Turf Blog 24-06-23

With the Harley Quinn single speed bike now complete and performing well, and the Surly Ogre single speed project is almost finished (just the gloss top coat and the final rebuild), there’s an interesting challenge I’m keen to attempt and that is to try and better my Eager Ferret time of 7:56 achieved on the Loanhead Ferret Run, located between Roslyn and Loanhead in Midlothian. If this is actually possible on a single speed bicycle, I don’t know, but I’m going to try anyway. Should be fun!

Also, part of the challenge is to film the attempt using the GoPro camera, mounted on the GoPro Chesty for a first-person view (FPV). I also want to add audio commentary during the Eager Ferret run and will use the Rode Wireless II microphone setup for that. Mind you, not sure I’ll have any breath left to speak with once I get going? In addition, I’ve found a way to record the Turf app session and will see if I can overlay that on the final video.

For the attempt, I’ll be using the Harley Quinn single speed, complete with 30mm skinny tyres pumped to the max. To keep the weight down I’ll be carrying as little as possible, probably leaving my rucksack hidden somewhere during the attempt. Yes, the GoPro adds some weight but not a lot. So, if I have mechanical problems, which I don’t envisage, or get a puncture, the attempt will end and it will be a walk back to base.

Right, what other steps can I take to improve my time? Well, probably no point shaving my legs as I don’t think that will make one iota of a difference. The bike is in perfect mechanical shape, so nothing to do there. Perhaps the best way to increase my time is to have a clear run along the cycle path, so an early first-light start will be on the cards. And if I can choose a day when the wind is to my back, that will also help.

I’ll be travelling west to east, making best use of the terrain, which is either flat or slightly downhill. On the technical side, I’ll be taking a few zones beforehand to make sure everything is working correctly, and also to get that 5-second GPS bonus will make a 50-second huge difference. And finally, my secret weapon. I’ll be wearing my yellow Turf Scotland t-shirt. Guaranteed to knock 60 seconds of my time! No point thinking about the Region Lord 5-second time bonus. Not going to happen!

Looking at the Beaver top list times on Warded, my time of 7:56 has me sitting in 12th place in Scotland. However, I always feel it’s not worth comparing my time with other turfers as it’s not really a level playing field as the Region Lord time bonus alters things considerably by reducing the total time taken by 50 seconds. So, for me, it’s really a personal challenge to better my own time. But hey, who said the game of turf was fair?

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