I’m going to start today’s turf blog with a few points about Squirt. Yes, Squirt, a wax-based long-lasting chain lube. I’ve been trying out Squirt for about a year now and much prefer it over the usual oil-based chain lube mainly because it’s far less messy than the other stuff. However, I normally keep a small bottle of Squirt in the frame bags on both the Surly Ogre and the Surly Pugsley but today it was -4 Degrees C., in the shed and my Squirt wasn’t squirting. In fact, it was about as un-squirtable as you can get. Not quite frozen solid, more the consistency of smooth peanut butter. So, the tip here is to keep your Squirt in the house, in a nice warm location like under your pillow or if out in the field, nice and warm inside your budgie smugglers. Always Squirt after each ride, never before*.
Now, before we turn to turfing matters, I’ve just found out that there’s a low-temperature version of Squirt, designed for temperatures below freezing and for fat biking and cycling in snowy or icy conditions. I’ll be ordering some today. By the way, if you search for “squirt” on Amazon you get some strange, and very NSFW, results. You have been warned.
Anyway, today was another day for turfing on the Surly Pugsley fat bike and continuing with my endeavours towards another of my un-official turf medals, The Snowman.
“The Snowman medal is simply to encourage you to get out turfing in adverse weather, in this instance, when snow is lying on the ground. It is designed to test your courage, level of personal daftness and how good your winter clothing is. The use of bicycles is highly encouraged (for added wheel-spinning fun!) Medals are available for taking 10, 25, 50, 75 or 100 zones.”
Yesterday, I managed to take enough zones for the Snowman 10, 25 and 50 medals. Today I wanted to try for the next in the series. With an additional 3 zones taken with snow on the ground yesterday, I only required another 22 for the Snowman 75 medal. My plan was to ride along the Dalkeith to Penicuik railway up to Rosewell. This would start me off with 5 revisits and a circuit of Rosewell would give me another 17 zones. So, if my mental arithmetic is correct, 3 + 5 + 17 would give me 25 zones and the Snowman 75 medal.
Weather was the same freezing brass-monkey stuff as yesterday. So, I was again well-dressed for the conditions. And thankfully, my poor wee toes suffered no ill effects from cycling in the cold yesterday. In past years I’ve often ended up with chilblains which can be very uncomfortable. But, fingers crossed, no problems so far.
Not much I can say about the session, other than riding a fat bike can give you a false sense of security. With the immense grip provided by the fat tyres, you can be isolated from how slippery the ground actually is. I realised this when stopping at zone BonnyriggPath to take the zone and some photographs. As soon as I stepped of Pugsley I was almost on my arse. It didn’t look like it but it was sheet ice.
This leaves me with just another 25 zones to be taken when snow is lying on the ground, to gain the Snowman 100 medal. Unfortunately, the temperature has risen to just above freezing and the snow and ice is melting away. Might have to wait until the next batch of snow for this one. Be careful out there. Back soon.
*Gives the lube time to dry out on the chain.
Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.