The 22nd edition of the Ride of the Falling Leaves took place as planned on Sunday 6th October 2019. Well done to everyone who braved the early-morning downpours and came along to ride – and profited from a beautiful sunny day in the end! Here is a link to all the chip times.
There was a choice of long (105km) and short (70km) routes, both fully signposted, starting from Herne Hill Velodrome and ending at the Dulwich Sports Club just around the corner from the historic cycling track.
The routes trickle out through south London via Dulwich, Crystal Palace, Beckenham and West Wickham where the lanes begin: Beddlestead leading to Slines Oak and Woldingham. On leaving Woldingham, just past the golf course the routes split, the short ride taking a fairly direct route to the feed station which will be hosted this year by The Velo Barn just north of Westerham. The long route descends Tandridge Hill (care!) and then cruises on along the flatlands to Edenbridge. It becomes more undulating through Markbeech and Bough Beech before the more testing climbs begin: first a taster of Toys, then up Horns and past Churchill’s Chartwell home before resting briefly and getting fed and watered at The Velo Barn, just beyond Westerham. Homeward bound now taking in some beautiful views of the Downs along Pilgrims Way and then up Sundridge Hill, along Cudham Lane and up to Downe. A few short big-ring climbs left but the trend now is generally downhill to West Wickham to then retrace the route out to return via Crystal Palace to Dulwich.
You can download the latest GPX files of the standard routes here. These were updated 8pm Friday 4th October to include:
- Penge High Street replaces Anerley Hill to reach Beckenham (avoiding Crystal Palace Parade road works)
- Slines Oak replaces Woldingham Hill (avoiding gas replacement works)
- The Velo Barn new (mandatory) feed station (avoiding Force Green Lane) – please go through the feed station whether you stop or not, to make the turn into Pilgrims Way safer.
Along with signposting, the ride will provide breakfast at the velodrome, a mid-way feed station, food and drink from the bar at the finish and medical and mechanical support should you be unlucky and need them. You can drop your bag / rucksack with us at the start and it will be transported to the finish. Here is a flyer to print or to download and save to your phone. The flyer contains useful numbers for medic, mechanics, info on the route split and on the feed station.
As usual, the ride will be supporting the club’s favourite charities, foremost amongst these being The Lavender Trust who provide cancer care for younger women.