Author Topic: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010  (Read 75096 times)

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #850 on: July 27, 2010, 09:43:44 pm »
This is crazy. You lot have been riding all night and more, voluntary sleep deprivation on a 120-mile ride (I think that's about the distance?), but you've all had such a great time! Ok, next year, I must make it back to the Green and Pleasant from wherever in the world I end up for this malarkey.
Chief of these was probably the Axe and Compasses at Aythorpe Roding which now has a blue plaque on the wall in honour of Jurek. 
Please explain. What did he do?
A cozy place for everyone with an interest in cake?

Everything has been said now.  The forum may close. ;D
Oh no it bloody well cannot! Not till I've done a Dunwich Dynamo too, at least.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #851 on: July 27, 2010, 09:46:58 pm »
Chief of these was probably the Axe and Compasses at Aythorpe Roding which now has a blue plaque on the wall in honour of Jurek. 
Please explain. What did he do?

Christmas WARTY refers, M'ludd.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #852 on: July 27, 2010, 09:54:00 pm »
Ah. All is clear. Probably.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Tim Hall

  • Bright are the stars that shine Dark is the sky
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #853 on: July 27, 2010, 10:04:30 pm »
I'm pleased to say it only took a smattering of seconds for the depths of my memory-branes to regurgitate the incident to which Wow referred.

Great write up BTW. 
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #854 on: July 27, 2010, 11:11:37 pm »
It did seem apposite that we had to cut through another lock on Sunday morning, although luckily my Leatherman survived that eventuality, and Kim's hacksaw bladed swiss army knife thingy did most of the damage to the lock.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Coffee snob and pencil fetishist
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #855 on: July 27, 2010, 11:32:59 pm »
She made shockingly quick work of it:





The rest of my photos are now in the gallery  :)
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #856 on: July 27, 2010, 11:44:26 pm »
I've just found an earwig crawling on my leg.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #857 on: July 27, 2010, 11:49:59 pm »
A Swiss Army knife is now "going equipped"  :o
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 #858 on: July 28, 2010, 12:07:01 am »
Okay, this grew into a proper ride report, but it might as well stay in this thread...

I first heard about the Dunwich Dynamo at some point in 2008 and knew I had to do it.  Back then a ride of that distance was simply beyond me, having been living in London and using a bike for little more than pootling to the shops for about a year.  By 2009, I'd worked up to doing much longer rides, but had inadvertently moved to Birmingham, and lost several weeks of the best cycling season to moving-related stuff.  I attempted it regardless.  Knowing that my fitness wasn't great, I didn't have anyone I could call to come and rescue me in a car if things went wrong and that there wasn't anyone else I knew doing the ride, I stuffed a pannier to the brim with food, extra clothing and every tool I could conceivably need, and set off for London.  While I did eventually make it to the start in time to collect my ticket for the return coach that I had pre-booked, a security alert forcing the closure of most of New Street station meant I had to lug the heavily-laden bike down an escalator, which upset my chronically dodgy right knee.  The knee got progressively worse on the climb out to Epping, and became pretty much unbearably painful around some Roding or other.  I decided to quit at the halfway feed stop, and limped back to Sudbury for the first train back to London with a small group suffering from exhaustion/mechanicals.  I probably encountered Team Penny, sans bikes, but didn't know any of you yet.

Thirsty for more, I eventually convinced a rather reluctant Simon Legg to allow me to join the August 2009 FNRttC to Bognor, where I spent some time riding and chatting with Julian, Teethgrinder and TimO of this parish, and eventually registered on the forum.  The rest is, as they say, history.

Anyway, I had Unfinished Business with the Dun Run, so there was no way I wasn't doing it this year.  Things were made rather interesting when someone who shall remain nameless, but we'll refer to as the flame-haired temptress of Ealing, made a comment about selling a Streetmachine at the end of the April FNRttC.  To cut a long story short, I had a bit less than three months to fettle and become competent at riding the Ultimate Touring Bike, which simply had to be used, as well as develop all those recumbent-specific leg muscles which I spectacularly lacked.  The first two took most of May, so I basically had two months to develop some bent legs.  I did about 800 miles of riding on the thing in under two months, which may not be a lot to some of you hardened audaxers, but was fairly bonkers given that I was previously averaging a bit more than 2000 miles a year.  I chickened out of taking it on the Exmouth Exodus (with which I had Unstarted Business, after being scared off by the severe weather warnings in 2009), on account that it involved Hills.  It got a proper shakedown, with load, on the two-day July WARTY, which convinced me that I'd probably get to Dunwich eventually, even if everyone else got bored and left me behind.

