Turf Blog 21-02-23

Turf Zone – AllenKeyZone

Well, that’s the Surly Krampug sold and away to Neil, a chap I sold a Surly Pugsley fat bike to about 10 years ago. Though I’m somewhat embarrassed to say it’s coming back in this evening as there’s an issue with the gears. Can only select two of the eight gears on the Alfine hub. I suspect the new cable clamping bolt is not tight enough and slipping, or the shifter mechanism is loose or the required 101 mm distance precisely between cable end ferrule and clamping bolt isn’t precisely 101 mm. Not to worry, will soon have it as good as new. Very annoyed with myself for such shoddy workmanship when I did the service before posting up for sale. Bugger!

Oh well, not to worry. I think I’ll use the money to install hydraulic disc brakes on the Surly Ogre and perhaps purchase a B17. No, not a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a Brooks B17 leather saddle. They say Brooks make the most comfortable saddles you can buy. However, that comes with a proviso. Can you manage the 10,000 miles break-in period before the saddle wears in and becomes “at one” with your butt? Or is it the other way round? The term Iron Butt* comes to mind. And watch out for the crazy leggings I’ve got coming. Really Kit-Kat, if you know what I mean.

Turf Zone – BulkTurf

Hunting uniques again this morning. Just a small handful out towards the south of Edinburgh, one in Loanhead, one at Old Pentland and a few more between Fairmilehead and Gilmerton, so quite a bit of cycling for only a few zones. The first of them was zone LoanEngine, just off the main street in Loanhead. I’m always interested to see how the zone name came about. In this case there’s Engine Road not far away, that name no doubt from the steam engine employed at the adjacent Ramsey Colliery back in the days of coal, before they invented global warming and climate change.

Turf Zone – OldPentland

My next call for a unique was OldPentland, located out past Straiton on the way to Edinburgh. I wasn’t planning on taking too many additional zones, other than those along my route, but zone BulkTurf was along the way and complete with two shopping trolleys. I do wonder why young lads, or lassies, get enjoyment from pushing these around? They’re not exactly very practical, tend to have a will of their own and are top heavy when loaded up. Each to their own I suppose. Also called into IKEA and picked off zone AllenKeyZone.

Old Pentland Cemetery was my next port of call and an interesting place to stop for lunch. Information boards mention Covenanters, the Battle of Rullion Green in 1666 and 18th-century watch house used to guard against body snatchers. Excavations have revealed the site dates back to the 12th Century. There a bench facing west where a ham roll can be enjoyed before continuing my turfing session. Noticed some odd looking sheep with extra long legs and necks. It was only later while cycling by them I realised they were not sheep but alpacas (or something similar).

Turf Zone – OldPentland

My route now took me towards the Fairmilehead area. My plan was to take the four zones located in the fields beside the city by-pass. Seemed a good idea to leave all the urban zones around Fairmilehead for another trip. This route would lead me to another two uniques I wanted, BurdieNest and MurraysGreen. I’d previously taken all the other zones in these areas.

Now, I gave Ogre a good clean yesterday and I wanted him to stay that way, at least for a wee while. However, the key words I would associate with zones SingleFile, Harvesting, Sowing and BurdieBurnWay, was mud, mud and more mud, especially at zone Sowing where a JCB was busy spreading tipped heaps of soil, sorry, mud. Here the track was glutinous mud with the consistency of hazelnut chocolate spread. Poor old Ogre didn’t stay clean very long, nor did parts of me. However, some puddles later on helped clean most of the mud from the wheels.

And finally, advance news on the latest addition to the Planet Gary unofficial collection of turfing medals. This one is called the Bing Bagging and the inspiration comes from an interesting wee book I’m reading at the moment called Bing Bagging by James Carron. And yes, you’ve guessed the theme, bagging turf zones located on shale or coal waste bings. Examples are ArnistonBing and RamseyBing. And for those who are wondering what a bing actually is, it’s a man-made hill consisting of the waste from coal mining or oil shale production. At the moment I’m not exactly sure how many zones are located on bings so I’m starting with a medal for Bing Bagging 5, though there may be more. Back soon.

*Iron Butt Association.

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