THERE is something of the samurai about hardcore cyclists. The most famous samurai of all, Miyamoto Musashi, wrote about their life goal of achieving what he called “the Way”.

Years spent honing knowledge and training. Wandering mile after painful mile, mind and body battling each other – the ultimate goal an ever-elusive quarry.

Just as the samurai is bound to his sword, the cyclist must be at one with their bike.

And like a master of the art of forging swords, it takes an expert craftsman to put together and maintain the perfect bike.

The Velo Works in Maryhill is an unassuming shop on Shakespeare Street, but is home to one of Glasgow’s best cyclesmiths.

Paul Flook and his wife Sarah are originally from Bristol, but the experience of exploring the Outer Hebrides and beyond on their beloved bikes (and in their camper-van when the weather turned) saw them up sticks and settle in Scotland permanently.

“We were coming to Scotland four times a year on holiday and we just loved it. We had a good life in Bristol but there was something missing. Scotland ticked the box,” says Paul.

They left behind a successful mobile bike sales business in Bristol, which they have since sold, with Sarah pursuing a career in environmental management with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Paul, who is also a youth worker, originally worked for the Outward Bound Trust where he was a mountain bike and hillwalking leader and a climbing and canoe coach.

Velo Works offers specialised bespoke kit, but has begun to focus on building wheels for road cyclists as well as returning old bikes to their former glories.

“You see more independent bike shops opening up which I think suits the personability of Glasgow,” he explains.

“We’ve been busy all through the winter so it’s a good sign that a lot more people are cycling. Scotland has the best scenery in the UK. It caters for everyone.

“The roads aren’t the kindest in Glasgow and the weather isn’t great, but when I go back to Bristol it feels like I’m cycling in the south of France. It’s just not the same as when you get back from a ride in winter here with ice on your beard,” he laughs.

And the resurrection of an old bike is an amazing subject in itself. Paul’s knowledge of period components means that he can source ancient cogs and spokes, but also modernise an old rig without removing the old character.

Once they have been through the shop, an old bike which was only fit for scrap can be fit for the road for decades.

Velo Works’ approach is a refreshing riposte to today’s throwaway culture.

“Recently, we had an old bike which was refurbished, and it’s now ready to go for another 30 or 40 years.

“It doesn’t have to cost the earth, either. A girl brought her vintage bike in to us and had been told that it wasn’t worth saving by another shop. We fixed it up for around £100.”

Paul went on: “It’s a joy to work on them and it’s great when someone brings in an old bike that they love and want to keep going. The good thing about vintage bikes is that they are built to last. I have a Flying Scot from 1956. It’s had a new spray job and it’s like a new bike.”

And the bond that develops between man and machine was evident in Billy Connolly’s recent “Made in Scotland” documentary series, which chronicled the Big Yin’s emotional reunion with his own Flying Scot, which was built by Glasgow bikemaker David Rattray & Co.

And, no matter where that long and winding road takes Paul on his bike, there remains one constant – hame is always best.

“It’s a mixture of the landscape and people. Scotland’s got us.”