Cycling, cakes and coffee are the three magic ingredients guaranteed to keep cyclists happy.
We experienced all three last Saturday, during the Bikeminded Cake and Coffee Ride through the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
It was a delightful, well-organised ride consisting of five stops at selected cake shops and patisseries via lesser-known scenic routes.
More importantly, the ride was a great social inclusion exercise.
We got to meet and chat with other fellow cyclists in a relaxing environment, which is not something we easily do while doing a sportive or day-to-day commuting.
One cyclist told us that most of her friends do not cycle. So it was a great opportunity for her to ride with like-minded people. During the ride, beyond social media interactions, we talked to other riders about cycling issues and experience on the road, which was nice.
The ride was led by a CTC-approved cycling instructor, Phillip, with three other marshals, Lawrence, Peter and Miranda. At each stop, Jason Newton from Bikeminded explained the background of the venues we visited.
One of the benefits of this ride is discovering safer and quieter routes from Chelsea to Notting Hill. We only touched Kings Road very briefly, which I was happy about because I am not keen on the road’s busy traffic.
The ride started at Storm in A Cupcake boutique cake shop in Chelsea. We congregated under a shady tree opposite the shop at Cremorne Road. The riders turned up with various types of bikes; road, hybrid, fixie, folding and Boris Bike.
Less than twelve months ago, the owner of Storm in A Cupcake transformed the place from a neglected, empty shed into something that resembles a cute patisserie from Alice in the Wonderland. The mini-muffins served to us were a huge success, and table layout was visually stunning. The shop opens from 10.30am – 1.00pm on Saturdays.
After that we headed to Cocomaya Bakery at Pavillion Road, where we sampled orange and almond muffins and croissant. The marshals looked after our bicycles outside every venues.
Next stop was the boutique macaron shop, Pierre Herme, at Lowndes Street. Chef Yuki Kakiuchi explained about the delicious artisan macarons they made.
At this point one of the riders had a puncture. The marshals did their best to fix it but it needed more repair than that. No puncture could dampen a cheerful ride, so the rider locked her bike and hopped on a Boris Bike as we proceeded to the next cake stop.
It started to rain as we reach the Broadwalk Cafe at Kensington Gardens. It provided a good excuse to shelter under a nearby gazebo while we enjoyed homemade chocolate chip cookies and elderflower juice.
After that, we rode to our final stop, Pedlars at Talbot Road in Notting Hill. We were served hot coffee, muffins and strawberries while we had a look around the shop. Pedlars is owned by the Gladstone family from Scotland. It is a well-curated boutique shop where you can find unique home products.
The Cake and Coffee Ride is a brilliant effort by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to make the cycling experience accessible and enjoyable to Londoners.
I would like to see similar cycling tours in other London boroughs because it gives visibility to cycling activities while supporting small, local businesses.
For more yummy cake photos, please look at our Facebook page.