Author Topic: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010  (Read 66254 times)

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #800 on: July 26, 2010, 04:27:56 pm »
Ouchity, ouch. Wearing a proper cycling top in the sun is not a bad idea either.

Too fat for that - it's really hard to get cycling kit in my size. 

Although since I've been shrinking a bit there's a few more options.  But all very expensive and I refuse to spend that much dosh on something I may have shrunk out of before I've worn it out!


A hummus (sic) and salad sandwich?!!! Not exactly cycling food!

There seemed to only be salad sarnies by the time I got there which was, bizarrely, exactly the right thing for me.  I quite often find that my appetite shuts down a bit on bike rides and I can't be bothered to eat - and I can go quite a long way just living off my hump so long as I drink loads.  But I like salad sandwiches, so I actually ate something which was probably a good idea on this ride!

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #801 on: July 26, 2010, 04:31:29 pm »
they only did salad sandwiches right from the start, I think. 

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #802 on: July 26, 2010, 04:39:10 pm »

Too fat for that - it's really hard to get cycling kit in my size. 

Although since I've been shrinking a bit there's a few more options.  But all very expensive and I refuse to spend that much dosh on something I may have shrunk out of before I've worn it out!


I think you would probably be alright in the YACF jerseys. We should do some jersey swopping when we have the next forum ride so that those who aren't sure can try them. They are probably not any longer than your t shirt.

It is fantastic how svelt everyone is looking. You, Kathy, Charlotte, Julian, Roger, Kim - lots of people are looking fabulous :D.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #803 on: July 26, 2010, 05:16:08 pm »
Well I'm now back at work, having left most of the happy campers about to leave Dunwich for Ipswich.  I left for Darsham and met Wow and Mrs Wow who I accompanied to Darsham Station when they continued onwards with their journey back to Southend.

Many thanks to Annie for a splendid spread of food, which I was a little too zonked to appreciate fully, I'm sure all of us were very happy to see you and partake of your hard work.

The ride itself was largely great, although the road through Epping Forest (more or less) was rather horrible due to the large amount of traffic, poor road surface, and pathetic cycle lane.

I sort of stayed with Team Slow for a fair bit of the ride, but after the half way stop I got separated from most of them, and kept on going, thinking I was going to catch up the Team Pike somewhere ahead of me.  I met up with Luke about 40 miles from the end, and we continued onwards with a stop every ten miles or so to recuperate and have some munchies.  We got to Dunwich without too much strain I think around 9-15, having left London Fields near 8-30 which I'm happy with, not ever claiming that I was going to be fast!

As we approached Dunwich I did spy Pippa and Jurek drinking something (which I assume was coffee) as the sped of in a car, although they did stop briefly to say Bye Bye. :)

After a brief tour of the car park, we found Annie, and the speedier group, but not to my surprise the Pikes, who I thought were ahead of me, not as turned out to be the case behind me.

A while later all the others arrived, and also partook of Annie's hospitality.

Towards the evening we shifted ourselves, our bikes and luggage, and some of what Annie had left behind further up the beech, and assembled our informal yacf campsite.  There was a brief light shower of rain at 8pm, just as we were erecting our tents, but this accelerated the job just in time for the rain to stop!

The evening's entertainments ensued, involving Charlotte and Wascally Weasel's homebuilt stoves, a party sized BBQ left by Annie, a variety of burning things twirled and swung around by the Pike's, and some alcohol. ;D

We didn't entirely paint the beech red, since we were all more than a little pooped for some reason, so embarrassingly there was even beer left over at the end of the evening. :o

In the morning a certain amount of dunking in the sea, and breakfasting was undertaken, followed by the dismantling of tents and whatnot, and attempting to fit it all back into bags and trailers from whence it had all emerged, with all the challenges that this involves!

When we were packing up, someone discovered that they had locked their bike up, with a lock they didn't have the key to.  After a fair amount of effort by Kim and her tools, ten minutes later the lock could be added to Jurek's collection of destroyed security equipment. ;D

There was a brief Didgeridoo masterclass by Phil, and then we all traipsed back along the pebbles to the cafe, deposited all the rubbish in the bins (largely filling them up!), and met up with a friend of Wow's who was going to look after Annie's stuff until it could be picked up.

Like CrinklyLion I got a little sunburnt, although thankfully I'm nowhere near as pink, having got fairly brown a few weeks back.  Ouch though, that looks a little painful CL, I hope you've got some aftersun on it.

