Turf Blog 27-06-21

Turf zone – SignsOfHumans

Since completing the challenging Greed-250 medal the other day, the burning question on my mind was which medal to go for next? And it was actually fellow turfer Hodge who, indirectly, helped me with the decision. On checking into the turf app on the mobile after breakfast on Sunday morning, I noticed that Hodge was in the process of taking all the local Bonnyrigg zones. This was just what I needed for attempting the Restless medal – taking a zone every hour for 12 hours. There was also the very tempting, but challenging, option of continuing and completing the Insomnia medal – taking a zone every hour for 24 hours.

My initial thinking was that this required you to be out there for 12 hours solid taking zones but this is not the case. In fact, you only need to take a minimum of 12 zones, one per hour, and if you are clever, and have those 12 zones locally to home, the amount of time and effort required is fairly minimal. For instance, let’s say your time frame is 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, very civilized hours. What you might do is head out and take a zone just before 8.00 am followed by another zone just after 8.00 am. That gives you a zone for the first hour and one for the second hour. Do the same again at 10.00 am, one just before and one just after. Repeat again around 12.00 am, 2.00 pm, 4.00 pm and so on.

And that’s just what I started doing. I grabbed the Swifty Air and scooted down to local zone PeacocksBeard, taking it at 07:52, then scooted along to the next zone Pittendreich. There I waited for a few minutes before taking the zone at 08:01 before headed back for home a few minutes away. My plan was to continue with this for 12 hours, making use of the local Bonnyrigg zones to save time and effort and also let me get all those Sunday chores done as well.

If all goes to plan and I don’t miss an hour, I’ll continue this for the 12-hour period up to 8.00 pm then decide if I want to continue for the next 12 hours to complete the Insomnia medal. My thinking would be to stick to taking two zones around the hour, up to and including midnight, then head off on the Swifty Air kick scooter further afield for a leisurely night turf run, most likely along the Dalkeith to Penicuik cycleway, taking in Rosewell, Roslin, Loanhead and the cycleway to Shawfair. The weather forecast is for warm, calm and dry conditions so just about perfect for kick scooting. Only issue I can see is staying awake for 24 hours. Better take plenty coffee and supplies.

By 12.00 noon, everything was working well and I’d taken half the required 12 zones. What has become apparent is timing. For example, trying not to end up with too much hanging around time before you can take the second zone in the pair, just after the hour turns. I think the neighbours are also wondering what I’m up to nipping out on the Swifty for 20 minutes and then home again.

4.00 pm, and another 4 in the pot bringing the total up to 10. Not many to go now. A couple either side of 6.00 pm and the Restless medal will be added to the collection. This is one of those rare occasions when other turfers taking local zones is a welcome idea. Means I can revisit earlier zones that are closer to home again later on. Another point to note when trying for this medal is to check the activity of other turfers in the area and make sure that zone you are heading for isn’t blocked.

The time is precisely 16:01:31. The location is PeacocksBeard, the same said zone I took all of 12 hours ago, when I started this mini-adventure for the Restless medal. Mounted on the handlebars of my trusty Swifty Air kick scooter is my mobile phone and on the phone the Turf app is running. I am waiting patiently, for I have just taken the 12th zone in the 12th hour. It is a stressful few Nano-seconds. Have I done everything right? Have I timed a zone wrong? But wait, the screen has changed. Yes, I have the Restless medal. My mission is done. Or is it? No, this is not the end, but another beginning. Restless is done. This is now Insomnia. Stay tuned for another episode of Planet Gary when yours truly attempts to stay up all night taking zones for another 12 hours. Well, that’s the plan anyway. Catch you later.

Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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