When the weather forecast is for rain, followed by more rain, and rain again later, it can be very easy not to bother with turfing, to stay warm and dry indoors, doing others things, like binge watch the latest season of Fargo, or ticking off another movie from the Netflix watch list. However, having set myself a personal target of 500,000 points for this round, I’m not going to get them watching the goggle box, so turfing it was and to Hell with the weather forecast. It will probably be raining.
Having taken all the zones in Roswell, sorry Rosewell, Bonnyrigg, Eskbank and the lower areas of Dalkeith the other day – and much to my amazement, still holding them – the next areas still sitting at neutral were Gorebridge, Mayfield, Easthouses and parts of Newtongrange. So it was out with the Surly Ogre, a set of waterproofs and a packed lunch. Looks like rain.
Gorebridge was the furthest away, so I started there first, following my usual route but always on the lookout for shortcuts or a more efficient route to follow the next time. I tend to follow a route taking zones up to the highest point, in this instance, zone LadyBraesX, then contour back and forwards taking all the other zones, while trying to minimise losing any height that I’d have to ride back up again. Though at some zones, there’s no other option. Started raining, put waterproofs on. Stopped raining, removed waterproofs.
It was a very quiet round of Gorebridge. About the most exciting thing was trying to decide when to put waterproofs on. You know what I mean? It starts to rain but not too heavy and it looks like to won’t last too long. Do you put waterproofs on? Or do you not bother and hope it stops before you get too wet and past the point where it would be pointless to put waterproofs on anyway as you’re already soaking wet? Just one of the delights of bicycle turfing. Raining at this point.
Down at the Gore Glen end, I tried a slightly different route. Normally, after taking zones GoreField and ArnistonBing, I’d head to zone BridgeWatcher, take the zone, cross over the railway bridge and drop down the awkward muddy path to the Gore Water, and take the two zones there. This time, I took zone BridgeWatcher, but looped back around the shale bing to Engine Road, then down and along the A7, then finally left down Povert Road to Gore Glen, to take the two zones. Not sure it’s any quicker but it does seem easier. I noticed a “turf path” forming at zone GoreWater. A turf path is an unofficial path where turfers have flattened the vegetation trying to get a GPS fix on the zone. Still raining.
The time was now around 11:30 am, and almost lunchtime, so I zipped along the A7 to Newtongrange, and stopped for lunch at the mining museum, there’s a nice bench there. And it stopped raining. A pretty lady asked me if I was okay and informed me that the museum is only open 10am – 4pm, Thursday – Sunday. She said it was okay to sit on the bench though. Then after some grub, started with the zones on the West side of Newtongrange, then scooped up all the zones in the Mayfield and Easthouses areas of Dalkeith. Raining again. I cannot say I enjoy turfing in the rain. Just seems a chore somehow, despite being quite dry and comfortable in my waterproofs.
I finished off the day’s zone taking by mopping up the remaining zones in Newtongrange – sorry NotDeadYet, I took all your zones – then a fast cycle down the A7 and home to Bonnyrigg. A good 61 takes with 51 of them neutrals. Just need to try and keep turfing every day and aim for that 500,000 target. It stopped raining when I got home. Typical. Back tomorrow.
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