Ride report: Saturday 17th October, MTB Ockham Bites

Six riders met at Cheam Station south-side: Bill Martin, Dave Clarke, Sean Slammon, Mick Curtis, Adam Domaingue and myself leading. The route took us out via Horton, Chessington South, Barwell Farm (Fortress Barwell!), the east side of Claygate Common, Esher Common and Cobham. At Cobham Dave Clarke’s chain fell off, what a surprise, never happened before!

After passing through Downside we headed towards Ockham Common via the old dead end road, Pointers Road, which was severed when the New A3 was built in the early sixties. The climb up to the Telegraph Tower was a little harder this time now we’re all wearing extra, more restrictive winter clothing, but everyone got there.

Ockham Bites cafe was quiet, presumably due to the heavily overcast and damp, chilly air conditions. Still, it was a nil wind day, so a bonus when having to sit outdoors due to the Covid safety distancing stuff.

The route back briefly took us over onto Wisley Common, where I checked out a short section of un-charted route that connects with the ‘Toucan’ crossings at the west side of the junction with the M25/A3. After crossing this junction we once again joined the severed Pointers Road and re-traced it until we’d crossed through the southern end of Downside and under the M25 adjacent to the Cobham Services. At this point I had the tell tale shimmying around of a rear wheel puncture and so a suitable, comfortable spot was found to change out the tube. The culprit of the puncture was not difficult to find as I pulled out a Hawthorn barb around 35mm long! The first puncture I’ve had on a club run this year I believe.

Soon we were on Bookham Common heading for Fetcham, our crossing point over the River Mole. The Mole was at its usual level, which I was slightly surprised at. Once on the Leatherhead side of the river we headed back through Ashtead Common where Dave had a burst of enthusiasm which his chain was having none of and it promptly fell off again! I can’t remember the last time his chain did that!

The group then dropped down through Horton Country Park and back to Cheam.

Good ride chaps, for me 32.31 miles, (Ignore Strava map, it’s wrong as usual!)

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