Turf Transport

Turf zone – DobbysSock

When playing turf, the rules allow for any legal means of transport. For example, you could walk, run or jog, crawl, hop, skip, jump, cycle, skateboard, ski (in winter), drive a car, ride a motorcycle, or take your life in your hands and ride a horse around town, perhaps even pilot a helicopter is you so wished, though I suspect the latter would not win you any friends, unless, of course, they were also along for the ride and getting assists. I’m not sure what an illegal means of transport might be. Perhaps riding a motorcycle on the pavement, or using an emergency vehicle using blues lights and sirens. I guess using my personal site-to-site pocket teleport device would also be out of the question.

Personally, I favour three main forms of transport: walking on foot, riding a kick scooter and riding a bicycle. Of the three perhaps my favourite is the trusty bicycle, closely followed by my Swifty kick scooter, with walking on foot plodding along at the rear. But what is the best/ideal/most efficient mode of turfing transport? And is there actually such a thing in the real turf world?

So, what I decided to try was a little non-scientific experiment, comparing each of those three different methods: walk, cycle and kick scoot. I’d use the same set of local zones, following the exact same route as near as possible and see how they compare afterwards. I must say I’m very interested to see how the kick scooter compares with the other two.

Thursday. I started off with walking, selecting 30 local zones in Bonnyrigg, starting and finished near the house and with an overall distance of around 10 km or 6 miles. The zones are as follows, listed in the order of taking:

PeacocksBeard, Pittendriech, Brixwold, KirkCockpen, LadyMarion, GroovyFarm, ChesterGarden, BurnbraePoint, Bannockrigg, AuldCoal, Skeltiemuir, CockpenBypass, Poltonhall, Flash, SelfStruggle, ArgylePlaza, FreeKick, CatSchool, RobinAndTuck, SignsOfHumans, WaverleyPath, Bonnyrigg, GeorgeWarMem, DobbysSock, Wee, TongueSpatula, LothianSquare, NotFencedIn, WaverleyPark and finally, WayOfBaird.

No surprises for working out that perambulation was the slowest mode of turf transport out of the three, the 30 zones circuit taking around three hours, or 180 minutes, including approx. 15 minutes to grab something from Greggs and scoff it down. So, no chance of a Darkest Ninja medal that way. Personally, I find walking along tarmac streets rather tedious and tiring, though it is fairly relaxing and allows plenty of time to view the scenery, if there is any. And not being on a bicycle means no need to worry about other road users other than the occasional Hell’s Granny on her chopped Harley-Davidson electric mobility scooter blasting along the pavement scattering any who get in her way as she races to the bingo hall.

Friday. After a wait until around noon when the 23 hour blocks had cleared from the zones, I tackled the same route on the Swifty Air kick scooter. However, as usual I gave the Swifty a quick once-over to check that all was well before heading out and noticed something shiny on the front tyre. It turned out to be a brass thumb tack. Of course, pulling it out resulted in the dreaded hiss of escaping air. But all was not lost. A quick spin of the wheel for a few minutes to let the tyre sealant do its work and the puncture was sealed. I checked the tyre pressure and topped it up to 50 psi. It was still 50 psi six hours later after dinner. The sealant is the Kevlar based Finish Line Tubeless Tire Sealant and does what it says on the bottle. Well recommended.

For those who haven’t been enlightened into the world of kick scooters, the Swifty Air is a grown up version of your child’s kick scooter and comes with proper adult stuff like front and rear brakes and comfy 16″ pneumatic wheels. There are quite expensive at around £600 but the quality is excellent and the staff have always been very helpful. And it goes like the clappers when you want it too. I guarantee it would put a smile on your face. Unlike the bicycle where riding on the pavement is a big legal no-no, you can ride a kick scooter on the pavement (as far as I’ve been able to determine), so kick scooting offers the same benefits as walking only much quicker.

Following the same route and zones noted above, the round took 80 minutes on the kick scooter, though a punishing westerly head wind was taking its toll on my ability to actually kick scoot in places, particularly facing the wind on the hills. My route was identical to that walked yesterday, though with a few short sections on the road when the pavement was busy with pedestrians, women with prams and commercial dog walkers, the latter best avoided. Kick scooting is very hard work and you soon work up a sweat regardless of weather conditions, even when chilly, so perhaps not such a good method if turfing on the way to work.

Saturday. I completed the same route again on the Surly Ogre bicycle, sticking to an easy pace and careful not to be tempted to switch into “Darkest Ninja” mode, i.e. blast along pedalling furiously as fast as possible, as the 30 zones are ideal for the 2.00 to 3.00 am coveted medal. It was clearly faster on the bicycle but how fast? Well, back at base camp I logged onto Frut and checked the duration for the session. A pleasing 63 minutes, just 3 minutes’ shy of that required for the Darkest Ninja. Note none of the above times include getting to and returning from the start and finish zones.

So there we have it. Three different modes of turf transport around the same 30 zones following the same route.

  • Walking: 180 minutes
  • Kick scooting: 80 minutes
  • Cycling: 63 minutes

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Keep on turfing!

Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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