'It's been one of those rides' was Dave's summary as we were stopped once again to sort out a mechanical problem. He wasn't wrong, the dramatic snapping sound that accompanied a stick insisting my rear mech part company from my frame, at the expense of the mech hanger in between, was the fourth thing to hold us up- the other three had all been tyres going down, one each for Adam, Duncan and I. We'd set off with some spare time in hand to add a few extra miles compared to a normal ride and while we'd made good progress, heading up the east side of the A217 then cutting across the heath to Walton, then on Headley and Mickleham, we'd steadily been losing time to problems. I'd already snipped a little bit out of the ride before we crossed the Mole and climbed up to Norbury Park, thinking the odd mile lost here would make sure we got to stick to all the fun trails elsewhere. Descending Infestation saw the third tyre deflation so it was probably the right call! Some slightly forlorn looks as we turned left for Polesden rather than right for the vastly more immediate Bocketts, but this was were got to put in the distance.
A very pleasant tea stop where I'm pretty sure I saw some extra food to usual consumed and we were off agian, still heading away from home and up to Ranmore. A check to see 'if that bit of singletrack is still there' was only marginally successfull, as some of it was but quite overgrown now! We took the shorter, steeper climb from the bottom of Hogtrough Lane to the ridge, which is where my unfortunate mech-to-stick interface occured. A new hanger bolted in, off we go again, down Flinty Badman, surprisingly a new one for Dave and I think well recieved, with some tackling the log roll, others not so keen.
Down at the road and we lost Si, literally in limp home mode after a fall onto a tree stump resulted in a leg starting to seize up, while we headed up for View to a Kill. I waited to take photos but to no avail as everyone else had chosen the newer, steeper line halfway down- good, apparently! Then it was just to ascend the Box Hill bridleway and trundle home, with Moji diverting at Headley cricket pitch to sneak in some extra miles on the way home.
Pretty much bang on 30 miles, so a little shorter than planned, but some days you can't escape the puncture fairy! Not far off 3000 feet climbing, so not too bad there either. Ground conditions are looking good and there was appetite for more longer rides, so keep an eye on April.