A tremendously fun weekend, and I'm very glad I did it. :thumbsup:

My photos are here, but some of the night time ones will be blurry or too dark, since I haven't really been through them and chucked out the naff ones yet.

I also need to glue some of the landscape panoramas together.  Watch this space.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Pippa

  • Audax widow
    • 2016 Tour Blog
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #804 on: July 26, 2010, 05:31:31 pm »
As we approached Dunwich I did spy Pippa and Jurek drinking something (which I assume was coffee) as the sped of in a car, although they did stop briefly to say Bye Bye. :)

Erm. If by coffee you mean New Zealand's finest chilled fermented grape juice, then yes ;)

NB - Jurek and I were not driving. We had the luxury of a lift from someone very generous who had offered to pick us up. With food, booze and blankets. Superstar.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #805 on: July 26, 2010, 06:37:46 pm »
After a day spent fettling my bike and a disco nap I took a spin down to the Pub in the park for a spot of dinner with my brother. We watched as the number of cyclists slowly built up. We finished up, finished our pints (lemonade for me) and at 8 we set off.

We cycled up the Lea Bridge Rd and I popped in to Tesco to pick up some malt loaf (it’s BOGOF at the moment) and lucozade. I bid my brother farewell and headed off in to deepest Essex. The weather was perfect and as I pootled along I whistled whatever tune popped in to my head. The miles sped by easily due, I’m sure, in no small part to the tailwind. And then “crunch” I cycled through a pile of broken glass. “That will catch someone out later,” I quipped to the chap cycling next to me.  A mile or so later I could feel the rear tyre of my Brompton becoming squidgy. I pumped it up in the vain hope that the loss of pressure was due to the LED light I had screwed onto the valve. It held, sort of, until Dunmow and I knew I would have to fix it. I hoiked the offending part of the tube out from the tyre and patched it. I also removed a small flake of glass out of the Marathon tyre (not as immune to fairy attack as one might think) and carried on my way. I almost missed the feed stop but thanks to some people waiting at the junction I was redirected in the correct direction.

The half way point was by now so busy that I sat on the curb and scoffed half a malt loaf asked some chaps hanging around their “support vehicle” if they had a pump and then carried on my way. I ate a packet of crisps at the easily missed junction at Needham Market pointing people off in the correction and laughing at the drunken couple across the road. “Fousands ov em!”

The rest of the ride was beautiful if fairly uneventful bar the opportunity to cycle up the hill to take a closer look at the windmill.

As we entered the heath land road I glanced at the time 4.45. ‘If I stick the hammer down I might be able to get to the beach before 5.’ I thought to myself. I rushed on and passed someone in pink who has latterly described me as a “git”. He then passed and said that he wasn’t having that. I tried to explain that I hadn’t intended to race and pressed on.

I reached the beach at 5.01. To my knowledge I was the first Brompton there which raised a few remarks from my fellow queuers and 30 minutes later I was tucking in to my fried breakfast enjoying a coffee, a coke and a beer. Then headed off for a snooze just as team Brompton rolled in.

Other than the puncture the only low point of the ride was, as ever, the train journey back which was blighted by bureaucracy.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #806 on: July 26, 2010, 07:26:33 pm »
It was great to meet and remeet so many YACFers. The YACF spot is an ideal place to congregate: handy for the pub and the Chinese. Pre-ride carbo loading therefore was a pint and mushroom chow mein. Thanks to TimO (I think it was) for organising and executing the Chinese food raid. The finishing touches to the preparation were made with the help of CrinklyLion and her rocket-fuelled cake. We couldn't in all conscience let her carry all that weight all that way so it was encumbent on us to eat quantities of it before the start. It was every bit as delicious as it looked, and it looked fantastic.

I'd intended to join Rogerzilla's Team Fast but when it came to it an 8 o'clock start seemed a bit early; it was still daylight and I was enjoying the company far too much. So I joined what appeared to be the mass exodus at about 9 o'clock. I came across Team Slow who had formed up and were hanging about just beyond the park. They were waiting for Wow and Crinkly whom they had somehow mislaid. I carried on, and about 40 yards later there was the tandem, waiting for Team Slow. I was just explaining the situation to Wow when a Team Slow scout arrived on the scene so all was well.

