into the backpack?

    It sounds like you had another good work-out; and at last it was a dry evening. I was also out enjoying the weather, but taking it rather more sedately on the Drops & Bomb-holes course over in Swinley Forest.

    Sadly, while they can teach you the technique they can’t supply extra ‘bottle’. I will try and put together a little write-up for the site, and should be demo-ing my newly acquired skills next Wed evening… animals and insects permitting!

  3. Colin says:

    Great Andy, we’ll make sure next week takes in Abba Zabba, which you’ll no doubt find a doddle in daylight with your newly acquired skills…………. so let’s try it in darkness !!

  4. DaveW says:

    You fellas do keep a good pace. I like that. :o)

    I must get along to some of these comedy night rides again too! (I’m in the process of preparing the ground at home and have ordered a cheapo light to supplement my Joystick Max).

  5. Andy C says:

    After you, Colin.

    I have trouble finding the way out of Abba Zabba (while still attached to my bike) in daylight; Lord knows where I’d end up in darkness (hospital, most likely).

    How about a Sunday trip around the Pitch Hill area (but not this coming Sunday) as I want to id some routes for the forthcoming Moose Cycles demo day?

  6. Colin says:

    Hi Andy, I think Matt is going to post a local ride up for this week but with a 9am start for a change.

    Pitch the following week sounds good – i have a route forming in my mind already!

  7. Andy C says:


    I need a route that will take under 1 hour starting and finishing in Peaslake. As I plan to be riding assorted demo bikes (Bionicon Edison, Pace 405, Intense Spyder 2, Santa Cruz Blur LTc) I want some testing technical stuff (an opportunity to show off my newly acquired skills !!! ) and swoopy singletrack. Starting and finishing in Peaslake, climbing on the route is a given.

    That is your task, should you choose to accept it !

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