On the 30th of June I, and a number of other Iceni Velo members, took part in the Dunwich dynamo - an overnight (dis)organised cycle ride from London to Dunwich in Suffolk. This is my tale, lifted verbatim from the club forum:
The day started for me at 7am with the kids and a quick drop-off to their Mum’s at 9 leaving me a chance to go back to bed for an hour or two! I’m quite glad I did, especially after Gav later informed me he’d just worked a night shift and had only had three hours sleep Saturday morning :o
After getting ready and watching some of the Tour Prologue I rendezvoused with the 15:30 contingent from Norwich where we had a very pleasant first class ride to London followed by some quick navigation around some rough roads to Look Mum No Hands! where we met the earlier starters.
We sat and waited for the final group to roll in and fuelled ourselves with coffee and cake :)
We set off for the grand depart at London Fields in Hackney around 8pm, once we worked out where to go it was quite easy to follow the trail of cyclists and very easy to work out if we’d found the right place :)
Getting out of London would best be described as “interesting”. With so many cyclists on the road we achieved a critical mass style peloton taking up huge chunks of the road. That didn’t stop many impatient idiots from trying to dodge round people though. With so many traffic lights it was inevitable it’d take a while. However once we’d left London and were into the suburbs it got a lot easier and we managed to regroup.
We stayed together for the first 20 miles or so before a group of us went a bit loopy from caffeine and energy products and decided to go for what amounted to a 4 man time trial in the dark flying round bends that we had no idea of the angle of. This I would not recommend!
We eventually called a halt to our mental antics and regrouped again. This splitting and regrouping was a process that repeated itself for much of the night - with so many cyclists on the road it got rather tricky to work out who was who so we had to keep finding street lights to stand under so we could recognise each other, usually this involved calling out “Chorizo!” to people until we heard the call back from the rest of the IV peloton. Please don’t ask how or why this became our code word :lol:
After the midway food stop (which we didn’t partake in due to enormous queues) we set off as one again before the inevitable break-up. Eventually this led to four of us (Mark, Jason, Gav and myself) finding ourselves off the front with no one else in sight in front or behind as the sun slowly rose. I think we may have missed a turning!
Phones were thus consulted in an attempt to work out where we were and how best to get to Dunwich:
Once we’d worked that we were back on the road. Just after the below picture was taken we had a deer jump across the road right in front of us and bound through a field. A pretty awesome sight.
We kept on trucking and one more direction check later we set off on the last leg of the journey feeling somewhat weary. In the end we made it to the beach just before 6am and were greeted with a gorgeous sunrise over the ocean:
After some rest and relaxation on the beach (but no skinny dipping!) we headed to The Ship for breakfast where we were joined by Tim and Shaun, both were a welcome sight for tired eyes. We stayed at the pub for a while till everyone had rolled up and rested and then set off for the penultimate leg of the journey to Bungay. It seems that the the preceding 116 miles hadn’t quite dulled our legs as much as one would have expected and what should have been a gentle ride eventually led to Shaun and a few of us trying to race each other up hills :D
We rolled up to Bungay for coffee and cake about 9 to await the rest of the tribe:
On the way home, somehow the same gang of four of us ended up with the quick group meaning we were steaming along at quite a pace before Alex kindly informed me that one of our party had blown just before we hit Saxlingham so we thought we better hang back. From that point on the pace dropped considerably as we bimbled back to the York for a well deserved pint.
It was an awesome experience and I tip my hat to all of the tribe that completed it - Emma, Bart, Ian, Tessa, Paul, Chris, Lorraine and Martin.
My own special thanks and kudos go to Mark, Jason and Gav for being excellent company throughout!