Ride of the Falling Leaves 2023 open for entries!

Photo: Julia Hawkins

The 26th edition of the Ride of the Falling Leaves will be on Sunday 1 October 2023. Enter here via RiderHQ.

There will be a choice of long and short routes starting and finishing at Herne Hill Velodrome . Both routes will have safety signage but in keeping with current trends, will not be route signed. Instead, please download the GPX file of choice for short or long ride using the links found here:

Long Route

Short route

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 hosted by Velo Barn on Pilgrims Way near 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 just after Westerham at Velo Barn. 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 come home round the other side of Crystal Palace Park (up Anerley Hill) and down again through Dulwich returning to Herne Hill.

The ride will provide breakfast at the start, a mid-way feed station and food and drink at the finish, back at the velodrome. Note that the barbecue will be served between 12:30 and 3:30pm, so don’t be too fast (and start early if you think you’ll be that slow!).

You may time your ride using your Garmin (or other GPS logger) or by simply making a note of the time of day you started and when you finished. In either case please discount any time you were stopped (eg at the feed station, any long waits at traffic lights). There are two reasons we have changed to self-timing: the first is for safety, so that there is no pressure to run traffic lights; the other is simply to save money and get more to charity.

Speaking of which, the ride will again be supporting the club’s favourite charities. Foremost amongst these are The Lavender Trust who provide cancer care for younger women and Prostate Cancer UK. 

Finally, check back here after your ride to declare your own time and to see a full list of ride times and check how you compare with your fellow riders.

For more information about the event please visit the Ride of the Falling Leaves page.