What a year it's been!
A fair few ups and downs, some caused by the five-letter word we've all come to know and dislike. That said, the Cafe Rider way has always been to have a coffee, roll up our sleeves and get to work...and we did. Let's have a quick look at what we've been up to during the last 12 months.
January was relatively quiet, with restrictions making events difficult. Even then, we were very happy to see so many of you at the Cafe on a regular basis.
In order to regain some sense of normalcy, we planned a Caffeine Cruise for February 12th. It would have been the first proper Cruise in more than 12 months, but someone forgot to tell the weather and the whole week's forecast was beset by fog. Not wanting to take any chances, we decided to cancel.
March brought Cafe Rider's 7th Anniversary with it and we were keen to celebrate. Week-long festivities included a classic car gathering, discounts on our menu, our merchandise and more. We even introduced our first limited edition coffee - the Colombia Guava Banana - which sold out during Anniversary week!
An absence of social events meant that we had to hunt for inspiration elsewhere. April saw us making trips to the desert to enjoy the last bit of cool weather before summer. One of those trips was a sunrise run with bikers Zubin Jaafar and Sonia Ordas, which made for some fun photography and a lot of sand having to be emptied from our shoes and bikes.
The heat kicked in properly in May and a switch to a new selection of cold drinks necessitated a trip to the beach. We had very fashionable transport thanks to Len and Claire, who brought their lovely aircooled VW bus along too!
As is usually the case, July, August and September were quiet months with regards to community events, but the Cafe remained packed everyday throughout the three months. We also took the opportunity to introduce a few collaborations: Nitro Cold Brew and the Limited Edition Yemen Haraz coffee with Rose & Cactus. At the same time, we were reminded that creativity takes many forms, thanks to Emma and her lovely sketch of the Headbanger motorcycle at the Cafe.
It also drove home a point, it was time to go inspiration-hunting again. So one September evening, we coaxed our chief-craftsman Fahim to come with us. There was a certain point, as the sun was setting to the unmistakeable soundtrack of a happy V-twin, that made it seem like all was right with the world.
As the first week of October began, we were all in agreement - a Caffeine Cruise needed to be planned. October 15th was set as the date and an early start had us expecting an underwhelming number of attendees. Imagine our surprise when 80 motorcycles showed up! We rode a pre-planned city route before making our way to the newly-opened CARS Cafe to see an old friend.
The record-breaking Cruise had given us that sought-after inspiration and we didn't want to lose momentum. Another Caffeine Cruise was planned for November 19th, this time to Khor Fakkan. While we didn't have as many motorcycles as the first ride, the spirit of all those who attended was reminiscent of the original Caffeine Cruises outside the city. Good times indeed...
We weren't done with the month yet. For the first time in three years, we were able to place a car inside the Cafe! Granted, it was the rather small XEV YoYo, but it got us thinking about the future of mobility. The last week of November saw another first for the Cafe - we were invited to take part in #NOFILTERDXB, a new initiative intended to replace the Dubai Motor Show. It was great to get out and see all of you at the Cafe Rider space at Dubai Harbour!
If you thought we were going to slow down after this, you're wrong because only a few days later, we were invited to be a part of the Historic Dubai Grand Prix Revival at the Dubai Autodrome! Classic cars, bikes and outfits were the order of the day, as vintage GP cars and Group C monsters battled against each other on track. It was the perfect way to start the final month of the year, while celebrating the UAE's 50th birthday in style!
Just one week later, we celebrated "Obsessed with Overland" on December 10th. We've always been partial to overlanders and offroaders, a sentiment that is shared by the local community. A variety of purpose-built offroad machines showed up to the Cafe, from original Land Cruiser FJ45s, to lifted Chevy Silverados with flames down the side. Dubai Drives' Ollie Craig kindly lent us his newly-restored Land Rover Series 1 to place on the Cafe floor, where it enjoyed the attention of all our patrons throughout the day.
If you've made it this far, thank you for sticking with us! Don't forget to avail of the sale that we have on till the 31st of December - up to 15% off on all online and in-store orders (not food and drink).
When all is said and done, we can't deny it's been a pretty good year and we have you all to thank for that. As we look to 2022, we're excited about what we see, so stay tuned for plenty more to come from Cafe Rider!
Happy Holidays and as always, #beoriginalbefree !