Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Sunday Ride reports – 9th and 16th September 2012

Posted by DaveC | September 16, 2012 | 9 comments so far

I didn’t write a ride report for last Sunday as I wanted to let the Cancer Appeal have a little headline space. If you missed it please have a look here! Now on with two rides reports!

Sunday 9th – Swinley Baby

With many Moles “enjoying” the searing heat of something called “sunshine” on something called “a road sportive” it only left 5 of us (I think…) to meet at Swinley for a little spin on the dry and dusty trails. With me were Karl, Andy, Andrew and Lloyd looking forward to some classic trails. I’m not an expert over at Swinley but I have a good sense of direction and took us on the well trodden path that I know.

First up was Stickler in its newer, longer form and I have to say I find it a tad on the long side now. Good fun never the less and it leads us nicely on to Tank Traps. With so little rain (did I just type that????) the trails were pretty dry and only the deepest sections of Stickler retained water. From there we headed towards Crowthorne Woods and the delights of Corkscrew via Seagull and the little roll in area.

From there we headed bakc to try and find the way Al took us the last time we were over there. I failed to find that trail but following my nose got us back to somewhere I new even if it was a bit closer to the Lookout than I had hoped! Anyway, we pushed on towards the jump gully with the bonus of taking in the sweeping, high speed bermed section that we often seem to miss. Some of the Moles took a few trips down the jump gulley while I feasted on Jellie babies before the steep climb up to the Reservoir.

I found the trail I wanted off the Reservoir section and it led us nicely into the Ski Jump section which was a tad loose but we all made it down OK. Over to Deerstalker via a slightly different route and we despatched both Deerstalker 1 and 2 followed by Babymaker which I hadn’t actually tried before. I think it’s fair to say the top sections were dry, sandy and loose!

Fatigue was starting to set in and despite Karl’s disappointed look I headed back for the cake although not via the most direct route. On the way I had to use the battle cry to help my up a small bank. The battle cry is a worth addition to any tired mountain bikers array of weaponry and sometimes much more use that a new set of tyres. Timing is everything, use it too early in the ride and it’s gone, use it too early on the slope and you might still fail. I managed to get it out just about right as did Karl.

Taking a few more turns that “felt right” led us to a climb that didn’t look or feel right. Karl failed at about 1.2m, Lloyd at about 1.4m after letting out what was the most pittiful battle cry I’ve heard in many a long year. So off I went again and timed the cry just right clearing the climb but left hugging a tree for support at the top.  From there we rolled back to the Look Out for refreshments.

Sunday 16th – Local

With the Tour in the area we thought a few roads might be difficult to cross and Al also wanted to watch some of it having missed the Olympic race. Hence we hatched the plan ti put some of the local singletrack to good use. This time we were down to 4 with only BigAl, Karl and Andrew joining me. Absences have been recorded and excuses laughed at!

With enthusiasm under an overcast sky and Andrew asking if it was going to rain we headed towards Ranmore. First on the list was Badger Run and Collar bone to get us towards Abba Zabba but at the last moment we turned left instead of right to try and find the trail that leads into Blind Terror.  I think we found some of the tamer bits which might well have been a good thing as it allowed me the courage to head into Blind Terror where I usually prefer to follow.  Conditions were dry and dusty with great grip and it’s great to ride the whole complex in one flow.

We headed back towards Dorking via the Empty Box company and up Lower Med to climb up to Ranmore again. And Then there were Three (Westhumble, Red, White and Rose etc. etc for you inconsistent, my GPS didn’t register it lot) was in excellent form and I led down it with speed I haven’t found since being harassed by Thomas back in the balmy Spring. Excellent fun!

Up past Juniper Hall was next and after some internal debate with myself we headed down Alpine Trail (yeah, that has other names as well) and then on to the High Ashurst C1 climb. All failing to clear it I’m still not sure whether we might need to reclassify this after Wednesday nights ride given that the “impossible” climb near the Saw Mill is harder. So we either need to make that a C1* rating or lower High Ashurst to C2. We might need to have an Extraordinary meeting of the Mole classification team down the pub for a conference. I understand that the Dorking Cocks hold these so often they are the Ordinary meetings.

Anyway, we had tea and cake with several hundred road cyclists, one of them wearing a Mole top. Ray was out with a Rolf Harris expert and two other mates who I think all run at the Park runs. Good to see you Ray and you;re looking on form even if there was no sign AGAIN of the reason you’re not riding with us at the moment!

To end the route off I set a PB down China Pig and we said goodbye to Big Al who went to watch the Tour go through Dorking while we headed back towards home. Go on, give us a few more weeks of this weather! Please!

Filed under Rides in September 2012


About the author

Dave's been riding seriously since about 1997 and is one of the founding Molefathers — along with Matt and Mark — that came up with the idea of a MTB website for Mole Valley riders.

He's had several different bikes but it's now mainly 29ers in Dave's stable, apart from an Orange 5.

Current Bikes: Orange 5, Salsa Spearfish and Kona Big Unit

There are 9 comments on ‘Sunday Ride reports – 9th and 16th September 2012’

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  1. Andrew akak says:

    Both really great rides on superb singletrack. I still can’t get the hang of such a loose dusty surface but i’m keen for more practice!

  2. Lloyd says:

    Swinley was fantastic last week, only the second time there and first time in the dry – huge fun. Dave’s compass was on good form and he strung together a great ride.
    Unfortunately Swinley rather did for me as my infection returned with a vengeance. It turns out it is a strain resistant to most antibiotics so had been dampened down but not eradicated (is this a good enough excuse for missing today?)
    Sadly it may be awhile before I am stamping the pedals again.

  3. Karl says:

    Thanks for the two ride reports Dave..

    Ditto Andrew’s comments above re: great rides, and keen for more.. certainly more dry rides..!

    Have to say Dave, that your riding is bang on form at the moment, and I was astounded at Swinley that you made that last gnarly and very steep climb.. it did not even look possible. (certainly wasn’t for me or the others).. You flew down china pig today too, and I reckon could have gone quite a bit faster, if Al had not had an unusual awkward moment at the fallen tree.

    Well done Al, on some impressive climbing, especially with a 32-16 singlespeed..

    Akak.. well done after a no-sleep night. bet you’ll not have that problem tonight!

  4. tony says:

    Yesterday was the trails were indeed their best since our “Indian Spring” (remember that) with hardly a drop of mud. Barry and I rode just under 50miles with a great classic loop via the back of Guildford to Pitch / Holmbury. Crossing the Tour of Britain route 4 times, including the top of Barhatch. Even early in the morning the crowds were building. It was then great to sit on the sofa, see the roads we’d passed and watch Cav do the business.

  5. Toby says:

    Too true Dave, those meeting seem to take up a lot of riding time. You’d be welcome to contribute if you like one day although we are relying on you Moles for the classification of hill climbs.

    No riding for me this weekend, was recovering from having two teeth removed on Saturday so am currently rather sore and swollen.

  6. Big al says:

    Sorry to any riders I might of held up yesterday !!!! It was good to be out and the cake at Box Hill was of a very high standard so much so I had 2 pieces !
    I made it back to Dorking in good time to watch the tour come through although was disappointed no riders sprinted for the line .

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