Definitely not a sportive, the Dunwich Dynamo is nevertheless one of the ‘must ride’ events of the summer calendar for many cyclists. 2021 sees the 29th edition of the annual 200km night ride from London Fields in Hackey to Dunwich on the Suffolk Coast.
The Dynamo is an unsupported ride that gets bigger every year. From its origins in 1992 when a handful of riders took part to the nearly 3,000 riders in 2017, the “Dun Run” or “DD” as regulars call it, is becoming more and more popular. It is roughly 200km, although we are told by a recent rider that his Garmin recorded it as 193km.
The DD is usually held on the Saturday night/Sunday morning nearest to full moon in July. This is to ensure riders have the maximum amount of moonlight to ride in. The event starts at the Pub in the Park in London Fields with riders leaving between 8pm and 9pm; most get to Dunwich between 7am and 9am, ready for a quick swim in the sea or a pint in the village pub, The Ship Inn.
Riders can buy a route map for the bargain price of £1 but the route is so busy that you can pretty much get by just following the red lights of other cyclists. Riders of all levels of abilities do the Dunwich Dynamo and it is very much a friendly ride rather than a super competitive one. There isn´t too much climbing either and someone in 2011 even finished it on a Boris Bike.
There is no official feed stop planned for 2021, but because of the quantity of riders on the DD there are now a lot of people with pop up stalls in their front gardens, so remember to bring money to pay for it. There is no mechanical support of any kind so bring plenty of inner tubes, a pump etc. And don’t forget to bring lights…and spare batteries if you´re not using a dynamo.
Southwark Cyclists usually lay on return coaches for riders with trailers for bikes.
In 2020 coaches were cancelled over coronavirus concerns. This leaves riders with the option of either riding back to London or to Ipswich, which is 50km away, to get a train home. You need to have pre-booked a bike place on the train through Greater Anglia’s reservation page.
This is one of the classic rides of the British summer calendar and the original night ride that is now being copied by so many others.