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The Ride of the Falling Leaves (SE London & North Downs)

ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
Entry details and online registration at:

http://www.dulwichparagon.com/


Begins with a lap of the velodrome at Herne Hill then ventures out to explore climbs – some gentle, some 'mental' – in the North Downs around Hever Castle and Westerham.

Note that this year there is a rider limit of only 350 – apparently to avoid catering chaos in the sports club venue at the finish.

Posts

  • overmarsovermars Posts: 430
    I'd like to do this ride this year. The last time I did it I remember some steep hills... or rather my body remembers the steep hills!
    I'll do the 50 mile route if I do it.

    350? Oh well, better get myself down to Mosquito bikes. 8)
  • Stephen SorbaStephen Sorba Posts: 1,036
    Here's the Cycling Weekly write up of last years event.
    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/rides/Cy ... 12813.html
    'e pur si muove
  • Looks like I'm too late for an entry which is a shame as I live just round the corner. Whats to stop me pitching up at 10 and tagging on the end without 'entry'?
    2 wheels good 4 wheels bad (except scooters)
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,355
    Looks like I'm too late for an entry which is a shame as I live just round the corner. Whats to stop me pitching up at 10 and tagging on the end without 'entry'?
    Your conscience? The number of entries are limited for a reason so pitching up and tagging on should be discouraged.
  • I think the organiser is expecting there to be a few places available nearer the time due to people dropping out - you can contact him (Bobski) on the Paragon website - he's a really helpful guy.
  • ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
    Contact the club* – you may get a free entry if you volunteer to go round with the early bird group replacing signage that's been taken down by nimby locals the evening before.

    5-10% of pre-registered entrants for these things don't turn up on the day, so nobody would notice a gate-crasher unless you were dumb enough to try to sign on at the start or try to get the free meal & pint in the clubhouse at the finish.


    (*though I think ROTFL organizer Bob is away at the Tour of Britain this week on driving duties or something like that, so you may not get a reply for a few days.)
  • Anyone else here doing it?
  • I am.

    I did it last year as well - on an old steel hack. With a lowest gear of 42/20 something. Which made it hard.

    Consequently my day was a cross between a ride and a hike and my knees were knackered by the end. But I enjoyed it and it spurred me on to buy a new bike and address my climbing technique.

    Most obviously I realised the importance of breathing as you cycle up hills.:lol:

    I am really looking forward to next Sunday. I have not been able to go out on a long ride since the end of April due to arrival of our first child so I am not the fittest, but I know what to expect and I have a compact to help me cope with Toys Hill!
  • PaulRidePaulRide Posts: 122
    I'm registered and looking forward to it.

    Last year was fun in a sort of wet and painful way. I rode 42x17 which meant a few stops on Woldingham Hill, Toys Hill and Sundridge Lane so that a bit of oxygen could get back into my bloodstream. And to wipe away some of the tears of agony...

    This year I plan to use one of these new-fangled variable transmission systems so I can gear down to 39x27.

    Let's hope we get falling leaves rather than falling monsoons!
  • 42/17? That must have hurt, I was on 42/23 and I walked up those hills. I am hoping to cycle up them this year with a 34/27.

    I should do with that ratio....
  • PaulRidePaulRide Posts: 122
    Yes, I won't do that again in a hurry...but at least I had a freewheel for the downhill bits!!
  • What's the toughest climb? Toys Hill? Not done this ride before and it would be good to know what's the worst I can expect (I'm familiar with Toys Hill).
    Hopefully the weather will be as good is it was last Sunday.
  • PaulRidePaulRide Posts: 122
    Not sure which one I think is worst.

    Woldingham Hill just goes on and on but is not particularly steep.

    The ride doesn't go all the way to the top of Toys Hill, it turns left through Puddledock, but by the time you turn left you've done most of the climbing and it does get harder as you go up.

    Sundridge Lane is less claustrophobic than Toys Hill and has a few places where you can relax a bit. I was probably feeling more philosophical by that stage in the ride and used to the pain!

    Others may have different views, but I think Toys Hill was the toughest for me - psychologically as well, because it's still a fair way back to Dulwich, whereas Sundridge Land feels like part of the ride home.