Once we were on the long straight road to Epping I started to push a bit harder and soon was overtaking group after group. As the miles rolled on the groups became smaller and more widely separated but never completely out of view. The flashing lights into the distance look very pretty but they are completely unsuitable for group riding. I was amazed how few people had the courtesy to set their lights to steady. It's true that flashing lights are more visible but on a ride like this any motorist coming up behind you cannot possibly be unaware of the presence of cyclists. And don't talk to me about the few people with headache inducing super-bright lights on flashing and angled straight back.

Early on in the Essex hills strange and disconcerting noises began to issue from my rear hub. With some of the graunchier sounds I could feel the bike frame juddering. I guessed that a ball bearing had broken up inside it but there wasn't much I could do about it other than hope it would keep turning. I'd thrown some camping gear into the panniers so the bike was quite heavy. This wasn't too much of a hinderance except when the hills became steep then I would get out of the saddle to a crescendo of grinding noises and frame juddering. In the last few miles before Sible Hedingham I really thought it was about to become unridable but it somehow held together. The feed stop was a little hard to find as the minor road I'd plotted in my GPS track didn't exist. I worked around and found it after about a five minute delay. All the time I was gathering a little knot of followers. Initially they were probably attracted by the grinding noises; they were then captured by the sight of a GPS on the handlebars which misled them into thinking I might know where I was going.

The hall was beginning to get busy and bicycle parking was starting to become limited. I trotted round the back and found a bit of wall to lean the steed against. Inside, trade was becoming brisk but the queue was not yet too bad. The tables were a sea of light blue as the place was mobbed by Dulwich Paragon riders in their club kit. As I stepped outside again it was clear that the feed stop was soon going to be much busier. Bikes and dead bodies were now littering the ground all around the hall. The hub seemed grateful for its brief rest and was a lot less noisy as I set off again.

I began to encounter the same 8 or 9 riders on road bikes and carrying very light loads. When the road went steeply up I slowed down dramatically and they would come flying past and disappear into the far distance. When the hills were less severe I would gradually catch them up again. When the way went downhill I would fly past with a chorus of defiant graunching sounds and leave them far behind. All the time we kept catching groups of slower riders some of whom must have set off very early indeed.

The informal food stop was extremely welcome. I'd missed the sign advertising it and it initially appeared to be just a group of tried tired and clueless cyclists entirely blocking the road. It was partly that of course but the bright lights on the right revealed its true nature. It was reminiscent of the buvettes set up by enterprising people on the PBP. The proceeds were going to the air ambulance which doubly justified the stop. I had a nice cup of tea and a veggie sausage sandwich, and got my dwindling bidons refilled. Fantastic.

The goal was getting closer and the sky lighter. Again the little group of roadies went past me on a hill and again I repassed them later on. We had now reached the welcome sight of the Dunwich road signs. Again the road was climbing and again they were reeling me in. I thought "dearie me" (or words to that effect), gritted my teeth and put in a major effort, finally dropping them for good. It was now the final run in and my GPS was telling me the exact distance to go, good news that I was able to relay to the dozen or so very tired riders I passed in the last couple of miles.

The magnificent ruin of Dunwich Greyfriars was passed, then I reached the beach which is always a great feeling. I glanced at my watch and it was 5:25. There were already quite a few bikes there. I found a spot for mine then joined the queue for the cafe. As the queue shuffled slowly forward I looked to my left and there was the wonderful pixieannie surrounded by the two things I needed most - food and a place to sit. I wandered over and was immediately engulfed in a sea of hospitality. Rogerzilla was still there, and there was Rich Forrest too, back from his recent 1200. By all accounts Rich is absolutely flying at the moment. He'd done a DIY 300km to get there and had arrived well ahead of schedule having averaged over 30kph.

Annie sat me down and plied me with food and drink. It didn't take much plying. Tea was my immediate requirement and it came forth in great profusion followed closely by a beautiful plate of couscous and salad. I was beginning to get chilled but this was not a problem as Annie draped blankets over me. I didn't have to ask for anything; I merely had to form the thought and Annie would immediately fulfill it, apologising the whole time for the quality of the service. Wonderful olive focaccia bread for which she apologised. A steaming hot plate of beans for which she apologised. More tea for which she apologised. Rogerzilla departed and Rich and I had pixieannie all to ourselves. I took full advantage and gradually became warmer and more and more stuffed with the bounty of the earth. Annie has given me a new name. As I drink tea and am not a vicar I must apparently be <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/OpX3XdU-V9o&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/OpX3XdU-V9o&rel=1</a>

Other YACFers began to appear in various states of freshness or woe. All were overwhelmed by pixieannie's care. The gradual arrival of Team Slow was completed by the Wascally Weasel tandem. Wascally had broken 11 spokes in his rear wheel thus achieving the distinction of being the only person on the beach with a rear wheel less healthy than mine. It needed spokes and of course it was Annie who was on the phone sorting out an emergency repair. Sadly as I now learn the bike shop was unable to fix it. I hope they weren't too badly stranded.

