Dunwich Dynamo 2012

July 4, 2012

Dawn breaking as we approach the beach.

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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…

Staying focused over winter

December 30, 2010

I’m so glad the snow has melted and we can get out into the lanes again. I was finding it all too easy to stay indoors and skip a scheduled training session when there was so much snow and ice around. My biggest motivator to either get out there or onto the indoor trainer is to look at the calendar. So far, I’m committing to three big rides and one fun one next year plus a week in southern Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains with Vamos Cycling to prepare for it all.

My key cycling events for 2011:

  • Feb: Training week
  • Apr: 260km Tour of Flanders Sportive
  • Apr: 165km Paris-Roubaix Challenge
  • Jun: 200km Dragon Ride
  • Jul: 180km Dunwich Dynamo

The overnight Dunwich Dynamo is obvious the fun ride. I’ve ridden the past four editions and wouldn’t miss it for the world. The Tour of Flanders Sportive and Paris-Roubaix Challenge are on successive weekends so I’d better be in great shape to do well in them. There is a shorter version of Flanders (150km) which includes most of the main route’s climbs and pavé sectors that I may opt for if my preparation hasn’t been ideal. Lastly, I’d like to include a few local sportives to break up the rest of the year. SWRC’s May Flyer looks promising, as does the Castle Ride 100 but after such an intense start to the year, it may be nice to relax over summer and just enjoy our weekly club rides in the North Downs.