New socks, new rides, old bikes.

Not been here for some time!

Why not? Touch of RSI in my forearm is why - painful it was. Still there, but not so bad if I manage my typing time.

What have I been up to? Lots really. Ridden in loads of places - Exmoor, North Wales and all over Surrey.

I'll start with the worst just to get it over with; QECP. It got voted the best volunteer trail recently, why not give it a go? Generally because it is miles away, past an awful lot of great stuff. Must be good though, trail of the year?

Ah. Not for me it isn't. It left me cold and slightly depressed. Sure the 5 minutes of berms is fun, grant you that. The rest of it is just dull. No views, usual fire road climb, some uphill singletrack with tight switchbacks..... then five minutes of berms. Said like that it's just not interesting is it? I can think of 40 trails within ten miles of here that are just as good. Life on Mars.....


What an utterly harsh place. Saw nothing thanks to the mist, and got lost lots of times thanks to said mist and a paper map. You climb lose rock, ride along wet ground for miles, descend very steep, rock strewn gullies. You get very, very wet indeed. You eat lots of cream teas.

Brilliant place, loved every minute of it even though I shivered a lot and was a little concerned over being generally lost. Proper it was.

Swinley.... again.

Rubbish café, cheap parking. Easy to get to though. I'm always in two minds about this place. Sometimes I like it, sometimes not. This time on a broken hardtail (oil came out of my forks) I quite liked it. Pays just to ride and leave your pack in the car.


Ridden an awful lot of Surrey, places I've not really explored before. The more I ride around here, the more it seems a brilliant place. Sure it's full of people from Surrey, there's lots of traffic and often it seems all the bikes cost £6k each. Indeed it's a fairly standard question; how much was your bike!

I've ridden around the Devil's punchbowl at Hindhead, Puttenham common (where I broke my collarbone a few years ago), Leith Hill, Ranmore and the Surrey Hills over at Dorking. It's often muddy, sandy and plain damp. Country lanes, bridleways and cheeky places. Miles and miles of riding. I'm out twice a week.

It's not a trail centre. The trails are what they are - sometimes just gloopy mess. The pubs and cafes can make you gasp sometimes; today my gasp was a £5.20 bacon sandwhich. Dogs, horses and miserable walkers. Often you can ride all day and not a single cyclist will say hello back or even acknowledge that you exist.

I'm not from Surrey. I grew up in the Midlands and lived for a spell in North Wales. I only came here when I was 30 years old. Why did I come here, and live amongst Surrey people? Because there's never a bad ride to be had. There's so many trails that you do not have to repeat a ride. Even local loops are subject to huge variations. Sure a lot of the time it is deep mud that provides the entertainment. If you don't like mud, Surrey is a poor choice.

Luckily I see mud as entertainment. I don't mind horses, and if other cyclists ignore me, fine. Dog walkers only hang around car parks. The views are great, the trails can be challenging, and there's tons of riding to be had. I lived in Wales, and loved it. But from a mountain bike perspective, the brilliant trails were always a drive away. As in two hours drive. Here I can cycle from my house and have fun. There are trails ten minutes from here that will have you saying "no way am I doing that!" And sometimes, just sometimes, other cyclists will talk to you.