Saturday, 11 July 2015

The legend does #DunwichDynamo XXIII

Last weekend we did the Dunwich Dynamo XXIII, 113 miles from Hackney, Londonfields to Dunwich Beach in Suffolk coast.

The last 2 years we have said that we would do the Dunwich Dynamo but due to work etc the human couldn't the last 2 yrs but this year, the timing was right.

Excited wouldn't even begin to cover it.

But first things first I had to figure out what I would take with me. I didn't want to be too heavy and only take stuff I would actually use on the ride. Figured out that if our average speed was about 12mph I would finish around 10:00hrs if we set out on the official start time of 20:00hrs. Checked the weather & any rain would be after 10:00hrs. Decided to leave my full waterproofs as I would only be used for a short period near the end of the ride and by that time I would be much into the ride to let a little rain bother me.

Packing my B'Twin 700 Ultralight windproof jacket that I've had for awhile as its much lighter and packs smaller than the B'Twin 300 waterproof jacket.

Should be all we'll need for the #DunwichDynamo Sandwiches to be made later #bromptonlife #legends #100miles
Packing for the Dunwich Dynamo XXIII
I took everything here but decided not to take the hydro pack & bladder at the last moment and very glad I did.

I wasn't sure about how many water/food stations would be on the ride but Daniel said his friend, who by the way had cycled all the way from Japan (not for the Dynamo I might add)would be taking lots of water for everyone to share if needed. So in that case I just packed a few electrolytes tablets to add to my water bottle when I refilled.
With my mind at ease on my water supply I loaded up with just the food, windproof jacket, spare long finger gloves, clear glasses, recharge pack in the Mini O bag & all my tools, spare tubes etc Topeak Aero Wedge saddle bag.
With the start at 20:00hrs & only 30min ride away, we had plenty of time get ready.
On leaving the HiVE I felt excited and dare I say it a little nervous. As I rode down to London Fields Park in Hackney the gentle humming of Bumble B settled me down some. When BBB hums I know his in perfect order and ready for anything.
We would be riding with what is now known as "The Bee Team" consisting of Jenny, Samantha, Daniel and a few others.


London Fields Park was pretty busy with riders of all kinds of bicycles of all shapes and sizes. Just before the start I noticed that BBB’s rear frame clamp wouldn’t engage properly after I changed out the suspension block. Lucky a fellow rider knew abit about Bromptons (works in Evans) and sorted the problem out short term that it would engage so that was 1 less thing to worry about. Cheers buddy you saved our bacon.


Everyone that we have ridden with in past events where there and it was a bit hard to see where my friends where. Just before the start I did manage to say hello to my cycling partner in crime OrangeBrompton. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with him on this ride but made sure we wished each other good luck and maybe see each other at Dunwich Beach.
As the official start time approached riders started to move towards the start line as it where.


And we was off, our first few miles where just getting out of Hackney which I knew quiet well. Heading up towards Epping we went riding along the roads which started to get quieter and quieter.


One of our first "pit stops"


We was motoring along pretty good as the darkness came.
The thing I love the most about the Dynamo is that the pubs & halls along the way in some of the villages we pass stay open later just for us to get water, food & even beer for the hungry riders.

First of many pub stops
I have to say for an "unsupported" ride it was more supported than paid supported rides I have been on in the past.


Eating up the miles the darkness was getting darker, even more darker in the countryside than in the city but with our lights we didn't have any problems seeing what was ahead of us.


The food stations where coming thick and fast. I had no idea there would be so many food stations as I could have packed a lot less sandwiches. Definitely glad I left the hydro pack at home as I wouldn't have needed it.

BBB with a full moon
Our first major food stop and a well earned break around the 50 mile mark.


OH MY GOD that spicy soup thing was AMAZING. My compliments to the organizers at this half way pitstop. Saw a few faces that I have seen on a number of rides in the past and was good to say hello and give each other abit of encouragement.

