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!