Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Wednesday the 9th – no banana was hurt in the making of this ride

Posted by Tony | November 11, 2011 | 5 comments so far

With the evening staying fair the turnout on Wednesday was a little higher than recent rides with Five moles meeting up at the Hylands garage. Lloyd, JohnR, Kev, Matt and Olly. The more observant of will note at this point that my name wasn’t on that list.

Well typically of these things, I shouldn’t have mentioned the JRPM factor in my last post since it was the TG factor this Wednesday! I guess like most of us folks it’s always a rush to get back from work and out, fully kitted up, for a mole ride. Well this wednesday the gods of the M25 were smiling, I got back in plenty of time and got lulled into a false sense of security timewise. Next thing I knew it was 7:20 and I was rushing round looking for my cycling kit.

I hammered the pedals and got to the Hylands garage at 7:48 and no suprise. No-one was there. So what to do? Well on the basis that most of our rides start on the Wiggly Wood, Polesden, Tanners Hatch, Ranmore route and that most rides stop to re-group, I set off in pursuit. Heading up through Wiggly woods there were no tell tale red LEDs in the distance and somewhat dispirited I kept going. Heading across the road at Chapel Hill, my best boy scout tracking skills kicked in and I saw fresh MTB tyre tracks in the dewy grass. Encouraged I pressed on and caught a glimpse of red LED as I headed up from Tanners Hatch. Puffing like a cart horse I finally caught everyone up at the Ranmore road.

Lloyd was obviously in route planning charge and we crossed the road onto Badger Run / Collarbone. Fine balance and reactions were needed as the greasy surface and off camber slope made holding a line tricky and undertaking to the left wasn’t to be recommended! I lead us round to the White Down car park (although half way there my headlight packed up and I remembered I hadn’t charged it up after the last ride – it was one of those evenings) to Abba Zabba. We all contemplated Abba Zabba in the dark and took the “safer option” of the chichen run. Well safer it wasn’t as the heavy dew made the roots slippery as hell. Olly went down but thankfully was OK even after hitting a tree hard.

We wound down the hill, crossing the road then contouring the again on an off camber path to the top of the White Down track. We picked our way down, then along to High/Med/Low (take your pick!) Med, with only JohnR wishing we’d headed up to McPhersons. JohnR motored to the top and then it was a regroup above Denbies for “Then there were 3”. Which was tricky in the dark to say the least, with “watch out for the first roll in” Lloyd leading the way down and showing us how not to roll it. Half way down Matt had a puncture and then it was back up the through the deer gates to Ranmore again.

Finally it was Dearly Beloved (getting muddy now) before a wind up through Polesden and back to Hylands. It was a warm evening, with a great route (thanks Lloyd) and there were definitely some tired legs at the end.

Filed under Rides in November 2011


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  1. Kev says:

    Excellent write up Tony, especially as you missed us departing from the garage only to appear at speed like some turbo powered night rider bursting out of the woods up on Ranmore!

    Lloyds route was a goodie, with plenty of climbing mixed with some tricky fun stuff as well. Unfortunately he had to endure the entire ride in the middle ring as he mangled his gears on the way up to Hylands and the chainrings would not shift out of middle. This didn’t seem to hold him up at all so there must be a lesson there for all of us!

    The mud and off camber sections in the NDW clag and chalk sure kept the eyes wide open and concentration on max.

    If my memory serves me right the unnamed rider was Ollie.

    Full marks to him seeing as he hit a tree on the Abba Zabba chicken run, was suffering from energy loss on the way back and his batteries ran out, so had to follow our lights for the last few miles back up to Polesden and then the return to Hylands garage.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Kev. I was messing with you slightly since I switched my lights off at the top of the Tanners Hatch climb. There was enough moonlight that you could ride just by that.

      I’d agree. Lloyd’s unintentional 1×9 didn’t seemt to be holding him up much!

  2. Lloyd says:

    3×9 to 2×10 to1x9 in a matter of weeks. At this rate I will be singlespeeding before xmas!
    Or maybe not. A really good ride on one of my favourite loops.

  3. Matt HS says:

    great ride guys, lovely weather for it and a relatively mud friendly route with the exception of a few sideways moments.

  4. Oli says:

    Hi guys.
    Thanks for a great ride this week. It was my first out with ‘the moles’ and the first 2hrs were most enjoyable 😉 For the record it was me who had the puncture so an eventful night for me!

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