Terii’s Cycling Babble


Simmer Until Well Done
June 28, 2009, 5:55 am
Filed under: Day Rides
Flower Covered Hill

Flower Covered Hill

The title of this post pretty much sums up how about 3 or 4 hours of the day felt.

I had initially decided that yesterday’s trip (June 27, 09) was going to be the thwarted trip from Stavby Kyrka.  The one where I’d left my cycle shoes at home.  As I considered it more, it seemed like such a paltry trip.  Barely over 30 miles and I knew I was better than that.  So, I picked another town a little further up and checked that I could stick along country roads on the way and settled on Alunda as my starting point.  Even though my husband woke up early (all on his own no less), we got a bit of a late start.

As ever, I was going to start the trip at a church.  They’re convenient places to start as I’ve said.  Easy to find.  Public and generally with a nice quiet parking lot or grassy sward to set the trike up.  Much more pleasant than say, the parking lot of a grocery store or the like.

Alunda Kyrka

Alunda Kyrka

Alunda Kyrka’s original parts were built sometime in the 1200’s.   In the 1400’s other parts were added and in 1465, the church was decorated by Johannas Iwan from Wendel.  In 1542 and 1715, the church suffered fires.  From 1780 to 1787, work was done on the church for renovations and to repair the fire damage.  The result was the church much as it looks today in a neoclassical style with the tall arched windows.  The church burned yet again in 1859.

I do believe that is one of the more extensive histories I’ve managed to find on my ‘collection’ of churches so far.

With the trike set up, I still ended up torturing my husband a bit.  Making him wait as I ran around to get the pictures of the two runestones I’d spotted on the way into the church parking lot.  To be fair, I did tell him that he could go and I’d walked Loke there and back since the runestones sat in the middle of a large patch of grass so I couldn’t take the trike.  He decided to stay and keep an eye on it.

Uppland's Runestone #1127

Uppland’s Runestone #1127

Just outside the church wall in the middle of a large grassy area shaded by large old trees, I’d discovered two runestones.  The grass carpeting the little hummock supporting the stones wasn’t clipped.

The information plates with these pair of stones offered me a bit of confusion.  One appeared to be specific to this stone in the photo with the translation of the runes reading,  “Fasto and Joyer allowed to be raised this stone after their brother Trond.”   The other plate had the same translation, but seemed to be referring to the left hand stone which was the more faded and weathered of the pair.  The stones were engraved in the 1000’s AD and was in some part of the church for a while.  In the 1700’s one or both were moved to serve as a threshold stone in the western church door until the 1800’s when it/they were moved to the current location.  This being the more interesting looking of the two stones, I’ll leave the other photo out.

A building I liked

A building I liked

Across the parking lot from the church, was another building that is part of the church property.  Its purpose?  No clue.  I simply liked the style of it and so, clicked away.  Obviously it was either built or renovated in 1806.

I finally let my husband go, got settled in the trike and pedalled off.  When I’d plotted the route from Alunda, I had to do a certain amount of guess work about exactly where the church was and to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure when I moved out.  According to my map book, the way I needed to go was right across from the church and another road led more into the village of Alunda proper.  So, I took the only road that obviously wasn’t into Alunda proper and would keep me away from the very busy 288.

06-27 Scenic 1

Loved the Contrasts

It was wonderfully cool as we moved out.  Unfortunately for Loke, the first quarter mile or so was up a fair steep hill.  That put a crunch in his usually wild race over that first mile or two.   I have to give him credit for trying though.  He strained hard against his harness and gasping as he strained for more speed than my typical ‘hill-crawl’.

After that first annoying climb, we settled into a good pace as the road snaked onward in a stretch that was either gentle down slopes or flat stretches between houses, fields and woods.  Loke got to stretch his legs in a tongue flopping run common to his breed when they’re doing what they were bred for and love so much.  The skies were clear and there was that golden orange tinge that I love so much to the morning light.  And of course, there was the additional bonus that all of it was new ground we were covering.  New fields, streams, horses, and buildings.

Along The Road

Along The Road

I’ll be honest and say that at first I was only paying attention to the land around me.   The cool feeling of the air, the play of light through the trees when we rode past wooded spots, or interesting buildings we passed.   Perhaps on some subconscious level, I noticed something wrong and finally it shouldered its way between all the enjoyment of the morning I was having.  My planned route had me on a road going due west for the first few miles and yet, the sun was to my right hand.  I actually blurted out loud, “I’m going north!”