Seriously it was AWESOME & SPICY!


After having that amazing soup I felt I had been completely recharged and ready for 200 miles :D

Well it was time to eat up the miles, we still had a long way to go so lets get to it.

Getting into a good cadence we kept a decent pace going, the new change in my rear cogs was paying off as I was spinning less but kept a good speed going.

Finally we could hear the morning songs of the birds surrounding us. We dawn was arriving and it was going to be a lovely warm day. Cycling though the night every so often we had to put on an extra layer but then find we had to take it off again as we got warmer. Most of the time I just put on my windproof jacket which worked a treat.

Group photos
Cycling though out the night does funny things to a person ;)

Hello sunshine, where have you been?

Unofficial pitstop
I have to say I was still surprised by all the support we was having along the way, even at silly o'clock in the morning there was people supporting us, cheering us on, keeping us supplied with water & snacks. Even my cycling partner MyOrangeBrompton was sending me txts every so often giving me encouragement as we went which was a HUGE help too.

Are we there yet?


As the sun came to greet us we where starting to really eat the miles up knowing that our goal was so close and we had definitely broken the back of this ride and where going to make it all the way to the Dunwich Beach.

Another very welcome pitstop where we could have a pretty awesome home made hotdogs and coffee. This “dog” was the best hotdog I’ve ever had, very tasty and made by a very worldly cyclist himself.
Worldly cyclist
For some of us it was all to much and just had to catch “40 winks” poor Gus :D


We was getting very close now and I was keeping an eye on my Garmin Edge 800 as I’ve always wanted to take a photos of the screen as it hit 100 miles.


FINALLY it’s happened. I’ve previously done a 100+ mile ride but this was on St. Crispin's Day ride and with the clocks changing my Garmin crashed and lost  over 90miles worth of data. As they say “If it isn't on strava / Garmin connect it didn’t happen”

Well it HAPPENED! :D

The Holy Gail "Century" Ride Data

Just another 14 odd miles left now and no more hills to speak of. I could feel the change in the air and actually started to see some cyclists riding back to Ipswich Station to catch trains back to London.

On this section of the ride we past a young chap and his dad cycling together, I have to say this young lad was about 10 yrs old maybe younger and this kid was really giving it some. A few times he even passed "The Bee Team" and it was actually getting hard to keep up with this kid. I thought seriously this can't happen and I have to say I did have to put it a decent effort to keep ahead of him which was pretty embarrassing but DANG his fast. Oscar was his name and his been doing the DD for the last few years :D *kudos kid*


But then I caught someone saying there where cycling all the way back to London. The Dunwich Dynamo Double?!?!?!? Yup nearly 230 miles round trip. Pretty crazy but these guys where HARDCORE.

Finally we rolled up to Dunwich Beach itself.
WE HAD MADE IT. The Dunwich Dynamo XXIII was in the bag, JOB DONE!


Just after we arrived at about 10:10hrs it started to rain. I’m truly glad it started just after we finished cause doing all that and in the last bit get rained on, I wouldn’t have been a happy bunny at all.

Checked my mobile and had got another txt from my cycling partner MyOrangeBrompton saying he just saw me as he was leaving on one of the out going coaches and said well done.

I did get the chance to have some food as I waited for the 12:00hrs coach back to Surrey Quays.

We had to wait awhile for our coaches home as there was major traffic getting in and out of Dunwich as you could imagine. Finally got on the 12:00hrs coach with BBB safely tucked away in the luggage compartment of the same coach so I didn’t have to wait around at the drop off point to get back to the HiVE.

Just managed to snap this quick photos of everyone on the coach fast asleep, well who can blame them, I didn't stay up much longer after taking this snap but you can see I'm still buzzing abit from doing my second 100+ mile ride.

"I see sleeping cyclists!"
I'd like to thank EVERYONE on this ride, my fellow cyclists, the cheerers, the pub landlords (for staying open a few more hrs for hungry/thirsty cyclists), coach drivers & loaders, the staff at the Dunwich Cafe...... and many more I've probably forgotten.

