Dunwich Dynamo

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The Dunwich Dynamo (sometimes abbreviated to "Dun Run" or "DD") is an annual semi-organised, through-the-night bicycle ride from London Fields park in Hackney, London, England to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. The distance is approximately 120 miles (190 km).[1]

The ride takes place overnight, hence "Dynamo". It is usually scheduled to take place on the Saturday night closest to the full moon in July, partly for tradition but also because it is easier to ride by moonlight.[2] The date for DD20 was moved to 30 June/1 July 2012 to avoid clashing with the Olympics.

A long-exposure, light-trail image of cyclists passing through Finchingfield during the Dunwich Dynamo 2010

History[edit]

The ride originated in June 1993, when a group of bicycle messengers left London for a fun ride to the coast on fixed-wheel bikes, inviting members of the public to participate.[dubious ] The event was supported by a cycle shop, Mosquito Bikes of Essex Road, providing mechanical support and "controls" where riders had to check in to ensure no short-cuts. This arrangement continued for three further years. During this period the ride started from the Eastway cycle circuit rather than London Fields as at present. Since then the ride has continued on an unsupported 'turn up and go' basis. The route was planned by the London School of Cycling and organisation including the transport back from Dunwich at the end of the ride is arranged by Southwark Cyclists; for many years this was led by Barry Mason.[3]

The 2006 ride had 700 participants but was marred by the death of a 38-year-old participant, Andrew Rawling, in a head-on collision with a Ford Transit van in North Weald Bassett.[4] The organisers suggested that the 2007 ride could take the form of a memorial event, but Rawling's family requested that it continue as normal without any dedication, as they did not wish the ride he had enjoyed to become a campaign or protest.[5]

The number of participants has increased every year, to an estimated 1,000 riders in 2009[3] and 1,500 in 2011.[6] Due to the increasing numbers of participants, estimated in their thousands by 2012, the once adequate feeding arrangements have become overwhelmed and a number of "pop up" food stands have been introduced, with the blessing of the organisers, to help meet demand. The main feeding stop was moved from the small village hall at Great Waldingfield (approximately 66 miles (106 km) out) to Sible Hedingham (about 50 miles (80 km) out) in 2010. Due to noise and littering issues Sible Hedingham was withdrawn as a feeding stop and from 2016 onwards the main feeding stop is at the Fire Station in Sudbury (60 miles (97 km) out) with the profits going towards the Firefighters Charity. Volunteers are welcomed to lend a hand by the Firefighters and their families who staff the event.

In 2009, the ride was completed on a penny farthing.[3] In 2011, a rider completed the event on a "Boris bike" hired in central London.[7]

DD XXII – 12 July 2014[edit]

In 2014, Matthew Folwell completed the route on a BMX bike.[8]

DD XXIII – 4 July 2015[edit]

In 2015 the ride attracted over 2,000 participants, with the main feeding station at Sible Hedingham, at the 50 miles (80 km) point, for the final time.

DD XXIV – 16 July 2016[edit]

The 2016 ride commenced from London Fields, Hackney on the evening of 16 July. The half way stop was 60 miles (97 km) out at Sudbury Fire Station, just over the Suffolk border. The Bike of the Ride was 'The 4 man chopper' a four-person, four wheeled chopper bike designed by Glenn Morris (aka Professor Shed) and built by Team Shed in Ipswich raising money for Re-cycle, bicycles for Africa.

Route[edit]

The ride starts at London Fields and passes through Walthamstow, Epping, Moreton, Great Dunmow, Finchingfield, Sudbury, the Waldingfields, Needham Market, Cretingham, Framlingham, Peasenhall and Westleton, ending at Dunwich Beach.

Other rides[edit]

Following the popularity of the Dunwich Dynamo, similar rides have been organised elsewhere in the UK:

  • Darkmoor, a circuit from Plymouth over Dartmoor
  • Exmouth Exodus which runs from Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol (until 2013) and later Bath (from 2014) to Exmouth seafront.[9][10]
  • Ride to the Sun, from Carlisle to Cramond near Edinburgh
  • Solstice Sunride, from Cambridge to Lowestoft.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Max Wooldridge, London to Suffolk on two wheels and a baked potato, 24 June 2001, The Independent
  2. ^ Matt Seaton, Two wheels, 27 Sept 2007, The Guardian
  3. ^ a b c James Randerson, A moonlit bike ride to remember: the legendary Dunwich Dynamo, The Guardian, 7 July 2009
  4. ^ Police name night crash cyclist, 10 July 2006, BBC News
  5. ^ Dunwich Dynamo FAQs 2011 Archived 2012-12-24 at Archive.is, Southwark Cyclists, 28 Jun 2011. Retrieved 19 Feb 2012
  6. ^ Southwark Cyclists,Dunwich Dynamo FAQs Archived 2012-06-16 at the Wayback Machine.,Organisers website, 8 June 2012
  7. ^ Tong, Leo (19 July 2011). "How I cycled the Dunwich Dynamo on a Boris bike". Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Facebook: True dedication to the BMX". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  9. ^ The Exmouth Exodus, 10 June 2008, BBC
  10. ^ http://www.exmouthexodus.co.uk
  11. ^ Facebook - Solstice Sunride 2018

External links[edit]