The never ending mountain bike loop of Mickleham Downs in Surrey.

There's chopping to be done; chores first.

Saturday. Wood pile has gotten out of control and needs work. 8 hours later, mucho construction, mucho chopping and sawing, mucho humping wood all over the shop.

Deed done, knackered! Went to bed before my 8 year old. No Saturday night ride for me then. Huh.

There are three piles like this by the way. And yes that front tyre is a bit fat. Conning myself it's an On-One Fatty, but it isn't is it? The other week I compared the trail signature of my now rather ancient 2.4" tyre with a proper full fat item. I lost.

Sunday dawned.

I'm still tired. My right arm seems to have a mind of its' own and I'm knocking drinks over. Wife suggests no ride for me. Ha! Have you seen the weather dear? Not missing today, no way. Hot, hot, hot.

Naturally I was in bimble mode so took the wrong bike, the full on Orange Five. Should have taken the lighter Tassajara but I wanted to ride the 5. It was too heavy for a bimble, it just was. It also goaded me for my crappy riding. But there you go, a ride is still a ride and I enjoyed it all.

No idea why, but given my blog name it should be expected really as I came home all muddy. True the bike didn't need a clean down, but neither was it covered in a light trail dust either. Call it a half mud ride then. For the life of me I can't think where I picked it all up.

Singletrack makes a welcome return.

New vegetation means encroachment onto the trails. Encroachment means a narrowing. Lovely meandering trails in bluebell covered woods. Does it get any better? This particular trail went literally nowhere. Here it is, all lovely singletrack, the next moment, it didn't exist. Not even a hint. Sometimes trails do that around here. The builder must have realised it was a bit pants and ultimately had nowhere to go, so just sto

Mickleham Downs it is then.

Mickleham is a funny place. It's too far for casual walkers or cyclists to get to, and there's nothing there really, no cafe certainly. So anybody up there is en route to somewhere else. On a bike it is usually a quick blast through on Stane Street or Life on Mars, then on to somewhere else.

Yet it's an interesting enough place on its own, with lots of hidden bits. Sure it's not a Leith Hill, but for a local ride there's enough to do. Scary steep drops, long meandering runs, off camber trails, lung busting climbs, or pootle and listen to bird song. I pootled. That's the mood I was in. Did ponder on some of the trails though; not for me, not ever, but good luck to you who does.

This water feature by the way is big enough to be seen from space. It must have fed the grand mansion below, or been some kind of fish pond. Seem to remember the mansion selling some years ago for a daft figure like £23,000,000. Who'd pay that for an house? Especially one that was used as a dog training venue for ages.

Headley café.

I did consider stopping at the Headley café, but the thought of her coffee put me off. She's a nice enough lady, but why buy weak instant coffee in a plastic cup for £1.50 when Box Hill NT café does some proper ground for just 35p more? In any case Headley as a destination from Reigate is a bit lame. Sure for a night ride, but a twelve miler during the day? My eight year old could do that easily enough - and indeed has done.

So Box Hill it was then, and my what a lot of roadies there were, all in Rapha or Dulwich Paragon cycling gear. Great to see. Left me nowhere to sit, mind, and my bike did look lost sat amongst all the carbon rigs. It also looked like a great big beached whale.

How fast is the bridleway down Box these days? Blimey, I ran out of gears and coasted down at full pelt. My rear tyre pretty much gave up trying to find any traction as it skipped and bounced around. Slightly out of control, silly yet fun all the same. And that on a full suspension bike - it'd be hell on an hard tail.

That Tioga saddle. Is it comfy?

Nope. At less than 200g though, it offsets the weight of the dropper nicely. Normally on the Orange it is fine as I tend not to sit down too much. Today, a sitty down day, it was horrid for 50% of the time.

The photographs.

Yes I should apologise for my photographs. They could, for one, be in focus. The colours are odd. Yet somehow I like that. I like the fact that my digital camera is dying and slightly broken. It's lomo baby, lomo.

Actually it's not. It's just a crappy camera taking crappy images. However as I'm not in for photographer of the year just yet, and as this is a minority interest blog, they'll do until something else comes along.

How far did I go?

No idea really. Did a lot of doubling back here and there, a lot of repeated climbs. I'm guessing around 25 miles. Pales against my wife's 13 mile run though. She's getting seriously fit whilst I'm still eating cake.

Talking of which I took a potato cooked to the portables recipe book for cyclists. Essentially a cold cooked potato with some parmesian cheese grated on to it. It was as nice as it sounds and not as energy giving as the book suggests. You'd need a fair few for a ride that's for sure.