Greater Anglia has told cyclists participating in next month’s Dunwich Dynamo not to take the train home – as its new rolling stock has limited space for bicycles.
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In the past, the operator has put Ipswich trains on board with guard vans to help many participants on the all-night summer ride from London to the Suffolk coast back to the capital with their bikes, although he had to restrict the number at times.
But the company said its new intercity trains, which now run on the route, only have space for six bikes each – and won’t be able to keep up with the expected demand from cyclists who have completed. the 120-mile journey, which this year runs overnight from Saturday July 24 to Sunday July 25.
Kim Bucknell, Head of Customer Service East, Greater Anglia, said: “Unfortunately we are unable to support the Dunwich Dynamo this year and we are unable to provide public transport to the large number of cyclists. involved.
“Our new intercity trains each have six bicycle spaces and there is no limit on the number of folding bikes we can carry, but that is not enough for the number of participants in the event.
“We advise cyclists to find another way to bring their bikes back to London.
“We’re sorry that we can’t help attendees, but these restrictions are in place for the safety of our passengers and these rules will also help maintain reliable and on-time service.
“We would like to thank the cyclists and the organizers in advance for their cooperation and understanding. “
In fact, the Dunwich Dynamo doesn’t have an organizer – it started in 1993, when a group of couriers left a London pub on a Friday night, headed east and didn’t stop until after. have reached the North Sea.
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Over the next three decades it steadily grew in popularity and, before the coronavirus crisis, around 3,000 cyclists took part each year, meeting at Pub On The Park at London Fields in Hackney at 8 p.m. for a 9pm departure – although some leave earlier or later before heading to Suffolk via the Essex countryside.
Since 2000, Southwark Cyclists has been providing coaches to help participants who have reserved a seat return to the capital, followed by their bikes in a fleet of vans, carrying around 1,000 riders in 2019.
However, the service was suspended last year, and according to an update in the group’s February newsletter, it seems extremely unlikely that will happen this time around.
For those making it all the way to Dunwich, therefore, alternative arrangements will have to be made, such as meeting friends or partners with a motor vehicle, while some will no doubt be content to dip their toes. in the sea, get back on their bikes and ride to London.
Another impact of the coronavirus pandemic is that some of the rest areas along the route that give the event much of its festival feel will be missing – although according to an article on the Dunwich Dynamo Facebook group page, the Fyfield Pit Stop, operated by the 1st Moreton and Fyfield Scouts in Essex, will be open.
There is an alternative ride organized by Greenwich Cyclists which will take place on Saturday July 24th, also leaving Pub On The Park albeit at 5pm earlier, and going only to the White Hart in Moreton, a few miles away. after Epping, for a “hospitality” stopover.
After taking appropriate refreshments, the idea is to return to Epping via Ongar and take a train – the city is only served by the central London Underground line – to the capital, although the restrictions mean that bikes can only be taken to Leyton.
Seats on this route can be reserved here, with nearly 300 people registered at the time of writing.