Saturday, July 04, 2009

Dunwich Dynamo 2009

The ride from Welling didn't go well. I should have known then that this year's DD was to be fraught with troublesome and annoying glitches. For a start, what I thought was quite a simple journey was longer than I anticipated, with many sources of delay.

Woolwich Ferry - only one today set me back about 25 minutes. The Greenway was in a state - pre Olympics chaos, I assume, ripped up, some bits new, some bits gone completely, and with ridiculous anti-panniers barriers in place along part of the route forcng me to dismount every 5 minutes. Lots of dog walkers too, with little bonzo sniffing something disgusting at the other end of a long lead which just happens to be stretched out across the width of the path and the owner not paying attention.

And getting from Stratford to Hackney was more difficult than it used to be due to road closures, and no provision for cyclists on what is part of the London Cyclist Network.

Picture below: Hackney Fields in 2008, prior to start of last year's Dunwich Dynamo.

So I arrived at Hackney, the last mile or so combatting heavy traffic on narrow roads, at 8.30 pm - many had already started the DD, many others were still hanging about on the Green or round the pub.

S was there to see me off - as is traditional. We talked and hugged, I gave her some back rubs, and we generally enjoyed being in each other's company - which is very rare these days. she brought me some home-made ginger ale, which was genuinely tasty, but with lumps of ginger in it, which should really have been filtered out.

I saw someone who was really familiar in London Fields, couldn't quite place him. I was to see him again later, in Dunwich.. Never found out who he was though.

Anyway - as I hadn't seen S for such a long time, it was difficult to say goodbye, even though I'd been urging her to join me on part of my trip through Suffolk and Essex, I doubted she'd make it. The upshot was I started late. Later than almost everyone. It also meant that I got lost. I should have stuck to the official route, but a lot of people seemed to be taking a short cut, and I just happen to be following a group doing just this. I was keeping up to them right up to the point where they ran a red light and I didn't - too dangerous - and I had to let them go. then I realised I was completely lost.

As I didn't have an A-Z - the first of two occasions that I needed one - I resorted to early use of my compass watch, and kept a generally north east orientation until I reached signs for Epping.

Finally joined the DD at Epping Forest, and no longer at the back, stopped for snacks at the EF Shell service station (left: in 2008). This is the most likely spot for complete twats in cars giving us a hard time. And guess what - the only really negatoive reaction from motorists this year was right then, cars leaving the forecourt had to show us their pathetic displeasure, revving engines, wheel spin, comment just as car leaves such as "cunts" or "wannnkerrrrs!!" Yes - it really is as sophisticated and witty as that. And you can imagine how chastened we all were after that!

Had a good start then, the run out through outer London and into rural Essex was uneventful, I kept a steady pace, and managed not to get lost. For a while anyway.

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