I pulled over and dug out my map book in its snug little waterproof case.  I found one road going north leading away from Alunda.  It had to be the road I was on, but I wasn’t entirely certain since the one named place I’d cycled through since leaving Alunda wasn’t on the map.   I tried to remember any other roads leading away from the church that didn’t go right into Alunda or back on the 288 and had no memory visual of any.  I put the map away and decided to cycle a bit further to double check if I was on that northern road.

Hay Field In Morning

Hay Field In Morning

Finally, I came to a bridge and another little named place.  Both of which did show on the map.  At least the map showed the road crossing a stream at Väsby.  So, the question became, “Cycle back uphill to Alunda and try to find the correct road with no mapped details of the area, or…?”.  My map did show there was a road that went due west at Väsby just a few yards over the bridge which could lead me to another road that would go directly south to a point on my planned route.  Perfect!

After half a mile, there I found no turn off.  There was a rather large hill in front of me and not much else in the way of western turns between where I was and another 5 miles.  I really didn’t want to cycle back to Alunda and go in loops to find a road I couldn’t clearly place its beginning on a map.  Naturally that led to an aggravated determination of “FIX THE PRINTER!!”  Still, even if my husband called that moment and told me the printer was working, it wasn’t going to do me much good.  Looking at the map again and seeing the road I wanted just off the bridge, the only thing that popped into my mind was a small farmhouse and barn with a driveway between shaded by trees.  I turned around and with my usual feeling of ‘I shouldn’t be here’ when I stray off public land, I went down the ‘driveway’.

Just beyond the farmhouse and barn, it opened up and obviously became a gravel road.  There were fields everywhere as I cycled along and a few more farmhouses.  Tractors were chugging along as farmers were working with the hay.  The ground was well packed with the consistent traffic of cars and tractors so going wasn’t too bad.  Also, I was going due west.  I wasn’t entirely confident that it was the road on the map though.  It seemed so small and unpaved.  A tiny thing to be shown on my 1:250,000 scale map that has been known to not show paved roads significantly larger than the gravel path I was bumping down.

After a mile or so, the fields gave way to tangled second growth wood.  The bugs swooped in.  I was quite happy I’d packed my bug repellent.  Loke was still enjoying the morning.   Moving at a lazy jog, he was panting softly as his ears flicked around and he scanned the countryside for critters.  Once we’d moved into the wooded area, going got quite a bit harder on me though it was all the same to Loke.  It was clear that there was little to no traffic on even a semi-regular basis on that section of the road.  The gravel was loose and I slowed way down for more effort.  I started to wonder if the road was going to simply stop at an old logging point or the like.  My stubborn streak was engaged though.  I decided ‘Dead end or road I’m looking for, I’ll find out the hard way’.  Mostly, I just didn’t want to cycle back to Alunda.

A Beautiful Day

A Beautiful Day

After vibrating my teeth loose for almost another two miles, I came across a field and spotted a house in the distance.  A quarter mile further on, the gravel surface packed down and going was magically easier.  The change gave me a sense of relief, not just for the pity it took on my legs, but also it told me that the people in the house had another way out of the area.  Obviously, they weren’t driving over the road I’d rattled down.  10 minutes later, I turned onto a paved surface headed south. Success!

Back on pavement, I dug out the booties and stuck them on Loke.  He’d run around 2 miles on paved out of Alunda and then almost 4 miles on the gravel road.  It was time.  It didn’t seem to phase him much.  He clipped along rapidly as I pedalled down the paved road and even pulled me into loping speed for a half mile or so.  A bit down the road and I found the turn from the way out of Alunda.  I was back on track.

All Eyes Upon Us

All Eyes Upon Us

The day was heating up fast, but it hadn’t become unpleasant yet.  A bit down the road and it was another of those ‘Cow Incidents’.  Loke as ever was fascinated by these huge animals that were laying in the sun and contentedly chewing their cuds against the fenceline so close to the road.  As we came up, we had their attention.  You can’t see it, but there were about another 10 cows to the left of the frame.

I stopped so Loke could get a good look and a bit of sniff of their airborne scent.  Their attention was tightly focused on us.  It was almost eerie, like some of the scenes from Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’.  After a couple minutes, I pedaled on.  The cows moved with us.  I couldn’t help it.  I started laughing.  Loke was a bit worried as they lumbered along the fenceline behind us.  I actually wished for a video camera at the moment.  It was just too funny.  A woman on a recumbent trike with a husky tethered to it being followed by 20 or so cows.

