Record numbers complete the Dunwich Dynamo night ride

photo Two riders show their elation at completing the 116-mile night ride to Suffolk 

An estimated 1000 cyclists rode through the night during the Dunwich Dynamo from London Fields to Dunwich, Suffolk, on Saturday 4 July 2009.

The riders enjoyed a sunny evening and clear night before braving heavy rain on the last leg towards the seaside destination 116 miles from London.

The event, in its 17th year, is organised annually by the Southwark branch of LCC, with halfway refreshments provided by long-time LCC member Patrick Field.

A novel way to enjoy a car-free Suffolk ride
Participant Matthew Moore said, "The highlight for me was riding through the beautiful Suffolk villages in the early morning when there's not a car to be seen, and finishing, of course.

"I couldn't believe how many people took part this year. It's just another sign of how popular cycling is becoming, in all it forms."

Organiser Barry Mason’s effort was hailed as "a work of logistical wizardry", a feat which included bringing back 840 bicycle and tired riders on coaches.

Mr Mason said he was inundated with 'thank you’ emails after the event, “There was one from a tricyclist who has cycled for 37 years all over Europe. He said this was the best-spirited, the most enjoyable ride he’s ever done.”

Riders rode at their own pace, finishing at different times: “The boy racers got there at 3am and waited, whereas the bike-to-workers like me arrived at 8am," said Mr Mason.

Riders enjoyed hearty breakfast at the beach
“The café at the end of the ride opened at 4am and was flat out throughout the morning, selling 900 breakfasts, including 780 eggs.”

One 62-year-old, who has suffered three heart attacks in the past, told Mason he had successfully completed the course.

LCC community cycling officer Rosie Tharp also finished, saying, “The roads were really quiet once we got out of London. There were hardly any cars at all. There was a beautiful sunrise, and it looked like it was going to turn into a gorgeous day... until the rain came.” 

One famished rider who collapsed while queuing for food later quipped, “If you’re going to faint, make sure there's a cute nurse behind you at the time."