Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Sunday single speed spin skips Shere and goes to Peaslake (avoiding alliterative titles)

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

Moles SS to Peaslake

A combination of Saturday’s rain and Sunday being Fathers Day resulted in me having a last minute change of plan to join three other single-speeding Moles (Dave, Kev, and Karl), while James flew the flag for the geared fraternity. All five of us were riding ‘waggon-wheeled’ 29ers. Peaslake Stores via Leith and Holmbury Hills was the plan, so at a precise 8.40am we set off from Bocketts along a flooded (again) Admirals Track.

Conditions were pretty slippery over Ranmore, and the Land Rover descent off the North Downs was accompanied by a strong whiff of burning brakes as we all treated it with considerable respect. Following the steep climb by the church in Westcott, we enjoyed the bridle path descent to the Rookeries before attacking (or not) the ascent to Wolverns Lane. Avoiding the worst of the Summer Lightning gloop, we took several sandy bridle paths to Leith Hill.

Given the lack of gears between us, it was an easy decision to avoid the steep climb to the tower, and as we weren’t stopping here we skirted below the tower and enjoyed a noodle around some steep and twisty stuff to reach the quarry and Chocolate Jesus. Karl and I couldn’t resist a few goes at the little jump by the quarry, and on Chocolate Jesus I narrowly avoided being covered in the brown and sticky stuff when my front wheel sunk into a particularly deep patch and sent me into the bushes.

To High Ashes Farm and then ‘The Mother’ descent which we all enjoyed, though again it was quite slippery when you strayed off the dry line, as I found out on a slightly dodgy passing manoeuvre. Then it was more climbing as we headed up past the Holmbury cricket pitch to Holmbury Hill. Dave was keen to tackle a Strava segment known as ‘Barry’s Pot’, a combination of .. you guessed it .. Yoghurt Pots and Barry Knows Best. Two very fast and swoopy trails, and great fun even on a rigid single-speed bike. Dave led myself and Kev down BKB, and with little pedalling as we were going too fast for our very similar range of gears, we just pumped and swooped our way down. Our reward awaited at the Peaslake Stores.

Karl still smiling

We expected mud on the Rad Lane descent from Peaslake to the A25 at Abinger Hammer, and we got it. At one point the deeper mud forced my front wheel sideways at some speed, spraying my leg and foot with a thick coating of the stuff. However, I got off lightly compared with Karl, whose pedal caught a half-submerged stump or stone that sent him slamming into the rooty wall of the lane. Although a little shaken, he’s pretty much used to these incidents so it wasn’t long before we were off again and facing the climb back up to the North Downs. We avoided Whitedown on account of the muddy track that we were sure would await us at the top, we certainly weren’t afraid of the steep climb !

So after the gentler ‘High Med’ ascent, we took in Golden Nugget as a route back off the ridge and towards Bookham. We parted ways with James at Westhumble, and the four of us single-speeded our, by now, weary way up through Polesden Lacey.

Dave and flapjack

As Karl headed back along the Admirals Track to his car; Dave, Kev and myself headed down to see how the Domestique Cycle Café was faring in its first few days of trading.

We enjoyed excellent coffee and hot chocolate, and Dave was particularly impressed by the size of the flapjack slice on offer. Having described to Kev the Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie encountered on my Friday visit, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample a piece. Good quality coffee and cake, and not expensive; well worth a visit.

Cake stop No 2

Filed under Rides in June 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 14 comments on ‘Sunday single speed spin skips Shere and goes to Peaslake (avoiding alliterative titles)’

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  1. Elliot says:

    I hadn’t seen that Barry’s Pot segment before, and was about to congratulate Karl on his shiny gold 3rd, but then noticed I was already in 4th with a faster time? Gave him some kudos for the stack instead! Now I see Kev and Dandy have 2nd overall…they’re just handing these things out like free Haribos with Superstar brake pads 🙁

    • DaveC says:

      lol, I thought I made it last week but apparently not so I did it today. There are some similar ones already and although Kev got awarded 2nd place I am top after you of the Moles! It’s just the way the DB must work on Strava when allocated awards to busy areas.

