Turf Blog 07-02-23

Turf zone – BikeSlooowly

I must admit, I enjoying turfing at the start of a new round, all those clean fresh zones each with 50 additional bonus points. And I love clearing my local patch, leaving a nice neat sea of green dots on the Turf app. And then another turfer comes along and spoils things, pinching a few zones before I get there. Oh well, the joys of turfing.

Not much I can say today about my local patch of Bonnyrigg. And I’m sure you can understand why when I say I’ve taken zone WayOfBaird 489 times. Looks like I’ve taken all Bonnyrigg around 100 times. And what is even more amazing is when I see that I’ve carried out 870 turfing sessions. Perhaps best not to look at these figures and just get on with it.

So, what can we talk about today? Well, I’ve been enjoying watching a police reality series called Fast Justice on the BBC iPlayer these past few days which has me thinking about law and order while out turfing. As I cycled around Dalkeith yesterday, I kept a mental note of where I might be breaking the law, being a naughty boy.

The first thing that came to mind was my Surly Ogre bicycle itself. Only thing I can think of is that I don’t have reflectors on the pedals. Not an issue during the day but perhaps a no-no at night. Seems that quite a few bikes these days don’t come with pedal reflectors, or indeed even with pedals!

And the next one. Riding on the pavement is obviously, and quite rightly so, not allowed. And my question is what is the difference between a pavement and a footpath? When does a pavement beside the road become a footpath which you can ride a bicycle on. For example, if there’s a grass or planted strip between the road and pavement is it now a footpath?

I asked this question on Ask The Scottish Police some time ago but didn’t get a clear answer. They only stated that riding on the pavement is illegal. Perhaps any professional learned turfers out there might be able to help? The same would also apply to riding my kick scooter. However, I asked the question to Ask The Scottish Police this morning and here’s the reply.

Classification: OFFICIAL

Thank you for your email.

Section 129(5) Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 states that it’s an offence for a person to ride a cycle upon a footway by the side of a road or footpath except:

    • where and in so far as the cycle is being taken across the footway or footpath,
    • in relation to a pedal cycle which is either not being ridden or is being ridden on a cycle track,
    • where there is a specific right so to ride.

Footpath is defined in section 151 Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 as –

    • A road where the public right of passage is by foot only, and the road is not associated with a carriageway.

Footway is defined in section 151 Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 as –

    • A road where the public right of passage is by foot only, and the road is associated with a carriageway.

You can read the full text of the above legislation in the link below:

Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (legislation.gov.uk)

We hope this information is of use.


I’ll need to get my head round this and have a good read at that legislation. I’m sure it will be good bed-time reading. Not.

Next one is traffic lights. The location is the cross roads in Dalkeith, at the Harrow Hotel. Coming up hill along Old Edinburgh Road there’s no left turn. What I’ve been doing is dismounting and wheeling the bike left round the corner before mounting again further along the street. Naughty or not naughty?

Now, the next one. Draining the dragon, sprinkling the ivory, a Jimmy Riddle, call it what you will. Sometimes you just have to go for a pee. Now, and I’m sure many of us have been in this situation, you are in a busy urban area and need to go immediately. However, you have nothing to chain up your bicycle with to pop into the local Tesco, cut backs have closed all the public toilets and nowhere else is open that you can visit. What do you do? Can you simply find a secluded place and find relief?

The next thing I wondered about was using the mobile phone for turfing while riding the bike. And the good news is here’s no specific law against it. However, on the down side, Rule 66 of the Highway Code says: “You should… avoid any actions that could reduce your control of your cycle.” And there’s more. Rule 68 says: “You MUST NOT ride in a dangerous, careless, or inconsiderate manner.” So, if you cause an incident while using your mobile phone it might go against you.

And finally, still on the topic of naughty things, what about those quite times, late in the evening or during the night, when the streets are deserted. There’s just you and your trusty bicycle. Do you wait for the lights to change when there’s no other traffic? Do you always go all the way round the roundabout or take the quickest route? Are you tempted to cycle the wrong way along that one-way street? Naughty, naughty!

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