Tax dodgers always complain that Britain has a car culture. Maybe -certainly it has dedicate "car roads", motorways and all the dualled A-roads. And off these roads they have cafes open only to people who have driven there -they must be the centrepiece of a car culture.
As such, the A34 Chievely Services, at the junction of the M4 and the de-facto M34 between the M3 and Oxford with its myriad of lanes and junctions, should be the centre of this culture, a place where people heading east to west on the M4, north and south from Oxford to Portsmouth can all get together, relax, celebrate their position in the Big Car Society.
And yet, the A34 Chievely Services is quite possibly the one place you would not want to go unless you'd forgotten to fill up your car, you'd forgotten to eat before leaving, or one of the passengers suffers from incontinence or bowel problems, be they a small child or elderly relative. Food: worse than ritas. Alcohol: not an option. Entertainment: some fruit machines.
In contrast, the underpeople, the cyclists, now have another bike cafe, to follow on from the mud-dock, which is now more cafe than bike.
Roll to the soul is a community cafe and bike workshop on Nelson Street. Upstairs: a workshop and cushioned seats, all set up to let people watch the evening TdF playbacks.
Downstairs: cafe from breakfast to evening, with an interesting menu. And a bar, serving real alcohol.
If Britain has a car culture, why does much of that culture suck? Why do the cyclists get places you'd want to go, while we -the important people- get A34 Chievely Services?
ps: Friday competition: what was the original medieval name for Nelson Street?