Turf Blog 05-03-24

Turf Zone – Athena

Three turf targets today. A turfer unique at zone BalcarresRd down in Musselburgh, held by a turfer who goes by the cool turf name of EvilPegg. The other two are uniques, zone Athena in Prestonpans and zone LothianSafari, located in Tranent. It might seem an odd thing to do, only hunting down three zones, but four hours on the bike also gave me a total of 92 zones and a healthy 17,700 points, so well worth the effort.

The turfer unique, EvilPegg, was an easy run downstream from home to Musselburgh. The only risk here was another turfer taking the zone before I got there. There were two other turfers active in the area and I thought I’d lose this one but thankfully both headed off in the direction of Edinburgh. The other two were straight forward takes, no other turfers about. My route took me along the John Muir Way to Prestonpans, then uphill to Tranent. It’s a fair climb up though Tranent, keeping in mind my new obsession for riding single speed bikes, but all good exercise.

Lunch was a home-made ham sandwich and mini-Melton Mowbray pie at zone ParkByPuddle, located at Ormiston Station Car Park, once the site of Ormiston Station Colliery. The zone name comes from the nearby Puddle Bridge and there’s also a Puddle Wood across the road from the car park. It’s a good spot for a picnic lunch as there are picnic tables and bike racks. The tables are made from steel and ring like a bell when you place anything on them. Afterwards, I popped into Ormiston for the four zones there before returning down to the Pencaitland Railway path to head for home.

After today’s session, a good four hours cycling and about 30 km under the wheels, I was feeling the effects. To be honest, I was fair knackered. Not sure if this is age related being 62-years, or due to being at the tail end of my regular medication, or just plain not fit enough, but it got me thinking about e-bikes again. That, and also having taken 92 zones in four hours, had me wondering if I could get another 108 zones before 10.00 am tomorrow and grab that El Staminatore medal for 200 zones in under 24-hours.

No, not today. So, started looking at e-bikes again. Perhaps that would be a good way to assist my aging bones to tackle those medal challenges. Of course, at risk of annoying a whole bunch of other turfers who feel such assistance is poor show. I should also add, myself included!

There are three models I’m interested in, the Ribble CGR AL e, the Ribble Gravel AL e and the Sonder El Camino sold by Alpkit, all are aluminium framed off-road/gravel bikes coming in at a reasonable price, adequate assistance range and power level, tyre clearance and two all important factors, availability to purchase and overall weight.

However, reading up in everything I can about these bikes the factor that sticks in my mind is battery care. Firstly, there’s a limit to how many times you can charge the battery while retaining decent capacity. 500 times seems to be the norm. There’s also whole range of guidance about how much to charge the battery and when. Then you need to keep the battery within a specified temperature range. Not only for charging but also for simply storing the Li-Ion battery. Charging is recommended between 10°C to 40°C. This might be an issue in winter when it’s below 10°C in the shed and the battery cannot be easily removed from the bike. Even when storing the battery, the temperature should not fall below 0°C or rise above 40°C.

Next immersion in water, something to avoid at all costs. So, no washing the bike with the hose or power washer or riding across rivers. Yes, some of use do crazy stuff like that. Ribble even suggests that carrying the bike on the car rack in the rain is not a good idea and it should be fitted with a cover. And you should clean and dry the bike after every ride.

There’s a whole host of other stuff as well and while I suspect some of this is the manufacturer covering their arses, it all adds possible complications to owning an e-bike. Anyway, maybe I should just stop fussing about and go and bloody well buy one and get one with it. Hmm, better speak to the financial controller first though! Back soon.

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