Mat, Tim and Patrick set off from Milford on the first rather frosty Sunday Ride of autumn for another fast paced 26km burn around the commons. Perhaps wearing fingerless mountain gloves wasn’t the best idea, as we quickly froze to the handlebars. Luckily within about 20 minutes the sun started to beam through the trees, and Tim took delight in wiggling tyre tracks in the twinkling frost.
If thats sounds a little romantic, there was plenty of mud on the trails across Shackleford to the sandstone common. There’s only one technique – hit the mudbath at full speed and peddle through it. Any careful routing or delay led to sinking wheels, and if you start sliding in the mud, you’ll have to put your foot down. Then the oozing sliding sensation just gets worse!
A quick break after being savaged by a pair of bulldogs who were determined to take a chunk out of Patrick’s front tyre. No amount of coaxing from the owner with sweets, treats or tennis balls would persuade them otherwise.
What’s that coming over the hill – and through the early morning mist? Only Mat the Dibbster. Cold – but worth it for the fabulous autumn light. After a couple of routes up and over Puttenham we headed back along the North Downs way route and cut through Compton, over Charterhouse and down the valley into Eashing.
Here’s the route. Only a 500 ft climb this time and three pretty fast downhills!