Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dunwich Dynamo - a brief report

This was my first Dunwich Dynamo and it won't be my last. From the very start I was amazed at the sheer volume of bikes on the road, big bikes, little bikes, tandems, recumbents and a fleet of postmen on their Royal Mail bikes (incidentally they were the only riders with road support!).

On the train to London a friend and I discussed our approach to the ride, and we both decided this was a leisure ride and should be time off from any of our silly cycling ambitions. So quite why we spent the first two thirds of the ride hacking into the headwind as fast as possible I'm not sure. My fitness has suffered due to injury recently and I think when I found that I could keep up with the remarkable pace my friends were keeping I was happy to just as reassurance that I've not lost all my hard-earned ability. Two years ago I was a proper fat knacker, and now I was able to keep pace with chaps who were mostly many years my senior. 

By Sudbury the clicking, grinding, slipping and generally crunchy nature of the drivechain my poor old bike was really getting me down. I'm not normally so bothered by mechanicals but I think the early heady pace was starting to take its toll. My thighs locking up with cramp didn't help either.  But when a bike club (who will remain nameless) yelled to us 'SLOW RIDERS - STAY ON THE LEFT' and we rinsed them then raised their pace by 5mph.  The ability to muck around with the 'serious' riders made the later struggles well worth it. Did I mention that the rest of my gang (bar me) were on fixies and singlespeed bikes?

The general good feeling of the ride totally carried me to the beach; I was really looking forward to a swim but by lummy it was COLD on that beach!  The fry up was brilliant and the queues short (at least they were when we rolled in at 5am). 

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my mate Sean whose genial good spirits were a huge help when I hit that dark moment when you just don't feel like going on. 

I've already decided that next year I'll be going a lot slower from the start. Honest.

Total miles cycled - 148.2

Here's my bike, ready to roll.  At least three people during the ride told me that it's a Ribble Audax frame. 
Because this ride is unsupported and there are no feed stations I tool quite a lot of kit with me.


London fields

The moment a few people decided to hit the road

The first pub stop was surprisingly close!  We rolled past.

At some point we all came up against a road closure, this caused a cheery bottleneck as everyone had to push their bikes up a temporary ramp and through a field.

This field

We made it!  My bike and Sean's fixie on Dunwich beach at about 5.15am

Tired


Breakfast!

A popular choice

One of the many essential items I rode with; Habenero hot sauce, which tasted GOOD on a fried breakfast!