Festive 500 Day 7: How CAPE in Staines and DESTINATION BIKE in Box Hill made our day special…..

Today’s ride was special, for all sorts of reasons but we cannot start anywhere else but to praise two wonderful individuals running small businesses in a difficult economy who look after their customers. Take a bow, CAPE Food and Wine in Staines and Destination Bike in Box Hill Village. We will be back!

But let’s set the scene first:

Anyone who thought getting out of bed in the howling wind and rain was a good idea is either mad/lonely/needs to escape from the in-laws/is over obessed with cycling/needs Festive 500 kms and doesn’t own a smart trainer/is an optimist ….. in fact, the last category (optimists) were well rewarded as this ride didn’t do what it said on the tin. If the tin had said ‘this will make you miserable’, it actually turned out to be a fabulous day out.

A howling headwind down to Box Hill in pouring rain wasn’t pleasant, but at least it wasn’t cold. Nevertheless, it was slow progress against the wind and a brief discussion amongst the original three riders who departed at 9.05am from the Polish War Memorial resulted in the decision to stop for an early coffee.

In the bad weather the three riders had not stopped for the traditional Polish War Memorial start photo, but compensated with a stop at the Barnes-Wallace memorial near Heathrow. On they ploughed through Staines and on the way out of Staines with his glasses covered in Rain Drops Dave Morrison saw a CAFE, only to stop and, having cleared his glasses, realised that the sign said CAPE and sold South African Food and Wine (83 Laleham Road Staines for our South African members). However, it turned out that they had a coffee machine and had been thinking about whether cyclists might be a target market. So they welcomed their first cyclist customers with open arms. They just couldn’t have been nicer and had to be persuaded to take our money, having felt sorry for us in the cold and wet. We also recommend the South African Wine gums they sell by the way, in colours of wine grapes of course.

Whilst seated, Gary Pratchett, running late rode past the shop and Dave rushed out without paying to catch Gary and bring him back. Dave caught him about 1km down the road and both settled in for a warm coffee and chat. It was almost a chore to leave, but Box Hill beckoned. If you are over Staines way, please pay them a visit.

Despite the foul weater the off-road section at Great Bookham proved to be totally rideable. Whilst we stayed upright and clean on that section, David Tobin took a small fall on some slippery mulch on a turn elsewhere but a bigger fall befell Dave Morrison on the twisty 20% descent of Bagden Hill when braking to avoid an oncoming van on a bend; skiding into a ditch to avoid the van resulted in a rather painful knee injury. But the lure of coffee at Destination Bike in Box Hill Village was enough to encourage Dave back on to the saddle.

Gary and Dave arrived at Destination Bike ahead of the others only to find the shopkeeper was about to close (holiday period openings only until 1pm). However after a few minutes he returned to suggest that he could stay open a little longer and do takeaways if we were interested …. sure bloody!

Two cafes, two hosts who put themselves out for their customers ….. really great to see and we really recommend both CAPE in Staines and Destination Bike in Box Hill …. they deserve patronage! Well done both.

The day was a HOTH (Headwind Out – Tailwind Home) so the journey back seemed so much easier. The charm of the two cafe stops had lifted spirits, the sun actually shone a few times and the chat and banter just grew. It was a delightful day out, capped off with a photo stop at the sign on the corner of Pleasure Pit Road (near Headley) where we all competed for the best Frankie Howard and Sid James impersonations … Phwaor, what a ride!

SPONSOR TONY DAVIS HERE

SPONSOR GARY PRATCHETT HERE

SPONSOR STEVE MANNELL HERE

https://youtube.com/watch?v=HmPZfgO-VHo%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26fs%3D1%26hl%3Den-GB%26autohide%3D2%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Having hardened ourselves up with the recent wet and cold spell, forecasts suggests that temperatures should be rising in time for the annual Festive 500 quest … 500km over 8 days from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. We have set up rides for every day at the Polish War Memorial (A40 Ruislip / Northolt) and you can also complete the dustance using online rides …. in fact we have a fun CADEsport race on Boxing Day at 7.30pm UK Time in the evening.

BUT OF REAL IMPORTANCE, YOU CAN RAISE MONEY FOR DUCHENNE DISEASE RESEARCH BY DOING THE FESTIVE 500 (Whether you do our rides or your own, indoors and out)

REGISTER HERE

HARRISON’S FUND WEBSITE HERE

HARRISONS FUND FESTIVE 500 STRAVA GROUP HERE

WEST LONDON CYCLING WEBSITE PAGE HERE

We’ve had a lot of fun doing the Festive 500 and collecting the badges, only available if you do the Festive 500 with Harrison’s Fund these days (you only need to raise £100). We have set up 8 days of rides from the Polish War Memorial from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve … come along and join the throng! 

Record your rides on Strava and the badge will be sent to you free of charge in January

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is relatively rare and, consequently, receives very little funding. It affects boys, all of whom will die before they are 20. We have been raising money for research this way for a while and we are pleased to say that there have been some recent medical breakthroughs. But there is still a long way to go. Harrison is a young boy with Duchenne Disease and the charity was set up by his father whom we were introduced to by Film Producer Nick Taussig who has two sons with Duchenne. These families go through a lot, so why not put yourself through it a bit between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and raise a £100 for charity (or more)? These rides are quite sociable, and we have rides set up from the Polish War Memorial every day …. Register now with Harrison’s Fund! … oh, and don’t forget that you get the collectible roundel too.

DO THE FESTIVE 500 CHALLENGE RAISING £100 FOR RESEARCH INTO DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY AND GET THE COLLECTIBLE SOUGHT AFTER ROUNDEL / PATCH / BADGE / AWARD THINGY

YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE!

  SATURDAY 31st DECEMBER 9am Polish War Memorial Route FESTIVE 500 RIDE Forty Miles of Fun 62km

 SUNDAY 1st JANUARY 2023 9am Polish War Memorial Route OPTION ONE Fat Duck Fine Riding 57km OPTION TWO Fat Duck even finer riding

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO….

https://youtube.com/watch?v=HmPZfgO-VHo%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26fs%3D1%26hl%3Den-GB%26autohide%3D2%26wmode%3Dtransparent