It was a “select” group that met up this morning at the Bocketts Farm car park. Kevin, Karl, a somewhat under the weather DaveC and myself. Maybe the it was the lack of e-mails prior to the ride or the proximity to Xmas but the 14-15 rider groups of the previous few weeks didn’t appear. Nor the MWB AWOL Matt – has he gone over to the “Darkside” completely?
The first person we met – before we’d left the car park – was DaveB from the Diary of a Mountain Biker. “Getting back to fitness” and off for a jaunt in the Surrey Hills with a couple of friends. After a quick catch up and with no sign of anyone else joining us we headed off with a vague plan of Leith Hill.
The Admirals Trackway was finally succumbing to the mud and it was harder work than it has been for all of our exceptionally mild autumn (anyone remember riding in the snow 12months ago?). We plugged on and headed past Polesden, up to Ranmore and slithered down Landrover, although the short trail down to the railway line was the most treacherous with wet and slick chalk.
Across Westcott to the Rookery was fine and we all puffed our way up to the bottom of Wolverns lane. At this point we regularly started seeing other rider groups, it was busy in the Surrey hills this morning! We noodled up Wolverns Lane to summer lightening and then met up at Deliverance with some early morning starting moles DaveW, MarkyMark, Dan (almost Danielle), Gary, plus others (sorry senior moment now).
After much chat a group of riders headed down Deliverence. With their 5inch skill compensators – sorry full sussers – showing the advantages of lots of travel. Karl then went down on his HT and showed how hard it is to ride Deliverence without rear suspension. Lets just say it’s a good job that the shed is no longer there!
Heading off to the cricket pitch we took in Chicken Wings (a first for me) at stop/start speed and up to the tower, where I kept up my 100% – with bar ends – record. My god bar ends make such a difference for me on steep climbs.
As we were having our tea and cakes, Darren and Amanda rolled up on their Ellesworth Tandem. Drawing much curiosity as usual. Going on the back of the tandem with Darren is a hell of an experience – not to be missed – so we persuaded Karl to have a go. Well he came back in one piece!
Heading down Personal Hygiene and off to WaggleDance where we heard what we assumed was a chainsaw going at the top of Wolverns. Getting closer it turned out to be an amazing RC car. A Lozi 1/5 scale buggy with 4×4 drive, slip differentials and shocks that wouldn’t have been out of place on the back off a full susser. The owner and his son gave us a driving demo – up to 40mph – and showed off it’s jumping skills. It just had the most amazing suspension damping, we were all impressed and once DaveC had stopped disscussing RC transmitter frequencies we were off again.
With a small group we were able to stick together well and blast the Summer Lightening, Wolverns, Rookery combo in an almost continous string. Heading off through Westcott we were almost run off the road by a impatient Horse Lorry driver – she was definitely in a hurry to get somewhere! With DaveC protesting that he wanted to ride McPhersons mount* not mid-med we headed off up to Ranmore. *this may have been a tiny bit of an lie.
With time pressing on we retraced our tracks to Polesden, Admirals Trackway and Bocketts. The rain had stayed away, the morning wasn’t too cold, there was plenty of catching up with friends on the hills. A good morning all told.