Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Sunday 21st December Bigging it up – gone fat round Leith

Posted by Muddy John | December 22, 2014 | 6 comments so far

10 Moles Crabtree

After Dandy’s blistering fast KOM last week I knew it would be tough to match his pace, so it’s no surprise I haven’t managed to publish this ride report nearly as fast as him. On Sunday morning I was up early, ready for Big Al to arrive outside my house with the cherished Puffin fatbike which he had kindly agreed to let me borrow, convinced that “Once you’ve ridden Fat there’s no going back”. Unfortunately Al himself seemed a little subdued after an extended Christmas party finished just a few hours before.

We arrived at Bocketts to be greeted by Dave Dubb, James, Nick, DAndy, Elliot on his fully rigid Kona Unit, and Karl his new bike, a full sus Felt, which he’s already decided to sell because it’s too big for him. That’s a rate of bike turnover that puts even Dave C to shame.

Leith Hill was on the agenda and avoiding the Admiral’s lake we climbed Crab Tree Lane for the always enjoyable View to a Kill / Bat Run. The oodles of fat bike grip was confidence inspiring despite the wet off camber roots and I easily got a PR here, slotting satisfyingly between Dave C and Dave W. And the subsequent Youth Hostel climb was fine, as long as I resigned myself to Elliot disappearing into the distance ahead – something I am getting increasingly accustomed to these days.

3 Al Karl Coldharbour

Wire in the Blood was muddy fun on the fatbike, but claimed our first victim of the day, a refusal from Karl on one of the log rolls. I minced down Landrover, until Karl encouraged me to give it some more speed, which felt great. Dandy was keen to do the Westcott Heath sandy gully, where Elliot impressively dispatched the series of big steps down with no suspension at all. But by the Rookery climb I could feel the toll being exerted by the weight and soft tyres, as the momentum drained away and the rest of the climb was a painful slog that reminded me of my first rides to Leith.

With a quick stop by Coldharbour while Al fixed a broken chain, we headed for the Bow to the Wow steep roll in where DAndy parted company from his bike on an interesting alternative route. As the downhill loving Moles dropped over the edge, a another group of bikers appeared and explained to James and I that a small jump over the edge would make it easier, especially on a fat bike. Given heart by Elliot’s easy ride down on his fully rigid, I followed James. But sadly my hesitant mince was captured on video by Karl – hopefully that segment will hit the cutting room floor.

4 Dandy Bow to the Wow

The excellent Leith Hill tower fridge cake was welcomed by several Moles as we cowered out of the wind in the lee of the tower, cradling our hot drinks. It was then back down Summer Lightening, with James taking the fat bike for much of the run. On the narrow holly track beside Wolvens Dandy managed to part company from his bike again when the front tyre unaccountable burped. Or so he claimed whilst looking for a suitable “big bastard” to re-inflate it.

6 Moles Leith Hill

211214Fatbike Leith HillJames continued with the fatbike down the Rookery looking like a man possessed, and perhaps he was, possessed with the burning desire to own one himself. By the time we reached High Med Al and Karl were starting to fade, probably from the previous night’s celebrations. Both dropped back as Dandy led us down Flinty Badman – another great trail to go fat.

By the time we parted company I had clocked up over 26 miles and more than 3,000ft climbing in 4 hours of riding. And decided what type of bike to go for next.

211214 Moles Crabtree

All photos are in the 21 Dec Leith Hill Fat ride set on Flickr

Filed under Rides in December 2014

Muddy John

About the author

John has been biking in the Surrey Hills since the late 1990s but only started riding with the MuddyMoles in 2008. In the couple of years since then he has learned more about mountain biking from the Moles than he learned in the previous ten.

Having remained loyal to his vintage pale blue and orange Stumpjumper hardtail since the last century, he has recently explored the limits of his storage space and his wife’s patience by adding an On-One Inbred Singlespeed and an Orange Five.

John is usually wearing or riding something blue and does not eat any raw fruit beginning with the letter T.

There are 6 comments on ‘Sunday 21st December Bigging it up – gone fat round Leith’

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  1. Elliot says:

    Photos came out looking nice JR! Hope to see some footage when Karl gets a bit of free time 🙂

    I’ve always sneaked past Bow To The Wow and taken the “chicken run” down the byway. This time it seemed like a good opportunity to watch it being done properly. Initially I wondered what the proper line was and watching Dandy do it thought “Oh that’s how it’s done…wait a moment, he didn’t mean to do that!”. Just then Jimbo from South Down MTB Skills rolled up to take a look at the commotion, leaving me little choice but to give it a go, particularly as he was also rocking a rigid. Luckily I managed not to overcook it!

  2. Karl says:

    Well that ride nearly bloody killed me.
    A couple of inaccuracies JR. Firstly Big Al was blown up right at the start. I went empty at Moonbase.
    I did not refuse the log but washed out front before I got to it.
    The bike is three rides old but yes, a bit big, which is a mighty shame as it’s an excellent ride.

    Thank you very much for the energy gel. Got me up high med.

    Landrover footage to be added soon in the Molehole as it’s too embarrasing for general release.

  3. JR says:

    too embarrasing for general release

    Thank you for you discretion, Karl.

  4. KevS says:

    JR, you’re sooo Phat!

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