Turf Blog 06-10-23

Turf Zone – Fisherrow

This morning points total starts off at 68,500, a pleasant increase overnight from yesterday’s 67,000. Another 1500 points free thanks to PPH. Today my target is 75,000 points (or more!) and the Roundpointer-75k medal. Lost a few local zones overnight, most of Newtongrange and some from Bonnyrigg. Tempting to take those back again but I think time for a change and also to keep my turfing fresh. So, I’m heading off down to Musselburgh and along the East Lothian coast. Plenty of zones there for the taking. Weather forecast looks good and mild, though somewhat windy, at least for the return part of the session into the wind, and rain coming in later this evening. Tomorrow will be a total washout with heavy rain for the next 24-hours. Of biblical proportions, apparently. Better start building that ark then!

So, down through Bonnyrigg, then Eskbank and Dalkeith, picking off zones along the way. Managed an assist with MuttsCycles at Beatles, a few more takes at Whitecraig then into Musselburgh. I’m riding the Surly Ogre again today, the slightly lower gear ratio makes all the difference, less effort involved and less tiring as well. Running on larger tyres also adds to the comfort. Though by the end of the session still puggled after 4 hours in the saddle with 91 zones in the bag giving me another 15,500 points towards my target for the day.

I made a point of making today a day of exploration, not just blasting around taking zones. Tried out a few new routes, seeking out those wee hidden pathways you don’t know about. Also checked out the new bird hides and lagoons or “scrapes” at Levenhall Links. Even chatted with turfer Cruachan at zone LadyLoretto while stopping for a break. But still, the aim of the day was that Roundpointer-75k medal which is now added to the collection. My current points total is around 85,000, well on the way towards the next medal in the bunch, the Roundpointer-100k.

There was one interesting moment when a new zone seemed to appear before my very eyes, zone ByLoretto, in Musselburgh. It appeared at precisely 11.00 am and I took the zone at 12:05 pm. Nice to add another FTT zone to the collection. FTT stands for First To Take. This brings my total FTT’s to 22. Not a lot, I know, but you need to be quick off the mark here in Midlothian as we have some very keen-eyed and enthusiastic turfers here. No names mentioned.

With the Roundpointer-75k medal now safely tucked away, thoughts turn to the higher denomination medals in the series. I don’t see any issues attaining the Roundpointer-100k medal, only another 15,000 points required for that one, less with the help of PPH overnight, hopefully. Next in line is the Roundpointer-250k medal, a fair leap ahead in points but not out of the question. I’ve managed 370,000 points before so can do so again.

I did find myself starting to look at strategies, facts and figures, PPH and other mind-numbing numerical stuff. But at the end of the day, I decided to follow two simple rules. The first is simply to get out there and take zones. Nothing more, nothing less. The second rule is equally simple and that is to try harder. What was it that Yoda said to Luke Skywalker?

Luke: Master, taking zones is one thing. This is totally different.
Yoda: No different. Only different in mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.
Luke: All right, I’ll give it a try.
Yoda: No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.

I’ll take that.

And a final thought about zones. There appear to be areas of the country, for example, Greater London and parts of Strathclyde, where there are large numbers of existing zones, many of which are taken very infrequently, if they are taken at all. In these times of restricted zone allocations, would it not be a good idea to re-allocate or reposition these zones to areas where turfer activity is higher? Say, if a zone is not taken within a set time period, perhaps six months or a year, it goes into the pot for re-use. Just a thought.

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