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Falling Leaves Rough Ride

JCB Academy, Rocester, ST14 5JX



Multi-surface challenge rides in the very splendid Churnet Valley and surrounding area.

After a bit of faff and delay we are chuffed to announce that Falling Leaves will be back on again this Autumn for another dose of prime gnarmac goodness in and around the Churnet Valley and lower egde of the Peak District. 


For 2023 there's a few subtle changes...

Firstly, it's cheaper!  In a world of spiraling costs we've put the thumbscrews on ourselves and made the call to try and make the ride even more affordable.  This year entry is just £22.00.  That still includes the route, venue and parking, feed stations and event photos.  Gnarmac t-shirts & socks are now optional extras that you can purchase.

Secondly, this year the routes are GPS only.  We will make sure that you are supplied in advance with accurate route files, but we will not be sign posting the routes.   So if you don't have a suitable GPS enabled bike computer or phone, make sure you ride with someone that does.

Thirdly, we require all riders to download and use the Webscorer App.  This gives us a system to help track where everyone is up to.  You'll scan a QR code when you start your ride, then at any feed stations you pass, and finally when you finish your ride.  That way we can keep tabs on where everyone is up to more accurately.  This will also give you a record of your entirely non-competitive finishing time.  Our entries are being taken via the Webscorer site, where you will be able to create an account, enter the ride & download the app. Further instructions on how the QR code system will operate will be sent out ahead of the ride.

We've had a blast putting the route together.  It's a tough old ride but there's a lot of fun to be had on it, and some absolutely stunning views to enjoy on the way round, which will help take your mind off how hard some of the climbs are.... Oh, and the world's bumpiest field is still in the route! 


The Routes

Prime Gnarmac in and around the Staffordshire Moorlands

Riding through the changing seasons on some cracking trails with stunning views in a wonderful part of the country is pretty ace.  This is why the FLRR exists.

Choose from two route distances, both with a great range of varied terrain and surfaces.  You can expect a healthy dose of big-ass climbs, quiet lanes, bridleways, disused railway lines, rooty bits, rocky bits, swoopy singletrack, gravel tracks, quarry trails and one really bumpy field.

The long route is about 75km, the shorter route is 42km.  Don't let those distances fool you though, the routes are great fun but are physically testing with plenty of climbing so expect to be out there for a good few hours.  With our new start venue at the JCB Academy, riders that have only ever done the short route will be treated to a whole host of trails and lanes that they've not ridden before.  Those that have tackled the long route before get their ride spiced up by having the delights of riding it in a different order.  Plus, as always, we'll scope out a few new bits and bobs to add to the routes.  That makes you all very lucky people by our reckoning.

We've loved planning and riding these routes so we're confident you'll have a blast out there.  The rides are based in and around the Churnet Valley and creep into the Peak District.  The Peak is well known as a riding hotspot, but it's the treasures of the little known Churnet Valley that really makes this ride... it's a gem.

GPX files and maps will be emailed out to entrants in the week before the event.


FLRR Merch


We have mightily handsome Gnarmac T-shirts & Socks available for you to adorn your beautiful body with.


The socks are custom made in the US-of-America by hosiery supremos, Sock Guy.  Cycling specific design and fit with a Goldilocks cuff length of 6", available in a one size fits most kind of size for £8.99.

The T-shirts are quality cotton garments by Gildan.  The print stays looking good and they keep their shape nicely wash after wash.  Yours for 10 Great British Pounds.

Order yours when you enter and collect them on the day.


What, Where and When

Full 2023 event information will be emailed out to entrants the week before the ride, but here's some key details.

Where: JCB Academy, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5JX

Date: October 8th 2023

When: Car park is open from 7:30am. Rides start anytime between 8am & 9:30am

Remember to read the full terms and conditions but here's a few key points;

  • Riders can register and start their ride at any time between 8am and 9:30am

  • All riders must be over 16 years of age on the day of the ride

  • When riders finish they must sign back in at registration

  • Routes will not be sign posted, so riders must have access to the route files on a suitable GPS cycling computer.

  • Riders must scan the QR codes at the start, feed station(s) and finish using the Webscorer app.

  • All rider MUST wear a suitable helmet.

  • All riders are asked to have a bell - we will be riding on some trails that are open to multiple users.  Be considerate and use your bell to politely let others know you are approaching.

  • This is NOT a race.  This is a challenge ride.  Call it a multi-surfaced reliabilty ride if you like.

  • Feed stations - there will be two feed stations on the long route, one on the short route.  They will have a selection of food on offer as well as water to refill your bottles.  However, you should start your ride with ample supplies to complete the route.

  • In the case of a major mechanical issue you can call out our mobile mechanic.  But please make sure you turn up with a bike that is in good working order.

  • Speaking of bikes... you are welcome to use whatever kind of bike you like to participate.  Of course we think the routes are most suitable to a gravel bike/cyclocross bike but you are fine to ride any bike that can cope with multiple terrains and surfaces.

  • Remember that this ride is being held in Octobter so there's no guarantees on the weather being lovely.  Pack enough spares, kit & clothes for all eventualities!

  • Above all, DBAD.


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