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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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Monte Grappa cycling Adventure day 3. (83 miles via Passo del Brocon)

Monte Grappa cycling adventure day 3
I always like to go riding with a cycling guest on a cafe cycle ride but for reasons explained in the two previous posts (see Monte Grappa cycling adventure day 1) I found myself in Italy without a partner for the day. I have noticed that, despite my excellent hosting, cycling guests tend to whinge a lot, always asking how far it is to the cafe stop or end of the ride and then complaining when their speedo says the ride was further than I had promised (admittedly sometimes a lot further). So today I decided I could go crazy and make the ride as long and hard as I like without the danger of any complaints. 

The goal for the week was to find the best mountain summit top cafes to see if any of these type of establishment could become my top rated cafe in Europe. I had therefore planned 4 ascents in today's ride assuming I would find a cafe at the top of each. Yesterday's cafe at the top of Monte Grappa had been a little disappointing so I was hoping for better today. 

The ride started off on the same route as yesterday until it got to Arsie.
Arsie that assumedly isn't a funny name in Italian
There is nothing us Brits like more than an amusing sounding foreign town name so I was still giggling as I started the first and longest climb of the day leaving Arsie below.
Looking down to Arsie
This would be 1300m up to Cima Campo and my first ride in the Dolomites. It wasn't super steep but a long way and took 1 hour and 45 mins of solid up. The views were awesome and helped to keep my mind off the constant pedalling required.
Views on way up to Cima Campo
Eventually I made it up and tried to find the requisite summit cafe. All I could see was a large house with a couple of tables outside and a man talking to another cyclist. It didn't look like a summit cafe but thought I would risk it and went over to one of the tables to sit down. 
Wasn't sure if this was a summit top cafe or a house
I now wasn't sure if I was at a summit cafe or I was just sitting in someone's front garden. After a while and with no sign of action I decided it was probably the latter and started to get ready to leave. At this point the man talking to the cyclist came over and asked me what I wanted. I gambled that he meant food and drink, and not why was I sitting in his front garden, and asked for water and a cheese panini. He nodded and  hurried off inside before returning almost instantly with them.
Cheese sandwich and water
In terms of a rating it wasn't great as there wasn't much of a view and the cheese roll was rather dry and hard to eat after a long climb. I had no idea what the cafe was called or if he was just the owner being nice to a cyclist although he did charge me 4 euros. In my records it scored 6 and I have just called it big house cafe.

It was now down hill for several miles giving me time to recover and enjoy yet more views. 
Yet more views
Sadly this respite was too short and I soon found myself on the second big climb of the day up to Passo del Brocon, which turned out to be a ski resort. On the way up this 1 hour 20min climb I have to confess stopping for a quick rest as I pretended to admire the view.
The view I stop to pretend to admire
Once at the top I found 2 cafes. One full of bikers, I wasn't going there, and one empty one in the shade called Alberco Passo Brocon. 
Motor biker free cafe at top of 2nd climb
Inside they even had a cake selection, so I had some strudel. I then braved asking for hot chocolate and they actually had it. I gave the Strudel 7.5, hot chocolate 8 and thanks to the stunning view the atmosphere and ambiance 8.5 for a total score of 8 putting into my current European cafe top 5.
Hot Chocolate and half eaten Strudel
The way down had the best views yet and if I had stopped to photograph them all I would still be there now. 
Yet another stunning view
This ended when I hit the smallest climb of the day which took just 20 minutes and once at the top there was nothing there so I continued for several more miles, much along the river until I reached the final climb up to Croce d'Aune.
The river I cycled along the side of
It didn't look much on the map but had a real sting as the second part was the steepest of the day and took another hour making 4.5 hours of climbing in total (which is quite a lot). I was pleased that I was on my own as any potential cycling guest would have mutinied by now and I would have series earache.
Climb up to Croc d'Aune
Here I found my final summit cafe of the day, Albergo Croc d'Aune, again I was excited that they did hot chocolate but the only cake type item was a jam croissant. 
Final summit cafe of the day
The Hot chocolate was top notch, really thick, and scored 8.5 with the croissant coming in at 5 and the AAA 8 for a respectable 7.5 total.
 Excellent hot chocolate
It was now just a short 10 mile downhill stretch back to Feltre, which I could see stretched out below me, where I was very happy to get back for a shower and a nice sit down.
Feltre just a downhill ride away
Today proved to be an epic, 83 mile, 4 climb, 10 hour ride with two excellent summit cafe stop finds. However I'm not sure my legs can face a third day of climbing so I have a different plan for the final ride tomorrow, which will include the return of some cycling guests. 

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