It was the 25th Dunwich Dynamo this weekend, and the fifth ridden by your correspondent.
Starting from a park in Hackney, the Dynamo is a madcap 116-ish mile dash from London through the night to the sea-covered remains of a medieval town that was once its rival.
A sportive this isn’t: the lovely folks of Southwark Cyclists arrange coaches and trucks back to London for you and your machines, but other than that, you’re on your own. The event attracts all sorts, from club riders swooshing to the coast by dawn, to packs of fairy-lighted Bromptons arriving six hours later but no less triumphantly.
The event is a celebration of mild transgression in straitened times, with circadian rhythms and the concept of strangers put on hold for a summer night.
Below is a personal account of how it all unfolded, with timings handily included so you can gauge my state of mind as the sun disappeared then turned up again.
7:30pm: A man at the lights by London Bridge station is wearing a lycra top bulging with bananas. I grin at him. He grins back, which means, yep, he’s also a Dun Runner. Our little cycling tributary is swelled by more riders at every junction, and by London Fields we’re as mighty as the Walbrook once was.
8:15pm: We’re under way. We join hundreds of other bikes crawling on out through Hackney. On Mare Street, a man in a car beeps his horn at the throng. “Make some space,” he shouts, with accidental irony.