It was an AWESOME ride and with friends made it even better, couldn't have done it without you ALL.

till the next ride, bee safe.....

Thursday, 2 July 2015

See the road ahead

Every time I ride I’m always wearing cycling glasses of some kind of another.
I’ve been using some cheap sunglasses for the last few years only for them to break pretty quickly a few months.

I’ve always got frames with multiple lenses so when I needed to change the dark lenses for clear or yellow for night riding I would flex the frames to change the lenses. Over time the plastic frames would weaken and then break. I needed something different and better.

Once again while I was cruising Decathlon UK I spotted some cycling/running glasses. What draw me to them was that the whole glasses where of the same material and the price was cheap enough for me to get 3 sets. Clear, Yellow & Dark
  • Sun Protection - Category 0,1 & 3 lenses - 100% UV protection
  • Low Weight / Lightweight -  24 g.   
  • Field Of Vision - Large lenses: provide enhanced peripheral vision.    
  • Durability / Solidity -Polycarbonate lens: impact resistant.   
  • Support - Flexible arm tips: better hold of the glasses.   
  • Anti-Fogging - Frameless glasses: promotes ventilation.   
  • Coverage - Wraparound design: protects the eyes from wind, splashes and bad weather.   
  • Guarantee : 2 Years

Orao Arenberg Cycling Sunglasses Category 0 - Clear

Orao Arenberg Cycling Sunglasses Category 1 - Yellow

Orao Arenberg Cycling Sunglasses Category 3 - Grey


I have been using them for a couple of weeks now and for me they work great. Even on cold mornings when my eyes tend to water a lot these keep that to a minimum so I can see the road without any problems.

Much easier than having to fiddle about changing out lenses and not knowing when the frames will break due to the stresses of pulling them apart all the time. At £3.99 a pair you can't really go wrong.





Links to Decathlon UK
ORAO ARENBERG CYCLING SUNGLASSES CATEGORY 0 - CLEAR
ORAO ARENBERG CYCLING SUNGLASSES CATEGORY 1 – YELLOW
ORAO ARENBERG CYCLING SUNGLASSES CATEGORY 3 –  - GREY
 

till the next ride, bee safe…..

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review: B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket

My cycling partner had found a great little waterproof cycling jacket at what is now becoming one of my favorite stores Decathlon UK

We have been looking for a lighter waterproof jacket that could be packed small to take with us when the weather was questionable but the most important thing is that it has to be of course yellow. When we was looking there seemed to only be Red & Blue available.

We had to wait a few weeks I even emailed Decathlon UK & B’Twin to see when the yellow edition would be back in stock. I didn’t get the answers I wanted so I thought I would just keep monitoring the website as best I could and maybe we’d get lucky.

We got lucky !

I bring to you the B’Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket in Yellow


B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket
  • WATERPROOFING - Waterproof main fabric, sealed upper seams
  • BREATHABILITY - Vents under the arms to reduce perspiration while cycling
  • LOW WEIGHT / LIGHTWEIGHT - Single lightweight waterproof layer
  • VISIBILITY – Reflective strips
This jacket is a good middle ground of cycling jackets for me personally. Nothing too heavy, too light just right & packable.




Reflective strips


Zip waterproof pockets
As you can see it can be packed pretty small, easily get into a saddle bag or Mini O Bag

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket & Overtrousers
I have worn it once in a light shower while commuting to work and I have to say I was pretty impressed by it. I wasn't even sweaty underneath it but then again I was only cycling for a short time.

This is a great addition to my cycling kit and will put my mind at ease with the Dunwich Dynamo XXIII that's coming up in a week.

For £7.99 you can’t really go wrong either. (The other colours are £11.99 at the time of posting but still a good price)

B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket- Red
B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Jacket- Blue

My Review: B'Twin 300 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

till the next ride, bee safe.....