Monday, 3 May 2010

alfine hubgear...1st impressions...sunday allday ride...


i rode pugsley from 10am to 7pm with a 2 hour break at my parents on sunday...
just rode and rode and rode till my legs gave up and limped home...knackered but real happy!, first impressions of the pugsley with the alfine hub gear is that i really like the alfine hub...super smooth changes and although only 8 gears and has been described as "like riding a 2x8 with every 2nd gear missing" i found it perfect for my riding...it definitly freewheels better with less drag (or more wieght?) than the hope pro2 hub and i like the ability to change gear while stopped or freewheeling...for instance riding rocks on the coast and come across a harder bit i can just trackstasnd a few seconds and shift down a gear or two...
the much hated opposite gear change didnt bother me much...as i had this on my last devinci downhill bike and also i had used quad bikes at work for several years which have a thumb operated throttle which is pushed to accelerate..same thing with the alfine shifter-thumb push to go faster/harder gear...
the driveline was alot quieter too after the chain got a bit dry from the beachride and it cleaned up alot quicker...then just relube with some squirt and job done...
only problem i have had is the chain slack...i expected some stretch on a new chain but the wheel is moving so i will fit a surly tugnut on the sprocket side which will sort that out...i think i can honestly say i wont have another derailier gear set on a hardtail again...when released there will be an alfine 11speed hub going on the surly karate monkey 29er...
so i trailed the 5 miles to north berwick and rode west along the coast at low tide for 8 miles with a thankfull easterly tailwind to aberlady bay...

monument to the local famous author nigel tranter...

only stopping for the one picture (intro pic...) before riding through to aberlady nature reserve,,i then rode through gosford estate...this is the estate where i grew up and i know it like the back of my hand... having grown up there and also worked as a part time underkeeper to the infamous gamekeeper peter rennick who was the gamekeeper on the estate for over 50 years it is part of my childhood and past memories...
i cycled round the manmade ponds...spring is late this year...the famous show of daffidolls here are past now but trees are at last in blossom...also geese with there goslings...





how would you like to pay the heating bill for this place?...gosford house

there was once an underground tunnel (water outlet) from here into the house underneath... it was filled with concrete at the house end so is completely blocked now...

nearby are the coolers of the WW2 prisoner of war camp...

i was showen inside these years ago and german prisoners have left there drawings of scotland..,cows,sheep,spitfires on the walls...some spent 30 days in the cells..the maximum under the geneva convention..some loved scotland...some didnt!,the cells are all locked up but i took a picture through a broken window but cant make out the writing...

along the road is whats left of the POW camp...polish soilders were also stationed here after the german occupation of there homeland..



unfortuantly the perimeter fence was removed last year and im sick at not geting pictures before that happend...on the wall between the door and right hand window you can see faintly the block number of the building in red and blue...

the field opposite the camp is flat and green with grass...it is concreted underneath and was during the camps operative time full of tin roof nissen huts...
check out the old army road sign...this must be over 60 years old now...

it reads "halt at major road ahead"...

from here a style leads to a nice singletrack path through the sandy soil woods of ferny ness to longniddry...

passing the old dump where i myself dumped alot of old series 1&2 landrover parts of the gamekeepers and alot of my old motorbikes that we used to run around the estate on...

i used to cycle this bike to the shops at longniddry for food on this old raliegh 20! when i was about 15 years old,it has been here for years...dumped when the gamekeeper retierd and moved to the west lodge around 1989...and when i say years i mean like 21 years!... rust in peace...



the trail continues past the enclosures of wild boars...





boars once roamed the woodlands of scotland freely...where hanneke lives in the netherlands wild bore are still in the woodlands...she says the youngsters wear pyjamas!..there coats are indeed stripey!...
here is some film of the boars...



from here is a lovely singletrack trail to the west lodge at longniddry village...its been created by dog walkers...also enjoyed by offroad bikers!...



after some lunch at my parents in longniddry i headed home mostly offroad in a circle from longniddry to macmerry up trails passing a sign only found in scotland!...

onto the easy trails through some of winton estate...


i filmed a bit there...




some film on the way through butterdean woods..



then riding east to haddington i rode along what must be the least cycled ROW in east lothian...usually its waterlogged and nearly unrideable on a regular bike..its dry this now though...


its not often you find a trail on your own backyard but i jumped a ditch to use some bushes to answer the call of nature for a wee and found a trail through woods!,grabbing the pug i followed what looked like a trail cut with a ride-on mower through thick woods through trimmed holy bushes in places...its not on the OS maps but its now on helmetcam...



from haddington i road up to barnymains farm and the ridgeroad to nearby my home...

think that is around a 45-50 mile ride i did..not bad on a surly pugsley...

