Turf Blog 30-01-24

Turf Zone – TideWatchZone

Morning turfers. Voting for the next new medal launch closes on the 31st January, so final chance to get your vote in. You can cast your vote here, though Turf Supporters only, so sign up and pay the very reasonable 30 Euro for a full year (that’s only £25.57 at today’s conversion rates). Help keep this fine game running. I’m still feeling disappointed at the choice of medals available but I’ve covered that before so will not do so again. You can read that in Turf Blog 18-12-23.

My vote is for the Monumentalist series of medals for the number of unique visited monument zones. At least it’s something I can actually achieve with just over 230 such zones scattered across Scotland. Here in The Lothians, my local patch, there are about 40 zones I can manage without resorting to extensive and expensive travel, by using my bicycle, kick scooter or bus pass in public transport (buses only – trains cost money). I don’t like using the car as I prefer to do my bit for reducing global warming. Keeping my fingers crossed the Monumentalist medal will win and I can get cracking collecting those monument zones. So please vote for the Monumentalist medal!

I’ve been busy in the shed tinkering with my bicycles again. The Surly Pugsley fat bike has been stripped down and “retired” to the attic for the time being. I’m loath to sell the Pugsley as I have the habit of changing my mind in the future and may find myself pulling the Pugs together again. The Surly Ogre has also been fully stripped down for painting and a re-built/upgrade. My plan is to stick with the two bikes which also gives me more room in the shed.

I’ve never been happy with the colourful paint job on the Ogre, the finish was far from perfect. So, the frame, forks and two sets of handlebars (two sets because I’ve not decided which I will use) are away to get powder-coated. I’m going for Henry Ford’s favourite colour, gloss black, and the wheels will probably be alternating black and white panels, three of each. Interesting when you think your bicycle is running just fine but when you pull off the bottom bracket you find it’s grinding like there’s gravel inside and therefor totally knackered.

I’ve still to decide what the Surly Ogre will be when re-assembled. On the one hand, there’s the preferred option of keeping him as a single speed but perhaps with larger tyres for more comfortable off-road use. On the other hand, I’m tempted to purchase a Shimano or SRAM group set and give him gears and hydraulic brakes. All the better for more efficient turfing for the big stuff like the Roundpointer-750k medal. Not sure yet, still love the simplicity of single speed and my aging body is getting the benefits of the additional effort required. The Harley Quinn single speed will stay as she is for the time being.

With the frame at the powder-coaters, and colour decided, I can now get the components I need ordered. I’m going for a nice shiny silver finish on the headset and bottom bracket, to contrast with the gloss black frame. This time, rather than my usual cheap and cheerful but short-lasting components, I’ve gone for Hope this time, hoping they will last longer. If you will excuse the poor attempt at a pun. More soon.

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