Firstly, this turf blog is a bit of a ramble, just a few thought running through my head, things I want to put to paper and who knows what else. Secondly, I want to begin with a Big Thank You, to all the many readers who visit my pages and an even BIGGER THANK YOU, to all those to take the time to scribble down a few choice words of appreciation, thoughtful thoughts, constructive (and not so constructive) criticism and sent them to me. I always try to reply to all but occasionally I get mega-spammed, despite all my many layers of anti-spam, so a few my get lost along the way. My apologies for that but please do keep them coming.
One email was asking about my bicycles, and how I decide which one to use when turfing. Until recently I had three working bicycles, the Surly Ogre, the Surly Krampug and the Surly Pugsley. One bike, the Surly Pugsley, has been stripped down for parts and to free up room in the bike shed. I now use the Ogre for most of my turfing. The other bike is still the Krampug, though it has the ability to change into the Pugsley when required. Both the Krampug and Pugsley have the same fat-bike stye frame and forks and when I want a fat bike for riding on sand at the coast, or on winter snows, I simply fit the fat bike wheelset, the one with 65 mm rims and 100 mm wide tyres. Takes about 5 minutes.
Since I started turfing back in November 2020, I’ve tried to stick rigidly to not using the car to travel to locations beyond easy cycling distance, however, I’m now finding my local patch getting a bit stale and broke my no-car rule the other day to take the kick scooter to Queensferry. So, rule broken, I might as well continue breaking the rule.
While the kick scooter fits inside our wee Ford Fiesta, a bicycle does not, so I needed another means of transporting the bicycle to places far and wide. Obviously, a bicycle rack is the way to go. But which type? There’s the roof-bar mounted one but that always hurts my back, particularly when lifting the heavy fat bike up so high. So, scratch that one. Next there’s the type that mounts on the rear door. To my mind having a heavy weight resting on a glass window is daft and asking for trouble. I’ve seen a few cars where the bike rack has come loose and broken the glass. Scratch that one as well.
On my previous car I fitted a tow bar and used a £50.00 Thule 970 bike rack to carry the bike. It mounts in seconds and holds the bike very securely. So, this is the option I’m going for with the Ford Fiesta. A Brink tow bar (cost £120) has been ordered and should arrive in a few days and I’ll grab the tool box and get that installed. The dedicated electrics kit for the Ford Fiesta is another £120 so I’ll wait and see what the mounted bicycle actually obscures before deciding. They were not required on the Ford Focus I had previously, so fingers crossed. Expect a blog of the installation. I did price getting the tow bar installed but I’m not paying £500-600 for something I can do myself.
I must admit I’m looking forward to turfing further afield. Some of the towns in the Scottish Borders, where I lived and worked for around 35 of my years, look very attractive. Peebles, Melrose, Kelso and Hawick are all on the to-do list. Same with East Lothian, with North Berwick, Haddington and Dunbar, and I haven’t even looked at West Lothian and across in the Kingdom of Fife. And the best part, all the takes will be uniques. Perhaps that 2500 Unique medal isn’t impossible after all.
Next thing. An email has just popped into my inbox from Féarglas and amongst the usual between turfer chit-chat, she mentioned the recent Medal Synch 2021 in Edinburgh, on Saturday 29th. I was aware of the event but just couldn’t get my thinking-brain around what it was about, particularly when I already had any likely medals. Anyway, it was a resounding success and turfer Artful has posted an account of the evening. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Perhaps next time,
Right, enough of that. Time to get out on the bike and do some turfing. Back soon.
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