Turf Blog 05-06-23

Some people would say I’m crazy to go single speed for turfing but then some people say I’m crazy anyway. So, I can ignore them. Some people, especially those who are the proprietors of the “right” kind of bicycle emporium, say lots of useful things about single speed, turfing, and cycling in general. They mention wise words such as momentum, something I’d forgotten about until it was mentioned, and only then did I realise I wasn’t really thinking about it at all. I am now. Cheers.

I’m finding more and more surprises with this single speed turfing lark and during my two turfing sessions this morning, one around Bonnyrigg, the other around Dalkeith, the main surprise was that I don’t really need gears. You might think that’s rubbish and you might well be “sort of” right. But let me illustrate with some examples. From zone DalkeithHigh, there’s a steep climb for the next two zones, the newly-minted zone MinersWalked and zone Medway, further up the hill. Normally, I would approach from the other direction, taking a gentler ascent.

However, this morning I approached the hard way and did not change gear – I’m riding the Surly Ogre as I’m waiting on a new bottom bracket to arrive for Harley Quinn – leaving it in 5th gear all morning (other than the odd occasion when I forgot and relapsed into auto change gear mode). Much to my surprise I was able to climb the hill in 5th, albeit with some additional effort and not too puggled at the top. Same on the wee steep hill between SouthEsk and BattleForest and the steep climb from StoneGate to PeacocksBeard along the B6392. Usually, I would drop down a few gears. Not today.

So, I’m thinking why do we have gears on bikes? Okay, I understand some of the reasons, less effort involved, more efficient, an excuse to buy a bike with more gears, and so on. I suppose the question is do I really need gears? I’m beginning to think the answer is a big NO! From this morning’s session it seems that gears make you/me lazy. Rather than put in some additional effort there’s the temptation to automatically change down and make it easier. Of course, doing that negates much of the benefit you might get from actually pedalling that little bit harder. I, for one, am now a single speed turfing convert. Oh deary, deary, me.

Hark! I hear a vehicle outside. I hear a sliding door slam. It’s a delivery! Must be bicycle parts. I wonder who those are for? Yes, Hope bottom bracket, new pedals, multi tool. Fantastic! I’m off to the shed. I may be gone some time.

…sometime later…

Right, back again. Hope bottom bracket fitted successfully and without the strongly recommended special Hope bottom bracket tool costing £50.00. Actually, I have a headset cup press tool which does the same job. You just need to carefully choose the right adaptors to press against the right spots on the bottom bracket. But quite satisfying all the same. New pedals also fitted, along with the Harley Quinn decals I bought on Amazon. Single speed build almost complete, just need to decide if I want to go frame and/or handlebar bag or stick with a waist pack or rucksack. On to the next project. Or perhaps not. I kind of like the idea of one man, one bike, one gear.

Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in Turf. Bookmark the permalink.