Turf Blog 04-07-23

I think I’ve added another addiction to my list of addictions, though to be honest, they are not proper addictions in the true medical self-destructive sense of the meaning. First there’s my addiction to a daily 4-fingered large Kit-Kat and there’s my addiction to peanut butter on toast for both, yes both, breakfast and supper. Add to that my addiction for scones when visiting café’s and, not forgetting, a mild addiction to the game of turf. And the latest addiction to add to those above, riding my single speed bicycles. Oh dear.

As Freddie Mercury sings in that famous Queen song, ” I want to ride my bicycle,I want to ride my bike.” And that’s how I feel about my single speed bikes. I just want to get out there and ride, ride, ride. Not that I think that’s a bad thing, as each ride is usually also a turfing session, so win, win, win.

Yesterday was the turn of the newly rebuilt and painted Surly Ogre out for a turfing session around Newbattle, Dalkeith. Same again this morning but the more rugged trails and field margins of Dalhousie Castle. Mind you, having viewed turfer MuttsCycles encounter with someone who thinks such trails are not for bikes, I was hoping against hope to encounter that very same person and have a chat with them. A nice polite one, of course.

I’ve had quite a few of these “you can’t ride your bike here” moments, more than one with a very obnoxious female horsey person in Dalkeith Country Park. The conversation usually goes something like this:

    • Member of the Public: “Bikes are not allowed here!”
    • Poor Innocent Turfer: “Sorry, why is that?”
    • Member of the Public: “Because they’re not, It’s for walkers only.”
    • Poor Innocent Turfer: “I’m sorry, but I can legally cycle here.”
    • Member of the Public: “No you can’t!”
    • Poor Innocent Turfer: “Have you heard of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code? “
    • Member of the Public: “Yes I have but it does not apply here. “
    • Poor Innocent Turfer: ” It does under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.”
    • Member of the Public: “I’m not discussing this further!”

Unfortunately, or is that fortunately, I did not meet any irate members of the public this morning but did encounter a party of about 50 primary school children in the conifer plantation, seemingly out on a field trip. There were gathered between zones UpperDalPath and DalhousiePath, so no choice but to run the gauntlet through them. I must say I’m surprised how much attention the paint jobs on the Surly Ogre and Harley Quinn attracts. Seems that my colour schemes are exceedingly cool. Nice to bring a smile to so many wee happy faces.

As well as taking the zones, today was also another test session to see how the gear ratio fairs on the Surly Ogre. The route here is much more tricky and technical than the easy paths around Newbattle. But thankfully, as I’ve already ordered another freewheel, my 32:18 gear set up is just fine. Not too high that I cannot actually pedal and not too low that I’m spinning out. Right bang in the Goldilocks zone. Perfect! Back again soon.

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