RMNC ride to the British National Championships



Saturday: To ride from South London to the village of Walberswick on the Suffolk coast. We’d largely follow the route of the ever-popular Dunwich Dynamo, but deviate towards the end to land at the next beach up the coastline. We would drink plenty of Adnams to rehydrate, then stay overnight at Rowley’s parents who live nearby.

RMNC walberswick express

Distance: 201.7km. Elevation: 1,776m.


Sunday: Smash down some breakfast and get back on the road to continue north into Norfolk. During the ride we would cross the river Yare at Reedham then turn back in-land to Norwich. Hopefully, we would arrive with enough time for some chips before this year’s British Road Race National Championships were due to finish in the city centre. We’d then part ways, some returning to Rowley’s folks place back in Suffolk and others heading back to London via train or after a nap by bike to top up the KMs.


To Norwich for nationals spectathleting

Distance: 141.3km. Elevation: 1,126m.



Saturday: On the way out of London, the Wahoo read 33 degrees celsius before we had even left the city. With over eight hours of baking in the sun on the cards, we took every opportunity to stop to refill the water bottles and to pick up Slurpees or cans of coke. Before we crossed into Suffolk over the River Stour at Sudbury, we stopped at the Cyclist Cafe to refuel ahead of pressing on into the East Anglian countryside.


As the early afternoon heat intensified and the warm winds swept off the fields around us, our jaunt to the English seaside could have been mistaken for a blast through the Loire Valley or the flatlands of Normandy. Sleeves and shorts rolled up and socks rolled down, we ploughed on with mounting sunburn through the villages and market towns that make up the heart of East Suffolk.

Eventually the road gave way to a gravel car park and a wooden bridge crowded with people hunting for crabs. Beyond that, a shingle path down to the beach and the green water of the North Sea at Walberswick.

We jumped into the sea in our kit, ate chips, drank cider, and as the sun started to dip over the forest that surrounds the Suffolk coastline we got back on the bikes to head to Rowley’s parents’ for the evening.


Sunday: Eggy bread for everyone before packing the bikes and heading north. the ELEMNTs took us first to Beccles, a market town that sits at the entrance to the Norfolk Broads, before carrying on to the chain-link ferry at Reedham. 

As this is the only crossing point of the River Yare for a long way, the ferry is a great way of cutting a huge loop off a ride if you’re in a rush to get up to Norwich, as we were that morning. As we sped towards the Broads, a quick Twitter search revealed that a friend of RMNC, Neil Philips, had made his way into the day’s most decisive move, featuring a slew of WorldTour pros including Ian Stannard and Ben Swift. Off the ferry and back on the bikes, we pressed on, now more determined to get to the finish before the peloton did.


Arriving in Norwich we found the event village of the Road Race National Champs and set up shop on a wall running alongside the finishing straight. Having time to indulge, we enjoyed some beers and snacks to keep us going while we watched the race come through. Neil's break didn't stay away to the line, but standing on that wall in the sun with our chips, shouting encouragement to the battle-weary racers, was an awesome way to end the weekend.


All photos by Chris Martin: @studio.chrismartin