Turf Blog 27-09-23

Only a few days now until the first ever Scottish Turf Open 2023 in Edinburgh, based around Summerhall to the east of The Meadows area. The event runs from Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October, each day filled with turfing events, crowdies, social blethering and the scoffing of fine Scottish food and beverages. PlanetGary will be taking part in the bike event on the Saturday, starting at 11:15 and running until 12:45. And this presents the issue of which bike to take?

I certainly will not be the Surly Pugsley fat bike, too much like hard work cycling into Edinburgh from Bonnyrigg. So, it will either be the Surly Ogre or the Harley Quinn, both single speeds and with rather brightly coloured paint jobs. I’m favouring the Harley Quinn at the moment but we shall see on the day. My plan is to cycle in from home and station myself within the event area near the kick off at 11:15 am. Thinking about making a video with the GoPro camera on the chest mount and also record the shenanigans on the Turf App as well. Some thinking to do on this though, so we shall see.

During the event, turf rules are slightly different to the norm and these can sometimes confuse newcomers. Here we go:

  • the takeover time is 30 seconds.
  • the block time is 3 minutes.
  • assists are not permitted.
  • revisits to held zones not permitted.
  • neutral and all other bonuses are disabled.
  • all zones are worth 10 points.
  • all zones have 60 point per hour.

Today it was out into the wilds of East Lothian for a solitary unique. Zone GraveConcerns is located on the path between the wee village of Elphinstone and the Pencaitland railway path and offers a fairly easy cycle from Bonnyrigg, other than the ascent from the railway path towards Elphinstone. Mind you, any ascent is usually a challenge when riding the Harley Quinn single speed! After that it was across to Tranent, down to the coast at Cockenzie and back along the coast to Musselburgh. A very enjoyable circuit giving me 72 zones with a nice picnic lunch by the seaside. Would have added a few more zones when I returned to Bonnyrigg but turfer Hodge asked me to not take them while he tackled the Greed-400 medal. Always happy to assist Hardcore Hodge!

Now, a wee tip about rucksacks. My tip for the day is to use a rucksack slightly larger than you require. If you use a rucksack that is just large enough for everything you want to carry and stuff it to the gunnels, it can lose shape and may not sit comfortably on your back. If you use a slightly larger rucksack, you have plenty of space and it wears more comfortably on your back. Simples! And always get one with a waist strap. It helps secure the rucksack when cycling. Back soon.

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