Turf Blog 08-06-24

Turf Zone – OldCollege

I was turfing in Edinburgh yesterday, on foot I might add, and I take my Haglofs cap off to the hardy turfers who turf on foot in big cities and the larger towns. It’s so congested, stiflingly hot and deafeningly noisy. You seem to spend ages loitering at pedestrian crossings and fighting your way through throngs of pedestrian traffic. Then when you find yourself in desperate need of a Jimmy Riddle, the bloody public toilet is closed. I speak of the one at zone RossBridge in Princess Street Gardens. Bloody annoying. Why can’t City of Edinburgh council keep a public toilet in order?

My trip to Edinburgh – strange that we refer to Edinburgh as a town when it’s our capital city – was for a solitary turfer unique, located down Leith at zone DalmenyPark, held by new turfer luro. Again, I felt guilty about taking this newbie’s one and only zone, but only slightly guilty, he/she/they/them/whatever can always take them back again. In any case, if I don’t take it another turfer will. In fact, turfer Orinoko re-took the zone two hours later. Now, and I apologise in advance, onto bicycles.

For many years now I have had in my mind that the correct number of bicycles required for efficient turfing has been N+1, where N represents the current number of bicycles owned and the 1, well, we all know what that means. Yes, another bicycle. However, in recent months I’ve become accustomed to riding single speed bikes and love the minimalist aspect of that. Add to that the purchase of my Ribble CGR SL, a bicycle with gears, no less, and I’ve decided these two bikes are all I really need. Of course, along with my Swifty Air kick scooter. So, rather than having two other bikes and one kick scooter languishing in the attic, I feel they should go to a good home, or at least get used by someone.

Yesterday afternoon was spent hauling the parts down from the attic and assembling both the Surly Ogre and the Surly Pugsley, along with all the usual accessories they have. The Swifty One kick scooter, the folding version, has only been used twice and is fully assembled and ready to ride. I did consider trying to sell them but to be honest I don’t want all the hassle of postage and unless you can find someone local, your potential selling audience is very limited.

So, both bikes and kick scooter, along with a large pile of spare parts I cannot use, tyres, tubes, components and so on, have all been donated to The Bike Station in Edinburgh, a charity that resells used and unwanted bicycles and reinvests into local community bicycle related programmes across Edinburgh and Perth. Caused no little consternation and amazement when I arrived with two Surly bikes and a Swifty folding kick scooter. All to a good cause. This still leaves me with two bicycles, the Ribble and the single speed, which is still more bikes than I really need.

I also have two kick scooters, the Swifty Air, the off-road model is my go-to scooter most of the time. I also have a Swifty Zero, which is more suited to smooth surfaces with its skinny tyres but is rarely used. It’s in bits at the moment as I’m respraying it again, so it will probably go to The Bike Station when finished. I’m also trending towards donating the single speed bike as well. Will be good to have more space in the shed again and room for the future e-bike when the time is right, or more likely when it becomes a necessity. One man, one bike, one kick scooter. I,m more comfortable with that. Back to turfing.

How about a 24-hour turfing event? Well, one recently took place in Sweden, on 7th and 8th June at Luleå. And the winner, our very own Queen of Scottish Turfers, Féarglas. There were two different sections, one for foot turfers and another for bikers and participants could either take part solo or as part of a team. Foot turfers are required to take at least 120 zones over the 24-hour period, that’s an average of 5 zones per hour. Bikers need to take 240 zones, average 10 per hour. There is also a minimum requirement of 1 zone each hour. Sound good fun. I think?

This perhaps raises a question, would a 24-hour turfing event be feasible in Scotland? The Luleå 24-hour event had 14 participants, is that low for the number of turfer in Sweden? Not sure we would get enough participants here in Scotland to make the event worth running. I would certainly be interested and would include that cherished El Staminatore medal, taking at least 200 zones in 24 hours. Interesting.

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