Dunwich Dynamo Done and Dusted

The Dunwich ride went as well as we could have hoped. Les' forecast was spot on - deluge to clear before we leave, super sunny evening and dry weather all the way with a nice tail wind. Sunny morning along the East Anglian coast.

Les went down to that London early to have tea with his Aunty Doreen. David and I took a later train (£10 each) – no problem getting the bikes (free) on the train to Kings Cross, then quickly off the train to Kings Cross before it left the station, and on the right train to Liverpool Street 15 minutes later. On which me met a fellow bike nut who suggested that we could do this sort of thing every month by meeting like-mindless people who set off from Hyde Park with each full moon to head for a beach down south. (See David’s article).

We met Les at Liverpool St. and weaved our way north-ish through the unforgiving traffic to London Fields. There were a couple of thousand other cyclists already there, but everyone soon got directions and we left at 8.30 pm. North through and out of London, then Epping and then North Weald. There it suddenly got dark as the trees closed in and this must have taken somebody by surprise because there was a pretty big peloton pile-up just ahead of us – with lights suddenly pointing in all directions.

The first half seemed to be relatively easy, lots of long downhills. We stopped at the halfway point – a village called Sible Hedingham – but just filled our bottles, ate another banana/cereal bar, took some photos and moved on. The queues for soup and roll / coffee and tea were just too long.

Talking of bottles - I thought I could make it to there on just one bottle of carbocharged water, so kept the other two empty for weight reasons, but I was wrong. As I set off my thighs started to complain bitterly, so I just drank as much as I could and took a couple of Lucozade "body fuel" tablets, and after a while the grumbling subsided. Apparently (according to David) you should aim to drink about a litre every 20-25 miles. I now think that this is sound advice.

The second half was much more hilly and we all got mesmerised by the long, snaking line of hundreds of flashing red lights in front of us. Then suddenly there were just 34 miles to go and it seemed we were over the worst. The sun started to come up and the miles kept diminishing. It didn’t even matter that we got lost a couple of times. The last stretch from the sign indicating that Dunwich was just over the hill was, however, hard as Dunwich was not just over the hill - it was still two villages away and up several hills. But that was a minor problem. By 5.30 am and 120 miles later we had arrived at our destination - and not too much the worse for wear.

Although the queue at the cafe was long, they had a great system going and plenty of staff, so it didn’t take long to get that much longed-for cooked breakfast by the beach (or rather at the beach car park). We then walked with bikes to the beach proper and fell asleep on the damp shingle until Liz and Carolyn arrived with Les’ superduper newly converted 6-bike trailer to take us back.

Next year - the Raid Pyrenean, or possibly an overnight ride from Willingham to Cromer (plus another Dynamo - this time with a swim at the end of it).


by Sbrooker on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 23:55
Well done lads, sounds like a great day was has by all. I look forward to joining you, on one of these epic journeys.
Paul Knighton's picture

by Paul Knighton on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 19:38
thanks Sean, look forward to that!

by David Allen on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 19:14
All the way on a London hire bike:- http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/jul/19/dunwich-dynamo-boris-bike
Paul Knighton's picture

by Paul Knighton on Sat, 07/30/2011 - 14:18
Great story - I'm glad he didn't beat us to the beach!
© 2011 Willingham Wheels | . By ISEESOLUTIONS CAMBRIDGE.