Turf Blog 09-01-24

Once upon a time there was a period when life was wonderful, carefree and without that nagging addiction in the back of your thinking-brain hinting strongly that you should be doing something other than any activity you want to be doing. For myself, this was just over three years ago, It was an epoch of humankind called pre-Turf. Today, now, is the Turf Age.

Before the Turf Age burst into my life on the 20th December 2020, following a BBC News article entitled, “The night-riding mum who cycles 10 hours a day.”, I had a considerable to-do list. Here’s a few examples. One was to look at the topic of fire, investigating the many different ways of starting a fire without artificial aids such as matches. Experimenting with flint and steel, quartz and iron pyrite, building a fire-plough, finding a cramp ball, whatever that might be, all out in the field.

Another was to look at the humble childhood slingshot, both the elastic band catapult variety, such as The Barnett Black Widow, as well as the traditional rope sling like the one David was supposed to have felled the giant Goliath. In this instance investigating such topics as different ammunition, effective range, accuracy, and so on. However, along comes Turf and all these and a few more went by the way side. At least for the time being.

So, on the topic of turfing. It’s a new Round tomorrow. All zones are reset to neutral, along with points and pph. And today I’m thinking what should my strategy be for the start of a new Round? Should I go for that Roundpointer-750k medal? Well, one look at the weather forecast and that was a big fat NO! The problem is ice. January temperatures are never very great at the best of times and to reach 750,000 points in a single Round means miles and miles of cycling. And as far as I’m concerned dark nights, black ice and bicycles tend not to get on very well together. And I cherish the fact that I’ve not broken a bone to date, and want it to stay that way.

Yes, but what about that wonderful fat bike you have, the Surly Pugsley, I hear you cry. Well, yes, it’s good on compacted snow and ice to some degree but like any bicycle is still subject to the effects of that nasty force of nature called gravity, such as when it encounters black ice on a bend and both bike and rider end up on their proverbial arses. However, one thought that does come to mind is that studded tyres. Schwalbe do the ideal tyre for my requirements, the Marathon Winter Plus 700c x 35, which comes with 240 steel studs on each tyre. I thought they would be very expensive but are only about £35.00 each, so won’t break the bank account.

The downside is that they are noisy in use and when I ask myself if they are really actually practical, or even sensible, I do wonder. The other morning the ground was slippery with frost but by lunchtime it was gone. Next day, same again but with added overnight rain fall making it a true skating rink and again, gone by lunchtime. Yet, this morning all dry as a bone. On top of that you’ve got the hassle of changing tyres and building a second wheel set would be costly, likely in the region of £500 if I build to the same specification. Think I’ll give that a miss for now. Back soon.

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