My dodgy knee had been remarkably well-behaved throughout most of this.  It does seem to prefer the recumbent pedaling position, as long as I don't push too high a gear on climbs.  Until last week, when I started getting random twinges.  It still seemed to work, though, and as I wasn't the only one with knee problems, I dosed up on anti-inflammatories, rested it totally for three days and hoped for the best.

Having learned well from previous mistakes, I spent Saturday mostly asleep.  Woke up three hours before my train, showered, forced myself to eat, made some sandwiches, and set off for New Street at a gentle pace on an even more heavily loaded bike.  I made it to the platform in good time, where I was spotted for the second time in about a week by jezhiggins, who was traveling with bike to Cambridge.  This was particularly handy when the train arrived, as it meant he could guard my bike while I ran off in search of a member of staff qualified to open the special Virgin bike compartment door.  We said goodbye at Euston, where he headed for Kings Cross, and I set off for Hackney.  The ride to London fields was fairly uneventful, save for the suspiciously high occurrence of red traffic lights, and being somewhat impressed by my apparent ability to haul a heavy load up the hill previously known as That Bastard Hill At Islington.

After squeezing past the Most Stupidly Parked Bike Ever, I rendezvoused with the YACF group, who were starting work on CrinklyLion's awesome cake supply, eating Chinese takeaway (before a ride? madness!), taking photos and making humorous comments about the amount of Stuff people were carrying.  The loos at The Pub On The Park deserve mention for sheer novelty value:  After standing in the queue that was snaking up the stairs and halfway across the bar for 5 minutes, someone pointed out that the queue was only for the men's, and that the women could walk right past and enjoy surprisingly uncontended cubicles that even had some toilet paper left.  That doesn't happen very often.



Eventually a consensus was reached, the remaining cake stowed safely in panniers, and Team Slow wrangled their unwieldy bikes back past the Most Stupidly Parked Bike Ever, through the crowd, and we were off.  Inevitably the group got split up by traffic lights on the way out of London, but we reunited at the petrol station that marks the end of civilization in Epping.



As we rode off into the night, it turned out that Team Slow weren't being as slow as anticipated.  We made excellent progress to Moreton, where we stopped again to wonder where Andygates had got to (dropped computer followed by taking a wrong turning, I believe).  The Weasels' trailer, which was literally lit up like a christmas tree, led the way and drew more impressed comments from the natives than my silly shaped bike.  I must try harder next year.  As we carried on through and beyond a twisty maze of Rodings, all alike, it really was night riding at its best.  The weather was surprisingly warm (I added arm-warmers at one point, which made me a bit too hot, but the rest of my warm clothing went unused) and the light rain promised by the forecast failed to turn up.

At Finchingfield we chanced upon a pub that had stayed open to serve the cyclists, though apparently not anything alcoholic.  A request of "Has anybody got any tools?" justified my carrying of a cute little adjustable spanner that isn't really of all that much use for fettling my own bike, and earned andygates and I both a drink for sorting out the cable clamp blot on someone's rear mech.  The ducks by the pond opposite the pub were awake and making terrifying zombie duck noises, so having regrouped and rehydrated Team Slow, we made short work of the climb out of the village and rode off to escape them.

As we plodded on, Team Slow started living up to its name, and became a bit more spread out.  Eventually, the front part of the group realised that the GPS routes we were mindlessly following lacked this year's halfway stop, and that we'd passed through Sible Hedingham a few miles ago.  We retraced our steps, asking riders if we'd passed the food stop, until we caught up with Wowbagger/CrinklyLion, who didn't recognise us and rode right past.  A bit of shouting eventually got their attention, and we carried on as a group to the murky depths (and I do mean depths, there was a hell of a slope down to the car park) of Sible Hedingham.

