with Celebrity cyclist Alex Dunlop
I had got up early to queue at the local newsagents in order to get my copy of the paper. Once purchased I nervously thumbed through the pages until I made it to the converted pages 28 and 29, where I found a double page spread (EDP link) about all things cafe cycle Blog. Sam (Journalist) had done a great job. I was particularly pleased to see a mention of my #keep cake of serviettes campaign.
|Double page spread (pages 28 and 29) in EDP|
Big George was to be today's cycling guest. The weather forecast did not look too good for the afternoon so we had set off early on our 50 mile round trip out west to Saham Toney near Watton confident that we would avoid an afternoon soaking, although as it turned out we didn't.
The ride was going well and we had covered about 15 miles when I heard my phone ring. It was Chris (Mrs Crusader) so I thought I better answer. She told me the BBC were trying to get hold of me as they would, subject to there not being any proper news, like to do a feature on me for tonight's Look East.
This was very exciting news so obviously I immediately rang the BBC and went straight through to Alex Dunlop (the actual man off the telly). He had seen the article in the EDP and had been working on making it into a news feature. He had come up with a plan to film at my current number one rated stop, Earsham Street cafe in Bungay (see tough at the top) and then on to his favourite cafe. He hadn't expected me to already be out on my bike so thought the idea would not work but this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss and although Bungay was in the opposite direction my cycling GPS said it was only 30 miles away so we could get there in a couple of hours.
Big George is a bit of a media tart, having been interviewed on radio 5 during the last General Election, so was keen for another opportunity to increase his celebrity status and immediately agreed to the change of plan.
So we set off again but this time in the opposite direction, on a dash across Norfolk arriving at Earsham Street Cafe in Bungay exactly at the agreed meeting time.
|Arriving at Earsham Street cafe right on time|
Through force of habit I had already checked out the cake selection so ordered some vanilla crumble cake and a hot chocolate.
|Today's very effective cake selection|
After some more filming of us going in and out of the cafe with our bikes, Alex said he had arranged for us to go to his favourite cafe which turned out to be Rosy Lees Tearoom (also one of my favourites) in Loddon where I had been only yesterday (see Follow the Wherryman ).
The forecasted afternoon rain had now caught up with us as we cycled across to Loddon and met back up with Alex who had been joined by a cameraman making this into a full blown film crew. We went into Rosy Lees where we had some more excellent drinks and cake, which all had to be filmed, before it was time for me to be mic'd up for my in depth interview on the world of cafe cycle blogging.
|Outside Rosy Lees Tearoom|
By now it was pouring with rain but we still needed to film some 'cut aways' of me and Big George cycling with the man off the telly. So we set off on our bikes to meet the film crew on some quiet roads nearby. Halfway there I realised I was still mic'd up and Alex and his cameraman could hear what I was saying. I was worried I could be at the centre of another Gordon Brown style incident. I played back in my mind what I had been talking about in case I had made any inappropriate remarks which would allow Look East to run a very different story; "Bigoted Norfolk cyclists outrages cakist views". Much to my relief Big George assured me we had been mainly talking about housework. Nice try BBC.
I noted the 'cut aways' with us and the man off the telly give the impression he had been out on a long cycle. In fact, where as me and Big George had ridden about 70 miles, I estimate he had done about 70 metres over the course of the day. But that's the magic of TV.
|Me and the man off the telly about to do some cut aways|
Today's publicity jamboree had proved very successful with several thousand additional hits to the blog in one day. Hopefully it will help encourage more people to go for a cycle ride and enjoy a cafe stop with cake, if it ever stops raining.
This week I hope to get back to a normal cafe cycle ride before my focus turns to the two big events coming up soon.
First, in August, I'm cycling from St Davids in Wales to Lowerstoft to find the best cafe across Great Britain, literally (see finding best cafe across Great Britain).
Then in September I plan to visit 20 cafes in one day to set a world record for a calorie neutral bike ride (see Calorie Boffins)