Turf Blog 07-06-23

Turf Zone – Lauder

Chores first thing this morning. Watering plants for a relative away on holiday, I know not where. Takes over an hour, hundreds of the bloody green things, the hose dribbles and the water pressure is quite low. And that’s just the plants round the back of the house. Mind you, it’s all worth the effort because Lynne usually brings round a newly baked lemon drizzle cake! Very, very yummy! Then a-turfing we go.

Single-speeding with Harley Quinn around Dalkeith and Eskbank this morning, having lost most of the zones to turfer TurboSmith, who is back with a vengeance. Not seen him turfing for a while. Go TurboSmith! Actually, it was ideal to have these zones to take back as my last session was on the Surly Ogre, using it in single speed mode, namely leaving it in one gear and not changing. Wanted to compare the two bikes.

Both very similar though the most obvious difference is the weight, about 4kg difference between the two. Makes quite a difference taking off from stationary, and of course, manhandling the bike up steps and the like. Actually, I’m beginning to think the Harley Quinn single speed is quicker overall than the geared Surly Ogre. I think the fact that you are already starting in a higher gear and put some effort into simply getting moving, that you attain a higher speed sooner and hold than higher speed longer. Wish I’d gone single speed years ago.

Still learning to ride single speed and still finding myself looking to change gear, even when I don’t have any. Managing to deal with hills better now, trying to “give it some serious welly” and gain enough momentum to carry me up the hills. One thing I have noticed is stopping at zones on steep hills, means getting started again isn’t always that easy. Not too bad so far but I’ve no doubt I’ll come across some zones where I have to walk! Oh the shame! Still, quite surprised with myself that I can climb the hills I previously changed down the gears on.

A good round of Dalkeith and Eskbank this afternoon, with 30 zones in the bag. Even freewheeled down to Ironmills Park for zone WeirHere, still sitting at neutral. Didn’t think I’d be able to cycle up the hill back to town, Old Edinburgh Road is a hard slog on a normal bike, never mind a single speed! But with some grit and determination I managed the hill and have renamed the hill Jelly Legs Road because that how I felt afterwards.

Later, after dinner, I chanced to look at the turf app, as you do to see who is about doing what. Shock horror! 51 zones lost to TurboSmith. Can’t be having that! Looks like a fight is in order. Representing Planet Gary is turfer PlanetGary riding the lightweight single speed 1×1 Harley Quinn. And representing himself is Jason. a.k.a. turfer TurboSmith riding an e-bike. This will be interesting. Anyway, off out again on Harley Quinn and took them all back. First round to Planet Gary. Don’t worry Jason, just winding you up. You can always take them back again. (See below)

With the Harley Quinn single speed project all but complete, other than fitting a new freewheel (waiting for it to arrive), I’ve started my next project and that is to convert the Surly Ogre to single speed as well. This one will be dedicated for off-road use with chunky tyres as standard and a lower gear ratio than the road-based Harley Quinn. The Harley Quinn has a ratio of 2:1, 32 tooth chainring on the front, 16 tooth freewheel on the rear, so I’ll be looking at something like 34:18, giving a ratio of 1.88:1. However, this is just a teaser as I’ll be blogging more details in the general Planet Gary blog section. Oh, the Ogre will be getting a similar paint job to Harley Quinn. Watch this space!

P.S. Guess who went out after 9.00 pm and took all the Dalkeith zones back again?

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