Turf Blog 16-01-21

With the Christmas holidays over it was back to work again and limited opportunities during the week meant I had to wait until the weekend before I could head out on the bike for some zone bagging. My original plan was to cycle up to Rosewell and take a few new zones that had appeared following my suggestions. I like to check them out and report any possible errors or problems. However, there was still patches of sheet ice on the cycle route to Rosewell and rather than risk falling off, I instead scooted up to the Polton area of Bonnyrigg to take Skeltiemuir, Poltonhall, Flash and ArgylePlaza, all 170 points each.

Turf zone – ArgylePlaza

Next to fall to the GPS was FreeKick (170 points) and CatSchool (170 points) at Lasswade High School, on the way I encountered a few cunning traps for the unwary turfer. They appear to be cute and innocent puddles but are, in fact, mini-skating rinks disguised as puddles, a layer of ice hidden below the surface of the water, just waiting to slip any passing turfer.

I then proceeded at a more cautious pace to the town centre to take Bonnyrigg (170 points), followed by the strangely named DobbysSock (170 points), Wee (170 points) at the Wee Brae to Lasswade and then IKnowBroom (170 points) next to the golf course, this last one walking the bike due to lingering icy patches. TongueSpatula (170 points) at the health centre was next on the list with LothianSquare (note, slabs are slippery with slime when wet) and NotFencedIn both for 170 points, falling soon after. The Dalkeith to Penicuik cycle way gave me WaverlyPath and WaverlyPark again both for 170 points with the community hospital area providing Wishart (170 points), Slytherin (170 points) and A7View (155 points).

Turf zone – Bonnyrigg

At this point I’d noticed that I was finding it difficult not ride as fast as possible, it just does not seem right to amble along slowly at a more sensible speed, there’s this strange compulsion to get that next zone, or the next three, or the next ten. Must make a mental note to pace myself better when I’m going to be out for a whole day taking zones. I’ve also noticed a strange phenomenon where there is always another zone tempting you after the one you have just taken. And when you think you are finished for the day, there’s always the one you missed, often lurking off the mobile phone screen and you only notice it when back home. Oh, the joys of turfing!

Eskbank was my next target area, picking up Hardengreen and WitchTakeOff, both for 155 points. The approach to Dalkeith gave me EskPath (170 points) with another 170 points for WhichKing in King’s Park. Lots of children about so was cautious about taking pictures there. Dalkeith town centre was very quiet, with little traffic and far fewer pedestrians than normal for a Saturday morning, no doubt due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions. I myself was undertaking permitted exercise and keeping within my own Midlothian region, well today anyway. Next zones were HolyBuccleuch which gave up 170 points and SayAhhh added another 185.

Turf zone – HolyBuccleuch

I was tempted to head into Dalkeith Country Park but the Surly Ogre was fitted with road tyres and another visit with the Surly Pugsley or Krampug would be much more fun. Instead, I cycled across to the Woodburn area, taking points for TheGuitar, JamesTheLean, MinersZone, Lauder, WhiteHillDr, ClarindaZone, Langside and ThriftShop, all each adding 185 points. The last one in this area was DalkeithHigh (185 points) which had me tempted to scoot off down the cycle way to Musselburgh, the route offering some 30 zones (and more) and wishing I’d brought either some food or money but had neither. Bad planning, Gary, but perhaps a route for tomorrow, weather permitting. I think my partner, Cathryn, is meeting a friend for a walk in the hills tomorrow, so I have a free-pass for the day. I think somewhere different for a change.

Turf zone – FreeKick

In need of some food and some DIY jobs needing my attention, I started heading back to home to Bonnyrigg by way of Newbattle Abbey, Peppermint (185 points), a still icy SouthEsk (185 points) and too-dark-need-a-tripod-for-good-photography BattleForrest (170 points) were taken on the way, followed by a few regular becoming-all-too-familiar local Zones, namely, Beatles (155 points), BikeSlooowly (155 points), CollegeZone (155 points) with EskBank (155 points) at the railway station the final zone for this trip.

Turf zone – SouthEsk

One point I’d noticed at BikeSlooowly is that the zone is mostly on the grass area beside the police station and would benefit turfers if it was moved a few meters to the north-west to cover more of the cycle path and save us walking on the grass. We don’t want a police armed response unit rushing out for walking on the grass. Note, only joking, I think!

Today’s adventure saw my rank upped to Rank 19 – Master Adventurer with 40 zones taken overall, I think my highest to date for a single session. Interesting that those 40 zones were taken in 2.5 hours which gives a rough indication of what might be possible over a complete day in the saddle. No medals this time but the round total was 42,150, bringing my total points to 86,420. One final note, mostly to myself and that is to carry a bike lock. Useful for locking up the bike for that cafe coffee and cake stop or to answer a call of nature.

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