Turf Blog 06-04-23

Turf Zone – SayAhhh

Dalkeith Country Park this morning. I’m out turfing on the Swifty Air kick scooter and I kept calm. I was very tempted not to stay calm but I did. I was passing through Restoration Yard, not at speed or anything, not much quicker than walking pace, when an exceedingly large and obnoxious woman commented directly to me that adults should not be riding scooters. I was very tempted to stop and remonstrate but why let someone with the gravitational mass of a small asteroid spoil what was otherwise a very pleasant turfing session.

The temptation I had was to suggest she gets one herself and could use it to lose some of extra weight she was carrying. However, that would not be very nice, so I remained chilled and decided to call her Mrs Creosote, and if I saw her again, I’d offer her a wafer-thin-mint* (to be read with a French accent) and watch her explode.

Actually, not long after that encounter a rather attractive tall and slim lady with fiery red hair smiled at me and said hello. Fair cheered me up after the unsettling encounter earlier. Mind you, she was probably amused at this pensioner on a giant kick scooter. I wish attractive, tall and slim ladies with fiery red hair would have smiled at me and said hello when I was shy, gangly and spotty 17-year-old!

Mid-morning. Happy to say I’m still managing to hold my pole position in League 4 with about 10,000 points to my credit. Interesting to see new names creeping up the ranks with my nearest challenger now Eskimonika. FRUT tells me he/she is from Örebro region of Sweden and a Turf Titan. Beginning to quite enjoy this League stuff but will need to be careful not to fall too far behind that I cannot catch up without requiring all-night turfing sessions.

I’ve been doing lots of reading into e-bikes trying to get to grips with all the technical jargon like Newton meters, power and torque, watt-hours, amps and amp hours, regenerative braking, walk assist and all the rest. Now, armed with all this knowledge I’m looking at e-bikes differently. Rather than seeing an e-bike as something “better” than my standard bike or as a replacement, I’m now looking at an e-bike as simply another tool in the bike shed that will help me go turfing. To be added to the fleet beside the Surly Pugsley fat bike, my three Swifty kick scooters and the Surly Ogre. More updates soon.

Was also reading about how some e-bikes can be “chipped” or modified in ways to circumvent the UK legal restrictions on the maximum power output of 250 Watt-hours and the maximum pedal-assisted speed of 15.5mph (25 km/h). The penalties could be quite severe if you are caught doing so. Not that any turfer would do such as thing.

For example, you may be prosecuted for riding without valid insurance, not in accordance with your license if you have one or not having a license if you don’t, not having an M.O.T. or road tax, not wearing a helmet and even exceeding the speed limit. Other infringements might include offences such as not displaying number plates, incorrect lighting, no reflectors, etc. You may also get points on your licence and/or a hefty fine and your e-bike could be seized. Talk about throwing the book at you! And if that’s not enough, things could be even worse, you may even get banned from Turf for cheating by using an illegal form of transport.

So, today’s turfing session was on the Swifty Air kick scooter, and I’m testing out a new handlebar bag, the Aventour Pro from Rixen & Kaul. With less than half the capacity of my previous bag I’ll need to be conservative on what I can carry but for short local sessions it does the job just fine. Pleased to say it’s quite stable, even off-road and does not joggle about. The smaller capacity will be fine if I stop carrying all the stuff I never actually use.

It’s the evening now, and after the shock of seeing I’ve lost over 70 zones during the afternoon and also finding my lead in the League was down to 6000 points, it was out on the Surly Ogre for a circuit of Bonnyrigg, adding another 6000 to the total. I’m trying to keep a minimum 10,000 points ahead by the end of each day. Not sure I’ll manage that over the entire round.

Finally, Swifty Scooters have posted an interesting article looking at kick scooters verses electric scooters. Do bare in mind that electric scooters are still illegal in the UK unless on private land with permission or as part of an authorised rental scheme. Normal kick scooters can be used just about anywhere. Back soon.

*Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

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