    There are other hills...I didn't take too kindly to the road over the shoulder of the hill past Chartwell, just before heading down into Westerham. And there are some ups near Downe.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,355
    So how did everyone get on? I got round in 3:55 so just ducked under the gold standard. I was in the 0930 group and there were about 8 of us who rode all the way around together. Thanks guys (and gal) for the company and the sharing of the workload.

    It was a lovely day, even with the early morning mist on the way out, and the route directions were spot on. Thanks to the organisers for staging the event.
  • I was quite a lot slower than that. But compared to last year I flew.

    I did not get off and walk once, (last year i did on all the major hills) I even overtook on hills this year! 3 alone on Toys!

    Unfortunately I punctured early on, so lost about 20 minutes there as I patched the tire, and then also lost time at the check point ot repump. So I would take at least 25 minutes off my official time and come in at 4hrs 35.

    Which is about 45 minutes quicker than last year and not bad as i cycled alone for most of it.
  • PaulRidePaulRide Posts: 122
    Ouch. Not sure why, but that hurt a lot more than last year's ride. My legs are still painful.

    I suspect I hared off rather more quickly than I should have done, and ended up with cramp in my left thigh on Toys Hill. Having lots of gears didn't make me any faster - in fact I was 5 mins slower than last year.

    Still, it was a lovely ride and was superbly organised, and I'll probably have another crack at it next year.
  • A really enjoyable route and perfect weather.
    Surprised at how quiet (in terms of rider numbers) it seemed once we'd cleared London. Did a lot of folk opt for the shorter route?
  • andyp wrote:
    I was in the 0930 group and there were about 8 of us who rode all the way around together. Thanks guys (and gal) for the company and the sharing of the workload.

    I was the one in that group with the annoyingly creaky BB wearing Dulwich kit. Fun, wasn't it? Eryn, the Aussie girl, had never even ridden with a group before but really enjoyed the 'through and off' ing down the lanes.

    With even less stopping, and more fitness - 3h40minutes should be doable next year!
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,355
    edited October 2007
    I was the one in that group with the annoyingly creaky BB wearing Dulwich kit. Fun, wasn't it? Eryn, the Aussie girl, had never even ridden with a group before but really enjoyed the 'through and off' ing down the lanes.

    With even less stopping, and more fitness - 3h40minutes should be doable next year!
    It was a lot of fun (although the hairy incident which saw you go into the verge whilst I tried to stay upright behind you wasn't fun at the time!)

    I was very impressed with Eryn, she was one tough cookie and, for someone who'd never ridden in a group before, picked it up very quickly.

    I hope to be back next year and will happily assist in trying to get that time down by 15 mins or so.
  • Here's the link to the 'official' photographs. http://www.derekbphotography.co.uk/ You might well be able to find yourself cresting Sunridge Lane.
    'e pur si muove
  • Steve, I like the way you're throwing your bike forward across an imaginary finish line. Or were you just knackered?

    Graeme
  • Steve, I like the way you're throwing your bike forward across an imaginary finish line. Or were you just knackered?

    Graeme
    I'd been chasing Tom for the past three hours and wasn't about to let him get away!
    'e pur si muove
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,355
    Here's the link to the 'official' photographs. http://www.derekbphotography.co.uk/ You might well be able to find yourself cresting Sunridge Lane.
    Already have. I look more knackered than I felt at that point. The next climb pretty much did for me though so maybe I was running on empty after all.
  • My conscience is clear in that I paid my £20 and was an official (late) entrant. Can't say I get involved in long runs much but I enjoyed the pedaling without having to stop to navigate. The (up)hills were a bit tough though- I blame my gearing. Thought I was doing well with 4hr
    s 55 mins until I say Andy Ps time; in my defence I did stop for 20mins to refuel at Westerham and was on my own therafter.

    Helmets off to Paragon who did a good job of the organisation, much as I enjoyed my free pint numbers should be restricted by safety considerations rather than catering numbers.
    2 wheels good 4 wheels bad (except scooters)
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