"A word on the spot is worth a cartload of recollections"
James Maggs, Southwold diarist 1797-1890

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Dunwich Dynamo

On Saturday evening Nick and I set off on our bikes from Hackney to ride the 120 miles to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. Among the 1000 or so other cyclists departing in a long stream between 8 & 9pm was a man carrying a small dog in his front basket.

It was a mild night with a gentle following breeze. We saw some stars along the way but the full moon didn't rise. All the same for most of the ride we weren't in pitch darkness, something I was grateful for as I was using my weak-beam city lights. Nick of course had powerful twin-beam LEDs plus a helmet light. Riding in front of him when all 3 were on made me feel a bit like a rabbit caught in the beam of car headlights.

We missed the food stop at 55 miles so I had to resign myself to eating flapjacks and energy bars for the ride.

At 0230 at Coddenham I got off my bike and sat outside the old Crown Inn. Now a private house, in the last 15 years or so of the eighteenth century it was a coaching inn run by my great-great-great-great-great grandparents. After he died in 1802 she continued to run the place for another couple of decades.

After Coddenham I felt I was on home ground, which helped me cope with the increasing aches and pains. A few miles later I realised I was off-route when I found myself at Earl Soham, where my g-g-g grandfather was a (wind)miller in the 1850s. But I knew the route from there onwards.

The final miles were an endurance test, but I arrived at Dunwich beach at 0500 to find that the beach cafe was open, and selling beer. Bliss.

Update 30 July: good report on the Dynamo from Real Cycling

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