Turf Blog 21-05-24

Where have all the turfers gone? At the foot of the homepage for Turfgame.com, you will find a number. That number at this point in time stands at 416,145 and represents the total number of active turfers that have signed up for Turf since it began way back in 2010. Today, in Round #167, there are 7942 people (including aliens, dogs and other unknown entities) worldwide participating in this fine game. What happened to all those turfers who have fallen by the wayside and no longer play Turf?

And that was the question I was going to look into, but alas the doorbell rang. Much to my surprise it was a delivery driver with a rather large rectangular cardboard box. Oh, I wonder what is inside? No prizes for guessing. My new bicycle, a Ribble CGR SL. It was due to arrive at the end of this month, so very much a surprise to see it arrive today. Not that I’m complaining. Gosh it’s exciting opening up a new bike box. I was like a 6-year-old on Christmas morning.

Assembly was quite straight forward, remove packaging, attach handlebars, bung some air in the tyres, install the saddle and adjust to height, add pedals, check all bolts were secure and then off round the block for a test ride. Lovely, all working correctly. Now back into the shed for some customising. First job was to weigh the bike as delivered. Comes in at 9.80 kg, about 500g heavier than stated but I can live with that. On with the changes.

First remove the wheels and replace the Schwalbe 700 x 40 mm G-One Allround tyres with Schwalbe Marathon Racer 700 x 30 mm tyres. These are my preferred choice as they are slimmer, faster, slightly lighter and offer better puncture protection. I run these on my single speed bike and love them. Inner tubes were also replaced as the originals were too large and 60 ml of puncture sealant was added to each tyre for extra protection. While the wheels were off, I installed a pair of SKS Bluemels mudguards, no point getting wet and muddy and I don’t care what purists might think. Last but not least, a Knog Blinder Road 600 as a daytime running light, a nifty wee bell and turf-essential mobile phone mount.

The final weight comes in at 10.50 kg which includes all the mods and add-ons above, so still a respectable weight and also lighter than any of my other bikes. Then off round the block for another test ride, all working fine. Oh, during assembly I also reversed the handlebar stem which now points upwards rather than downwards, for a little bit more comfort. One question that has been asked is why not buy a road bike if you’ve fitted skinny road tyres anyway? Well, the road version of this model will only take up to 28 mm tyres (25 mm with mudguards fitted) and that’s a touch on the small side of off-road riding as far as I’m concerned.

I did some thinking last night about what type of pedals to install, wondering if I should go for clipless. However, when I considered a typical turf round of Bonnyrigg, taking in some 40 zones, I estimated I’d be stopping and started at least 60 times, more depending on how many encounters with pedestrians, dog walkers, traffic at road crossings and the like, I might come across. Clipless pedals might be fine for long distance cycling, continental touring and so on but not for turfing in urban areas. At least that my opinion at the moment.

All that remains to do now is get out there on the bike and take some zones. Note to self. The bell is in a different place. It is NOT a single speed; you actually have gears. Remember, you can change gear. And the brakes are hydraulic and new. Be careful. More soon.

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