      I imagine the lycra clad bum fanciers lot proper hammer it between the 2 segments where as we just didn’t stop for a rest at the end of YP!

    • Andrew AKAK says:

      Fails the logical segment test in my view as there isn’t one clear route between the trails or a reason to combine them.

      Dave looks very happy with that flapjack!

  2. Matt says:

    My own singlespeed took a step nearer this weekend as I finally cleaned all the crap off my bike from the Erlestoke event – it took me nearly and hour and a half!! At least I can now strip the bike and transfer my pink bits from the On-one to the Kona; I’m expecting it to be a great bike as long as my back holds up.

    Couldn’t make it on this ride as in addition to it being Father’s Day it was my son’s 11th birthday weekend.

    I’m thinking TWO cakes stops on a ride is getting excessive, especially after a long ride, but the new cafe looks great. Best to bill it as a post ride rest stop so we can tell our other halves that technically the ride has ended, we’re now having lunch!!

    As for Barry’s Pot, I agree with Andrew, I can’t see the point of turning two enjoyable trails into a single thrash. There’s bags of time to be made on the linking between the trails which no amount of hooning will make up on the descents.

    • Dave says:

      Whilst I see the point AkAk is making the feedback was that the increased tempo between segments actually made BKB more enjoyable and better ridden. So, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

    • Matt says:

      Agreed, but you could make that argument (about keeping a flow going) about our whole ride. The idea is basically just ‘keep moving and talk in the saddle instead of at the start/end of sections’.

      No problem doing that, I always think our ride time vs. actual time is a bit embarrassing on a Sunday but that’s what keeps the group together I think – the social stuff. If I’m out solo I go faster with fewer stops but it’s not nearly so enjoyable. Or to put it another way, there’s a limit to how fast we can go but no limit to how much we can take the p!$$ out each other!

      All I’m saying is before you know it the fast XC riders will be at Peaslake Stores half an hour before everyone else and we’ll all be thrashing our legs off trying to keep up. Or we end up with split groups made up of people who all happen to ride at a similar pace.

      Of course I’m stating an extreme to make the point and agree that going from YP to BKB without unnecessary pause keeps the flow sweet, it’s just that making it a Strava section is essentially meaningless because so much of the time in the segment favours XC whippets over gnarly duders. Or to put it another way, JR will be KOM! 🙂

  3. tony says:

    Sounds like you had a smashing day (not literally Karl!) even though it was probably 19-21 gears too little for my liking. It was good biking weather, warm, not too breezy and glimpses of sun. It’s a pity that the Saturday rain had messed up the trails again. As for the Domestique café. There won’t be a loyalty card for D’Andy but soon a seat with his place name on it.

  4. KevS says:

    That was a ride that had a bit of everything thrown in.
    Mud, puddles, dry trails, climbing, plunging, jumping (little ‘uns) pain, suffering, crashes, pork and leek slices, cakes, coffee, more mud, more pain and suffering, more coffee and cake!

    Yes indeed! 🙂

  5. Dave says:

    I think my reputation for flapjack must have preceded me as that was a SLAB of a piece. Very nice it was too.

    BKB has flowed really well for me for the past 2 weeks and I put this down to making it one long segment. There is also the possibility that hearing Dandy thundering in and out of audible range had me on my toes. Also it’s easy to spin out with 32/20 and hence we were all (Dandy, Kev and myself) close together, conservation of speed was key!

  6. Karl says:

    A very enjoyable 4/5ths of a ride right up until the Bas…d hidden log sent me thudding into the deck. A right old biff to body and head. Luckily, even though still tender after 27hours, I appear to still be extant.
    Many thanks to trailside triage from an experienced team!!

    Thanks for quick ride report D’Andy.. loved your slo mo off in the mud yoghurt at the bottom of the quarry. At least you had a soft landing.

  7. J-R says:

    Just had a chance to visit Domestique for a lunchtime WFH Latte and Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie.

    Very good: +1 for D’Andy’s review.

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