Turf Blog 04-08-21

Turf zone – Kippielaw

There are many, many annoying things in the world. For example, news that a rogue planet-killing Doomsday asteroid is about to strike planet earth. That would certainly upset the Sunday lunch. Or someone who uses the last of the toilet paper and doesn’t replace the toilet roll. A hanging offence I would say. But there’s nothing more annoying while out turfing, on your bicycle, than that annoying click you sometimes get every time you turn the pedals. Those of you who are regular visitors to Planet Gary will know I like my bikes running perfectly and an illegal clicking sound just will not do.

That is what was annoying me this morning during my turfing round in Eskbank and Dalkeith. Every turn of the cranks, click, click, click. I tried tightening the chain ring bolts but to no avail. I even tried breaking the chain ring down, cleaning it all and using thread-lock on the bolts. Yet, still click, click, click. But more of that later. On with the turfing first.

This was Day 2 of my attempt at the Diversier medal, taking 500 unique zones during a single round of Turf. A good start yesterday with 52, and another 31 today, giving me a grand total of 83 but still a long way to go to 500. Out of interest, there is also another medal in the series, the Diversiest. This time requiring 1000 round uniques. Not one within my abilities, I suspect, though never say never. My dodgy back means I’m having to stick with short sessions at the moment, generally no more than a couple of hours at a time. At least for now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turf for longer in due course.

Eskbank was my first area this morning with zone Hardengreen top of the list. Then along to WitchTakeoff, followed by MelvilleGolf, where one of the greenkeepers was keeping a beady eye on me as I stopped outside the clubhouse to take the zone. I suppose I wasn’t an obvious golfer and must have looked suspicious. These are all my local zones and I’ve taken them many a time. In fact, today, I’m almost on automatic pilot much of the time, only glancing at the turf app occasionally, I know their positions so well. Click, click, click.

WishartPlace, EskPath, WhichKing and HolyDalkeith were soon taken, then a nice downhill run to Ironmills Park for WeirHere, one of my own suggestions. Which seemed a good idea at the time, as there always that steep uphill climb to contend with afterwards. HolyBuccleuch was next and I’m always amazed at the variation from visit to visit just where you can actually take the zone. Some days you can take it from the wall at the front. Other times the path at the east end and on others you have to actually go into the churchyard to take the zone. Click, click, click.

Zone SayAhhh, located on a hidden path beside the health centre, was next. I’ve often encountered some dodgy looking characters hanging about here. Not sure what they are up to but no-one was there this morning. Heading east, zone TheGuitar fell next, located on a footbridge across the River South Esk. I always have a quick look down into the river to see how many stolen bicycles or kiddies kick scooters have been chucked over the parapet. It was quite hot taking the zones in the built up areas of Dalkeith and I was glad of the nice cool breeze in the park as I cycled towards zone JamesTheLean.

Click, click, click. At MinersZone, the sun was shining perfectly to highlight all the shards of broken glass littering the entire area. Touch wood, I’ve managed to stay puncture free since I started turfing in November last year. I suspect my armoured tyres and puncture sealant have been doing a cracking job. The top end of Dalkeith gave up another 10 or so zones then it was down through Newbattle Abbey and home to Bonnyrigg. Probably no point mentioning each and every zone as there wasn’t anything interesting to report.

Yesterday I thought I could keep track of the round uniques I’d taken on the Turf app but found today that is only partially true. Unfortunately, should another turfer take any of my zones it shows up in red as taken, rather than the white unique circle. I guess I’ll just have to rely on memory to know what zones I’ve taken and those I’ve still to take. Probably the best way is to work entire areas of zones, taking them all in a single trip. Easier to keep track that way. Click, click, click.

Back at the man cave. I stripped down the Ogre, removing the chain and chain set and gave everything a good clean before trying again to tighten up the chain ring bolts. I also swapped the pedals from my other bike just to eliminate that as a possible cause of the annoying, though sometimes intermittent, click when pedalling. A quick road test showed no sign of the click but I’m waiting until a longer ride before announcing the problem resolved. Back soon.

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