Making any firm plans in turfing can be difficult, frustrating and annoying all at the same time. Yesterday, having increased my zone count up to around 60 zones in the afternoon, the first part of my weekend plan to attain the Greed-200 medal was to head out into Dalkieth late into the evening, spend a few hours taking zones with the aim of getting my count over 100 zones, 120 if possible. Then, with an early start today, I’d begin at Gorebridge, then Newtongrange, Easthouses and Mayfield. This would bring my zone count fairly close to the required total and I could then easily scoot down towards Musselburgh to complete the set.
However, this was not to be. The problem was other turfers, well, one turfer in particular. Just as I was about to set off in the evening, I noticed a all-night-turfer in Gorebridge, a very seriously dedicated, nay-obsessed all-night-turfer, who shall remain nameless, for now. I knew the form of this turfer, one who would no doubt sweep the entire area overnight and clear all my hard won zones, perhaps leaving me a few if they were of the kind persuasion. There would be no point me heading out this evening, as all by gains would be lost by the following morning.
And this was indeed the case. My zone total was down to 15 zones, from 60. Not unexpected but slightly disappointing all the same. But, ho-hum, that’s turfing for you. I’ve met this turfer a few times and she’s a nice decent lass with a lovely Irish accent, and it’s probably my own fault for offering encouragement on her endeavours to get to the top of the Scottish league table. No prizes for guessing who this turfer might be! But on the plus side, plenty of clear zones for the taking today and that’s just was I did.
My steed for today was not my trusty Ogre, he was having a day off for a change. It was time for the Swifty Air to get some fresh air having not been out of the shed much since November last year. So, having not been on the kick scooter for some time, I decided to stick with the local patch and take back a few lost zones in Bonnyrigg. I’m staying local because kick scooting is tough and uses different sets of muscles to those used when cycling.
First zone of the morning was Pittendreich, an easy freewheel straight from the front door. No effort required. If only they were all like this one. Next we scooted upstream for Brixwold. Now, reaching Brixwold included a slight ascent, which you soon notice on a kick scooter as gravity kicks in and there’s no gears to change, though having been cycling for the past six months, almost found myself looking for the gear change.
LadyMarion was the next zone to take back after having been lost to Fearglas last night. Oops, I’ve mentioned her name. Oh well, the cat is out of the bag now. GroovyFarm was next, and an easy downhill followed by a fairly flat section. Going downhill is also something you notice when changing from the Ogre bicycle to the Swifty Air kick scooter. The Ogre has disc brakes, the Swifty only has rim brakes and it takes a while to get used to not having the same stopping power. Can easily catch you out if you forget.
Next ChesterGarden, and more uphill scooting, and I’m not ashamed to say, some walking at the top of the hill. Then an easy fast scoot downhill again to BurnbraePoint, then back up hill again for Bannockrigg, AuldCoal with CockpenBypass and Skeltiemuir on the cycle path. Poltonhall was easy then a long climb on the kick scooter for Flash, then rewarded with a long easy downhill to ArgylePlaza.
My next zone was FreeKick, across at the school. I’d noticed possible shortcut the other night and wanted gave it a try. Instead of going down Dalhousie Gardens, there’s a narrow lane that will reduce 160 meters from the route. I initially thought it a dead end but it emerges through a vennel. Freekick is reached across some playing fields. This is useful knowledge for my attempt at the Darkest Ninja medal.
CatSchool, RobinAndTuck, Bonnyrigg and GeorgeWarMem were all easy enough but DobbysSock, reached along a dirt road was not easy to kick scoot, having recently had the pot holes filled in. Zone Wee, on the narrow brae down to Lasswade was next and I didn’t even attempt to kick scoot back up again. Those who know this zone will be aware what I’m on about. I can cycle back up the hill, all be it with a bit of effort, but kick scooting is out of the question.
Next, the Swift Air brought me to IKnowBroom, then a fun but rough scoot along the dirt track that crosses the golf course for BroomieGolf, a zone often left alone by turfers visiting the area. The remaining zones were mostly downhill from now on with TongueSpatula, LothianSquare, NotFencedIn, WaverleyPath, WaverleyPark and a final before lunch, WayOfBaird, all taken back.
Turfing with a kick scooter is great fun but hard going at times, particularly when you are fighting gravity on the hills. My circuit today took me about two hours, twice as long as when cycling. However, it’s a much more relaxed method of transport, you can use it on the pavements, unlike a bicycle, and people tend to smile at you more, for some reason, though I do suspect they are actually having a laugh at me, a 59 1/2-year-old male riding a giant kiddies kick scooter. But I don’t mind, its worth it when you see and hear the reactions of the younger children you encounter. Anyway, enough blogging for the time being, I’m tasked with helping Cathryn clean out the garden pond. However, might just get out turfing again after dinner. Ogre will no doubt be sulking by now that I’ve been out turfing with his arch-enemy, the Swifty Air.
Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.