The Dunwich Dynamo

DunwichFor months and months I’ve been promoting the idea of night cycles to the coast as a great challenge to Do and raise DoActions for. I’ve actually been talking of doing the Dunwich Dynamo myself – the king of all night cycles – for three years now. But I’ve never done any of them.

So I figured it was time to buck up and get involved, walk the talk and all that. The Dunwich Dynamo is a 120mile cycle from Hackney, North London to Dunwich, on the Suffolk coast, over night. Perfect, if that’s the kinda thing you go for.

The timing was pretty bad with the Do Awards, recruitment, moving house, and all sorts of other stuff going on leaving me little or no time to train.  But I wasn’t going to allow myself any excuses, so figured that come pain, rain, or shine, I’d manage to get through it somehow.

Thankfully I had some equally foolhardy friends to do it with. To help motivate and commit us to keep pedalling (and also in the name of walking the talk), we created a Do page, set ourselves a target of raising 1,000 kgCO2, and got our friends involved in supporting us through this madness.  Then we baked some banana bread and flapjacks, pumped the tires up, slurped some coffee, and rode off into the night…

I was pretty sure that there’d be times when we’d be painfully pushing through and playing mind games with ourselves; deliriously muttering ‘pedal, pedal, pedal’ under our breath; endlessly reassuring ourselves that it’d be worth it in the end, that we’d get there soon…

But there was none of that. As we cycled along the rolling Suffolk lanes through sunset, moonlight, and sunrise, we had 12 hours of endless banter, smiles and giggles. That somewhat disconcerting in a weird way as it only went to confirm my fears: we must be nutters.

We pushed through our Do target, with our sponors saving a respectable 1,066 kgCOtogether.  But we weren’t the only Doers on the ride – it was great to meet Pete Burgess at the start, amongst the other 2,000 odd riders, who kicked our lycra clad butts in sponsorship, saving an impressive 1,186 kgCO2, earning himself title of June’s Doer of the Month.

But even more surreal was stopping to ask directions from a fellow rider at 4am, who, on seeing my nicely branded t-shirt, cheered out “The DoNation – nice one!”. It turns out he sponsored Life Size Media for their DoNopoly challenge earlier in the year. That’s what we like to see.

At 9.15am, filled with tea and exhilaration, we finally rolled down onto Dunwich beach. Some were disappointed by the lack of sand (yes, we’d just spent 12 hours cycling to a shingle beach…), but I had eyes for nothing but the cool crashing waves…

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