The club’s autumn Ride of the Falling Leaves sportive will take place on Sunday 1st October. A link to enter the ride on Rider HQ will be published here on 1st September.
There will be a choice of two rides the short ride being 70km the long one a little under 110km. Please don’t be fooled by the distances – the route is pretty testing and the ‘gold’ standard of 4 hours is testament to that. Each route will be fully sign posted but if you want to download it to your Garmin or review the route on a traditional map, here are some files you may find useful:
GPX File: http://www.bobski.org/ROTFL.gpx
Start is from Herne Hill Velodrome, Burbage Road, SE24 9HE, beginning with a lap of the famous track. You will then roll out of South London by the quickest route we know into the Kentish lanes. Meandering between Kent and Surrey, the ride will take you through Warlingham, after which the long and short route riders part company, and then on through Edenbridge, Ide Hill and and Westerham where the routes join again. An optional feed stop will be laid on in Westerham – more details on that shortly.
From Westerham, east along the famous Pilgrim’s Way (hopefully with the wind on your back) and then a variety of steep little leafy lanes to get you to West Wickham and almost magically back into town.
As the new pavilion building is now finished and rather splendid, we plan to finish the ride at the velodrome this year. There you will be able to get fed and watered following your ride, all complimentary as part of your entry fee.
As well as a sign posted route, feed station and food and drink at the end, we will be providing chip timing and support mechanics in case of any mechanical emergencies and a breakfast bar at the start. Bag drop is fine too if you do not want to haul your backpack around the route: deposit it in the van at the start and all bags will be set out on tables and available for collection at the back of the main pavilion building.
We have a few requests to make things run smoothly and to ensure you have a great day out on your bike. This is one of the few sportives that starts and ends in London – indeed it is the first sportive to have done this. Please enjoy riding in a group and with friends but do your best to limit group size to a dozen or less. Please observe all traffic signals – any riders we hear of jumping traffic lights, for example, we may have to exclude from future editions of the ride. Please give motorists the opportunity to pass if you can. We advise all riders to wear protective head gear and to ensure their bike is fully roadworthy before the event (though we will have mechanics at the velodrome in case of any last-minute glitches).
And finally… any surplus we have left after paying all the costs of putting the ride on is donated to charity. Principal amongst these is The Lavender Trust. Ruth Picardie was the spark that prompted us to organise the Ride of the Falling Leaves and I’m sure she would have been delighted to know that the ride continues and gives pleasure each year to so many keen sporting cyclists.