Turf Blog 07-08-23

Turf Zone – Gorebridge

Nice easy turf day. My mission, to take those final four train station zones I mentioned on Turf Blog 04-08-23 and complete that unofficial Planet Gary medal, the Station Master 10. First stop was Gorebridge and a pleasant change not to be taking all the Gorebridge zones, following my usual route. This time simply aiming for the railway station and taking the occasional zone encountered along the way.

I’m riding the Surly Ogre single speed today and as this is my first time in a very hilly Gorebridge, I’m wondering how I will get on without gears. However, I need not have worried as I was able to climb all the hills I came across, even the steep one from the station up though the village centre. Something I’m very pleased about, though I suspect the slightly lower gear ratio on the Surly Ogre helped matters somewhat. And I also suspect the single speed setup has far less drag than the previous Ogre build with a Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear. Wish I gone single speed sooner.

Turf Zone – Newtongrange

Next stop Newtongrange. First taking the zone at the Mining Museum, then an easy ride down the switch-back path to the train station. From there, a fast run back to Bonnyrigg for some lunch. I had originally planned to do the four station zones in a single session but did some painting on the Surly Ogre fat bike this morning, finishing off the mudguards. Also tried to help Viviana, the neighbours youngest daughter, learn to ride her bike. Not sure she grasped the principle that a bike needs forward motion to stop it falling over.

Turf Zone – Shawfair

After some homemade butternut squash soup, I swapped bikes, taking the Harley Quinn single speed for the next two train station zones, Shawfair and Newcraighall. As most of the route was mostly flat, no need for the lower gear ratio on the Ogre. Quickest route was along the fast and furious A7, which has a so-called “cycle path” along the sides. However, one look at all the debris that had accumulated there and I kept mostly to the main part of the carriageway. Which also had the effect of making the traffic overtake me properly, allowed a decent space between them and myself.

Turf Zone – Newcraighall

At Shawfair, I left the A7 and worked my way across to Newton village, soon arriving at the train station. Zone taken. Just one more required for the Station Master 10 medal and that would be Newcraighall, the one I missed the other day when turfing in this area. There no easy or direct route from Shawfair to Newcraighall. You either head across to Danderhall and The Wisp, or go via Millerhill, Oldcraighall, Monktonhall and Queen Margaret University. I chose the latter, slightly further in distance, but makes better use of cycleways and quiet roads.

Station Master 10 – take 10 different zones with the Train Station attribute.

Train station zone Newcraighall was soon in the bag and that means the Station Master 10 medal was complete. I must say that it’s nice not taking lots of zones in an area. I tend to follow the same old route each time, though it does feel a bit strange knowing there are zones nearby and not taking them. Return to Bonnyrigg was back to Monktonhall, then through Dalkeith Country Park, into Dalkeith then home.

Next mission will be to take the new zone that’s appeared in Midlothian. It’s called DamnedFish and can be found at Roseberry Reservoir.

Out of interest, noticed on the map an old dead-end road called Whitehill Road, or Cairnie Road if you look at the older maps, which runs for about one mile to the east of Millerhill Energy Center. I had hoped it would be a shortcut to use between zones but it’s blocked by the railway lines at the Old Craighall end. There is a normal metal field gate there but no actual proper crossing. The railway lines are to access the rail depot. Must explore soon. Also good place for a very annoying to reach, minimum two mile round trip, new turf zone. Just a thought. More again soon.

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