We had planned a 33 km loop, but after a late start and slow-going for me (as always seems to be the case on the paths) this turned out not to be feasible. We ended up with maybe about 25km off-road, but still clocked up a 54km day with all the riding to and from train stations.
|Leafy trails in the Surrey Hills|
I found it slow going, and it was clear that I still have a long way to go in developing my MTB skills, but the trails were relatively easy and I enjoyed the vast majority of the route we did, only dismounting for a few sections.
|View of Alberto's cockpit and nice, wide trails|
|Riding through a stream -- I was caught in the act of unclipping hence the weird angle to my foot!|
Eventually we reached Peaslake, that hub of MTBers in the Surrey Hills, where we normally feel a bit out-of-place in our roadie gear. Today we fit right in, and after a hot tea and snack we made the decision to head back the way we came, rather than carry on with the rest of the route. We only had a set of emergency lights and it was clear we weren't making very good progress.
|Alberto's selfie - I was too focussed on not falling over to take the camera!|
After my first and only fall of the day heading through the muddy section that had been so dispiriting at the start of the ride, we were back on pavement to Ranmore Common. Alberto opted to take a trail downhill while I kept to the roads, and we met up for the final descent into Dorking, where Southern Railways had conveniently organised for a train to whisk us back to London just moments after we arrived at the station.
We didn't complete what we had set out to do, but it was a good day out nonetheless. I'm definitely looking forward to another MTB in the Surrey Hills when the days are a bit longer.
We brought along our GoPro camera, a Christmas gift from Alberto's parents. It's only our first attempt, so there is lots of room for improvement, but here is one minute in the Surrey Hills.