As we whipped out our stoves to brew up, someone had the rather good idea of actually checking to see if there *was* actually a hideous queue inside, on the basis that since we'd failed to find the place (something to do with local kids messing with signs and blowing out candles), many of the other riders will have done too.  The building was surprisingly empty.  Half a dozen in the queue for tea, and plenty of unoccupied tables.  A European bread mountain of uneaten rolls were stowed in various comedy places.



It was at around this point that I felt cold for the only time that night.  Riding a recumbent gives you a sweaty back, even with well-ventilated seats.  My seat is not in the slightest bit ventilated, and I sweat buckets at the best of times.  When you stop riding, this starts to evaporate and you can get very cold very quickly, something that I often have problems with on night rides.  CrinklyLion, who seems to have the opposite problem with regulating body temperature, kindly lent me her jacket to shiver in for a bit until we set off again.  Fortunately, the food stop was at the bottom of a short but surprisingly steep slope, and by the time I'd climbed that I was warm again.

Unfortunately, the food stop was at the bottom of a steep slope, and surrounded by other riders, I was on the limit of my ability to balance at low speed.  When we stopped at the top of the climb I got spooked by a bike appearing to my right, failed to get a foot (well, the correct foot) down quickly enough and toppled sideways onto the Pikes' trailer.  Luckily, there was a convenient car for me to brace myself against, and I managed to land in a highly embarrassing position that nevertheless left me, my bike and the contents of the trailer undamaged.  Many thanks to andygates for hauling me out of that mess.

The ride continued in much the same vein as before.  The weather continued to be splendid, wind was never a notable feature.  Daylight happened.  Sudbury came and went.  The group spread out.  Signs with 'Barking' in them became increasingly funny, yet escape via the District Line was not an option.  People started suffering a bit from sleepiness, and resorted to various terrifying concoctions, though I was having no problem with staying awake myself.  What I was starting to suffer from was underdeveloped 'bent legs.  Nothing serious yet, but a steadily increasing state of legular knackeredness that was bordering on the "Sorry guys, need a leg break" threshold when we stopped outside Needham market for a brew-up.

There was rather handily a toilet block, though the toilets themselves were out of order.  Fortunately I'd learned from the recursively closed public toilets of Taunton fiasco after the abortive attempt at the Exmouth Exodus last month, and was able to gain access to the disabled cubicle using my RADAR key (and not, I'm afraid, a spanner as someone implied).  Every long-distance (or Sustrans path) cyclist should get one.  Perfectly legal to just buy one as long as you pay the VAT.  See also its close relative, the British Waterways sanitary station / water point key.

A mug of hot chocolate and a sandwich, and more critically not having to pedal for half an hour or so, restored my legs to working order.  Some of the group took the opportunity for a snooze.  We learned that the Wowbagger contingent had had the same idea and stopped to brew up a few miles back, and decided to press on rather than wait for them to catch up.

We stopped to regroup again at Framlingham, where I again made use of the facilities.  Turning down the opportunity for a civilised pee is always a bad idea.  On the way out, I had a brief conversation with a maintenance person who was rather impressed with the recumbent bike, and the idea of riding silly distances overnight.  When I turned around the others had vanished.  Using the Bristol navigation algorithm, I decided to carry on along the route, which was uphill, rather than to where I had seen everyone waiting, which was down.  This turned out to be the right decision, as I rounded a corner and paused to consider which group of sleeping cyclists were lying in the verge next to the correct road, a blur with a trailer in the distance spotted and waved at me.  I quickly caught up with the rest of the group, and made yet another mental note to get some new glasses.

The going got a lot harder after that.  Peasenhall was the last of what could be called civilisation, and the only useful-looking shop was disturbingly closed-looking.  Every little climb became a Bastard Hill, and comments involving Isaac Newton and writing to the council about getting them to sort the gradient out were made.  Darsham didn't really seem to amount to much.  Then came a really killer hill just on the cusp of the infamous "Dunwich [1]7" sign.  This was too much for my knee, which had performed admirably all night (while various bits of my left leg suffered in overcompensation), which did the painful crunch thing.  In a rare moment of sense for that early in the morning, I stopped and dismounted immediately, without any consideration for getting the bike moving again, and along with andygates broke out the emergency chocolate.  A few minutes of faffing about seemed to help, and after a dismissive experimental attempt at pushing the bike, I remounted and gave it plenty of left-leg welly to defeat the rest of the climb.  Team Slow were waiting at the top, and I joined them.



