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3rd November 2013
Riders: Richard, Davebus, Adam & Terry
LOMAC to Headley Heath, Norbury Park and beyond

Weather: 7°C

A great morning out, bright and cold but not too boggy underfoot and some great Autumnal colours and new trails ridden with good banter from the 'Elite' team. What more could you want?

I've been suffering from motivational issues for the last two weeks. Going to bed on Saturday night with the wind howling and the rain pounding against your windows and then waking up on Sunday morning with it looking set to continue for the rest of the day has given me an easy excuse for not riding.

But there's not been two much rain this week and the forecast is bright and dry. Plus if I stay in I get to continue with decorating the front lounge that we started yesterday so I'm up and out at 9 a.m. for the ride over to the meeting point at LOMAC.

There's just an elite group of four of us today and it's clearly winter as all the fancy rigs have been left at home and we are all on hardtails; three of us riding dialled bikes and El Tel on his 1x9 Whyte recently upgraded from singlespeed status.

And the Winter weather with its chill Eastern wind has bought out the Henry T Ford collection of riding gear. We set off on familiar trails that I have ridden for the last 15 years but they are like old friends as they lead you ever upwards to the 319 metres of the North Downs Way (yeah, I'm sorry. Southern England doesn't have much elevation).

Davebus puts air in his rear tyre and we then head down the North Downs Way towards Box Hill with Terry scaring a female jogger who is wandering all over the trail with her earphones in oblivious to anyone approaching her from behind (no, we haven't reached Bukakke Alley yet).

Over towards Headley Heath and a tea stop and Dave takes the opportunity to change what proved to be a slow puncture and a slow puncture change too if the truth be told.

Down Secret Singletrack with it's downed trees leading to a moments confusion and then over towards Mickleham Down where we ride some nice new trails. Nothing particularly challenging but a beautiful view over the Mole Valley and a strange empty reservoir on the hillside.

We cross the A24 and climb up to Norbury Park where we pause to take in the view of the horizon featuring the tall buildings of Old London Towne and then take in a Strava detour before heading home via the normal Bockett's Farm return run to complete a 20 mile off-road route plus another ten for me to get to and from the LOMAC. A good mornings work considering the time of year.

 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


10th November 2013
Riders: Richard, Davebus, Adam, Maurice, Rob, Green Orange Dave, Rich Lonegroover, Tim & Terry
Route: Three Hills classic

Weather: 7°C

A return to the Surrey Hills led by Davebus to ride his classic Three Hills route. We are joined by old and new as Green Orange Dave turns up to tackle one of his favourite rides plus Maurice and Rob Gee join us as Maurice gets his first taste of the the Surrey Hills. And there's more ghosters than posters as we have nine riders turn up for the ride when we were only expecting four; but they are all welcome and it's great to ride with them all again.

As we meet in a very busy Peaslake car park we spot Wobbem who is here for a meeting with a couple of other riders and a very different type of ride in mind as they plan to hurl themselves off various jumps and drops versus our slog around the three hills.

It's been peeing down for days and the trails are cut up but the weather is dry, cold and bright this morning as we tackle the first climb up Pitch Hill. There's already some huffing and puffing at the back on cold legs but we push on, around the top of the hill where Rob has a puncture on his 29 inch wheels.

Poor old Rob gets some stick as we amuse ourselves by watching him struggle whilst throwing in helpful one-liners like "that'll need more air than a 26" wheel" and "I would help but I don't know how to repair a 29'er". A quick pause to let a horse go by that seems scared of backpacks and we are back on our way down Trail 0 and Trail 1.5 to Gasson Copse to hit the bottom of BKB.

We climb up Holmbury and are soon at the trig point at the top as we realise that's two hills tackled already and we've only ridden for 35 minute. But the three hills is a bit of a misnomer as we still have circa 3 hours ahead of us and we actually climb five hills to complete the route.

