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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Saturday 11 June 2016

Motivation. (Maglia Rosso, Bury St Edmunds)

Maglia Rosso,
Bury Saint Edmunds,
Opening times Mon- Sun 9:30-17:30,
Highly Recommended 
As a so called cafe cycle reviewer I always like to prioritise visits to proper cycle cafes above others. A proper cycle cafe is one that provides cycling facilities (normally in the form of a cycle shop) alongside a refreshments outlet. I had become aware of such a place, Maglia Rosso, near Bury St Edmunds, so planned a trip there with yesterday's cycling guest Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please). As it would be a very long round trip, if we went from race HQ at Crusader Towers, we decided to catch the train to Diss and go from there. We would be following Sustrans routes 30 and 13 most of the way.
Alighting the train at Diss station ready to start
After the recent warm weather, yesterday was a little cloudier making it difficult to know what cycling top to wear to keep yourself at the optimum cycling temperature.

Cycling guest cycling top tip no 48. If you are unsure what cycling top to wear to keep yourself at the optimum cycling temperature then always wear a long sleeve one as you can roll your long sleeves up but you can't roll your short sleeves down.

We had both wisely followed cycling guest cycling top tip no.48 as after a cool start to the ride it continued to warm up so we both had rolled up when we arrived at the Maglia Rosso cycle cafe a few miles south of Bury St Edmunds.
Outside Maglia Rosso cycle cafe with my sleeves rolled up
It was clearly a cycling cafe as when we arrived we were met by another group of middle aged cyclists dressed in Lycra just leaving so we stopped from some meaningless standard cycling chat as we parked our bikes on the rack. 

Maglia Rosso is in a peaceful village setting with a large outdoor seating area. Inside there is a cycling themed indoor seating area plus an excellently stocked cycle shop. With all these facilities it meant a high atmosphere and ambience (AAA) score was awarded.
Outdoor seating area
We went inside to check out the cakes in order to award the effective cake selection (ECS) mark. There was a good selection featuring some cyclist favourites of brownie, bread pudding and of course flapjack (which I tested as part of my search for flapjack year 2016) that could all be slipped into your cycling jersey pockets if emergency cake was needed later on your ride. I therefore award a good ECS mark.
Part of the cake selection
As well as the flapjack I had Victoria sponge cake with my hot chocolate and Andrew went for a mug of tea and fruit cake. My hot chocolate was a bit disappointing as it was rather weak and milky but both the fruit cake and Victoria sponge were excellent and got a high cake taste quality (CTQ) mark.
Cakes and drinks on our outdoor seating table
Despite it clearly being lunch time Andrew also had a vegetarian breakfast so as I waited for him to eat it I checked out the bike shop and bike themed indoor seating area. On the walls were some useful cycling based motivational pictures including "pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever" and "winners train, losers complain" which is not only motivational but rhymes to boot. I suggested Andrew check them out as I thought they would help him get over his disappointment following his pathetic attempt to cycle up Monte Zoncolan in Italy with me last week (see my that's steep) but apparently they didn't.
Motivational picture
After Andrew finished his Vegetarian breakfast I said we needed to set off so we could comfortably make our train connection at Stowmarket which was nearly 30 miles away. However apparently it is not possible to have a vegetarian breakfast without washing it down with a second cup of tea which he insisted on having, putting our return journey at threat.

Despite the fact they were prepared to serve him more tea I thought the Maglia Rosso was an excellent venue and a must visit for all cyclist so I highly recommend you go.

With the second cup eventually drunk we set off again but had to up the pace to make sure we got to the station on time. Unfortunately the terrain had got a lot more bumpy on this part of the ride meaning I had to wait at the top of several hills for Andrew to catch up. 
Photo of bumpy terrain taken while I waited for Andrew
Clearly a second piece of cake would have been more useful to us than a second cup of tea. However after being inspired by the posters I was able to use some of my legendary motivational skills to get us to the station just on time ("pedal faster or I'm not waiting and you will miss the train" seemed to work the best). As the train pulled in and I waited on the platform Andrew had once again disappeared this time he had popped into the station cafe as after our dash across Suffolk he said that he really needed another cup of tea. I clearly still have much more motivating of him to do yet.

Hot Choc Quality
Guest Hot Drink Quality
Effective Cake Selection
Cake Quality
Ambience and Atmosphere
Café Rating

Click here to download 60 mile Diss to Stowmarket gpx file for your GPS

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