(to be continued)
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #859 on: July 28, 2010, 12:08:34 am »
After a while, when there was still no sign of the Weasels' tandem, we took to asking riders if they'd seen what they were doing.  Something rear-wheel-related apparently.  We waited some more.  Charlotte attempted to use the power of the didgeridoo to entice them up the hill.  It didn't work, but was at least highly entertaining, not least for the looks on the faces of the other riders as they came round the corner.  After a while they appeared, having broken at least 5 spokes (11 plus a knackered freehub by the time they eventually arrived at the beach).  I suppose that if you're going to have a mechanical, making it a really epic one is always best for the horror stories later.



The briefest of pauses for andygates to have his wicked way with the "Dunwich [1]7" sign (some joker had done such an excellent job of adding the '1' using insulating tape that nobody wanted to remove it), and we were off again.  I'd dismissed talk of the psychological boost that the sign gives, but the lumpy bits genuinely did seem easier after that.  Nothing needs to be said about that final roll into Dunwich.  If you haven't done it yourself, you've probably seen it on video.  It's like that, but bigger.

And there was Annie and her awesome spread of awesomeness.  I rolled up and paused to fiddle with the Garmin for a moment (which was, frustratingly displaying a trip odometer reading of 197km, leading to serious thoughts of laps of the car park style craziness) while the others tucked in (in both the food and blanket sense).  After a minute I decided that actually I was quite comfortable where I was and couldn't actually face having to lift a leg to dismount the bike.  So I must have sat there for a full ten minutes.  I took some photos and posted to twitter.  Made "still alive" noises on IRC.  Then eventually summoned the energy to get off.



People dozed, congratulated each other and consumed gallons of tea as we watched the remainder of Team Slow arrive, in various states of griminess and exhaustion (or not, as the case may be).  We ate bacon sandwiches as the last of the removal vans departed and people attempted to blag bikes onto the coaches back to London.  I ate rather a lot of bacon sandwiches, in fact.  Nobody else seem to want them, and it seemed a shame to let them go to waste.  I observed that it was strange that I of all people should end up in the traditional Teethgrinder role.

As the other cyclists left by various means, and Annie packed up the majority of the picnic and the broken tandem wheel and went home via a bike shop (who diagnosed a knackered freehub, but lacked a suitable replacement), we variously slept, swam, got sunburnt and just sat around chatting.  We watched as coach loads of people appeared, seemingly with the sole intention of visiting the fish & chip shop, and later departed.  A brave and hardy crew set off with unladen trailer and the ever-versatile Yuba Mundo in search of food, beer and combustibles.  I decided that the knee had stopped hurting, and much as I would have liked to join them and roll that odometer past the 200 mark, it was best not to do anything silly at that point.

We moved our bikes and the remainder of Annie's picnic supplies about 500m down the dunes.  This was surprisingly hard work, as the surface was a mixture of packed stones and vegetation, with patches of loose stones.  The firmer bits were just about ridable, at least to my fully suspended bike, and the Yuba with its awesomely huge tyres.  The others were less successful and wheeled the whole way.  Pleading knees I opted out of making a second trip for the rest of the stuff, and set about inspecting the site for dog-related nasties and constructing the henge that Charlotte requested.



As we started putting our tents up, it started to rain.  Fortunately it was but a brief shower - decent enough drops, but didn't last long enough to get anything properly wet.  As my tent pitches inner-first, this was a very good thing.  The ground, being packed stones is fairly suboptimal for tents.  It's not very even, and getting the pegs in proved to be a challenge (the most successful techniques seemed to be a wiggling motion with careful attention to peg angle, or the brute force mallet approach).  I discovered that my cheapo Argos tent - a hideous bright orange colour - was a magnet for the little black flies, and took care to make sure I didn't leave it unzipped.



Though at least it wasn't fluorescent yellow.



I took the opportunity to change out of my cycling clothes and make extensive use of the antiseptic wipes I'd brought in lieu of a shower or strong desire to go swimming in the sea (I'm not a strong swimmer, and didn't want to be cold).  Discovered that the cheapo sandals I'd brought as an alternative to cycling shoes in the presence of sand and water had died of old age, and had to reinforce them with copious amounts of gaffer tape, much to the amusement of onlookers.

