Turf Blog 06-08-23

Edinburgh again today, the Inverleith and Stockbridge areas, hunting down a few of the more elusive uniques left over from various previous sessions. There always seems to be the odd zone left behind afterwards, then you zip along the Water of Leith walkway taking zones and you end up with 25 unique zones dotted all over the place. And, of course, hunting down these uniques take longer than simply clearing an entire area. I suppose a few of them might also have appeared since my session in the area.

Started off at West Fettes Avenue where I was early enough to bag a parking space before the hordes of visitors arrive. There was a food festival on in the adjacent Inverleith Park today, hence all the visitors. I must say I enjoy turfing Edinburgh on the bicycle – again on the Harley Quinn single speed – feels good to be making better progress than the queues of cars waiting at traffic lights.

A few zones were in the Stockbridge area and also parts of the New Town where the powers that be have kept the streets paved with cobbles. God know why, though I imagine to keep traffic speeds down. One might think that streets where one-bedroom basement flats can cost £300,000, they might be able to afford tarmac? Okay, I’m just grumbling because cycling along cobbled streets, many of them in poor condition, is a bugger on a skinny tyre bicycle. Actually, I got so fed up with my teeth rattling that whenever I came across pedestrian-free pavements I took to those instead. Naughty me!

With the uniques all widely spread, it wasn’t a big take day, just 26 uniques to add to the collection, bringing me to 2136, another step towards that 2500 medal. And talking of medals, the thought occurred to me today that we don’t have any medals where you need to take a certain number of points within a fixed time period. You know how we have, for example, the Staminator medal, where you take 100 zones over a 24-hour period and others similar. Why not have some medals where you need to collect perhaps 10,000 points in 60 minutes, or 100,000 points in 12-hours. Just examples, no idea if they would be feasible. Food for thought, perhaps.

Not too many dead ends today. By dead ends I mean trying to reach a zone only to find something like a wall, river or building blocking the way forward. Zone Inverleith was one such zone. Tried to access from North Park Terrace after taking zone ComelyBenches, which seemed logical at the time, but found a wall between me and the zone. So near, yet so far. Had to access the zone via one of Inverleith Park entrances. The two zones in the Western General Hospital led me a merry dance. I suspect I should have cycled the correct way round the one-way system. Oops! Hopefully, security was too busy admiring Harley Quinn to notice my error.

Felt a bit uncomfortable taking zone PoileasAlba, located at the entrance of Police Scotland. Don’t know why this is. Haven’t broken any laws today, other than cycling on the pavement, going the wrong way along one-way streets and a few minor traffic law infringement of here and there. My cycling garb probably broke all know fashion laws but, well, you know. I did wonder if there was a short cut through the grounds of Police Scotland to my next zone, ComelyBank, but decided that would not be clever idea and cycled the long way round.

People watching is always interesting and something to do between zones. One young woman on a Dutch-style bike most have had a death wish. She was having an highly animated conversation/argument on the mobile phone while cycling. As I followed her along the street, first she moved from the inside lane to the outside lane without signalling or even looking. The bus driver tooted her and she gave him the finger. We looked at each other and the bus driver just shook his head. She then ran the next red light totally oblivious to the traffic. Then she did a U-turn across four lanes, again without looking and stopped at a cafe. I wonder if she made it back home alive?

When I looked at the sea of white dots for the City of Edinburgh (above) I thought I was doing well but alas that is not the case. If I pull up the stats from turf.lundkvist.com, I see that I’ve only taken 840 zones from a total of 1249, or 67%, of the zones within the City of Edinburgh area. Still plenty to keep me busy.

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