A trip to the seaside was the plan for today’s zone taking adventure to East Lothian. Initially, I thought I’d head for Longniddry and work my way back along the coast towards Edinburgh, taking zones in Longniddry, Port Seton, Cockenzie and Prestonpans, along with a few unique zones I’d still to take in Musselburgh. And as I was passing through Wallyford on the way there, a few zones there as well.
Leaving Bonnyrigg around 9.00 am, my route took me through Eskbank and Dalkeith, doing a few revisits and takes on the way, then into Whitecraig for more of the same. The A6094 brought me to the exotic metropolis of Wallyford, my first new area with a half-dozen unique zones for the taking. Next into salty Prestonpans, taking the zones between the A6094 and the railway line first, mostly in the new housing estate, then I’d work my way back and forth heading west towards Musselburgh. However, by the time I’d reached the outskirts with Cockenzie, it was dawning on me that my original plan was somewhat beyond my means today and decided to concentrate on Prestonpans and the few straggler uniques left in Musselburgh. Longniddry, Port Seton and Cockenzie could wait for another day. Tranent is also on the list for a future visit.
By around 3.00 o’clock, I’d taken all the zones in Prestonpans and also picked up some uniques in Musselburgh, along with a few new zones at Levenhall Links that have appeared since my last visit. Zone SportyMussels had failed to complete last time but was no bother today. WindsorGarden zone was quite a splendid place, almost like a mini stately home with a Capability Brown designed garden out front. Only complaint is that the gate is too narrow for wide handlebars. But now that I think about it, I could have opening the other gate. Duh! The building dates to the 19th Century and was originally St Anne’s Convent.
My zone count was quite pleasing today with some 80 zones taken, mostly in Prestonpans. And I must say Prestonpans has some interesting zones along the shore and main street, even a couple where you will get your feet wet if the tide is in or a heavy swell is rolling up the Firth of Forth. Saw a chap riding by on a fat bike, a Surly Wednesday, the big sister of my Surly Pugsley fat bike – the bikes are named after members of the Addams family. If you think the tyres on my Pugsley are large, you should see the Wednesday.
I was tempted to collect some sand from the beach for the collection but I’ve already sampled this area. Some interesting murals, artwork and sculptures about the place as well. As an avid fan of Wallace and Gromit, in fact any works by Nick Park, I particularly like the zone names, GromitsFriend located near Wallace Avenue, Wallyford, and GromitsEnemy, off Preston Crescent in Prestonpans. Preston was the cyber-dog in A Close Shave. Again, I’m not going to bore you to death with a zone-by-zone run through of all the 80 zones visited, so here’s the list of zones from today’s zone hunting foray.
WayOfBaird, Wishart, Eskbank, CollegeZone, BikeSlooowl, Beatles, BattleForrest, SouthEsk, Peppermint, ExitDalkeith, Smeatonhead, PowerTurf, CraigTheWhite, Deantown, Whitecraig, FutureAhead, StClementsBus, GromitsFriend, Wallyford, WemyssZone, MonksMeadow, SuthrenYett, JimBush, PrestonRoad, SeeTheThing,
Prestonpans, ThePits, PrestonCres, GromitsEnemy, BusStopPark, Middleshot,
AppinThis, DaleCopper, WorksAccess, FindingNimmo, HolyPreston, Harlawhill,
MaryMurray, PrestonTower, HolyArchitect, BooksAreGreat, SeaArt, FowlersSand,
PrestonBay, WestSeaside, MuralTrail, SportyPreston, WrigleyRigley, CuthillPark,
Inchview, CoastView, John, Prestongrange, MusselSnail, DeltaTurf, TheGaltAngle,
MacBeth, OliphantRoute, Pinkieplay, WindsorGarden, PetersPinkie, 1hp, BalcarresRd,
EskmutheBeaks, CapMuir, MusselLagWay, JohnMuirWay, MusselAshes, LagoonPitch,
LevenhallLink, TheOldCourse, TheBrunton, SportyMussels, Eskview, EskIsland, Fault,
WedderburnLow, MonktonEscape, IKnow and finally, Restoration.
You might think me daft typing in all these zone names but there’s actually a much easier way than slogging away at the digital typewriter. The easy way is to use Frut, a site providing Turf stats. Just enter your Turf name and you can then copy the data into Microsoft Excel, or another software program, and manipulate it there. Interestingly, I’m writing this page around 6.00 am the next day, and all the zones I’d taken in Wallyford, Prestonpans and Musselburgh have all been re-taken by other turfers. I must admit to find this slightly annoying but that Turf for you and all part of the game.
Having completed my zone goals for the day, I was about to head up the River Esk and head for home when I noticed another turfer on the board. Oh my goodness! It was turfing royalty, it was Féarglas, the Scottish Queen of Turfers. I watched her for a while to see where she was heading and met her near zone EskView where we blethered for a while in a bus stop of all places, talking about Turf, bicycles, phones, retirement, work, kick scooters, gloves, the weather and all manner of other things. It’s strange how you can meet someone that you actually know nothing about and have never met before, yet it’s as if you’re old friends and have known each other for years. No doubt down to having a common interest in Turf. We then headed upstream, completing a couple of assists, with Féarglas heading off towards Inveresk to take not-a-few-zones, and also check out the birds in the aviary at zone Lewisvale. Myself, I was off home to Bonnyrigg to make the dinner and tinker a little with Ogre whose back brake needed a little adjustment.
Overall a successful, but very cold day, with a biting wind from the north and some 6 hours in the saddle, and very happy to have met and chatted Turf with Féarglas. Round points are up to 182,500, bringing my grand points total to 349,700 just a few hundred points short off the next rank, Rank 31 – Novice Zoner. My uniques tally was 431 and well on the way to the Unique-500 medal. And finally, always nice to have another medal you’re not consciously working towards appear on the screen, the Greed-150, for holding at least 150 zones at the same time. Well, that’s all for now folks, watch out for another exciting episode of Planet Gary, which will probably be tomorrow!
P.S. For those with Avid BB7 cable operated disk brakes. If you have trouble aligning the callipers, check that the dome and cup washer sets on the bolts that hold the calliper to the frame, or brake adaptor, are not sticking. If they stick, when you tighten up the bolts, the calliper can move out of alignment. A small amount of grease on the washers makes all the difference. Make sure you note the order and orientation the washers before you remove them. Since I’ve been out in the shed fettling Ogres brakes, my pph has been merrily beavering away and I’m now Rank 31 – Novice Zoner. 🙂
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