 

Stavby Kyrka

Stavby Kyrka

The heat was cranking up fast as I came close to Stavby.  I didn’t go to the church though as it would have been a bit out of my way.  Seems unfair to completely leave it out of my blogs.  It’s not its fault that I forgot my cycle shoes that day.  The oldest parts of Stavby kyrka (as with most of the country churches) are the långhuset (longhouse which is the main body of the church) and the ‘sakristen’ which is the chamber off the main worship area where the priest would dress and ready himself for preaching.  These parts were built sometime between 1250 and 1350.  The vapenhus was added sometime during the end of the middle ages.

It finally started getting unpleasant heat wise for Loke as I took the right angle loop around Stavby.  At one point, Loke was panting so heavily and we had been cycling in the full glare of the sun for 5 miles as there were nothing but fields around that  I was starting to worry.  Without a clear landmark to give my husband for the GPS, it would have taken forever for him to find us.  Giving Loke water and 5 minute breathers didn’t seem to be doing much for him without shade.  I used some of the water to wet down Loke’s head and legs, making sure that I soaked his ears to help dissipate the most heat.  Stuck for it, I pressed on.

Hot Doggie

Hot Doggie

Finally, near a little sport field, I found some shade.  There was a nice tree near a bit of pasture.  There was a grassy sort of drive leading up to some kind of storage building so I could easily get the trike well off the road.  I tethered Loke with a longer cable and took off this headcollar so he could move about more easily and lay down comfortably.  I soaked him down again and made sure he had as much water as he wanted.  We relaxed there for almost half an hour as I waited for his panting to ease and I ate some of my cherries.  I also looked at my map and decided I’d have my husband come pick Loke up at Rasbokil Church just a couple miles further.  Rasbokil church I mistakenly called Årby Church in my last entry.  The church with the scaffolding over it.

Loke was actually the one who decided when it was time for us to go on.  He got up and started pacing.  The short distance to Rasbokil kyrka wasn’t as bad as the stretch before our long break.  There were patches of wood along sections of it that threw some shadows across the road here and there.  Still, it felt good to get to Rasbokil and let Loke wallow in the grass as I called Jens to come get him.  The church, since we been so close to it before, I knew he could easily find.  For myself, I was determined to get home under my own power.  Even as hot as he was, Loke watched me forlornly through the rear window of the car as Jens drove off.

The rest of the trip was simply me covering the same ground I’d covered on my last trip.  Heading down a well packed dirt road to cross the 288 next to Rasbo kyrka.  I took a bit of a break there myself.  About 100 yards down the 288 there was a small pizza and kebab place.  I was feeling more than a little warm, so I stopped in and bought an ice cream sandwich to enjoy in the shade of an table umbrella.

Another Side of Rasbo Kyrka

Another Side of Rasbo Kyrka

Across from the little restaurant (to use the term loosely) was a crosswalk leading to a short cycle path that took me past another side of Rasbo kyrka.  It gave a nice view of more detailed geometric patterns than I’d seen on the other side from my first trip.

After another hour or so, things actually started to become unpleasant.  The scenery was still nice, but even with me gulping water from my drinking tube, the heat was starting to get to me.  It wasn’t so bad when I was going along in the shade, or zipping along at 11 to 13 mph on the flats or flying at 18 to 23 mph down the hills.  It was crawling up those hills at 3 mph in the full glare of the sun that was brutal and there seemed to be so many hills to climb.  If I came upon a shady patch in the middle of climb, I had to stop.  It was all the sun.  Just sitting in it with almost no wind was almost like opening the oven and sitting in front of it.  There was also this huge sense of aggravation with the feeling.  After all, I used to cycle in the full heat of August in southern Mississippi.  Swedish summers are nothing compared to that and yet, there I was suffering and feeling sick from it.

I toyed with the idea of having Jens come get me a few times.  Stubbornness would win out.  I wouldn’t want to sit in the sun on the side of a hill waiting for him.  After a minute or two in the shade or getting the breeze from faster movement, it didn’t seem so bad.  With that sort of off and on method, I chewed slowly through the miles home.

