Turf Blog 12-03-21

Out and about just before 5.00 am this morning to take a few zones locally in Bonnyrigg, Eskbank and Dalkieth, grabbing more points for the team challenge. However, before setting out some minor bicycle maintenance was required. My front lights are attached to the handlebars with rubber straps which have stretched over time and the lights tend to drop downwards on rough ground due to vibrations. It’s easy enough to resolve with a few wraps of duct tape to increase the diameter of the handlebars where they attach.

Weather conditions were quite unpleasant this morning, temperature 3 Degrees, a biting cold wind from the west with heavy rain/sleet/snow showers forecast. Dark, cold, wet and windy, just lovely for turfing on a bicycle. We must all be mad! Anyway, a couple of easy takes, Pittendriech and Brixwold, started off the run, followed by GroovyFarm and Skeltiemuir, on the long slow climb up through the Hopefield estate with a nice fierce headwind to add to the pleasure. CockpenBypass was my turning around point, then with a nice tailwind pushing me along, it was down the cycle way and across to Polton, for zones Poltonhall, Flash and ArgylePlaza.

I watched a newbie, TTVmruseeks, taking these last few zones the previous evening and feel slightly bad (only very slightly bad!) about taking them so soon and hope I don’t put them off Turf. Sorry TTVmruseeks, but the Scotland – Skåne Turf Challenge is on and we need those points. You can always take them back again.

On our zone-taking walk last evening, some teenagers were hanging about an open garage near zone CockpenBypass – we’d seen them a couple of times before. I decided to investigate this morning and noticed a rather sweet pungent smell in the air, which I can only assume is from smoking cannabis. Changed days. I spent my early teenage years cycling, fishing, shooting, building gang huts and rafting on the River Ettrick in Selkirk. I must have led a sheltered childhood.

A heavy rain and hail shower accompanied me down to the school, first taking zone FreeKick, then CatSchool, and making use of some shelter from the driving rain. I don’t yet have a waterproof phone cover, so popped the mobile into the handlebar bag for now. Not ideal, but I know all the local zones off by heart now and don’t really need to see the screen to take them. A fast run through the high street, then down the cycle way gave me WaverleyPark, followed by Wishart, and then Slytherin at the hospital. Stopped to chat with the local rabbits and was informed of an invader from The North, known as the SazlDazl, here on their turf stealing our zones. I was able to put their minds at rest with a carrot bribe.

Continuing on the cycle path gave me A7View, with Hardengreen next in line. There were some most enticing smells in the air from Tesco’s. Could detect bacon, sausage and fresh bread. Mouth-watering when you’ve not had breakfast yet. Next a few Eskbank zones including, WitchTakeoff, Strawberries and EskPath. Then into Dalkieth for WhichKing and HolyDalkeith. Again more enticing smells in the wind, same as before but this time from Morrison’s.

Next a quick run around of Dalkieth zones for HolyBuccleuch, SayAhhh, TheGuitar and JamesTheLean. The last two had me back into the wind again and heading for home. Could see snow on the Pentland Hills and and even more snow up in the Moorfoot Hills. I so want to get there on the Surly Pugsley. Peppermint was next, with a tawny owl calling from the trees to the south, then SouthEsk, BattleForrest, Beatles, BikeSlooowly, CollegeZone and a final zone for this morning, Eskbank. Time for some breakfast before heading to work, all of five meters away in the spare room. I like this working from home lark!

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