Monday 27 August 2012

Over Hadrian's wall

I'd like to say I rested my legs this weekend but my calf muscles are still screaming at me following a couple of shortish walks. My bicycles have been securely locked away and I had a holiday in Scotland.

Saturday was spent walking around Edinburgh zoo where the main attractions are the Giant Pandas (sadly both asleep).  To see all of the animals at the zoo involves walking quite a considerable distance up hill and clearly not ideal for finely tuned cyclists legs ;-)

My family very generously allowed me to navigate a short detour into our drive back to the hotel after the zoo and we went to Ronde; a superb cycle-cafe in Edinburgh.

I had read about Ronde via the blogs of Rich Mitch and Sir Brian Palmer. The shop has a reasonable stock of high quality cycling goodies and I was very tempted to add to my collection of Rapha clothing and would have bought several Rich Mitch designed mugs had they had them in stock.

I didn't make it out of the shop without reducing my bank balance. They stock Lezyne products (which are definitely on my quality-products-you-must-have list) and they had the new 2013 lights.  I am now the proud owner of Femto Drive and Micro Drive rear lights in preparation for when the nights draw in.

The shop also had a beautiful Shand SkinnyMalinki bicycle and the quality of the paint and the fillet brazing was superb.  Whilst paying for my Lezyne goodies I was told that there may soon be a partnership with Shand and Rich Mitch so that if I was to order a custom frameset then my cartoon face image would be painted onto the seat tube.  That has got me thinking.

On Sunday I went to the must-see Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow and managed to fit in a few sit-downs during more walking.  This museum and art gallery compare with the best in the world. Where else can you see masterpieces for free?  They have an amazing collection including Dali, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Pissarro and many more.  They also have a collection of pieces by Scottish artists which was an education for me.  I particularly appreciated the work of John Quinton Pringle...

You don't see much artwork incorporating bicycles.  The photograph doesn't capture the brushwork very well, but Pringle used blocks of paint which makes it very striking.

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