Throwback Thursday: London “cafe-to-cafe” ride

Six years ago I took on the “cafe-to-cafe” Strava challenge. It involved heading out on a solo mission to visit two well-known cycling cafes, checking off at each and recording the ride on Strava, all to grab myself a limit-edition cup! It was a cracking day on two wheels and one I still think about every time I drink out of that beautiful coffee mug…

Cycling, coffee, cake and a free mug. What’s not to love? This particular Strava challenge involved them all and encouraged cyclists to support local business all while exploring some new roads. The distance between the two cafes is only 20 miles, so as a minimum that’s all you really need to do, but where’s the fun in that? Early one Sunday morning I set off from home before sunrise to eat up some miles (and of course, some cake).

The initial leg from home to London was fantastic, especially the jaunt through Richmond Park with the deer roaming in the early morning fog. It’s a fantastic “haven” close to London, popular with local cyclists of all abilities. Because I’m just so totally fast (or possibly just some poor planning on my part) I was a little earlier than anticipated and arrived at Look Mum No Hands before opening time! The streets of London being so quiet at that hour probably contributed a lot to my good progress. Oh well, a quick photo opportunity to prove I was actually there and then onto the next stop.

Riding out of London was not so much fun. More traffic had built up with impatient, inattentive motorists clogging the streets. I seemed to get caught at every single traffic light in the city too! Fortunately I had planned a fairly direct route so it wasn’t long before I was clear of the ratty inner-London roads and arriving in perfectly civilised Esher for a much deserved coffee and cake! Thankfully Giro Cafe was well and truly open by now!

Another quick photo to prove my journey, flash of the pics to the friendly Giro staff and I had my mug! It was a fantastic ride and well worth the effort. I especially enjoyed meeting up with the Woking CC crew, who were also at Giro Cafe for their Sunday club ride cafe stop!

I clocked a shade over 70 miles and even managed to transport the beautiful looking mug safely home in my middle jersey pocket (not an easy feat, but it worked).

Both Look Mum No Hands and Giro Cafe are well worth a visit whether by cycle or otherwise. I was especially impressed with Giro’s range of drip filter coffees! There’s plenty of cycle parking and you can even borrow a lock if you need to. If you are in the area or planning a cycle that swings by either cafe, drop in and support local small business and the cycling community. You will not be disappointed! 

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