My plan today, which was not very likely to come to fruition, was to try for the Greed-200 medal, granted to the turfer who holds at least 200 zones at the same time. I already held 65 zones and calculated that if I don’t lose any during the day, taking all the zones in Gorebridge, Newtongrange, Mayfield, Newhouse and Dalkeith, would bring me up to around 150 in total, just leaving another 50 to take before 11.00 am tomorrow when the round starts afresh. That could be accomplished that evening, overnight or early next morning.
My route to Gorebridge was via Gore Glen, taking zones BlowLoun first, then along the Povert Road, for the zone of the same name. I would also have dropped down to Prestonholm but already held the zones there. Gore Glen gave me GoreGlenPark and GoreWater. Then it was climb, climb, climb, up towards Gorebridge. My choice of route today was most definitely the Wrong Way Round. However, that was a conscious decision. No point doing the same old thing all the time. Bit of variation does no harm. In addition, I also like to explore any new paths or trails I come across. For example, there’s a path between zones BridgeWatcher and GoreBridgeSt. It starts off nice smooth tarmac but changes later dirt or mud, depending on the weather. But good to know.
Initially, my plan was going well, 20 zones taken and not a sign of another turfer in the area. Then, cycling along the A7 towards Gorebridge, a familiar looking figure, SparseRunner, though no turfman icon showing on the screen. Perhaps he’s just out for a cycle was my first thought. Not very likely, was my second thought. Soon after I noticed his turfman appear on screen, down in the Cockpen area of Newtongrange. Actually the next area on my itinerary. I also noticed pop-ups telling me I’d lost zones in Bonnyrigg. So much for the Greed-200 plan. But all was not lost, as I had Plan B. My round points total was sitting around 235,000, just 15,000 points short of a nice round 250,000, the ideal target to go for at the end of the current turf round at 11.00 am tomorrow morning. So, the pressure was off. I could just concentrate on gathering points and not concern myself about lost zones.
With no point heading for zones in the lower parts of Newtongrange, as I’d clash with SparseRunner, I cycled up and around the Mayfield area, followed by Easthouses, then the top end of Dalkeith, then back through a very busy and traffic heavy Dalkeith town centre, then through Eskbank, and finally home in Bonnyrigg. Interestingly, I started off with 65 zones, took around 80 zones, and had around 60 zones when I got back home. In fact, just about all the zones I took in Gorebridge, Newtongrange and Mayfield were lost to SparseRunner. But that’s turf for you. No point bothering about lost zones, you can always take them again. After all, I took those zones today from someone else, mostly Fearglas, I think.
I was home again the back of 2.00 pm, my points total sitting at around 249,000, so not too many required to reach the target. I was tempted to keep on going but would be out later than evening anyway, and I really needed a coffee, as well as giving my legs a rest. In any case, my pph was around 200 and would probably take me over 250,00 around teatime anyway.
So, what next for my numerus attempts at the Greed-200 medal? Well, pretty much the same plan. First, try and get a good starting off point with as many zones held as I can, around 100 would be ideal. Forget about weekends and holidays, working days would probably be better with fewer turfers about and I’ll include an overnight session in the plan as well. Less chance of losing zones that way. And from the 20th of this month, I won’t have work getting in the way of my turfing, as I’ll be retired, so can be much more flexible where and when I’m turfing. Bye for now.
Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.