The Sun has got its' hat on and is coming out to play.

A cracking day to be out, feeling hotter than the 24 degrees C it was. The trails are not yet fully dry over on East Surrey but dry enough that I managed to get into an accidental two wheel drift down Stane Street on some gravel. One of those events that happens, ends, then you realise that something bad went on that you had no control over. Anyway, trails. They are certainly dry enough to bring a lot of people out, predominantly what looked like men taking their partners out for the first time. The women all looked a bit wobbly on ancient hybrid bikes with V-brakes, whilst the male partners were just wobbly with fat guts. Must say that most of the women out looked a pleasant sight. And this did make me think, or ponder, as to why, when there are so many bikes out and about, that horse riders themselves come out on a busy Sunday. I was zipping down one section, minding my own business when I came across one guy astride his animal waiting for me. He could have carried on to a nice place and waited, but no, he stopped on a steep, gravel covered rise where I had too clatter down twelve gears, risking a chain breakage in the process. I've seen him out and about for years, and he is always polite, but at the same time he is clearly retired so could go out when there are less people on the trails. I'm not saying he shouldn't be out when I'm out, instead that it seems prudent to me not to be 2m up on a horses back whilst there are a million cyclists hooning around. He slowed for me, I slowed for him, so no bother, but he must have had a shit ride what with all the cyclists out.

Took the borrowed Orange Five out. Still sporting the giant 2.4" Nobby Nic up front, 2.1" rear; it's a nice bike to use. The button for the dropper post has shifted to the left hand bar, and I must say this was a joy. Just seemed so much more natural and at no point did I ever have to look for it. Oh yes, talking of equipment. On top of Box Hill some roadie on a Giant bike had a puncture. Now he didn't even attempt to fix it, just took it to the mobile repair guy. Fair enough, travel light. But his question to the repair man made me smile; "Have you got a Giant tyre?"

And at the same time two guys on motorcycles turn up. Bit lost as they were after Ryka's cafe. One was using a Sat Nav device to find the cafe, the other was following. As is always the case, always, the follower was slagging his mate off for getting them lost. He was really going for it, and I'd have dumped him there and then. Lazy git had clearly put no effort into the day out but felt that he could lay into his mate for a slight error. His mate looked really upset and took it all. Not so sure I'd have put up with it. Reminded me of a column in MBR this month, where the guy is slagging off the fat tyre brigade. I've never understood the English way of slagging people off for putting effort into things, or of looking happy when others fail. It's especially galling coming from a cycling magazine to do with mountain biking. Must be callous youth-hood, but here in Muddy Towers we can still remember when mountain bikes first hit these shores. Back then there was no suspension and we all pointed at these funny balloon tyre monsters with mad gearing. How are the new fat tyre bikes any different? They're just bikes with big tyres. What's the big deal? If that's what it takes to get people off road and away from trail centres, then why not encourage it instead of having a dig?

Now Stane Street. I was just out for a three hour amble, usual Reigate/Headley/Box Hill loop. No rush, no agenda, just a ride. So why as I turned the corner and started along this ancient way did I go a bit mad? Must have been the bike, as we flew down it spitting flint all over the place. Once past Mr Silly on his horse I just let the bike go. Why not? Got a bit scary down on the bottom run, but we got through it somehow. Managed a panic manual through and over a deep rut, and then had to run down the flint chute off the brakes. Stopped at the road with smelly brakes with a thousand yard stare. Happy.

Oh my, what a lot of cyclists out and about all of a sudden. Looks as though a few were doing the Olympic Headley route, whilst the majority [well over 2,500] were on the Human Race. There was even a King of the Hills up the Zig Zags - but I didn't challenge anyone on that, not seeing as how I was on a borrowed 30lb bike. Didn't seem a friendly lot, either that or they were focused on achieving a certain time. At the café I was made to feel like an outcast, but again it's only relatively recently that the road brigade has outnumbered the off-road lot at Box Hill, so I ignored them.

Only one stupid on my part. Climbed Box Hill, needed a wee. Went all polite and decided to use the toilets. So left a £4,000 bike propped up against a wall. Twat.

One stupid on the Scouts part. I was zipping through some fern-bramble undergrowth, ferns a good 1.5m tall thanks to all the rain. Trail at most 20cm wide, very limited vision. Round a blind corner, group of Scouts sitting on the trail, all huddled together. Thank heavens for good brakes. This brings me on to the guy walking down the middle of a country lane wearing headphones. He was well out of it, unaware of both myself and the cars behind me. Can't imagine what was going through his head, possibly other than very little.

One cheeky new trail was found and ridden. Odd but I've been exploring these paths since the late 1980's yet can still find and ride new places. Normally I use the good old OS map to find and link routes, but today I spotted a chink in the bush armour, stuck my nose in, and found a new path. It's not much but cuts out a bit that can be heavily pedestrianized. Naturally I'm not going to tell where it is. Luckily all my riding partners generally have no idea where they are at any given instant, so my secret will be safe for some years yet. Finding a new path just balances out the lost ones, like the one parallel to the M25 where some local has been diligently blocking it for some months now.

It was a good ride out, three hours well spent having a bit of fun, perhaps 28 miles. Looking forward to many more now that the weather seems on our side. But pretty soon my cycling will be on Dartmoor, which I understand to be pretty bleak. Wife decided that she wants to get to know the area as we know a few people down there. So, me, a bike, two weeks on the moors. What can go wrong?