Turf Blog 01-03-24

Turf Zone – Eskbank

Succumbing to the lure of advertising on the likes of Facebook is not something I’m usually guilty of but this time I saw something I was highly attracted to purchase. It was simply a paperback book. The title was Local, and it was written by Alastair Humphreys, an adventurer and author. The book is about exploring and discovering all manner of interesting things close to home rather than his norm of cycling continents, crossing deserts and similar hardcore adventures. I’ve just started reading the book, only the first few chapters, but this has sparked an idea.

Recently, I’ve been keen to do my part in the fight against climate change, or global warming, staying local and trying hard not to travel by car simply to take unique zones to add a few more points to a tally. Initially, I thought I’d write a blog page, not a turf blog, about some of the more interesting places and features in and around my home town of Bonnyrigg, only visiting locations within walking, kick-scooting or cycling distance. Then I realised that this would not help keep my turf blog running, so wondered if I could incorporate both. So, what I think I might do is to pick a single turf zone, or one from a turf session, and write a turf blog, are at least a few paragraphs, based on what I find at that zone, the sights, the sounds, the smells and include some research into the history, geology, etc.

I think one issue we have with turfing, particularly when you’ve been doing it for a few years, is all you do is turf, and even that is done on automatic mode. You travel from zone to zone, barely even glancing at the screen and take zone after zone. About the only input you have is listening for the nice lady that lives inside your mobile phone to say, “Zone taken”. When did you actually stop and look around you at that local zone you’ve taken 500 or 1000 times? This will be a departure from my usual turf blog but to be honest I’m struggling to find new turf-related topics to write about.

Now, a wee tip about bicycle maintenance. It always annoys me when I cannot be absolutely precise when working on the bike. For example, aligning the rear wheel between the chain stays when taking up chain slack or making sure the handlebars are perpendicular to the front wheel. It always seems a but hit-and-miss doing these by eye alone.

There is a laser device you can buy for the latter but I’ve come up with a cheaper alternative. What you need is a straight length of wood or similar about 600 mm long. Place it through the front wheel in front of the forks and gently wheel the bike backwards until it rests snugly against the forks. Make sure it’s level. Then use this as a guide to align the handlebars. Works a treat.

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