Assorted levels of fire-based technology were brought into play, food was cooked, drink was consumed, and insects were for the most part repelled.  As darkness fell, the fire poi came out and ensured that the effort we'd gone to to make our camp an inconspicuously long way from the car park was largely pointless.  Which was a bit of a shame, as it was an awfully long walk to the loos.  I was too tired for energetic forms of pyromania, so made do with stoking Charlotte's wood burning stove for a bit and tokenistically playing with sparklers.  Inevitably the beasties started to attack, in spite of the smoke, so I got out my secret weapon: 97% DEET.  I've used this stuff against mozzies and tetses in southern Africa, and unlike most insect repellents I've used over the years, it actually works.  It did an excellent job on the midges and little black flies.  What it doesn't work against is earwigs.  Not in a useful way, anyway, it's not like you can spray a lightweight tent in the stuff.  And oh my, were there a lot of earwigs.

Not something you really think about, earwigs.  They don't fly and they don't bite, so you don't really consider repelling them.  Even if you could.  Which you can't.  Once darkness fell the earwigs started to roam, and they were roaming in the direction of our tents.  Even though I'd been extra cautious to keep the black flies from getting in, as I settled down to sleep, I saw an earwig crawling across the mesh of the tent inner.  As it passed from the mesh to the solid fabric, I realised it was on the *inside* so I was forced to murder it with my spare phone battery (Through a poor state of preparedness, it was the nearest convenient weapon.  Yes, I know, I'll be instant zombie fodder if I go around making rookie mistakes like that.) and evict it using gaffer tape.  That done, I made a brief report to the internets, turned over, and slept solidly until about 06:30.



The morning after the Night Of The Earwigs was little better.  After deciding to forgo the long trek to the loos in favour of a convenient alternative involving the use of gaffer tape (but let's not have that discussion yet again), I got down to the serious business of evicting a substantial colony of earwigs from my Trangia and cooking up some rice.  TimO was doing something scientific with custard and bananananas, and the others were being unenthusiastic about waking up, or overly enthusiastic about skinnydipping (something I fail to see the attraction of, especially first thing in the morning).  While the others were catching up with breakfast, I evicted yet more earwigs from my delightfully dry tent and panniers, and did a neat if not particularly quick job of packing everything up into logical places.  I also succeeded in lashing all three of Annie's folding chairs across the top of my rear rack for the trip back to the Flora Cafe.

At which point there was another call for tools: Speshact had forgotten the key for his lock.  Well, someone had to do it I suppose.  After a quick check to see if anyone happened to have a matching key (stranger things have happened), we set about attacking it with a combination of the hacksaw blade on my well-worn swiss army knife and the awkward cable-cutter on TimO's Leatherman.  It must have taken less than 10 minutes, including rest breaks.  Cable locks: they're basically crap.

Eventually the camp was packed up, the only remaining evidence of our presence being the Henge, a small pile of charcoal and a large number of bemused earwigs.  We rode / pushed our bikes back to the cafe, loads and tyres permitting, where Annie's things were left for her to collect later in the week.  We made use of the loos (which were impressively most of the way to spotless, though the gents' was far worse, according to the cleaner) and filled up with water, said goodbyes and went our various ways.



In the absence of a better plan, I'd booked a ticket for the train back to London from Ipswich that people were using that afternoon.  This involved a suboptimal wait in London for my onward train to Brum, but seemed the least failure-prone route given my general unease about untested faffing with a heavily loaded recumbent on CrossCountry trains.  Thus began what was an utterly delightful ride to Ipswich.  Well, I say utterly delightful.  I was a bit tired, but my dodgy knee issues and associated left leg pains had vanished overnight, and I was generally feeling like riding a bike was the thing to be doing.  Other members of the group were obviously suffering in the knee and saddle departments.  I briefly wondered if, given the lateness of my Birmingham train, I had time to ride back to London.  Fortunately someone had the foresight to put a bloody great hill on the route to dispel that idea.

