Terii’s Cycling Babble

Random Acts of Kindness and Encounters!
April 27, 2009, 10:42 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Though I’ve been getting out on my trike this year since March 21, this is obviously my first post about a day ride that is not only exploring new ground, but building Loke and I up for touring.  Sorry, no pictures yet.  My husband ran off with my digital camera to Detroit.

I woke up at 5 am this morning. The sun was peeking over the horizon and I thought I wanted to get an early start to save Loke some of the heat of the sun. Once I took Loke for his ‘business’ walk, all the Oomph just went out of me.  It took me an hour and a half to get dressed and start wrestling the trike out the door.

Finally, around 7 am, Loke and I finally moved out.  In all honesty, we weren’t moving very fast.  I’m a slow cyclist and always have been.  Granted, Loke makes me go slower, but 5.8 to 6.0 mph average is poky even for us.  My solo mph average is around 9.8 to 10.1 (cursed hills) and Loke’s usual mph average for a 15+ mile trip is around 7.5, though a few times this year he’s managed 8.2.  So, yeah.  He was being slow and I wasn’t do anything to speed him up.  Just a lazy outing for us.

We’d been out for around an hour and a half with just a few stops to let Loke drink some water and one good brush down that left enough fur behind to pack a decorative sofa pillow.  That certainly made the nesting birds in the area quite happy.  A black car passed from behind me.  I didn’t think anything of it, cars pass me all the time.  Less than 2 minutes later, it passed again from in front.  Again, it was one of those roads that goes kinda no-where so maybe he had just forgotten something at home and had to go back and get it before going back out to work.  About 20 minutes later, it passed me from behind again.  Now that made my skin prickle.

My old “conditioned in the US by numerous stalkers” wariness went up a further notch when the car pulled part way into a driveway at the top of the hill I was creeping up.  I watched cautiously as the driver sat there for a couple minutes as I continued my very slow climb of the hill.  As I got closer,  he got out.  He was around 50 years old and wearing a pair of work coveralls and he gave a friendly wave with something clutched in his hand.  I stopped and gave a smile and a nod as he stepped closer to the trike and smiled at Loke.  Then he asked if I needed some doggie socks for my dog as he showed me what he was holding.

He had several pairs of bright blue dog booties, home made from old jogging pants and velcro strips.  I was able to make out even with my still poor Swedish that he had seen me with Loke and thought I might need the booties, so had gone home to get some and then came back out to find me.  He had three huskies of his own.  He asked the usual sort of questions as he even put them on Loke.  How old was he?  How far were we going today?  How often did I go out with him?  Then he gave Loke a few more pats before saying goodbye and driving off.  I watched him go with a warm fuzzy sense of bemusement and a renewed sense of hope in humanity.

After that, Loke and I both went a bit quicker.  For Loke though, I think he was trying to escape from the bright blue, flapping cloth bags stuck on his feet.

We went on a bit further and took a new turn to explore a bit of a new area.  I found a small stream that I could get down to and let Loke play in the water for about 15 minutes.  We spotted a pair of hares ripping across a field.  That got the furball moving as he really wanted to go play with the bunnies.  I came to a cross-road and decided to turn back there, but I think the area has a lot of promise for new spaces to explore on several more trips.

I worked my back into town and had another surprise as I was sitting at a traffic light.  A cyclist came up on my left and waved.  He was one of the more serious sort of riders.  Clad in full racing gear and on a pretty nice road bike.  I thought I recognized him and it was confirmed when he suddenly asked hadn’t we met last year at Skuttunge church?  Around June of 2008, I had stopped at the church to eat a little fruit when the man and two of his friends spotted me and stopped to ask about the trike.  I didn’t have Loke with me at the time as it was 50 mile ride in 85 degree temps.  We had talked for over half an hour.

It was nice to see someone I’d met before like that.  He waved and said ‘Nice dog!’ as the lights changed and I moved on.

So, it was one of those nice and unusual rides.  I’ve had a few rides like that which are different and memorable more for the people I meet than for the places I see.  I really enjoy those times.

Hello world!
April 23, 2009, 6:58 am
Filed under: Misc

Well, here I am finally jumping into the popular world of blogging.  This place is mostly for friends and family who are curious about my adopted country or interested in the things I see and experience as I wade deeper into one of my bigger passions of cycling.

This year, I am training both myself and my 4 year old husky, Loke, to start exploring more of Sweden from the perspective of my recumbent trike.  I’m hoping this year to start going on short overnight trips with the trike and dog, eventually lengthening them into trips of a week or longer.  There is a huge cycle path that criss-crosses most of southern and central Sweden along with a single leg winding up into the northern most town in the country up near the border of Finland.  I forget the total combined length of the Sverigeleden (Sweden Path/Trail), but I’m certain it covers more than 1500 miles and I would love to cover most of it though not all in one go.  There is also a small passport type booklet that one can get stamped at certain places scattered around Sweden.  25 locations if I remember correctly and completing certain sections (or all of them) will apparently get you a certificate of some sort.  I’m still researching that.

For a while yet, any posts I make will be about things I find as I explore the area directly around Uppsala, Sweden.  Most of the pictures will be of the small country churches I come upon and use as landmarks along with rune stones.  Many of the churches I’ve found so far date from 1100 AD to 1300 AD.  Sweden is also scattered with ruins of mainly churches and quite a few cultural heritage sites that comprise of old farm buildings.  Throw in a few manor houses and castles from 1400 to 1800 and some lovely scenery, it’s enough to keep my interest and keep me trying to work my way further and further out from Uppsala.

The photo in my blog header is a quick shot I took of my trike and Loke when we stopped for a rest at a nice little nature reserve around a small pond surrounded by huge mossy rocks and large old trees.  It’s a beautiful place at all times of the year with a large population of various geese and ducks during the migratory season.  My trike is a Trice QNT ’06 model that I purchased directly from the manufacturers in Falmouth, England in the Cornwall area.  It was a birthday gift from both my father and husband since I’d been unable to ride a normal upright bike for quite a few years thanks to a bad back.  It’s served me well and I’ve covered quite a few miles on it and I’m still just as thrilled with it as when I first sat on the model in Cornwall to take a test ride courtesy of the guys at Inspired Cycle Engineering.  For touring, I’ll be adding a little Burley cargo trailer as well for the camping and dog gear I’ll be lugging along with me.