Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

For more information on the Cafes I have visited and the latest cafe cycle news go to http://www.cake-crusader.co.uk/

Cake Crusader Book

There is now a Cake Crusader book available where you can follow my journey from humble local trips to world record attempts and near-death experiences. How did a simple method of keeping track of decent cycling café pit stops turn my life upside down? Track my adventures into Europe, up mountains and right across Great Britain as I become a 'rising star' on social media. Will I prove my critics wrong? Should cheese scones be served hot or cold? Do I really have nothing better to do with his time? A must read for lovers of cycling and cake or anyone wanting to make it big in the virtual world

Available on Amazon


Monday, 5 April 2021

Egg Hunt. ( Station Cafe, Reepham)

Station Cafe,

Reepham,

Everyday 10-2:00 (during lockdown),

Recommended

Lockdown has obviously been a difficult time for cafes and tearooms and although I try and do my bit every week there is only so much takeaway cake you can eat and sadly some of my favourite venues have shut down. I was therefore very happy to hear that the Railway café at Reepham was still going strong after a change of management last summer, so I felt it was time for a visit.

As it was Easter Sunday I was surprised that Big George had agreed to be todays cycling guest because each year he is normally out looking for presents from the Easter bunny but he promised he would complete his search in time for our departure. Sadly he reported that for the 50th year running the Easter bunny had not left him anything but he thought it may have been because he hadn't looked hard enough and would continue his search on our return.

As I hadn't been sure that Big George would make it I had also invited Alastair as back up cycling guest and upon his arrival at Crusader Towers the three of us set off toward Reepham.

On the way to Reepham

The café is situated on the Marriotts way but we took a road based route as we enjoyed the lovely Spring sunshine and blue skies.
Lovely spring weather for todays ride

When we got there I was pleased to see there were lots of other cyclists littering the site. It was obviously a bit of a cycling Mecca but fortunately the café was very efficient so people didn't have a long to wait for their drinks. 
Lots of cyclists could be found all round the café
Social distancing and mask wearing was also being properly observed.
Outside the café ready to venture in 
The cake selection was a good one and I chose a blondie with mini eggs, in order to get into the Easter spirit. Sadly Big George had led Alistair astray and they both went for a sausage sandwich which was neither cake or very Easterie. 
A very good cake selection

We did better on the drinks front and covered all the bases of Hot Chocolate, Coffee and Tea. 

Todays drink selection

Once outside our refreshments were soon delivered and we all thought the food was excellent with my cake scoring very well. The drinks were not so good and all on the weak side. My Hot Chocolate was Cadburys or similar which, as you know, gets a standard 5 out of 10 as its not my favourite.

However we all very much enjoyed our visit to the Station Cafe and I recommend a visit, especially if you are on the Marriotts way. Me and Big George decided we would do that trip in the near future and definitely stop off here again.

As we set off back to Norwich we saw a sign to Reepham's other disused station at Whitwell. It seemed surprising that a village of this size could have ever needed two stations but a quick bit of research on Google said they were part of infrastructure improvements made in the 1930's as part of Reepham's failed Olympic games bid.

The journey home was uneventful although the promised wind behind seemed to be straight into our faces making the going surprisingly hard. Big George was keen to get back quickly so he could continue his egg hunt but as I write there has been no news of any successful finds. Maybe next year.

Scores

Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating

5

5

7.7

8.0

7.8

6.70

Route

Click here to download 35 mile Norwich Reepham loop gpx to your GPS






Wednesday, 3 March 2021

New Friend. (The Front Room, Bungay)

Front Room,

Bungay,

Opening times Tue- Sat 9 - 4:00,

Highly Recommended

It has certainly been a long time since I have been able to post about a new (to me) cafe so I was very excited when Howard put a comment on my Facebook page to point me in the direction of the Front Room in Bungay as I was an aware of it. 

I selected Big George to be my cycling guest on this adventure as he can normally be relied upon and so on a chilly and misty spring day we set off to cover the 40 mile round trip.

A cold and misty day in Norfolk, which was very quite.

Big George informed me that he had done a lot of baking during lockdown and asked if I would like to meet his new friends Mr and Mrs Scone-Hands. He proceeded to whip off his gloves and make me have a conversation with his hand about his latest fruit scone action, whilst he put on a “funny” Mr Scone-Hands voice (apparently Mrs Scone-Hands doesn’t speak). Note to self, find different cycling guest until after lockdown.

As it was rather cold Big George put his gloves back on so with baking based chat with Mr Scone-Hands curtailed we continued in silence until we arrived in Bungay where we found the Front Room at the Earsham end of the high street

Outside the Front Room before joining the wrong queue

It is a takeaway only establishment which of course makes no difference in these times. They seemed to be doing good business with a queue for orders and a separate one waiting for their drinks. Unfortunately we picked the wrong queue delaying our refreshments and opportunity to warm up until gently pointed in the right direction.

I checked out the window cake display which had a reasonable selection all of which I liked the look off but eventually picked the orange polenta cake to have with my hot chocolate. Big George had a flat white and a slice of frittata. Big George wasn't fooling me and even though frittata is cake shaped it isn't cake so he would play no further part in any exciting cake rating activities today.

Good Cake selection displayed in the window
We collected our stuff from the correct queue and headed to the local park behind Bungay Castle. I know the rules and insisted we continued to exercise whilst we had our drinks and cake. We did put them down on a bench between star jumps and push ups which may have been illegal but I wasn't sure.

Cakes and drinks possibly illegally sitting on a bench

My hot chocolate and cake were both excellent and worth another trip to the Front Room to try more of their cake range. Big George said his coffee was very good too. I would highly recommend a visit, especially at the moment.

Big George had taken off his gloves to consume his frittata so I was able to have a nice chat with Mr Scone-Hands who had apparently had never been to Bungay Castle before.

Bungay Castle which Mr Scone-Hand had never been to.

The return trip had wind behind so was speedier and warmer. Mr and Mrs Scone-Hands were both allowed out and told me they might be doing some baking this afternoon. I had rather warmed to them and certainly found Mr Scone-Hands more interesting and easier to understand than Big George so hopefully he will be able to come cycling with us again.

Final part of ride by which time Big George had sadly put his gloves on again
Scores

Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating

8.2

7.5

7.0

8.6

6.0

7.46

>Click here to download 40 mile Norwich Bungay loop gpx file for your gps




Monday, 11 January 2021

The Dark Knit Rises. (Long term corona virus update 4)

Long Term Corona Virus update 4

I should have learnt by now that you never tell anyone you're over your long term corona virus (LTCV) as it only ever ends in disappointment. This was certainly the case for me. I had started to regularly cycle again during September and was confident enough to say that, after 6 months, I had finally put the LTCV behind me. My how the virus must have been laughing as within a couple of days I was feeling ill again and spent most of October and November on the sofa.

It wasn't all bad news as with cycling on hold I decided I needed something else to occupy me on my road back to health and happiness. So I headed to my secret underground bicycle workshop to plan a new activity. After much thinking I decided knitting was the way forward and went in search of wool, needles and Youtube videos.

So this is what I have been up to since I became the Dark Knit and transformed the bike cave into an arts and crafts area. Sadly the one downside is that you can't knit and eat cake at the same time as its hard to operate the needles with sticky fingers.

Knitting area at Crusader Towers

I found that a bit of knitting everyday was good distraction from feeling unwell and set myself the task of knitting all my running friends bobble hats (like it or not). After 4 practice hats of various quality I was happy to wear one in public and felt my winter knitwear collection was complete.

The Dark Knit Winter 2020 collection

I therefore offered to knit my first hats for the running group. Both Jet and Sharon opted for a hat in my most ambitious stitch, the Moss, and on delivery they claimed they were happy to wear them, at least in my presence. 

So with the bobble hat production line in full swing I have also turned my attention to a new cape (or possibly blanket) and have set off on a 63 square, 3 colour, 4 stitch adventure which I hope to have complete by the start of the next pandemic in a few years time.

The start of the Cape Crusaders new 63 square knitted cape

One other bonus of knitting is being able to join in a knit and natter session, which you can do on zoom at the moment. Although cycling maintenance and football chat are rather light on the agenda you do pick up some top knitting tips. 

Knit and natter top knitting tip no 1. Don't knit with dark wool as it is more difficult to see what you are doing, especially if it goes wrong.

Having missed lockdowns one and two, which were more of lie downs for me, I am pleased to report I'm feeling a lot better and enjoying my daily exercise in lockdown 3. Obviously there is no opportunity for cycle cafe adventures but hopefully that will be back on the agenda soon. But in the meantime you will just have to make do with knitting tips and ideas.

BTW I'm still not saying I'm over LTCV yet as that is just asking for trouble.



Thursday, 1 October 2020

Double puncture day (Brickyard cafe, Hedenham)

Brickyard Café,

Hedenham,

Tue- Sat 8-3.30, Sun 10-3.30

Highly Recommended

Not surprisingly visits to new cafes have been in short supply recently so it was good to have the opportunity to go somewhere new (ish) today. However I haven't been idle as I have revisited many of my favourite cafes to see how they are operating in these difficult times. So if you want to know which cafes are currently open check out my guide (see Latest post lockdown cafe info).

Today I was off to Hedenham near Bungay where the Every days a Picnic café (EDAP) has changed hands and is now The Brickyard Café. After the recent wet and windy weather I have had to refresh some of my wet weather gear so today I was modelling my new cycling boots. They looked great but had an unfathomable foot entry system which I couldn't work out so even though todays cycling guest, Big George, turned up 10 minutes late my feet were still not ready to go. When I did eventually get them on I must say they were worth the effort and kept my feet warm and dry all ride.

New winter boots with unfathomable feet entry system and gloves
We eventually set off and caught up on stuff before our next incident. About a year ago I changed to tubeless tyres which has pretty much offered me a puncture free cycling experience. Big George also tried to change over to the latest technology but didn't get on with them so had gone back to tyres with inner tubes.

A few miles before the café stop  Big George demanded we stop and I wasn't at all smug when he had a front wheel puncture. I always come prepared for such events and got out a short novel to read while he changed the tube. When this was eventually complete he went to reinflate only to discover his pump must have fallen off earlier on the ride. Fortunately I have a small emergency one which I was prepared to offer him, for free, on this occasion.
Big George starts the repair process while I settle down to read my book

As I reminded him of the benefits of inner tube free wheels we completed the short distance to the Brickyard cafe which we found on the Norwich Bungay Road.
Outside the Brickyard cafe in my smart new cycling boots

As is the way now it was masks on as we were accompanied to our seats for a full table service experience, the first part of which was to scan the track and trace QR code. I did manage to snap the cakes on the way past and was able to allocate a high effective cake selection score.
Todays good looking cake selection

I was glad to see a choice of hot chocolates on the menu and, as always, went dark. I also went for the chocolate Guinness cake. (Note. Back in 2015 EDAP won my cake of the year with their Chocolate Guinness cake and had kept their winners certificate on display until they moved on. Hopefully this one will be as good).

Big George had an Americano and Norfolk Rabbit (or cheese on toast to you) as he never has cake.

Our drinks soon arrived and were both excellent attracting high marks.

Todays good looking hot drinks
My cake arrived but everything was not quite perfect as part of the napkin was under the cake and it had icing sugar sprinkled on it. It was now useless for finger/lip crumb wiping duties. Although not the worst example of this by any means I feel I have to keep my #Keepcakeoffserviettes campaign standards up.

Remember keep cake (and icing sugar) off serviettes
With serviette removed I settled down to enjoy my cake but when Big George heard it had Guinness in it he wanted to try some. Eating cake was totally out of character but he claimed it was excellent. As he has no cake based tasting reference point to comment from then I had to ignore his input, although he was quiet right, it was excellent cake.
Very good cake indeed

It had been a very good cafe stop and although its currently difficult to get a full café experience anywhere the Brickyard Cafe had performed well and maintained the high standards EDAP had previously set. The food and drink were excellent and staff very friendly so I highly recommend a visit.

After a quick sanitisation we set off for the return ride and would you believe it Big George got another puncture. This time in his rear. I was secretly pleased on two fronts. Firstly I could read some more of my book and secondly I felt it was reasonable to charge Big George for use of my bike pump this time. I'm not totally unreasonable as I charge by the minute (£5) rather than per pump, which also encourages faster pumping. £10 later we were good to go as we completed the ride in stony silence.

Big Georges 2nd puncture of the day

It was great to be able to try somewhere new again and I'm already looking forward to my next ride by which time I hope to have worked out how to take my new cycle boots off. 

Scores

Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambiance and Atmosphere

Café Rating

7.8

8

7.3

7.8

6.8

7.54

Route

Click on link to download 31 mile Norwich Hedenham loop GPX file for your GPS

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Latest post lock down cafe info

 Latest post lock down cafe info

Last updated 2nd October 2020

I'm currently struggling to find new cafes to try out and post about. Partly because I can only manage about a 40 mile bike ride in my post covid recovery state and partly as this is obviously not a time when lots of new cafes are opening. (However if anyone has any suggestions then please let me know).

I am still visiting lots of my favourite cafes so thought it would be useful to provide a list of cafes that are operating and what my experience was, plus cafes that I believe are currently closed. I will regularly update this post with my findings so keep checking back for the most up to date news. Again if others have experience of cafes open or closed (or believe I've got something wrong) then let me know and i'll add them to the list.

1. Cafes I have visited since lockdown (In Alphabetical order)

Art cafe, Glanford. Seems to be open as normal with extra seating outside. Always worth a visit with great coffee and cakes. We just turned up on spec with no problem. We sat outside.

Black Apollo, Holt. Operating with a table and takeaway service. Still the best coffee in the area plus a great cakes. Number 1 choice for me when going to Holt

Blakeys Bus, Mulbarton. Been 3 times since lock down for the takeaway only service (although I heard a rumour there may now be some out door seating). The seating on the bus is obviously shut. Takeaway works well as you can simply pop across the road and sit on the common. 

Brickyard cafe, (formerly Everydays a picnic), Hendenham. Plenty of well spaced indoor seating ( and some outdoor in courtyard although it was quite busy when we turned up on spec on a Thursday lunchtime. Track and trace via NHS app and table service only as per current guidelines. Staff very friendly and drinks and cakes excellent.

Chestnut Cafe Fundenhall. Great new cafe which opened shortly after lock down. Loads of outdoor space but more limited inside. Great cakes and drinks so well worth a try. Been twice on spec with no problem.

Earsham Street Cafe, Bungay. Very efficient covid set up and you can still take your bikes through the cafe  to park safely by the kitchens. Outdoor seating limited so suggest you book for that but plenty of spaced out indoor seating. We just turned up on spec and got an indoor table. Cakes and drinks were fabulous as always. You need to do track and trace on their website when you are there.

Eaton Park Cafe, Norwich. Lots of outdoor tables and also they do takeaway to sit in the park and have. There was quite a long queue when we went as it was one group at a time inside. Track and trace was done by the queuing marshal who was managing numbers etc at the door. Not sure if booking is an option as you still need to queue up.

Gardeners Kitchen, Burgh Apton. Been 3 times since lock down, once we booked and twice we turned up with no problem. Lots of indoor seating plus extra outdoor seating spread throughout the garden centre. Best selection of cakes anywhere. Strict track and trace on arrival. I would suggest to book at busy times.

Hen House, Wymondham. Operating shorter opening hours (10-2). One person inside at a time, then take your refreshments to eat outside at the tables provided or on the grass. Not sure if sheds are being used yet. Same excellent range of cakes and drinks.

Heydon tearooms, Heydon. Seating outside at front and back. I think there were some tables inside. Takeaway was also available for eating on the common over the road. We booked and wouldn't have got a table if we hadn't. Everything done at the table. Cakes and drinks were still excellent.

Kin Cafe, Hethersett. No indoor seating with tables set up in the car park area in front of cafe. Limited range of cakes but always a pleasant visit. We have been twice on spec with no problem.

OB Cafe, Old Buckenham. Always popular with cyclists and lots of outdoor seating. Limit to number of people who can go in and order at a time. Not sure if indoor seating was in use. No need to book.

Orangery, Ketteringham. Very popular and had to queue (or actually got someone else to) for about 30 mins. Only outside tables in use but can also sit on the massive lawns all the way down to the lake (which is very nice). If you want a table I think you will need to book although we didn’t and take away by the lake was great. They have a flag based ordering fulfilment system in operation.

Painted Barn, Barnham Broom. Outdoor seating only and everything is done at your table (inc track and trace). We turned up on spec and got the last table so again I would probably recommend booking. The shop is open if you go in with facemask etc. Another cafe with great refreshments

Tabnabs, Matilshall. Outdoor seating only in the courtyard. Again best to book if you want to guarantee a table although we went on spec and shared a table with a couple of other cyclists. Cake was exceptional. Track and trace clipboard needs filling in in the doorway.

Teles Patiserie, Surlingham. Outdoor seating only, I think, in the courtyard. A very well organised system and again only one person allowed inside at a time. We had booked (via email only) but there was plenty of room when we turned up and no one else had. The cakes were amazing as always.

2. Cafes I know are open but not yet visited

Peppers, East Harling

Mad Hatters, Wymonham

Aldis cafe, Poringland

Rosie Lees, Loddon

Piece of Cake, Coltishall

Spoon cake, Loddon, Just for takeaway cake I think.

Natural Surroundings, Bayfield

3. Cafes closed at the moment or possibly permanently

Pennoyer Centre, Pulham St Mary

Smile cafe (Formely in a spin), Loddon

St Georges Distillery, Larling

Church Farm cafe (farm shop open), Hethersett

Marsh Larder, Harleston



 


 

Friday, 14 August 2020

Back to Business (Chestnuts Coffee, Fundenhall)

Chestnuts Coffee,

Fundenhall,

Mon, Thur, Fri 9-3, Sat-Sun 9-4,

Highly Recommended

Warning: As if 3 posts on the subject weren't enough (see Trying to recover from 'long tail' Corona virus,  but its not easy! (Part 1)) then this post also contains yet more of my Covid-19 recovery news. 

However that's not the main purpose of this blog as after 5 long months then yesterday I was finally able to do a new cafe cycle blog to a most fabulous recently opened coffee shop.

A few days before lock down then today's cycling guest, Big George, had came on my last new cafe cycle ride which had been on a misty day through an already post apocalyptic Norfolk. However today was hot and sunny and apart from the occasional face mask sighting then things felt more normal with a more optimistic atmosphere in the air. Let’s hope it lasts.

Big George was convinced the weather would break during the trip and had tucked his waterproof in his jersey back pocket. I had opted for no such weatherproofing security so we both hoped the other would be wrong so we could mock their choice.

Despite it now being 150 days since I got the virus I’m still not 100% right although I'm much improved as I have had a number of 30 mile rides under my belt with out any serious relapses. But if I  go a little too fast or far I still start to feel light headed and this was the case after only a few miles today so we had to slow down a bit (and I wasn’t at my best for the rest of the day). Hopefully if I continue my slowly based exercise build up then I will eventually get back to full fitness ready for some longer, and faster, adventures.

Today's ride was a tour of Talcoleston TV mast which I attempted to go past in every direction. We would be heading to the newly opened Chestnuts Coffee shop in a field in Fundenhall. It had recently been recommended to me so I had high hopes. With a still clear blue sky we enjoyed a wide variety of views of the mast whilst me and Big George caught up on the latest news.

The iconic Talcoleston mast was never far from sight

We found the cafe stop next to chestnut campsite. For any campsite snobs (and you know who you are) this is not the campsite cafe but in a field next door with lovely views across the Tas Valley (I think). On the down side you couldn't see Talcoleston mast but on the upside you couldn’t see any tents or caravans either as they were on the other side of a big hedge.

Arriving at Chestnuts Coffee

The first positive sign that this would be a good find was the proper bike racks. This, plus lots well spaced outdoor seating, meant a high atmosphere and ambience score could be awarded.

Excellent Cycle rack facility in the spacious outdoor seating area

Despite having my antibodies certificate (as of June 29th) I still take my social distancing responsibilities very seriously so sanitised and donned my mask before heading inside, whilst keeping Big George 2 metres away of course.

Inside was a seating area, obviously unoccupied on such a hot day, and an excellent cake selection. There were also sausage rolls, (both animal and plant based) and cheese scones. It all added up to a good effective cake selection score.

A very good cake selection

Next bonus was the variety of hot chocolate on offer with a range of strengths. The strongest was 82% which is the one I opted for to accompany my coffee and walnut cake.

Big George then took his turn and went for a flat white and a cheese scone. Like most people in their 20's both mine and Big Georges sons are plant based in their food habits forcing us down the same route in our kitchens. So given the choice today, Big George immediately went for a rare breed pig sausage roll. I always worry about consuming rare pig breed products as I feel the pigs probably wouldn't be so rare if we stopped eating them.

We returned to the outdoor seating area to enjoy the views and our refreshments.

Today's refreshments

Our drinks were both very good. The cake and scones were both very nice if not exceptional with the sausage roll being the star of the show.

Chestnuts coffee has only been open since July and I was very impressed on how much they had got right, especially for the cyclist, and I highly recommend a visit. I will certainly be returning.

Still with a slightly dizzy head we return home, in the dry (so I mocked Big George), and chalked up a 34 mile ride (a new post covid pb). I just hope it won't be another 5 months until my next new cycle cafe post.

Scores

Hot Choc Quality

Guest Hot Drink Quality

Effective Cake Selection

Cake Quality

Ambience and Atmosphere

Café Rating

8.2

8

7.9

7.6

8.2

7.98

Route

Click here to download 33 mile Norwich Wymondham loop gpx file to your gps

Monday, 6 July 2020

Trying to recover from 'long tail' Corona virus, but its not easy! (Part 3)

My Corona Virus Story Part 3
As I have now celebrated 100 days since I got Corona virus I thought it was time for part three of my story. In this episode we will find out how recovery is going, where I think I got Covid 19 from and find out if I actually had the virus at all, plus there is a graph to enjoy.

When you left me at the end of part 2 it was day 61 and I was laid out on the sofa having just had my latest relapse. You may recall that on the 3 previous relapses I started to improve with in a day or so before then setting out on a new recovery plan. However this time was different as I didn't seem to be improving. Each day I would feel queasy and dizzy, sometimes I had to spend it lying down while on other days I was able to gently potter around. The feeling would best be described as how you feel after having a heavy drinking session the day before but without the headache or an enjoyable night. This was bad and the longer it went on the more anxious I became which was clearly making me feel worse. 

The doctor suggested it was time for blood tests, which all came back fine, but after over a week of feeling ill I could think of nothing else to do then have a massive melt down featuring, shouting, tears and throwing things (safely in the garden of course). After 20 minutes of this I felt a bit better and much to the relief of the family I calmed down. I spoke to the doctor again who prescribed me some anti nausea pills which fortunately quickly start to work.

The next day I started to feel better plus I spoke to a physio who had been dealing with other patients like me and advised on what my new plan (which I decide to call plan D) would look like.

Plan D was a cracker. I would start with just resting (not my specialist subject) until I felt ok everyday for at least two weeks. Once I had cracked that I would introduce gentle cycling and, if after another 2 weeks that was ok then I would try golf before eventually introducing running after 6 weeks or so. It was the start of my couch to Iron man plan (can't remember if I had mentioned in the previous posts that I've done 4 Iron man triathlons, well I have) although so far the focus has been more on the couch end of the continuum. 

Plan D started well with two weeks of no exercise meaning I felt good most days and got on with jobs round the garden and some particularly tricky jigsaw action which had rather too much black.
Jigsaw took for ever as all of space looks exactly the same

To make sure I felt I was achieving something I asked family and friends to let me have any bikes they wanted servicing as I could do that at a gentle pace. I'm pleased to say I have now serviced over 20 bikes in my secret underground bicycle workshop and several of them still work.
Bicycle repair action in the secret underground workshop buried deep below Crusader Towers

With plan D phase 1 complete it was on to phase 2. With confidence high I dusted down my bike and went on a gentle 8 miler. I then managed a couple of 15 milers with no after affects (except the odd post ride lie down of course). I was still getting dizzy head, ringing ears and sicky tum but there were now times when I actually felt normal again.
Back on the bike again at last

As the end of the phase 2 period approached I decided to up things to an 18 mile ride and I invited Big George to come along for old times sake.

On the ride the subject got round to where I thought I had caught the dread thing from. I explained my theory. To start with it had been a mystery as I had hardly been out of the house in the fortnight before it arrived and last visited China in 1993. You may recall that all members of the Crusader Towers bubble ended up getting it and three of them lost their sense of taste and smell. When this first happened son George (who had come back from Sheffield University the week before lock-down) realised his housemate had also lost his taste and smell a couple of weeks earlier when this wasn't a known Corona virus symptom. Sheffield had been an early C19 hot spot so it now seems most likely it came back with him, although we will never know for sure. He has obviously been on the naughty step ever since.  

As my ride was concluding I thought business as usual cycling was now back on the agenda but I should have known better as a couple miles from home I felt all funny again with the usual relapse symptoms so by the time I was home I felt proper ill. It was clear I was still not out of the clutches of the virus yet. That night was one of my worst with stomach cramps as a new bonus feature. 

Fortunately this relapse was short lived and I was feeling ok again a couple of days later so I decided to stick to the plan D. 

Big George had also told me that it was possible to have an anti body test at a private doctor for a reasonable price. I decide I needed to know if I had actually had the virus for certain so booked my appointment and had the requisite blood sample taken. I had two days to wait for the results and didn't know what I would do if I had gone through all this only to find I hadn't had it or built up any potential immunity.

So when the test results arrived I was very nervous as I opened the email attachment. And this is what it said

"Anti-SARS CoV 2 IgG Result POSITIVE 

Clinical Comment SARS-CoV-2 IgG Positive. Consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection at some time. Immunity to re-infection is unknown and must not be assumed. Methodology: ABBOTT CMIA

It was a relief that I had definitely had it especially as it would have been rather embarrassing to have written 3 posts on my recovery from the wrong virus. Even more exciting was that I was now part of an official government statistic along with the other 300,000 ish confirmed cases. Well done me.

That pretty much brings us up to date as 10 days since my last dip I've played a few holes of golf and completed two more 15 mile rides (which seems to be my baseline distance for now). I don't know how long it will take but hopefully, given time, I will eventually get fully fit again and be back on the cafe cycle ride trail soon (and get to do another Iron man triathlon too, although I don't like to talk about them).

I did promise you a graph. As I mentioned in part two I have been tracking how I felt each day out of 10 and here it is as in graphical format. Although very slow recovery does seem to be going the right way.
So finally what have we learnt (especially if your are a fitness fanatic (or bore))
1. Make sure people have isolated properly before allowing them into your bubble
2. Even if you don't get the virus badly, you can't exercise your way out of it so rest is best (I can't believe I just wrote that)
3. Build up exercise really slowly until you are confident you are over it.
4. Don't do jigsaws with too much black in them.
5. Try not to get anxious about your recovery as it only makes things worse
6. Avoid looking at Strava and seeing what activities your friends are doing as it just adds to the frustration
7. Come to terms that recovery might take a very long time and try and find other things to do other than sport (apparently there are such things).
8. Never ever, ever, ever tell people you are on the mend as by the next day you wont be
9. Keep a record of how you feel each day to help convince yourself that you are getting better.
10. Eat cake