Turf Blog 18-10-23

Turf Zone – TheAngler

The pressure is off. With only just over 2000 points required this morning for the Roundpointer-250k medal, I can take an easy day and simply enjoy riding the bike. Decided to head up the Dalkeith to Penicuik cycleway, collecting points along the way. And it did not take long before that cherished medal makes an appearance on the screen. Job done. Now I can relax as I’m not going to go for the next one in the batch, the Roundpointer-500k. That’s a challenge for another time.

Roundpointer-250k – This medal is awarded when taking 250,000 points in a single round.

I had initially intended to head for Roslynn, then through Loanhead to Shawfair and back home. However, seeing MuttsCycles bike ride last evening, I recalled there was still a handful of unique zones out in the wilds of Midlothian I wanted to take. So decided to go for a nice turf-cycle in the countryside instead.

First unique on the list was zone TheAngler, located on the banks of Edgelaw Reservoir, beside a popular fishing spot. Easy enough to reach from Rosewell, just rough tarmac and uphill most of the way. Noticed two fishermen across the reservoir watching me. They were standing stock still, not moving. Very creepy. Or were they cardboard cutouts to deter poachers?

Turf Zone – DamnedFish

Zone DamnedFish was next, out by Roseberry Reservoir. Been there before, so not a unique for me this time. Track from Edgelaw to Roseberry Farm quite rough and challenging on the Surly Ogre single speed but the grass had been mowed, so less likelihood of encountering any ticks. Shamed to admit I finally twigged on the name of this zone, DamnedFish. A play of damned fish and fish actually dammed by the reservoir.

Turf Zone – SheepDipMe

Zone SheepDipMe was next on the list. This zone is located at the entrance track to Howburn and an easy take. Not so easy was the next unique zone, GladhoosePath. This one is located beside Gladhouse reservoir and requires you to leap the fence to access the woodland along the reservoir edge. However, found that there’s a wide ditch right on the zone boundary and I had to stretch out to get the GPS into the zone. Zone could do with being moved a few meters towards the road. The ditch is too wide to jump and I could not see any easy way round.

Turf Zone – GladhoosePath

Now heading back towards home, and very pleased that I’m now cycling downhill and with the wind pushing at my back, I soon find myself in Temple, heading for the old kirk and zone OldTempleKirk. This area has long associations with the Knight Templar and I think there are legends about buried treasure in the area. Had a quick look but didn’t find anything. Did find a nice comfortable bench to stop for a picnic lunch.

Turf Zone – OldTempleKirk

Gorebridge was my next destination, taking zone¬†InnerTemple at the gates to Arniston House and another unique, GoToGore, not far from Gorebridge. I’d actually tried to take this one before but interrupted the take to grab a photo before the take was complete. Only noticed later when on the way home. Must pay more attention.

There’s been a few comments about my new mobile phone, a Google Pixel 8 Pro, mostly about the price. And I will simply counter these comments by saying it’s for turfing. That’s all I need to say. Well, not quite. I’m sure at least some turfers will understand this purchase, and amateur photographers, and mobile phone fetishists as well. And to be honest, I do agree that spending 1057 credits on a mobile phone might be seen by some unenlightened beings as plain crazy. However, these same beings will happily spend five times that amount, and more, going abroad to fry themselves on a beach for two weeks. Enough said. Oh, should also say that price included a Google Pixel 2 watch worth 349 credits for free., which I gave to ChoccyMuffin.

Though I’ve only used it for a few days, what a difference I’ve noticed so far. First of all the screen is clearer, faster acting and far brighter than my low-budget 2019 Samsung Galaxy A10 and is much easier to see in bright sunlight. The battery capacity is 5050mAh, a giant leap from the 3400mAh of the old phone which would only last about 6 hours turfing. Duration on the Pixel 8 is claimed to be around 24-hours but I’ll believe that when I witness it in action. I always carry a power-pack anyway.

The Pixel 8 has an IP68 waterproof rating. That makes it dust-tight and protected against immersion up to 1.50 meters for up to 30 minutes. Which means no longer need to carry zip-lock poly bags to use when it rains. Mind you, I still won’t swimming out for that new aqua zone in Gladhouse reservoir. I’ve also noticed that the GPS seems more consistent, placing zones where they should be rather than them jumping about as they feel like.

Turf Zone – Eskbank

One of the main reasons I bought the Pixel 8 was for photography. It comes with three different rear cameras (main, ultra-wide and telephoto) and one front camera for selfies. They all work seamlessly and the quality is amazing. I took the above hand-held image last night. The blurb says this is all down to a Tensor G3, a Titan M2 and 12 Rams but I still reckon it’s Nano-imps inside the camera doing some magic tricks for shake, colour, lighting, stabilisation and graininess. This all means I can now record decent supporting images during my night turfing sessions. And I can now use that astronomy app I’ve been after for some time. Back again soon.

Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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