With my zone takes sitting at 7445, I only required another 55 zones to complete the Take-7500 medal. So, that was my mission for today, a mission I did choose to accept, though no sign of any self-destructing tapes. And with only 55 zones required, it did not look like a mission impossible. Should be easy enough for a morning’s pedal on my trusty Surly Ogre bicycle. Turfer activity over the past few days had cleared all my local Bonnyrigg and Rosewell zones, so no need to travel very far. However, with only around 50 zones in those two areas, I’d need to include a few zones from Eskbank as well to top-up the total to 55 zones.
Around 3 hours of gentle cycling – my back is still recovering from a visit by the Very Despicable Pulled Muscle in the Back Goblin – saw me taking zone CollegeZone, my 7500th zone, around 12.00 noon. And another medal to add to the collection. I cannot say there was much to report from my turfing, other than the wind was, well, very windy, and some additional effort was required in the more exposed locations. However, it was dry and bright, a bit on the Autumnal chilly side, but not a bad day overall.
With the Take-7500 in the bag, my thoughts turned to what medal should I be looking at next? Next in the Take series is the Take-10000, obviously requiring another 2500 takes. There is also the 2500 Unique medal, which requires a further 1500 unique takes from the 1000 Unique medal I already have. I think I’ll let these two come around in due course rather than make any special efforts to obtain them. At least for the time being. Then there’s the Daily medals, the Five-A-Days. I’ve already completed the Daily-10 and the Daily-30, and started working towards the Daily-60. And again, that will sort itself out in due course, as long as I keep up the five takes required each and every day.
There are two other medals that have my interest, the Diversiest and the El Staminatore. The Diversiest requires you to take 1000 round uniques, that 1000 different takes within a single Turf round. For a 28-day round, this would require a minimum average of 36 takes per day. For a 35-day round this would reduce to 29 takes per day. So, either is not impossible, as long as you have the time and patience. However, still a decent challenge and choosing a 35-day round would be optimal. As we are already half way through a round, it would be sensible to wait until the start of a new round before undertaking this medal.
To get an idea of what 1000 different takes actually means, I would need all the 379 zones in Midlothian as well as the 537 zones in East Lothian. Now, not all zones are readily accessible, for example, some are in locations still closed due to the Coronavirus. But I probably would be able to take at least 900 zones from the two regions. This would leave another 100 zones to take from nearby Edinburgh.
The other medal, the El Staminatore, requires 200 takes within a single 24-hour period. In fact, this was what I was going to aim for at the start of the current round. I’d done all my planning on where I’d be taking zones, the order of taking, when to start, and so on. It was the visit from the Very Despicable Pulled Muscle in the Back Goblin that forced me to put that one on hold for the time being. Nasty little bugger!
My thinking was to start early, around 4.00 am and work my way across East Lothian, through Musselburgh and Prestonpans, as far as Port Seton, then work my way backwards towards Bonnyrigg. The East Lothian section would give me around 165 zones, leaving only 35 to take on the way home through Dalkeith and Bonnyrigg. It seemed sensible to finish what could be a long and tiring day close to home, rather than finish further away at Port Seton and still have the return journey afterwards. A lesson learned from previous medal attempts!
So, what next? I think it will be the El Staminatore. As soon as my aching back muscles returns to relative normality and the zones I hold at present in Bonnyrigg and Dalkeith are cleared, I’ll pick a good weather day and go for it. In the meantime, I’ll try and keep up the Five-A-Day, keep on taking 2500 required zones towards the Take-10000, keep on picking off uniques here there and everywhere and try not to take it all too seriously. Bye the noo!
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