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

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Friday, 31 July 2015

Poor plans, latest calorie neutral bike ride world record news.

Calorie neutral bike ride world record attempt update

With the date for my calorie neutral bike ride world record attempt on 11th September fast approaching I felt that I really needed to get the route I would be using sorted out. I have so far stayed away from testing out the start of the route, which needs to be around Norwich city centre as the cafes open earlier there, as to give a true test I needed to do my trial run at the actual time I would be going to theses venues on the record attempt day. This meant getting up at 5:30 and setting off at 6:00 for my first planned stop of the ride at Britannia cafe high above Norwich on Mousehold heath.
View of  Norwich waking up from up on Mousehold heath
For those unfamiliar with the calorie neutral bike ride concept then there are eight rules that must be followed for an official world record attempt (I have put them at the bottom of the post) but basically you have to have a hot drink and cake in as many cafes as possible but you can't go to the next cafe until you have burnt off all the calories consumed from the previous visit.

On my last test ride (see calorie boffins) I had finally settled on the fact that it takes me approx 5 miles to satisfy the key rule 6.

Rule 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). 

I had planned a route that weaved in and out of Norwich to visit 5 early opening cafes before heading out into the country, however it quickly became apparent that due to city traffic and road furniture I would be well down on my target average speed so would need to go considerably faster than planned once out of Norwich to stick to the timetable.

My next mistake was not to check opening times so when I arrived at the Britannia cafe, which someone had told me opens at 6:30, I discovered it doesn't actually open until 7:30. I made a note of my error and set off for my second cafe, Exspresso in the centre of Norwich. When I arrived it was only 7:00 (its official opening time) but was already up and running.
Bike parked up ready to go into Exspresso
Rule 4 states. At each cafe a standard portion of cake or a scone (fruit or cheese) must be consumed. Biscuits, flapjacks, tiffin or anything pre-packaged will not count.

However it being breakfast time there were no cakes or scones (neither fruit or cheese) available only Danish pastries leaving me in a quandary. Fortunately, since the Guinness book of Records washed their hands of me (see Going alone) I have become the self appointed custodian of the calorie neutral bike ride rules. I therefore took the decision to add a subsection to rule 4 to state that pastries would count but only before 9.00am (the breakfast period) after which they would also be void.

I noted my Exspresso hot chocolate and pastry were both excellent and I consumed them in under the 12 minutes I have allocated for each cafe visit.
Hot chocolate and danish pastry at Exspresso.
The pastry would now qualify as an acceptable cake but only until 9:00am
I returned to my bike only to find it had a puncture. I will be on a very tight timescale on the actual day so a puncture would be a series issue. I changed it as quickly as I could and discovered you burn 4 calories in the process. This would mean I would have to fix 75 punctures to burn off the necessary calories for the equivalent of a cafe visit, although I don't have enough spare inner tubes to truly test this theory out.

With puncture fixed I set off again on the next 5 mile loop in and out of Norwich to get to my next venue Warings cafe. This proved much harder than it seemed. I was following the line I had programmed into my Garmin edge 810 cycling sat nav but as the route kept criss crossing itself across the city both myself and the Garmin edge 810 were getting confused and I kept ending up in the wrong place. Eventually I gave up and just made up my own route. As today was more about checking logistics and the route than about eating cake then things were not going at all well and I conceded that I would have to do more preparation before repeating this practice ride again another day
Outside Warings cafe
I hadn't planned to go into most of the cafes today but was pleased to see Warings was open and I could see cake through the window so wouldn't need to rely on new rule 4 subsection 1.

Next stop was Pandora's kitchen and again I got lost trying to follow my planned route so made something up until 300 calories had gone from my body. On arrival I decided I needed further breakfast but, despite it being available, I felt it was still a bit too early for cake so opted for a cheese scone and another hot chocolate. The cheese scone was excellent and came with butter, cream cheese and relish. It was slightly warmed and I added it to my cheese scone of the year contenders. However I was a bit too relaxed with the eating and drinking and stayed for over 14 minutes which, for my record attempt, would be 2 minutes too long.
Excellent cheese scone at Pandoras kitchen.
With the Norwich cafes visited I wanted to test out the new route I had planned for the next few cafes. After Stephanie's in Eaton it was out to Brooke and the imaginatively named The Cafe. This leg was 9 miles so burnt over 250 unnecessary calories. Fortunately I have recently found some other options on the way out to Brooke so decided to add a stop at the Acorn cafe in Poringland and drop a cafe later in the ride.

After Brooke I went to Loddon (Rosy Lees) and then Hedenham (Everydays a picnic (EDAP)). After the first 6 cafes I finally got to two bits of the route I was happy with.

I had planned to stop at Every days a picnic for a quick refuel but with the sky's darkening I decided to head for home before it rained. 
Black skys over EDAP
In hindsight this was a fairly foolish strategy as it soon poured with rain and I got soaked. A better approach might have been to stick with plan A and sit the rain out in the cafe but most of my plans had gone wrong today so this was no different.

I covered over 60 miles today and once again I learnt a lot about just how difficult calorie neutral bike riding planning is. However I think I now have enough information to put my candidate list of cafes together (see list at bottom post) but I still have much work to finalise a route in order to set the record. Next practice will be to test out the cafes at end of route which will at least start at a much more sociable hour.

Calorie neutral bike ride record attempt rules (with new subsection 4.1)
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, tiffin or anything pre-packaged will not count. 
            4.1 Danish style pastries are acceptable but only during the breakfast part of                       the day before 9.00am
5. At each cafe a standard hot drink must be consumed. (Tea, coffee or hot chocolate). If served in a pot or jug than one cups worth must be drunk.
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). 
7. If extra calories have been used up between cafes then that is tough as they can not be credited against other legs of the ride.
8. Calories burnt to be counted on a generic calorie counting device using only cycle speed, rider weight and age to calculate calorie usage. No heart rate consideration is required.

Current candidate 20 cafe route list
Café Estimated arrival time
Start 06:30
1 Exspresso, Norwich 07:00
2 Warings, Norwich 07:42
3 Brittania, Norwich 08:24
4 Pandoras, Norwich 09:06
5 Stephanies, Eaton 09:51
6 Acorn tea rooms Poringland 10:36
7 The Café, Brooke 11:18
8 Rosy Lee, Loddon 11:48
9 EDAP, Hedingham 12:30
10 Earsham street, Bungay 13:12
11 No 5, Harleston 13:52
12 Pennoyer centre, Pulham 14:30
13 TBH, Long Stratton  15:10
14 Hen House or garden tea room Wymondham 15:50
15 Lincolns Hingham  16:31
16 Yaxham Mill, Yaxham 17:10
17 Yaxham waters, Yaxham 17:50
18 Chalfonts Hingham 18:30
19 Janyes, Hethersett 19:30
20 Station Bistro, Wymondham 20:16

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