15 comments:

  1. I was hoping you'd say the Alfine sucked. * sigh * Might spring for that new model later this year or early next...

    Good post, 'kid. Thanks!

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  2. Great post. Who's in the 'big hoose' these days? The wild boar are lovely {or is it tasty?}

    The family in Switzerland have a farm surrounded by forest which have wild boar running around - as a protected species - and they can cause untold damage to crops when they come out of the forest at night to feed. I've often spent days building electric fences to keep them out. You wouldn't believe how much damage such a small animal can do. Think of a corn field that looks like its had a tank driven through it again and again!!!

    I never knew there was a POW camp in there.

    very interesting..

    cheers....Al.

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  3. dylster; i always knew the alfine would be good, esp for the pugsley for what i do...

    alistair; since lord wemyss died im not sure who`s in the house... but still belongs to the family...his son was up here for a while,
    there was also POW camp at aimsfield at haddington too...the gosford prisoners worked on the farm fieldsaround the estate...
    i can imagine the mess in the woods caused by boar...just like farm pigs!

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  4. Yet another great post. I think 50miles off-road is a long way on any bike never mind a Pugsley.

    "i think i can honestly say i wont have another derailier gear set on a hardtail again..."

    Blast.
    You do realise that you have probably just cost me a lot of money!
    It looks like my new 29er wheels are going to have to feature a geared hub.

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  5. Another top notch ride report!!!

    Kind of agree with dylster, regreting now that I didn't put out the money for a Alfine...

    Well, the conversion to gears fron SS on my pug didn't cost so much so it's still a option in the future. :)

    About wild boar, we just started to get visits from those up here in Ludvika, they have slowly progressed to the north in Sweden. Apparently they case worse damage than moose's when hit by a car!

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  6. red bike & //harri;
    i think the gearing gaps people go on about on the alfine isnt really an issue on bikes like a pugsley...for a bike like this i reckon that clean single chainline is perfect...
    roll on the release of the 11 speed alfine!

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  7. Hey little bro - you continue to amaze me - I thought I knew Gosford absolutely inside out and you've still found things up at the Camp that I had never seen. That old Army road sign is GREAT! I need to go and see that before it rusts completely. Also nice to see the plaque for Nigel (first time I've seen it)- he is sadly missed and I have many fond memories of many chats with him out on the Aberlady Bay Nature reserve or on Gullane Beach over the four summers I worked there. Also loved seeing the pictures of the ponds - I spent SO much time in there when we were growing up! Just a great post! Can I do that big ride sometime with you on my Specialised MTB? I'm sure I could keep up!

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  8. By the way... The European Marine Biology Symposium this year is in Scotland and the conference dinner will be at... GOSFORD HOUSE! Desperately trying to convince my bosses that, even with our shrinking public sector budgets, it is a really important development opportunity for me... The last time I went to EMBS, it was in the '90s at Middelburg on Zeeland in your beloved H's Netherlands. If I get to go, I will definitely blog abut the interior of the Big Hoose!

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  9. big bro; not been in the marble hall since peter was alive and i collected the wages for the beaters...it once had the largest private art collection in europe... the north wing has no roof!,alot of folk dont know that,there was a small fire and the damage was never repaired then it was removed when there was a roofing tax...also alot of windows are painted black because of a window tax once...
    maybe after the election tomorrow the wealthy will be taxed once more! (proberly not!!)

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  10. big bro; yep do a ride through gosford and luffness sometime trail detective andrew wants to go a ride through there sometime soon aswell,

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  11. Just let me know what you are planning!

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  12. Bruce,
    nice post, and info on the Alfine!!!
    i almost went with the Rolhoff..... that is until the better 1/2 saw how much it was!!! lol
    maybe the 11 speed will be in next years bike budget. did you relace up the new hub youself? any issues with chain rub, or is it pretty much like running what ya had on your pug??

    Peace, Joe

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  13. Glad you like the new hub.

    Will you be able to use the Surly Tuggnut and the hub's non-turn washers at the same time? I doubt it.

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  14. joboo; 11 spd alfine on wishlist for my 29er!

    uncle don; i fitted the tugnut with the chrome hub washer...seems to be ok,

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