The Pikes were there with their Pike Tandem cycling tops and their fiery playthings. Charlotte was there with her wood gassifying stove. Wascally Weasel had brought his impressive looking version of the same. The place was full of people I like and whose company I enjoy and I desperately wanted to stay and camp in the dunes, though pitching the hammock would have been a challenge. I did not have the leisure, however, and at around midday I finally tore myself away and began the ride home.

Pixieannie (of course) had produced some cone spanners and an apology as the thought "I could probably do with some cone spanners" had formed in my head. I had tinkered with the hub without actually daring to pull it apart and it was now much quieter and freer running though still a bit clanky. The wind was now in my face and the going was quite slow and tough. I stopped at a pub in Sible Hedingham and had a couple of pints, some salted nuts and a long rest. I felt a lot fresher after this and gradually the wind began to drop and eventually turn round completely until it was actually in my favour.

Eventually I detoured from my track and rode to Ongar on the off chance there would be a train heading west but I was too late and the last train had gone. I then headed north and picked up the original track. Hammocks are perfect for stealth camping in the woods and the temptation of Epping Forest almost got the better of me as I rode through it. But I needed to be home that night and I carried on, reaching London Fields again at about 0:30. It was then just a question of clanking my way across London, finally getting home just before 2:00. Both the bike and I were ready for a night's rest.
The old Legion hand told the recruit, "When things are bad, bleu, try not to make them worse, because it is very likely that they are bad enough already." -- Robert Ruark

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #807 on: July 26, 2010, 07:32:59 pm »
Ouchity, ouch. Wearing a proper cycling top in the sun is not a bad idea either.

Too fat for that - it's really hard to get cycling kit in my size.  

Although since I've been shrinking a bit there's a few more options.  But all very expensive and I refuse to spend that much dosh on something I may have shrunk out of before I've worn it out!


I appreciate the problem but continue to cycle and you will continue to shrink. It is a sensible idea of course to maximise the exercise by also continuing to stuff the panniers with several kilograms of irresistible cake.

 ::-)
The old Legion hand told the recruit, "When things are bad, bleu, try not to make them worse, because it is very likely that they are bad enough already." -- Robert Ruark

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #808 on: July 26, 2010, 07:37:24 pm »
And then “crunch” I cycled through a pile of broken glass.
So did I, and my tyres survived.  But you deserved it, being a "git"  ;D

Did anyone else come from Darsham and have to cut across the Westleton village green because of the closed road?
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #809 on: July 26, 2010, 07:57:59 pm »
And then “crunch” I cycled through a pile of broken glass.
So did I, and my tyres survived.  But you deserved it, being a "git"  ;D

Did anyone else come from Darsham and have to cut across the Westleton village green because of the closed road?

Yes.

 :)
The old Legion hand told the recruit, "When things are bad, bleu, try not to make them worse, because it is very likely that they are bad enough already." -- Robert Ruark

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #810 on: July 26, 2010, 08:18:16 pm »
It was our second off-road excursion of the night, although the first one only involved an illegal U-turn, the pavement, a pedestrian crossing and an illegal right turn

Never tell me the odds.

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
    • MEMWNS Map
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #811 on: July 26, 2010, 08:26:28 pm »
And then “crunch” I cycled through a pile of broken glass.
So did I, and my tyres survived.  But you deserved it, being a "git"  ;D

Did anyone else come from Darsham and have to cut across the Westleton village green because of the closed road?

If that's the bit in Westleton where the route sheet says "WESTLETON bear LEFT by Green. At crossroads S/O SP Dunwich" then no.  I followed the diversion which took you along the Right hand side of the green, up to the same crossroads, where LEFT sp Dunwich ;)  Plenty of people were riding up the closed road, then along on the green, but the diversion looked easier going to me so I did that instead.  You could see the "official" route ~20 yards away the whole way along it.
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #812 on: July 26, 2010, 08:33:14 pm »
getting onto the village green past the blockage was no big deal but getting back down on skinny tyres was...