There was silliness involving strawberry laces and assorted piercings.  The Pikes' tandem chain snapped, but spares and tools were readily produced (and facial wipes did a spectacular job of grime-removal).  Garmins were consulted.  Photographs were taken.  I noticed my dynamo-powered phone charger didn't appear to be working.  The blinkenlight on the regulator output was illuminating as I spinned the wheel, but the phone didn't appear to be taking a charge.  I tried swapping USB ports, and switching back to the battery which hadn't been used to kill an earwig, but that didn't seem to help, so I gave up and hoped for the best.  But mostly it was a lovely smooth ride, and we got to Ipswich (yes Nat, if you're reading this - I actually went to Ipswich!) in plenty of time for the train.



I nipped to the loos to wash the sunblock and road grime from my face.  When I looked down, there was an earwig drowning in the sink.

The train was one of those lovely retro East Angular ones with a proper guard's van.  An absolute joy to cram full of silly shaped touring bicycles, and well worth going to Ipswich for.  This whisked us to London while the remaining supplies of E-numbers and bizarrely-flavoured crisps were played with, photographed and eventually consumed.  Arriving at Liverpool Street station, the consensus was to make a tactical retreat to Weatherspoons until such a time as the various train companies saw fit to carry full-sized bikes on the trains out of London.  This suited me perfectly, as I had about four hours to kill.  Having made a convoluted dalek-mode exit of the station via the ticket office, an improbably small lift and the awkwardly lacking in ramps concourse, we succeeded in creating a large mass of locked-together and largely unusual bicycles in good view of the pub.  While locking up, I got some abuse from a member of a group of smokers who had been standing beside the area we put the bikes.  Apparently I should have said excuse me and asked them to move, instead of just putting the bikes there.  When I pointed out that I (and presumably the others) had thought it unnecessary on the grounds that they weren't actually in the way, they muttered something about being rude, and wandered off.  Odd.

A couple of hours of drinks, food and conversation later (including the inevitable arses conversation that groups of cyclists seem destined to have), we went our separate ways, with me following the Ealing posse, who were heading for Paddington, as far as Euston.  I got to see my first (though still bikeless) London cycle hire scheme rack on the way.  I arrived in plenty of time for my train, and settled down on the platform to finish off the last of my emergency chocolate supply.  This was a London Midland train, which is pretty much the slowest and most tedious way to travel between London and Birmingham, but it is pretty much foolproof in terms of traveling with an awkwardly-shaped bike (you just occupy the foldy seat area by the reveal-a-door toilet), and was dirt cheap.

I arrived at Mordor Central on time, and was pleasantly surprised not to be frozen to death as soon as I stepped off the train.  The ride home was uneventful, for Birmingham.  That is to say I'd gone three days and 160 odd miles on a recumbent, around London and across Essex and Suffolk, without anything more than genuine interest from other cyclists and one witty comment from a BMX kid in Ipswich.  Whereas in three miles, in the dark, mostly on a fast main road, in Birmingham I got hooted at twice and shouted at by pedestrians at least once.  *sigh*

Home was quickly followed by the most satisfying shower I've had in ages, a couple of pints of liquid, brief unintelligible wibbling at the internet and bed.  Today, I woke up, washed some stuff, ate some food, downloaded some photos and tracklogs and wrote this.  I'm happy to report that my knee still works.  As does my dynamo charger - having bench-tested it, it seems that the fault lies with the teeny tiny Nokia plug which has gone intermittent, rather than anything interesting and electronic.

Looking forward to 2011.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #860 on: July 28, 2010, 12:08:56 am »
I've just found an earwig crawling on my leg.

Did it fall from your beard?
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #861 on: July 28, 2010, 12:42:27 am »
I've just found an earwig crawling on my leg.

Did it fall from your beard?

It might have done. Can't be sure.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #862 on: July 28, 2010, 06:47:50 am »
Brilliant write ups Kim and Wow.  My own will have to wait until I can get near a proper keyboard and not this phone.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Coffee snob and pencil fetishist
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #863 on: July 28, 2010, 08:02:06 am »
Really enjoyed reading that, Kim  :)
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #864 on: July 28, 2010, 09:06:26 am »
I forgot to mention: from home to the beach in Dunwich included 118.33 bike miles. 200 yards or so to the station, a long walk along platform 14 at Lpoo St, 2 and a bit from Lpoo St to Hackney, a small diversion around Sible Hedingham which may have added a mile, so I reckon my Cateye said that the ride proper was about 114.something miles.

