Have you ever tried to explain Turf to someone? I have, many a time, usually without success. Joe and Jane public are often the most challenging. You try to keep it simple, using terms a hollow chocolate bunny-rabbit would understand, avoiding too much complicated Turf jargon like zones, take-time or ghosting. But soon you see their brain switching off, the eyes glaze over and they lose interest. I was up at Gladhouse reservoir the other day, hunting a few uniques and was trying to explain Turf to a keen birder/twitcher I encountered.
You could tell he was a keen birder/twitcher from the matching Swarovski binoculars and telescope, the BTO and RSPB patches on his anorak, and the very old YOC* badge on his floppy bush hat. I actually thought I’d fare better here as birders are usually a bit strange anyway, much like turfers. As we talked, I soon realised he was a very dedicated twitcher indeed, he rambled on about his travels to Fair Isle, Orkney and so on, and his life list, garden bird list and his driving-to-work bird list. I fact, I could not get a word in edgeways and it was me who said I must be going. And I thought turfers were a weird bunch!
Actually, many of them are when you think about it. Turfers start of a fairly normal people, albeit with an in-built determined streak, possibly with slight trends towards obsessiveness and compulsion. Turfers can be anyone and everyone, like the Agents in The Matrix. They are people who have taken the red pill and ventured down the rabbit hole, never to return. Many will soon become assimilated into Turf World, just like the cybernetic Borg in Star Trek.
However, strange as it might appear, few people who starts turfing stay for the long haul. If you look at the footer on the Turf homepage, you will see some figures. Today, the first figure reads 406,236 turfers. That represents the total number of turfers that have even been, it does not represent actual active turfers who are still out there taking zones and gathering points now. In reality, Warded reveals there are over 8100 active turfers at the moment. So, it seems that few who start the game, stay with the game. I do not know the reasons for this.
However, sometimes miracles do occur. Sometimes, very occasionally, when you explain Turf to just the right kind of enlightened person, something magical happens. They show genuine interest. You can almost see their eyes light up, a spark of interest appears. You can almost imagine the neurons in their brain firing up and getting excited. Then they actually start asking you questions. That’s when you start to believe you have a possible convert.
Then, often a day or so later, you see a new turfer appear on Turf. I recall how delighted I was when I first saw turfer MuttsCycles appear in Newtongrange. I had mentioned Turf to Scott prior to that and he soon joined the gang. Sometimes you have to keep working away at people to get them sign up for Turf. I had to do that with my wife Cathryn, aka turfer ChoccyMuffin, but she is now a keen enthusiastic player. We both introduced our friend Sheila to the game and were both delighted when turfer HappyHibby appeared. Cathryn introduced her work colleague Margaret, now turfer ScottyDog. It’s most pleasing when you tell someone about Turf, they sign up and find they enjoy it.
Right, here we go! Single speed bikes time. Been making a few refinements to both the Surly Ogre and Harley Quinn single speeds. I recently changed the gear ratio on both bikes, slightly lower on the Harley Quinn and slightly higher on the Surly Ogre, giving both the same gear ratio of 1:1.88. That means for one turn of the pedals, the wheels will revolve 1.88 times. And I’ve found this almost perfect. Still challenging on the steeper hills but easier and less tiring overall.
Today, having achieved my target for this Round, the Roundpointer-250k medal, I’m now on my way towards an additional target I set myself, to better my highest Round points total to date. That stands at about something over 370,000 points and this morning I find myself with over 350,000, so achieving that should not be a problem. And this leads me to wondering, with eight days still remaining in the Round, could I get another 150,000 points and grab that Roundpointer-500k medal? Do I want to put in that effort? Can I be bothered? WE shall see. Anyway, enough blethering, I’m off to get some zones.
*Young Ornithologist Club
Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.