Turf Blog 29-05-24

A good turfing run in the Midlothian countryside for some unique zones yesterday, added another six, out by Gladhouse Reservoir, on some seriously rough pot-holed and degraded country roads as well as some loose gravel forest access roads, gave the Schwalbe 700 x 35c Marathon Tour Plus tyres I “borrowed” from the Surly Ogre, a right proper test, so much so that I’m now happy to leave them in place, at least until I change my mind, something I’m often guilty of doing. I was considering some alternatives but I’m now happy with the above. And with the cockpit sorted as well, pending delivery of a set of Redshift Top Shelf handlebars, the only item remaining in my quest for the perfect turfing bicycle is how to carry the essentials required for most, if not all, turfing sessions.

Turf Zone – GrassMeUp

To be honest I don’t carry a lot of stuff, in fact, only the bare minimum for any given turfing session. So, let’s start off by listing all those bits and bobs: first there’s the tool kit comprising spare TPU inner tube, 2x tyre levers, multi tool, mini pump, puncture repair kit and disposable gloves. For longer trips there’s a water bottle and some food. When more than walking distance from home, add wallet or simply credit card and some real money. When there’s a threat of rain or I might need another layer, lightweight waterproof jacket and over-trousers. Now, all that isn’t very much and does not take up much space, however, the other thing to consider is additional space for removed clothing such as jersey and/or jacket, or perhaps a change of gloves from warm ones to mitts.

Turf Zone – HalfGlad

At the moment all this fits nicely inside an old 8-litre capacity Camelbak rucksack I use. It does the job but what I hate about wearing rucksacks is you always seem to end up with a sweaty back. Okay, you can live with that but why not have the bike carry the load rather than yourself? Of course, there is a slight downside to that, it increases the weight of the bike. That’s not usually and issue unless you are lugging the bike up or down steps, across rough pathless terrain or the like.

Turf Zone – PineAColada

Having given this some careful thought, here’s the plan at the moment. Main capacity will be an Alpkit Toploader handlebar bag. At 4-litres this will carry clothing, food and small items. In addition, and for spare capacity, a 1.5 litre capacity Alpkit Stem Cell pouch will be mounted under the saddle on the seat post. It’s actually designed to mount on the handlebars but should fit nicely there. As for the tools kit and water bottles, two bottle cages will be added, one for the water bottle and another for a large tool bottle which will carry all the tools above, perhaps even the mini pump, though that can easily be carried elsewhere.

Turf Zone – YewBeauty

Sorted, I hope. Just waiting for Alpkit stock to arrive before ordering and for the Redshift Top Shelf handlebars to be delivered in a couple of weeks, these will allow me to mount the handlebar bag lower down and not obscure my lights and phone mount. Back soon.

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