The Garmin made it a bit less, but not a lot.

jogler

  • mojo operandi
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #865 on: July 28, 2010, 09:45:52 am »
Ah ear-wigs I remember them from my camping days with me old folks.

Breakfast was get blow, add cornflakes and then pour milk on, then sit back and wait until they have crawled/swam out :)



you get a blow for brekkie,lucky boy ;D

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #866 on: July 28, 2010, 10:16:21 am »
This thread is very bad for me. It's armchair cycling at its best. I feel these ride reports should be published in a book which one could then browse through on a cold winter's evening when the outsides is under 4 feet of snow.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Tim

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #867 on: July 28, 2010, 10:23:38 am »
I haven't found an earwig for 24 hours now (fortunately the tent was packed away dry and I haven't been through that yet).

I may get around or writing up/posting some choice pictures sometime (or at least trying to persuade Kathy to).

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #868 on: July 28, 2010, 11:38:37 am »
The shenanigans where 15 of us set up a one-night camp has been well documented. We packed the stuff up, Annie was unable to collect, so I phoned Terry and asked him if he could collect Annie's stuff and store it in his garage for her. There was a small matter of 10 cans of Stella which were surplus to requirements.

After Terry had left with all Annie's belongings, Jan and I bade our farewells to the YACFers and pootled towards Terry's house. We had had the foresight to dump our three heaviest bags in his car so our progress up the hill from the beach was more rapid than it would otherwise have been. TimO caught us up on his way to Darsham Station and that was where we parted company. It's not more than a couple of miles from Yoxford to Terry's house and we arrived about 11.15 to a warm welcome from him and his wife Janet.

There was tea, we nattered, and my original intention was to make steady southward progress, probably arriving in Essex in late afternoon and then either finding a camp site or getting on a train home. However, Janet suggested a pub lunch and of course we couldn't refuse. Although I've been in touch with Terry on and off during the 35 years since we left college, we've only seen Janet a couple of times and one of those was their wedding in 1977.

Janet drove us out to the Dennington Queen, which had Adnams (of course) and some very good food. We had a good natter about everything and then returned to their house for more tea and some cake - Victoria sponge. Around 4 p.m. Jan and I had to bid our farewells and we cycled back into Peasenhall and took the southward road toward Saxmundham. We dropped in to Waitrose and bought some salady stuff for dinner and then headed towards Bawdsey where there was a ferry over the first river. There were also a couple of camp sites marked on the OS map, one of which did not have a symbol for caravans.

It was a lovely peaceful ride, past the Snape Maltings, carefully avoiding the left turn towards Orford and the tractors heavily laden with onions and potatoes, as well as the irrigation systems which quite often sent jets of water all over the roads and streams running alongside them. Eventually we rolled up at what was supposed to be the camp site and found that there was nothing there but static caravans. We were advised that there was a camp site nearby and within a quarter of a mile we had found it. It was a Caravan Club site and the sign outside indicated that it was for members only but I rang the bell and the very pleasant lady said yes of course we could camp there. Her husband showed us round and it wasn't long before we had pitched the tent, inflated the downmats and were ready to eat.

There were a few other caravans and one huge tent on the site, but there was only one other small tent which had been pitched very close to what appeared to be the only available picnic table and the tent's occupants were also sitting at this table. We decided to introduce ourselves and ask to share the table and the two lovely young Dutch girls, both cyclists, one of whom spoke very fluent English were perfectly happy for us to do so. We ate our salad and pork pie, shared some fruitcake and tea with them, and nattered until the bats were flying around and about 10 p.m. we retired.

There was a little rain in the night but we both had a decent night's sleep. The milk we had bought the previous day in Saxmundham was still perfectly OK for breakfast. We had muesli, rolls, tea and more conversation with our young friends, who were frying crumpets in a frying pan. They dumped four each into a dish, covered them with honey and yoghurt and evidently enjoyed them immensely. "I've never seen pancakes like this before!" declared the more fluent one. "Are they made to the same recipe as Dutch pancakes?"

