Instead of going to a strip bar and getting so drunk you allow your best friends to strip you naked and put you on a train bound for Belgrade, my mate Webby decided to eschew a traditional style stag night and introduce the Dunwich Dynamo into the celebration of his impending shacklement.
The plan was to ride the DD then decamp to another friend’s house, reasonably nearby, where we would eat, drink and be merry.
The “Stag Train” was a group of 9 riders, mostly ex-couriers, 6 geared 3 fixed and all experienced Dunwich runners, except for me, this was going to be my first time. A week of early nights and carb loading was promptly forgotten as we collected a take away curry, some half-bottles of rum and sat drinking beer and eating some pretty decent tandoori in London’s famous London Fields. We zip-tied a pair of snazzy furry antlers to the Stag’s Giro lid and as soon as the directions were handed out, and we’d got bored with dodging fox poo, off we went.
On our way out of town we kept seeing handmade yellow signs depicting a bicycle, and assuming they were some useful waymarkers for the DD, we followed them until we realised we’d gone about 4 miles off course. Gary’s GPS phone and a man in the garage were unanimous in agreement: we had to “go thataway”. It turned out to be a lovely detour, adding 5 miles to our journey and taking in a climb of Buckhurst Hill where we witnessed two stunning young ladies in full evening dress, in a hedge, engaged in a pugilistic encounter! My thoughts of stopping to “break it up” were doused by the need to get back to the route, so we could grab some pints at a country pub once we’d got past Epping forest.
Meeting the main bunch of riders along this stage we made it to a great country pub around 2220 without incident (if you discount the bit where John’s new light fell off and got ran over by me and then a 4×4. He didn’t seem too upset, but the batteries did apparently have some sentimental value)
Saw a few familiar faces at this point and we stayed at the pub, shouting at passing riders, until most of them had headed off again, which after last orders we also did, the ride settling into a decent pace along increasingly deserted roads, with the odd intellectual shout of encouragement from passing high-performance cars.
The food stop was a most welcome break, three of us had dropped off the group slightly and pushed hard over the last 10 miles to Lavenham with Webby’s handlebar mounted stereo pumping out some tunes to help us over the rolling countryside. Again I bumped into some slightly more knackered looking familiar faces and again we stayed a long time, until we were sure the sun would be rising fairly soon and we would no longer be able to shine our lights on Wingnut every time he took a piss by the side of the road, not a man to usually seek publicity, he was probably thankful to be out of the spotlight.
Despite the gearies having a tendency to pull away on the downhills, after stopping in a field to watch the sunrise, swig rum and smoke (and a spot of entymology with Wingnut photographing a pair of strange copulating bugs found on Gary’s bag) , the same group of 9 that had left London made it to Dunwich beach at 0740, in. Our host was waiting there already and our minibus with another mate driving had appeared behind us with about 500 yards to go, perfect! I was well pleased that I’d managed the ride with no pain and no incidents, and that we’d had excellent weather all the way.
Once we’d sated our appetites with some bacon and sausages barbecued on the beach, we said goodbye to three of the guys who were going home and went off to Nick’s house to begin (or was it continue?) the serious business of getting horribly drunk.
The number crunching goes something like this:
80 + pints of Adnams
1 bottle o’ rum
½ a lamb
½ a pig
several bags of sweets
130 odd miles
67.5 gear inches
1 pair of battered, but intact antlers.