Turf Blog 20-02-21

I went to bed last night thinking one night I’m going to get up and go for that Dark Ninja medal I’ve been hankering to achieve. Well, this morning I found myself awake at 1:45 am, otherwise known as Silly O’clock. So, as I was awake, it seemed a shame not to get out there and take some zones.

Waking up Ogre from the shed, I pedalled swiftly off, the wind in my hair, a set of grim determination on my face and started to collect the minimum three zones required, to be taken between 2.00 am and 3.00 am in the morning. I started with Pittendriech, only 125 meters from the front door, then Brixwold, another 300 meters upstream, and onwards to LadyMarion and along to WaverleyPath, all offering 170 points. Immediately after LadyMarion a popup flashed on the phone screen, I had achieved the Dark Ninja medal! It doesn’t seem a lot of effort to get the medal, at least in respect of the number of zones required but I guess it’s more the getting out of bed at an ungodly hour that’s the challenge.

Having been out for less than 5 minutes, it seemed daft to go back to bed and not continue taking zones. NotFencedIn was next for 185 points, then a fast tour of Bonnyrigg gave me LothianSquare, WaverleyPark, Wishart and Slytherin, each with 170 points. At Eskbank, Hardengreen provided 155 points and the first fox sighting of the morning. WitchTakeoff was next for 155 points with a quiet and very dark EskPath dishing out another 170 points.

Next into Kings Park, Dalkeith, for WhichKing (170 points) and a tawny owl calling from the trees, always a joy to hear. I now started heading for home, taking BikeSlooowly at the police station, CollegeZone at Edinburgh College and Eskbank at a pitch-dark railway station, all with 155 points a pop. Another popup on the mobile was a pleasant surprise, Greed-100, awarded for controlling at least 100 zones at the same time. Zone A7View handed me another 155 points and the second fox of the night, alone with dozens of rabbits, all scattering in the glare of my bike lights. One rabbit quite possibly soon becoming a meal for foxy. This fox didn’t run off but stood and watched me pass by, normally they run off. Probably seen it all before, just another crazy turfer!

A final revisit to WayOfBaird and 93 points saw me back home. An hour on the saddle had got me the Dark Ninja medal, which also means my turfman icon can now carry a ninja sword (which, I admit with much excitement, is the real reason I wanted to get it!), and also the Greed-100, 60 minutes put to good use, otherwise I’d be doing nothing while asleep. Two foxes, a warren full of rabbits and a lone tawny owl calling, also added some excitement to this crazy time of day, or is that night?

I can see why turfers would want to be out taking zones during the wee small hours. Little in the way of road traffic to bother about, no pedestrians with errant dogs or children to get in your way or delay you and no arrogant Lycra-clad cyclists on flashy carbon fibre roadies sneering at you because you’re on the “wrong” type of bike. And, you can cycle on pavements because there’s no-one to tell you otherwise – not that I would dream of doing so myself. I love the stillness and quiet at this time of night, very peaceful and calm. I think I shall be doing more of this. And there’s always the other medal, the Darkest Ninja, 30 zones between 2.00 am and 3.00 am. Mission impossible, perhaps?


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