Dunwich Dynamo XX

June 21, 2012

Next weekend (June 30) sees the twentieth edition of this iconic 180km overnight ride from Hackney in London to Dunwich on the Suffolk Coast.

Most people leave London Fields between 8pm and 9pm so, with sunset at 9.21pm, a little later than in previous years, we’ll probably be past Epping Forest before its properly dark.

Here are a couple of tips if you’ve never done the ride before.

It can get quite chilly in the early hours so I’d recommend a long sleeved jersey and gilet with a rain shell in a pocket, just in case. Shorts are usually fine but you may be more comfortable adding tights and shoe covers, particularly if there’s a chance of rain. Similarly, mitts are usually fine but long fingered gloves might be handy.

The ride is unsupported so, along with a pump in your pocket, make sure your saddle pack has two tubes, two CO2, two tyre boots, six pre-glued patches, a gear wire, an emergency chain link, a multi-tool and tyre levers. You probably won’t need any of it if your bike is well maintained, but you never know…

Normal commuting lights are fine if you’re riding in a group and at a steady pace but you’ll need something with a little more punch if you’re on your own and riding at speed. A little light fixed to your helmet is handy for looking at the route sheet or your gps while on the go. Also, switch your rear light to solid on (not flashing) so you don’t drive those behind you mad. At 3am, a blinking red LED feels like it is stabbing deep into your cornea, and not in a good way.

Two bottles will be plenty to get you to the feed stop where they can be refilled. The queues for food at the stop can be quite long if you don’t get there early so I always bring a sandwich (ciabatta with ham, brie & cranberry sauce seeing as you asked) which is a nice change from energy bars. Don’t risk trying food you’re not familiar with and tested on other long rides. An upset stomach at 3am in the middle of nowhere is not as much fun as it sounds.

Sunrise is at 4.48am so we’ll need to leave the feed station by 1am to ensure we’re on the beach to see it.

Here’s a link to the route but please bring at least a £1 coin and support Southwark Cyclists by buying a route sheet.

See you at London Fields…


2 Responses to “Dunwich Dynamo XX”

  1. I’m so looking forward to this year’s – it’ll be my 5th after reading your review of the 2007 ride. This year we’re going to be a bit more sensible – won’t be starting & finishing in Cambridge (255 miles), and won’t be on the tandem. But there will be fairy lights.

    See you on the road at some point?

  2. Adrian Fitch Says:

    Definitely Karl. I’ll be part of the big blue Dulwich Paragon train again. See you on Saturday.

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