There were definitely lessons to learn for me on this ride – perhaps the main one is that, yes, it is possible to cycle 112 miles without any training (and even 165 miles – the actual distance we rode in the first night and day) but training would certainly make the experience better. It is taking me quite a long time to recover properly!
Can thoroughly recommend the Dunwich Dynamo Night Ride, however – first half all through pretty Essex villages; second half after sunrise, through miles and miles of golden Suffolk corn fields. No hills – I was able to do it easily with carrying all my luggage for our overnight stays on the return journey – very friendly; plenty to eat and drink en route; all abilities taking part.
This trip was a great adventure with Pete (who did the whole thing on his single speed bike, of course!). We did virtually no planning for our four day ride and relied for the return journey from Dunwich on using our “Cycle Street” app to take us from A to B along picturesque routes. When we had deadlines to meet, e.g. to get to the start of the ride and for our first night’s B and B, we put in our destination and requested a “balanced” route. When we had no time pressures, we simply requested the “quietest” route – and found in every case we were cycling through amazing scenery, even when that involved an urban landscape.
The main issue in cycling the first 165 miles that we covered before our overnight stay, was finding enough to eat to top up our energy levels – while gels and protein bars helped, it was also very important to top up with something savoury and more substantial periodically – cheesy pasta, cheese rolls, scrambled egg on toast – these were our life savers that would enable us to cover the next 20 miles.
Finally, it is worth saying, we loved the way the Dunwich Dynamo worked – no formal organisation or registration for the ride; thousands of cyclists taking part; everyone very friendly; everyone riding sensibly; and fundraising for charity through the stalls en route selling food and drink to the cyclists. You could start when you wanted but we left London Fields at 8 pm and arrived at Dunwich at 9 am the next morning. There were buses at the end to take riders who had pre booked back to London. Can thoroughly recommend it.