Friday Night Ride to the Coast has been spreading the joy of night riding for almost 15 years
If you missed this years Dunwich Dynamo, or feel that its a little too big, chaotic or (whisper it) competitive, you might trying catching the next Friday Night Ride to the Coast.
This is a carefully organised event run by the Fridays, a club devoted to the singular cause of safely delivering you at a conversational pace from the Smoke to the sea. They do this every month from spring through autumn, requiring only third party insurance and an annual membership fee of 2.
The FNRttC, as its known to veterans, has been spreading the joy of night riding for almost 15 years, flying quietly under the radar of most cyclists dazzled by mass congregations such as the Dynamo and the Exmouth Exodus.
It was started by Simon Legg, who spent a decade escorting thousands to Brighton, Whitstable and other destinations with decent transport links. When he retired he entrusted his legacy to a group of seasoned ride leaders who take turns as mother hen.
The distance ranges from 55 to 75 miles, and popular routes can attract more than 100 participants. There are tail-end Charlies and human waymarkers, sometimes recruited on the spot, to ensure nobody is lost or left behind.
Rides begin at midnight with a chat about safety and etiquette, jokes optional. Mechanical problems along the way are met with expert assistance, though youre advised to give your bike a thorough checkup beforehand, and particularly implored to lose everything that you dont really, really need.