In a break between the heavy showers today I thought I’d dash to Corsham, my closest town, for a swim and then a coffee for this week’s Coffeeneuring trip. The swimming pool there is part of a very recently rebuilt centre that now includes the library, a police station, sports centre, climbing wall and of course, a cafe. Sounded perfect.
I waited for the very heavy rain to pause, then dashed out quickly before I saw sense and changed my mind. I hadn’t appreciated that the heavy showers might have stopped, but the water hadn’t had time to drain off the roads yet, and so less than half a mile from home saw me freewheeling through the middle of an enormous puddle, feet as high as they could get off the pedals, and yet I still got wet up to my ankles. The thought of having to put wet socks and trainers back on after swimming nearly had me turning back for home, but the promise of this year’s Coffeeneuring patch kept me going. There were 4 big puddles in total on this lane that I had to cycle through, but once you’re wet, you’re wet, right?
Reaching The Springfield Centre, I was amused that mine would be the only bike outside in the enormous rack (can’t think why), so I chose what I thought was the best spot, in the corner shielded by the roof and two walls.
My swim was good, but as feared it was truly horrible redressing in cold damp socks. I reckoned I’d earned a good mocha. And maybe even a cake. Or lunch. Or … Oh. So turns out the vegan options were somewhat limited in this tiny cafe, with certaintly no vegan sandwiches in the fridge and nothing to show there was anything else available for lunch. Lady appears behind the counter. Conversation goes thus:-
Me “Hi. I’d like a mocha please. Do you have any non-dairy milk?”
Lady Behind Counter “We’ve got soya milk.
Me “Brilliant. Can I have a soya mocha please?”
LBC (firmly) “Well – the chocolate powder’s not dairy free”.
Me (innocently) “Really?”
LBC grabs the catering size tin and squints furiously at the ingredients, desperate to prove her point. After a long pause she says hopefully “cocoa butter???”
Trying not to laugh I politely say “Oh no – that’s from the cocoa, that’s not dairy”.
With a triumphant replacing of the tin firmly at the back of the counter, LBC delivers her knockout blow
“Well we’ve run out of it, anyway.”
So that’s how I ended up drinking a Butterscotch Soya latte, smelling of chlorine, with damp feet. I didn’t dare ask about vegan cake, so chose some ready salted crisps. This may be my least impressive photo from this year’s Coffeeneuring campaign.
Coming back out, I discovered that even with my carefully selected parking spot, I still had to ride home on this:-
The ride home was uneventful, as the puddles had mostly drained away, but was completed with damp feet, trainers, hair and backside.
Springfield Centre cafe
5.1 miles ridden
1 butterscotch soya latte (tasted nicer than it sounds, but sadly served in disposable cup)
1 packet ready salted crisps
1 irritated cafe employee
2 unexpectedly damp parts of me (feet and backside!)