Turf Blog 20-02-21

Flushed with my success at achieving the Dark Ninja medal last night at 2.00 am, all be it a rather easy achievement, I decided to try for the Orderly III medal today. This entails taking a bridge zone, then a holy zone and finishing off with a monument zone, all in 20 minutes and in that precise order, hence the name. Having done some planning on this previously, I thought I’d give it a try at Roslin, where all three types of zone exist fairly close to each other. The bridge zone would be BilstonGlen, the holy zone a choice of either RoslinKirk or RosslynChapel, and the monument zone would be RoslinWarMeml, or even RoslinBattle.

Turf zone – RoslinKirk

I cycled from the house in Bonnyrigg, across Polton and freewheeled down the steep and windy hill to cross the River North Esk at Polton Mill, also a zone, which gave me 185 points. Then the steep tortuous climb up to Loanhead where I joined the Roslin to Shawfair cycleway, an old railway line. And yes, I did get off and push. The first zone BilstonGlen (185 points) was straight forwards, then it was a fast sprint in top gear for RoslinKirk. Quite a few pedestrians and cyclists on the path but minimal delays saw me reaching RoslinKirk within about 5 minutes, so plenty of time to spare.

However, RoslinKirk was blocked and I had to wait 5 minutes before the zone could be taken. I should have checked for turfer activity before I started my run from BilstonGlen. I then checked to see if RoslinWarMeml was also blocked and it was, but by the time I had taken RoslinKirk, RoslinWarMeml was clear for the taking. Out of the 20 minutes allowance for this medal, I’d used about 15 minutes and would have only needed 10 minutes if RoslinKirk hadn’t been blocked. The Orderly III medal was added to the collection, along with 185 points from each zone.

Turf zone – RoslinWarMeml

With the Orderly III medal added to the collection, there was still plenty of zones to take locally, most of them unique, as I’ve not ventured into this part of Midlothian very often. Scanning the Turf app, I decided to head for the Bush estate, a location totally new to me, so all very exciting. But first, time to mop up a couple of zones in Roslin, RosaMoatPath and RoslinMedics, both for 185 points. Then into the Bush estate.

The first zone, ScientistWood (170 points), was easy enough to find, just a few meters along a dirt path from the road. The next zone, PentlandPath (185 points), took a bit of guess work to locate as it’s not all that clear on the aerial view shown on the Turf app. The path was very muddy and the touring tyres on the Ogre made for much fun, slippage and trying not to fall off. However, I should really give them more credit as I made good progress and took the zone, though actually having to go off the path into the trees, probably due to the trees blocking the GPS. GlencorseBurn (185 points) and EcologyZone (155 points) rounded off my zone taking for the Bush estate. There are others towards Penicuik but they can wait for a dedicated visit to the area. And now the rain started, light at first, then gradually getting heavier.

Turf zone – PentlandPath

My next destination was the University of Edinburgh – Easter Bush Campus. Starting with SecretTrees for 170 points, then a witty RabbitER, also for 170 points, with a final zone, TheDickVet, giving away 155 points. The building has some amazing vertical gardens, though I think the zone should be at the front of the building taking in the 15-foot steel sculpture of a horse’s head by Andy Scott, same artist behind The Kelpies.

The small village of Bilston was now in my sights, providing a nice easy bunch of zones including BikingStudent (170 points), ExitBilston (155 points), BilstonBurn (170 points), Bilston (155 points) and then CorbyCraig (155 points). Crossing back into Loanhead again, I grabbed another 155 points for HerdingNiven, then across to an almost deserted IKEA for the aptly named, AllenKeyZone and 170 points. It was now raining heavier, so after ticking off Loanhead for 170 points, I re-joined the Roslin cycleway to take Burghler for another 170 points then pedalled back towards Roslin, grabbing RoslinBattle (185 points) and RosslynChapel (170 points). With my stomach grumbling, I decided to stop for lunch at Rosslyn Chapel, finding a sheltered spot behind a wall.

Turf zone – TheDickVet

Rosewell was my next destination and after dropping down the steep switchback road to Roslin Glen, I burned off some lunch calories climbing the long slow road up to Rosewell. This road is locally called the peep-peep, after cars sounding their horn in warning at the tight, blind bends. It’s fine going downhill on a bicycle but can be worrying when slowly ascending to Roslin. Rosewell provided a few more points with 155 each for EnterRosewell and HolyStMatthew, and 170 points for ExitRosewell. Then it was a fast easy downhill on the cycle path and back home to dry off. Was feeling a bit on the damp side by now.

Turf zone – BilstonBurn

All in all, and despite the later rain, a good day’s turfing. I’d achieved the Orderly III medal, my rank was again rising and now sat at Rank 28 – Advanced Conquistador, round points have increased to 82,700 with my overall points total now around 250,000. I’ve been on holiday all this week but back to the grind on Monday, so probably won’t take so many zones and the blog may falter until the weekend. But there may some after dark zone taking rides, so watch this space. And for my next challenge I will mostly be thinking Eager Beaver – a medal awarded for taking at least 10 zones within 20 minutes. Just need to find 10 suitable zones. Portobello promenade, perhaps, maybe even Eager Weasel, if I’m lucky and fast enough. That will be fun!

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