BTW we avoided the one way system in Hackney and rode through the churchyard with most other riders, probably not the most illegal thing going on in the borough that night..

it was nice seeing the old library (now a trendy club or soemthing) where I used to lock my bike by the railings after the first one got stolen; the second one just had the wheels stolen, the last time I went there and locked both the bike and the wheels the scrotes took the pedals just as sign of defiance...

pixieannie

  • Buttons, boots, bloomers and a sense of humour
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #813 on: July 26, 2010, 08:35:31 pm »
And then “crunch” I cycled through a pile of broken glass.
So did I, and my tyres survived.  But you deserved it, being a "git"  ;D

Did anyone else come from Darsham and have to cut across the Westleton village green because of the closed road?

Yes.

 :)

Yes, Bishop.  Sorry for all the apologies ;)

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #814 on: July 26, 2010, 08:40:28 pm »
I found the impromptu feed stop between Gosbeck and Helmingham on Google Maps:

Google Maps

They had a sort of New Age yurt in the garden, visible on the aerial photo.  There were sleeping bags but I'm not sure if they were available for use.  It was colder inside than out anyway.
Never tell me the odds.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #815 on: July 26, 2010, 09:09:44 pm »
Yes, Bishop.  ...

Shouldn't that be 'Your Grace'? ;)
We are all just prisoners here of our own (mobile) device.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #816 on: July 26, 2010, 09:39:45 pm »
... Thanks to TimO (I think it was) ...

Nope, twas not I, another Tim.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #817 on: July 26, 2010, 10:21:29 pm »
Does anyone have any news on the guy who came off his bike? 

Tim

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #818 on: July 26, 2010, 10:27:47 pm »
It's becoming a trend this carrying a tent to the beach malarkey, it is soooo last year :)

I lugged camping gear (hammock and tarp rather than tent) all the way there and all the way home again without using it. On the way home I was very tempted to spend the night in Epping Forest. It was a bail-out option but tired though I was I managed to resist.

About that taking a tent thing... given the rather large amount of stuffs we took with us that was as hard as I've ever made that ride for myself (even considering the year when I managed to destroy my bum one week before departure).

I have since sworn that I shall never attempt it again with that amount of stuffs (unless the idea of taking a boat and attempting the Dunkirk Dynamo comes to fruition).

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #819 on: July 26, 2010, 10:33:25 pm »
I have since sworn that I shall never attempt it again with that amount of stuffs (unless the idea of taking a boat and attempting the Dunkirk Dynamo comes to fruition).

we shall ride on the beaches,
we shall ride on the cycle paths,
we shall ride in the fields and in the streets,
we shall ride up the hills;
we shall never surrender
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #820 on: July 26, 2010, 10:42:09 pm »
Quote
While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #821 on: July 26, 2010, 11:17:36 pm »
...I also need to glue some of the landscape panoramas together.  Watch this space.

Done.






Click on images for bigness.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #822 on: July 27, 2010, 12:15:22 am »
That was fun!  The mighty load of Team Slow rolled inexorably north through the night like glacial retreat, deploying after the coaches had gone into a small village complete with circus. Alas, circled wagons were no defence against the Night Of The Earwig.  :o

Cunning pillwork managed the gammy knee far enough, and it was a change for the 4am wearies to hit others less than me.  Good to re-meet the old faces and meet lots of new ones.  Annie - awesome all round.  We'll get you along one year...

As always the swim was magical.  Nothing soothes the centurion arse like the cool balm of the North Sea!

Does anyone have any news on the guy who came off his bike? 

Damn, one did come off then?

It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #823 on: July 27, 2010, 12:39:24 am »
Home.  Alive.  Awesome victory for Team Slow, and indeed my fellow members of the expanding (or should that be swelling?) Team Knee Injury.

W00t!  :D

[This post dictated to an earwig due to being too tired to work a keyboard]
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #824 on: July 27, 2010, 12:45:49 am »
I really don't dare unpack my tent.  How long do earwigs take to die?   :demon:

OMG there was a Brompton factory team: Brompton race team's arrival at Dunwich after 120 miles ... on Twitpic
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.