Surrey Hills MTB



Jump monkey on my shoulder

So I have an imaginary evil monkey on my shoulder.

Stay with me here… Yep, it’s the small annoying kind of evil monkey that often appears when I ride and tells me in a clear and insistent monkey-like voice “You can’t make that corner” or “You’ll want to be slamming on the brakes there” and without a doubt the often heard “There’s no way you’re gonna clear that..”

I hate shoulder monkey – he’s just a total git.

Shoulder monkey was shouting loud and proud when we went up to Hydon’s the other day and he definitely psyched me out and kept me on the smaller more sensible jumps.

However what I’ve learnt is that sometimes I have to take my “evil shoulder monkey” outside and give him a proper kicking or perhaps more philosophically “learn to have a bit more faith in my bike and my abilities”.

So it was this afternoon I had a brief but satisfying jaunt up onto Mare Hill, specifically to have a look at the handy work of some more “trail pixies” during the Easter Holiday which Andy C mentioned on Friday’s TFIF. There are a couple well constructed 4ft – 6ft gaps with drop-ins near the “Witley Descent” that I spotted earlier today on a family constitutional and thought I just had to check them out.

And what do you know, I line up for the first jump and shoulder monkey arrived. “Your gonna stack there… It’s gonna hurt…”.

But do you know what, I dialled the evil-little-monkey out. I didn’t stack. I cleared them. Get in! Faith restored, confidence up. All is good.

And then I buckled my rear wheel on the last attempt…

The “evil shoulder monkey” is currently laughing his ass off while he nurses his bruises….



Back of the Chair

Oh well done Steve F and Andy C! So after I went jump hunting with Leigh B yesterday Mr F ventured up to Hydons and met Andy there – and look what they found….

TFIT for pre-Morzine practice anyone? Hopefully Steve will pass along a more detailed review and I’ll post it here.

Speaking of Morzine – I have just paid the chalet – hoorah and huzzah! Thanks to one and all for getting your money in on time – it’s much appreciated.

I will be sending an email out shortly confirming a couple of other options and the next steps.

95 days and counting chaps!


Obviously great minds think alike, and I found myself with a couple of spare hours on Saturday evening. I fancied another closer look at the new lines that Mark spotted and I’d also spied alongside the back of the chair.

A quick text to see if anyone was about and off I trotted. On arrival it was apparent that the trail pixies have been extremely busy, many beautifully crafted berms, gaps, jumps and even a little step up have been carved into the loam. A quick walk through some of the new stuff and then time to ride it. A little soft in places, but overall lots of grip where it mattered and all the various lines have you grinning like a goon in short order.

Andy C turned up shortly after, and with that the stakes were raised higher and higher. That meant going for the smaller gap a couple of times, which gave us the courage to ride the bigger brother. But whoever made these certainly knew their stuff, the run in gives you perfect speed to launch over the gap and land on the smooth downslope and quickly into the next feature.

All the runs are over in less than 30 seconds, but they really get you going and would be perfect for confidence building in the upcoming Enduro events and on the lead up to Morzine.

How long it will be until the NIMBY brigade and NT come and tear it down is anyone’s guess, so get out there.


Urban legend explained

This weekend I have been mostly doing the “active parenting” thing as Mrs Morzine is away on a “yoga and art retreat”. I don’t know if the art is done at the same time as the yoga – suspect that might be tricky but what do I know…

Anyway, the “active parenting” required me to drive child B to a birthday party earlier today at Tillingbourne School – not far from David D’s house. So child dropped off, I had an hour or so to kill so I went hunting trails.

I’ve been interested in a trail David showed me some photos of last year which is off Combe Lane near Shere which I briefly blogged about it in Speed is your Friend. I’m interested in it because it did look like very “jumpy fun” and might be good pre-Morzine training, trail jumps being somewhat absent really in this neck of the woods.

So off I set and eventually found the car park at the trail head where low and behold I came across Paul – the trail builder of the “Jubilee Line” (built in 2012) – which is the name of the trail above. And what a lovely guy Paul was – I asked him if he could point me in the direction of the trail head and instead he very kindly showed me the trail from top to bottom and gave me a blow by blow description of every 2ft – 8ft jump, drop-in, kicker, drop (one tasty 5 footer), berm flat corner and other obstacle which was just brilliant. Paul made it look very, very, VERY easy – even the ‘canyon gap’ which was I reckon 8-9+ ft. I swear he cleared it with about 2 feet to spare!!

So – I have to say, I think this trail would be a very good use of a Saturday if you want jumps practice. I’ve taken some screenshots from the video above because my phone died as I was running after Paul down the trail.

Oh yeah – the “urban legend” thing…

So Paul and I are chatting about local rides as we walked back up and I mention “Barry Knows Best”.

“Oh, Barry, you know why it’s named after him don’t you” says Paul.

So apparently back in the day before Barry Knows Best was so named, the run down was very different and was called the “Dog’s B*llocks” (apparently due to the “dog leg” shape of the trail… ahem). The end of the trail was badly defined and was sort of a hit and hope affair. So Paul is riding down with his mate BARRY THE PLUMBER (local guy, now in his mid 50s, still rides but more “socially” these days) and Barry shouts out “follow me”, takes the wrong line and promptly stacks in a rhododendron thicket, maiming both himself and the bike.

Post-ride after they had extracted Barry from the thicket, they decided something required doing about this potential death trap (there were a not insignificant number of casualties apparently) so over the following months Paul and his crew started defining the trail line which has now become the BKB that we all know and have ridden. Mystery solved.

Thank’s Paul!

Speed is your friend

So Andy C mailed round a video response to the Tidworth video I posted yesterday “When you don’t have enough speed” showing what we should seek to avoid doing by going to Tidworth for some practice. Now don’t let you embed videos so I had a quick search on YouTube looking for it without success as the video demonstrates (as did MountainBikeGeezer’s video) that speed is your friend – a lesson I need to take to heart!

However, what I did come across was this – which is Surrey Hills near Coombe Lane apparently. This is another great video as the rider is going great guns until the last gap and again shows why carrying speed is so important sometimes. As the poster Thor Thompson puts it:

Doing all the jumps on the big line for the first time, and the drop off for the first time. Then crashing because I didn’t have enough speed :). It’s north of Shere, up a road called Coombe lane. then there’s a car park at the top of that road, from there you go through this gap in a fence and it’s pretty much there. Or if you go to the bottom of Coombe lane there is a turning into the bottom of the trail next to a footpath sign, sorry I can’t explain it any better.

So that’s a neck of the woods I am unfamiliar with BUT I was wondering if David D or Steve F have an opinion on this because it does look like it could be worth an explore?

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: