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

Saturday, 13 September 2014

More Tea. (Calorie neutral cafe bike ride world record fact find)

Calorie Neutral Bike ride World Record Fact Find 
You may recall that when I first entered the world of cafe cycling one of my aims was to set the world record for the most cafes visited on a calorie neutral bike ride. I have had some set backs on this goal as first the Guinness book of world records refused to validate this activity (see Going alone) and then I had my 'funny turn' and hospitalisation earlier this year (2014) delaying further progress.

So yesterday (Sept 2014) I took the opportunity to take my plan forward by having a trial run and fact find to see how a world record attempt might work.

Since the Guinness Book of so called World Records washed their hands of me I consider myself the self proclaimed arbiter of this record so I have come up with the following rules.

1. The holder of the record will have visited the highest number of different cafes during a single day.
2. All cafes must be independent and not part of national chains
3. All cafes must be visited within their normal opening hours and not open early or kept opened late for a record attempt
4. At each cafe a standard portion of cake or a scone (fruit or cheese) must be consumed. Biscuits, flapjacks or anything pre-packaged will not count.
5. At each cafe a hot chocolate must be consumed. 
6. From the time of arriving at the cafe 400 calories must be burnt off before the next cafe can be visited thus making the ride calorie neutral. (400 calories is based on in-depth internet research on average calories of cakes or scones plus calories of a typical hot chocolate). 
7. If extra calories have been used between cafes then that is tough as they can not be credited against other legs of the ride.

Using the simple set of rules set out above I planned a 5 stop trip visiting some of my favourite cafes to see what I could learn about high speed cafe cycling and to be able to set what I believe a challenging number of cafes would be for an acceptable world record.

So yesterday morning I skipped my breakfast, so as to start the day on zero calories, and at 8.30 I set off to my first destination which was the Box Tree cafe in Brooke.
Early morning sun ruining my photo at the Cafe in Brooke.
On arrival I noticed the cafe had changed it's name from the Box Tree Cafe to just The Cafe. While ordering my hot chocolate and orange cake I enquired as to the reason for the name change. Apparently a rival Box Tree restaurant in Sheffield had baggied naming rights and written to all other Box Tree's to tell them to change their names. This seemed a little harsh but anyway I will update the blog with the new name as I don't want to be held responsible for anyone setting off for a short ride to Brooke and ending up in South Yorkshire. 

The Hot Chocolate was very hot, which normally I approve of, but made it hard to drink quickly. The cake was very tasty and made a nice breakfast. 
Hot chocolate and Orange cake for Breakfast at the Cafe in Brooke
I checked my calorie counting watch and noted that I had burnt 34 calories whilst at the Cafe. This was a bonus as I hadn't taken the cake eating calorie burn into account in my original planning. It meant I would have calories in hand for the rest of the ride, although rule 7 makes it clear that this will not give me an advantage.
Calorie counting watch showing I was well ahead calorie wise.
I left The Cafe in Brooke, pondering that they properly could have spent a little long coming up with a new cafe name, and headed off to the Hen House near Wymondham. On arrival I checked that enough calories had been burnt, they had, and headed straight to the counter to get my next energy refill. On this occasion I had a cheese scone to accompany my hot chocolate. 

I took the opportunity to ask if the owner knew the calorie content of the drink and scone. She didn't but appeared to be a bit of a calorie expert and was more than happy to perform some energy estimating. Her conclusion was that it would be about 180 for the Hot chocolate, which is from Holland although it wasn't clear if Dutch calories are the same as British ones, and 200 for scone plus butter. This seemed in line with my in depth on-line research so I happily went to the outside bench seating area where once again the hot chocolate was too hot to drink quickly.
Hot Chocolate, which is Dutch, and cheese scone refilling my calorie bank
While I waited for the drink to cool I got side tracked discussing saddle comfort options with some fellow cyclists and spent a lot more time here than I had planned thus falling further behind schedule.

The next stop was a ride up to Mattishall, and Tabnabs. On arrival I was very pleased to hear from Mrs Tabnabs that she had had several cyclists visit her after reading the recommendation from my blog. 
Outside Tabnabs where I got to use the outside seating for the first time.
I had heard on the cafe grapevine that a new Peanut cake was available so decided to try it with my next hot chocolate. Mrs Tabnabs likes to put a bit of gratted veg into her cakes as they help keep them moist. You can have peanut and courgette, or chocolate and beetroot or plain carrot cake. All taste great and as she pointed out, if you had a piece of all 3 cakes then you have also had 3 of your 5 a day before lunchtime.
Thick and hot hot chocolate with peanut cake
I did ask if they had any idea on calorie content but unfortunately no one in the cafe could help. Again drinking the excellent thick and hot hot chocolate quickly proved challenging but with the clock ticking I finished both and set off for Reepham.

I decided to go to Reepham railway station as on the last visit I had had a very tasty and infeasibly large cheese scone which I really fancied again.
There were several cyclist at Reepham Station.
I ordered the cheese scone and was pleased to see it was still infeasibly large and yet another hot chocolate. The scone was great but I really didn't fancy my fourth hot chocolate that morning. There was nothing wrong with it, in fact it was a very nice drink and I did eventually worked my way through it, however I knew if I was to have another at the next stop I would probably be ill.
Fourth hot chocolate plus infeasibly large scone
At this point I realised I would have to change the rules to include other hot beverages and not just hot chocolate. This would have the added advatage of reducing the number of calories needing to be burnt between cafes. Therefore rules 5 and 6 were amended to

5. At each cafe a standard hot drink must be consumed. (Tea, coffee or hot chocolate)
6. From the time of arriving at the cafe 300 calories must be burnt off before the next cafe can be visited thus making the ride calorie neutral. (300 calories is based on in-depth internet research on average calories of cakes and scones plus average calories of a hot drink (Tea, coffee, hot chocolate). 

With the new rules in place it was back to Norwich and my local Cafe; Stephanie's cafe in Eaton.
Round the back of Stephanie's cafe
Here I went for tea and blueberry muffin. The tea was great and refreshing and I manged two cups which settled my stomach down. 
Refreshing tea and Muffin round the back of Stephanies
I got home to study the data (see below for all you cycle calorie data buffs) and work out what a challenging cafe target would be for a world record attempt next year. I had lots of learns on the trip which I need to incorpertae in my next trial run in the spring before the big one next summer.

All 5 of the cafes I visited today performed really well and will definitely be on my final list when I do the world record attempt.  
calories  time (min) miles av speed mph calories/mile calories/min
To Brooke 407 46 12.3 16.17 33.09 8.85
The Café, Brooke 34 17 2.00
To Wymondham 508 51 13.86 16.03 36.65 9.96
The Hen House 59 26 2.27
To Mattishall 404 33 10.23 18.6 39.49 12.24
Tabnabs 40 18 2.22
To Reepham 483 66 10.72 9.7 45.06 7.32
Railway station 60 25 2.40
To Norwich 553 57 16.1 14.34 34.35 9.70
Stephanies 33 15 2.20
Totals 2581 354 63.21 14.99


Click here to download 60 mile 5 cafe tour route gpx file for your gps

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