Saturday, January 14, 2012

I now have a bike! And other news!

So I suppose I should start at last night.  I headed to the Virgin and Castle, the oldest pub in Kenilworth and a very nice pub at that, to hang out with Steve and other people from Warwick.  I met the most interesting Welsh physicist named George, who still does research at the University of Warwick, but has retired from teaching.  He used to do work in plasma physics.  I also discovered that one can put a shot of port into a glass of Guinness and it is quite tasty.  I also chatted for quite a while with Alex, the son of one of the guys that comes into the pub, Andy and his friend Bex (short for Rebecca).  They were both in their early 20s, so it was interesting to get a different aged perspective.  I quite enjoy the Guinness at the pub, which you can get regular or extra cold.  I made the mistake of ordering it extra cold, which is apparently a tourist-y thing to do.  I shall know better next time.
Here is a picture of the part of the pub.  Note the half-full Guinness on the bottom.  Yep, that would be mine.  

This morning, Steve gave me a call and said he was able to go help me pick up my bike.  Nick Mallinson (I have to clarify because there is also Nick Higgins, who is another EngD student in my group) was very kind to drive me over to Halfords in Coventry to purchase a bike and a helmet, but they would have to assembly it (since I needed the 14" frame) so I had to go back to pick up the bike today.  I was glad to have taken Steve with me, he noticed a bit of the paint was scratched on the steel portion between the handlebars, which could lead to rust later on, and we had them replace that part.  Steve also brought his dog, Pepper, along on our adventure.  It was nice to have dog along, makes me miss Holly a bit.  Pepper is a six month old Labrador/Schnauzer mix and is a very well mannered dog.  She sat in my lap for much of the trip.
This is Steve's dog, Pepper.  She's a sweetheart.

So now I'm home, got my bike up to my flat easily (it's good to have an elevator/lift).  They put lights on the front and back, it came with a bell, I've got a pump attached and a lock!  I also got a decent helmet, so I am all good to start riding, though I think I am going to clean around the flat a bit, pick up a few things at the grocery, start some laundry and go for a run first.
This is my new bike, an Apollo Cosmo.  It's very light, with a 14" frame.

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