We ride down the remodelled Yoghurt Pots (still a bit of work needed at the end lads) and then down the rather boringly names Moosley Copse DH A which I prefer to think of as Babyhead Alley. Further down the narrow watersplash trail and then it's the long climb up past Upfolds Farm which is in a surprisingly good state and quite firm meaning the climb is very doable. But Rob is complaining again even though he's up the front of the group he's suffering from chainsuck.

We persuade him to push onto the Tower where he amazes us all by whipping out a brand new chain from his bag and fitting a new chain with some assistance from yours truly.

We cross over to Summer Lightning and then down the long descent before Dave's Magic Bus climb up towards Leith Hill before we head off right to cross over to the Quarry and then down to the bottom of Holmbury Hill. Up the climb and then a final blast down BKB to complete a really good morning out.

And finally to complete a conversation that was started a couple of weeks ago here's a picture of my butt for Laurent.

 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


 

17th November 2013
Riders: Dave, Davebus, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave & Dave
Route: LOMAC n back

Weather: 6°C

A great ride but due to the overwhelming bad vibes that we got from horse-riders, dog-walkers and just members of the general public when we were doing nothing more than just riding along we all agreed to be called Dave today.

Back to the LOMAC starting point this week means that I get the chance to add an easy ten miles onto the day and I set out at just before 9 a.m. for the meeting point. The PA is looking good today although I only just cleaned the Surrey Hills grinding powder off it yesterday afternoon after last weeks Three Hills ride.

I arrive at the LOMAC in good time and say hello to Dave, Dave, Dave and Davebus. It's great to see Dave again as he hasn't been out with us for months and is riding his bright green Radley Mmm Bop. Dave arrives and he is also on the same frame so I set them up for a quick photo opp before gathering the other Daves around and setting off on the trail.

The trails are quite firm but there's plenty of surface water on them as we head towards the Alsation trail. Down here and across towards the Mole river and we are on familiar territory. Past Bockett's Farm and we meet a miserable dog walker with a really sour face who gives us abuse for no reason but we remain calm and ride on.

Up to Ranmore Common and the trails get a bit more muddy here with the North Downs clay and chalk holding the water. But we're still having fun as we take a fast and furious long descent towards the railway and cut across to the Abinger Roughs and then up the Pillbox climb.

More miserable dog walkers cross our path as well before we head for home via Ranmore Common again and down the YHA descent where a horserider feels the need to lecture us claiming that the Bridleway is a footpath when it's clearly not. Through the singletrack trails with Dave and we are almost home but Dave has a puncture as his rear tyre gets holed by some sharp flint. A quick fix and we roll back up to the LOMAC glad that we are able to enjoy ourselves even if others can't.

 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015

Top

click to view click to view click to view Steve Neill Big Trev Orange Dave dialled bikes pewter headtube badge Dave and Dave outside LOMAC Dave on Summer Lightning A grinning Trevor Steve (again) Davebus and Neill on Stane Street Jason next to Denbie's vineyard Trevor struggles up the climb Dave followed by Jason on Stane Street Banstead Downs singletrack It was getting dark by the time I got back Richard (that's me!) Surrey Hills logo at the top of Coombe hill Gary dicing with the cars through New Malden Stag party Gary's Giant SCR 2008 model  A cheerful looking Gary part way round Richmond Park speed limits for cyclists! Kingston Gate, Richmond Park view off the side of Headley Heath Bianchi K-Vid carbon forks self-portrait whilst climbing between second and third hairpin on the Zig Zag Road, Box Hill Dave and Mat, the folly, Reigate Hill urban riding, Richard in Ashtead High Street a bit underexposed but a nice shot of the view from the North Downs Way Richard dropping in on Colley Hill No, not the Mediterranean, this is outside LOMAC, Ashtead High Street Richard showing off for the camera Mat and Richard, Stane Street Richard, Headley Heath Mat on Headley Heath Gary with our 'rabbit' in the distance Gary in the dusk Richard Gary chasing the yellow 'rabbit' in the distance Cas Cas Richard 'self-portrait'