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Why I Love Caffs

20:42 17th May 1999 by Bikemagic
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Caffs, little islands of tea-scented warmth floating in a sea of cold. Cake-selling beacons of light in a world of darkness and hurt. There is no finer sight on a ride than respite and refuelling made flesh in café form. Think of the number of times that you’ve been freezing cold, close to blowing with your legs doing a bad impression of a sewing machine and still with miles to go when the café hoves into view to save you.

Pile off your bikes and through the door, specs steam up with the sudden heat and your nostrils are assaulted the smell of food. Up to the counter, your mind fogs over like your Oakleys at the choice in front of you. Weigh up the options, sweet, savoury or both? Eventually hunger gets the better of you and you crack. Pints of tea, bacon butties, flapjacks and apple pie. Mugs of coffee, pasties, chip butty, hot chocolate, jacket spuds and beans and cheese and tomato sauce and a slice of cake to round it all off. Fish in the wallet for a damp fiver and hand it over. You get so little change it’s untrue, they’re robbing you blind and you know it, but your craving for carbohydrates means you just don’t care. Take the tray and sit down leaving a trail of mud and water on the floor behind you and then tuck in, conversation suspended as you attack the food.


Slowly you begin to feel human again as the tea hits its mark and the conversation is all about the last descent or the crash that almost got you and what about that walker who just wouldn’t move and the latest forks. Everything bar the long ride home that you’ve still got to face. Ten miles into the wind and rain with your legs lulled by the fire in the corner and no desire to step outside ever again. You pick at the remnants of the food hoping the moment will never come, but eventually someone cracks and starts making to leave. You struggle into your damp waterproof and fiddle with the rest of your kit, taking as much time as possible so you don’t have to face up to reality outside the door. But eventually you leave, swilling down the last drops of tea and going to your bike, hoping that your legs will carry you home.



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