A friend of mine claims the best things to go shopping for are shoes and hats because no matter what neither can make you look fat. While I agree with this statement I have to add that the absolute finest thing in the world to go shopping for is a new bicycle. A new bike can do nothing but make a girl look fabulous. To this end today's ride was a ride to have a ride. I pedalled to my local railway station, and hopped me and the bike onto the train to Manchester. A speedy, bus dodging, nip along the cities Oxford Road onto an aromatically mouth watering "curry mile" and a left turn found me outside Manchester's Bicycle Doctor. There is nothing quite like the smell of vulcanised rubber to get my wallet itching to make its way out of my pocket. I was expected at the shop as a Surly cross-check was there waiting for to test ride to make the final decision on frame size before ordering. A few whips round the block and as expected I do indeed need the smallest one they make. Lots of chat followed about exact spec with my bank balance having to unfortunately over-rule my heart on certain points, but a decision was made and an order placed. A happy me then cycled back along the Oxford Road stopping to take in an exhibition at the Whitworth Gallery and some lovely salad for a late lunch at a vegetarian restaurant I spotted. Then it was back to the station. Rather than hang around on the platform for the train directly to my village I got the first one available that got me within 6 miles of home and rode the rest of the way from there. A relaxing day, lots of fun, some easy riding and a new bike to look forward to.