Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Sunday, 14 December – Mud ‘n sunshine

Posted by Dandy | December 14, 2014 | 15 comments so far

Sunshine before the final descentSix of us made it for the slightly delayed start time of 9am, delayed due to a number of Christmas Celebrations on Saturday night. Joining me were Dave ‘D-Dub’, Elliot, Karl .. os Fandango, James S and JR. After some indecision over the precise route, we opted for ‘View to a kill’ and ‘Petrol Pump’ as the preferred route to Albury, before climbing the dreaded Water Lane to Newlands Corner.

Conditions were reasonably good initially, though despite the widespread frost most of the trails were already softening in the watery winter sunshine. The climb from the Youth Hostel up to Ranmore Common took its toll on Karl and myself who were paying a penance for our previous night’s partying by riding our single-speeds. We opted for the top half of ‘Wire in the blood’, though D-Dub inadvertently started on the second half as his mud-caked tyres refused to stop him in time. Mud-caked became the norm for all of us, as ‘Collarbone’ proved to be particular sticky. Although I remained upright, the conditions were defeating my new Maxxis Chronicle’s ability to retain any grip; with the rear’s Bontrager XR Mud faring little better.

Karl on the log rollKarl and Elliot showed us the way over the log roll on Trouble in Paradise, and we continued on a fairly direct route to pick up the North Downs Way and the start of ‘Petrol Pump’. At this point, Karl had had enough of his ‘double mudguard’ approach to keeping his ar5e clean, and modified his .. err .. elegant solution back to a single mudguard approach.

I managed to lose my way on ‘Petrol Pump’, dragging James with me through the undergrowth, and it seems a few others also struggled to see the exact route with the amount of leaf litter covering the ground. The trail was holding up quite well, given the conditions. We then made our way around the back of Shere, with Elliot leading us on the fast and fun bridleway descent into Albury.

Karl and I struggled up Water Lane, as the four ‘geared’ riders disappeared into the distance. For me, the reward for making it to the café was a large bacon roll along with the free mince pies being offered. Given our late start, and with various time constraints to be met, we opted for the direct route back along the NDW. After the obligatory laps of the concrete bowl, we said good-bye to James who opted for the road route home via Combe Lane, Green Dene and the A246.

Dave splashes along the Drovers Road

As the Byway section ended, we encountered a police Land Rover, with the policeman wrapping ‘Police Aware’ tape around the damaged gate at the end of the Byway. It seems it’s the fourth time this year that the gate has been forced open by off-roaders who want to drive along the non-Byway section. Apparently, it’s £1,500 a time to replace the gate, which as Council Tax payers we will pay for !

Returning via Yew Trees Farm and the ‘Two Bridges’ climb, we had a minor delay while Karl attended to a few chain issues, before heading back to Bocketts. Though for JR and myself it was a quick diversion into Bookham for a reviving coffee at Domestique. An excellent way to blow away the party cobwebs, with around 40km covered and 700m climbed.

Filed under Rides in December 2014


About the author

Having been mountain biking since 1996, you might have expected Dandy to have learnt to ride a bike by now. Several broken bones in the last few years prove the maxim that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

In between hospital visits, Dandy rides a brace of much-blinged Pace RCs, the 'green themed' 405 and the silver & gold 506. His winter hack is the Moles' favourite, an On-One 456 hardtail, now converted to an Alfine hub He also dabbles in 'the dark arts', keeping 2 road bikes in one of his seven sheds.

There are 15 comments on ‘Sunday, 14 December – Mud ‘n sunshine’

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. Elliot says:

    Got it posted before midnight…rumors of your efficiency are true!

    Looks like I was a good bit slower up Water Lane with gears today. That’s either down to me being faster singlespeed or having had a few too many chocolate biscuits lately 🙂

    Nice ride but I can’t wait for spring…

  2. Dandy says:

    Aargh … Water Lane. I had nightmares about that climb last night 🙁 I had to resort to staring fixedly at my front wheel and resisting the urge to look up the hill in case it was longer than I imagined, at which point I’d have stopped and walked. Had to resort to Vitamin I again last night as the legs were still throbbing 🙁

  3. J-R says:

    Dandy, you are a benchmark for ride report publishing.

    We were lucky to have a nice sunny morning, so despite the gloop I enjoyed all the trails, even my little un-noticed (except by Karl) off just before we crossed Whitedown.

    Butcher and Purg seem to be doing a good job and I don’t see any need to swap them over for Mud X’s at the moment. Or maybe ever.

  4. Karl says:

    Swifto ride report D’Andy! Brill.
    Ride was all a bit surreal but most enjoyable.
    Thanks JR for pics. Top Man.

  5. KevS says:

    That looked mighty muddy men!

    Bit concerned about D’Dubs “gentleman’s area” (can I say that, prob’s not) as one of the pics on shows stand-over height on his new steed to be tight!! 🙂

  6. Colin says:

    Worrying Kev. When the advertising banner for “Fitness Singles” on this page regularly features the fit lass with a nice set, straddling her tob tube, that you’re looking at D-dub’s man bits. Too much time in the molehole…..

  7. Tony says:

    D’andy gains the publishing speed KOM. Well done sir!

    A bad back and the lure of the duvet were too much for me on Sunday morning. Well done for those who did get out.

  8. DaveW says:

    I’m touched by Kevin’s concern regarding my man-vegetables – you will note Kev that I undergo a similar risk on most bikes, but particularly 29ers. The Titus is less tight than some, with a nicely curving top tube adjoining the seat tube rather lower down than is the norm for a 16″ frame. In order to reduce the risk of trauma further I normally tuck one testi under each shoulder strap of my bib longs and then exercising extreme caution when donning my camelback.

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.