Turf Blog 16-02-22

Turf zone – Skeltiemuir

When I first started turfing I was very critical of other turfers who “owned” the zones around their local area, having on various occasions discovered the zones I’d just taken were taken back within seconds of the block expiring. Galashiels and Tranent, come to mind. Today, I must admit I find myself getting a bit over-protective over “my” zones in Bonnyrigg. I nipped around Bonnyrigg on the bike yesterday and grabbed all the zones, some 40 of them these days. But when I awoke this morning all “my” Bonnyrigg had been lost to recent turf newcomer, MuttsCycles.

Of course, they’re not really my Bonnyrigg zones and I don’t really mind, I can always take them back again the next day, and get more points as well. I may have had something to do with encouraging Muttscycles to go turfing, if I recall our conversation at his bike shop in Newtongrange (Nitten?) a few weeks ago, so it’s partly my own fault. But on the bright side, having local zones taken regularly also means no need to travel further away to find zones, though a change of scenery is often welcome.

With a dismal weather forecast today, in the name of Storm Dudley, mostly for rain along with an amber warning for wind, I chanced heading out on the bike the back of 9.00 am, hopeful of a fair weather window to take back a few zones before the rain starts. To say it was windy was an understatement. On more than one occasion, across in the Hopefield area, I was actually blown sideways by the wind. Thankfully, I usually plan for this when cycling, keeping to the upwind side of the path or road to allow somewhere to swerve into if hit suddenly by the wind. Better than ending up in a *SuDS pond, someone’s front garden or crashing into a prickly hedge. The granny-gear got a lot of use this morning.

And there’s been a new addition to the Bonnyrigg zone collection with zone PisaForest, located in the so-called Sherwood housing estate. And I cannot for the life of me, work out the naming of this one. Usually, though not always, there’s some local clue to the zone name but I cannot see this one. Of course, this new addition throws my carefully worked-out zone-taking route to the four winds, yet again. I suspect the zone-makers may do this purposely just for some mischief. I jest. New zones are always welcome. Keep them coming.

Anyway, just a short blog today. In fact, I’ve not been doing much turfing these past few weeks, mostly grabbing zones locally and keeping the Daily-Five going. Just another 20 days to go for the Daily-180 medal. Looking forward to that. Not sure I looking forward to the next Daily medal, the Daily-365, a good 185 days of taking five zones a day. Might head for the East Lothian coast with the Surly Pugsley fat bike tomorrow, I’ve still a few uniques around Gullane I want to grab. Then there’s Storm Eunice on Friday with heavy snow forecast. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as is Pugsley. Turfing in the snow, magic. Back soon.

* SuDS stands for Sustainable Drainage System, designed to manage stormwater locally (as close its source as possible), to mimic natural drainage and encourage its infiltration, attenuation and passive treatment. Good for wildlife as well.

Copyright ©2022 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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