At about 9.30 we set off for the Bawdsey ferry and took all the bags off the bike. The ferryman advised us that it would be a good idea for us to book a place on the Felixstowe to Harwich ferry so we telephoned and reserved a place on the 12.35.

I had never been to Felixstowe before and it was very reminiscent of some of the North Kent seaside towns. Southend and Westcliff sea fronts have been largely spoiled by hideous post-war development but Felixstowe seems much more authentic, with lots of Victorian buildings around the place. There is a lot of container port, though, and we watched fascinated as enormous ships laden with containers full of rubbish originating or destined for China came in and out, proof that our economy is indeed doing very well as we create absolutely nothing of any value any more.

We ate bacon and sausage baps as we waited for the ferry and Jan spilled some hot coffee on her hand, which didn't help much. Eventually we dragged the tandem and luggage down the shingle and we were very pleased that we had booked as several foot passengers were turned away. All the hanging around waiting for ferries meant that we had covered only 11 miles in 3½ hours. We intended to see our son Graham in Wivenhoe an that was another 17 miles away, so that would be too late for lunch.

Shortly after we alighted at Harwich the heavens opened in a spectacular fashion and the next couple of hours were punctuated by the putting on and taking off of waterproofs. I have actually perfected the trick, with Jan's help, of removing my waterproof and putting it away whilst we are on the move, which was quite amusing. We cycled gently through Auntie Helen country and finally arrived at the Rose and Crown to find Graham sitting outside. I bought some drinks, we nattered and I discovered that the ferry from Wivenhoe to Fingringhoe only operates at weekends.

That was the deciding factor: we had covered about 30 miles, Jan wanted to get home, so we caught the train for the rest of the journey. Just as we cycled up the last couple of hundred yards home, so the heavens opened once more and we sheltered in the garage for some minutes hoping it would ease off. It didn't so we arrived home really rather damp, walking the 50 or so yards from the garage to the house.

My route, Dun Run and beyond.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #869 on: July 28, 2010, 05:10:11 pm »
I've just unpacked my tent...



Several dozen of these wee bastards were found within.

Not wanting to take off and nuke the tent from orbit, I settled for picking them off one by one with my Kirby M41A vacuum rifle with 30mm grenade launcher.  Or something.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #870 on: July 28, 2010, 05:11:46 pm »
Don't tell me you have a Kirby vacuum cleaner that you paid 700 quid for. Please.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #871 on: July 28, 2010, 05:16:12 pm »
Fantastic writeups that make me wish I was there. Really enjoyed reading those. One of these years I will ensure that I'm fit enough for this (and have enough leave to take care of the fact that my body clock will be thoroughly messed up).

Not sorry to miss the earwig invasion though.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #872 on: July 28, 2010, 05:17:23 pm »
Don't tell me you have a Kirby vacuum cleaner that you paid 700 quid for. Please.

I have a Kirby vacuum cleaner that I paid 200 quid for. (And not to Kirby.  Their engineering is decent, but their sales tactics are pure evil.)

Better?
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #873 on: July 28, 2010, 05:17:35 pm »
I've just unpacked my tent...



Several dozen of these wee bastards were found within.

Not wanting to take off and nuke the tent from orbit, I settled for picking them off one by one with my Kirby M41A vaccum rifle with 30mm grenade launcher.  Or something.

Argh!

Seeing your tweet about those disgusting insects had me reaching for Wikipedia. In an attempt to get some knowledge and hopefully lose some of my fear of them.

The pictures that came up had me gently gibbering with fear, but I carried on reading. Hoping to find some small nugget of information that would calm me a bit.

I then read two things.

1. Earwigs do sometimes crawl into nice warm comfy ear canals.
2. THEY CAN FLY!

Flying earwigs. OMFG!  :o

* hulver runs for the hills.

Re: Dunwich Dynamo 24-25 July 2010
« Reply #874 on: July 28, 2010, 05:20:58 pm »
Don't tell me you have a Kirby vacuum cleaner that you paid 700 quid for. Please.

I have a Kirby vacuum cleaner that I paid 200 quid for.

Better?
Less bad.

I am going to reveal one of my most shameful secrets. In my misspent youth I spent a short time selling Kirbys.  :-[  :(  >:(  :sick: The machines are good, but the organisation that sells them in the UK is crooked to the core.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.