Swedish Hare

Swedish Hare

As I came into a shady bike path area (blessed shade!), I had my last neat moment of the trip.  I’d stopped as soon as I hit the shade and gulped yet more water from my Platypus bladder and spotted something moving in the growth a bit to the right of the path.  It was a hare.  I think it sensed me watching, because it abruptly froze.  Even more amazing (and convenient), it stayed there, perfectly still as I dug my camera out of the bag, powered it up and CLICK.

The last mile and a half weren’t so bad.  A fair chunk of it was along the extremely shady cycle path and the rest, I was moving quick enough (and no hills) to keep me from feeling like I was being broiled.  It felt so good to stagger into the apartment and collapse though.  My legs felt like jelly and I was wiped.  But I did it.  My longest trip of the year at roughly 40 miles.



Animals on a Perfect Morning
June 25, 2009, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

I love mornings.  I think because it’s of the greater feeling of peace and the quality of the light that lends to more vivid colours and deeper and more interesting shadows.

I made an attempt to ride yesterday, but it was thwarted.  I had a 30+ mile route plotted.  Then my husband and I decided to bite the bullet and see if the trike would fit in the new company car.  A Volvo SUV sort that is a bit smaller than our last one.  Surprisingly, it fit very well.  In some odd sense, I think it even fit better in this smaller car than in the old one.  The trip was also going to give me a chance to try out some of the new ‘toys’ I picked up.  Monday was a jaunt to Stockholm to look into tents and a few other things I view rather critical to touring.  We didn’t find a tent, but we did get some decent collapsable water containers.  One of them is a simple 2 liter flexible bottle and the other is a 3 liter Platypus bladder with a drinking tube.  Also having learned my lesson from my LAST trip with all the rain and my map book, we picked up a water proof map case.

So, we headed out around 8 am to Stavby Kyrka.  Unloaded all the stuff, got it together and told my husband I’d see him at home.  As he drove off, I took some time to settle the water bottles and take a picture of the church.  Only then did I sit down on the trike, put my feet on the pedals and… stared at my sneakers on my racing pedals that require shoes with a cleat to clip into them.  *sigh*.  I called my husband to come get me before he was even 5 miles down the road.  I have pictures of the church, but it seems silly to post them when I didn’t properly do the route.

Of course, this morning I had something of a time limit for cycling, but I was still determined to go out for a while at least.  I woke up at 5 am and started getting things settle, woke the hubby with a cup of coffee and by 6 am we were out the door to a little place called Tibble about 19 miles away.  It was an absolutely perfect morning.  Cool, and thanks to Sweden’s latitude, even at 6 am (or 5 am for that matter), the sun is up nicely.  Loke was definitely eager.

As we drove up the major road (which I was going to avoid), we got several treats.  The first was passing by an open field of green wheat.  As I looked across it, I spotted the head of two of the deer that are so common in Sweden.  The deer are kind of small and the wheat was high enough that all one could see were their heads.   A few mintues later, in another field along the road were a pair of bull moose.  They were heading for the road, but most of Sweden’s larger roads have a fence specifically to stop moose getting to the roads.  They were trotting along and turned paralell with the road for a couple hundred feet before turning back across the field and making for the trees.  Loke was plastered against the window and whining as he watched them.

Årby Slott

Årby Slott

In the area around Tibble, there was a ‘castle’.  In this case it was a manor house along the same vein as Hammarskog (See Local Places Page).  Not terribly impressive as castles go.  I haven’t been able to find out much about it, only that it seems to have been built around the 1650’s.  It was posted as private, so we stopped along the public road to unload the trike for me to assemble.  As I did so, Loke discovered a cat hiding in the hedge that crowned the low stone wall we were parked next too.  You could hear the poor kitty growling as Loke stared at it, his tail slowly moving side to side.

Rasbokils Church

Rasbokils Church

I let my husband go and I took off (having the proper shoes this time).  Just a mile down the road from the castle was the Årby kyrka.  I haven’t been able to find any background on when this church was built.  I have to admit though, I rather like the churches on this side of Uppsala.  The white painted decoration inset in the pale yellow stucco looking facade.  I did a quick sweep and oddly found no runestones.

It felt like an almost perfect morning.  Loke was thrilled to be running over new ground.  So was I for that matter.  Clear skies and that early morning light I love so much.  I would have been snapping scenic photos like crazy if I hadn’t forgotten the memory card for my camera and been restricted to just 6 photos.  The first turn I took less than a quarter mile from the church turned out to be a dirt road.  It was so hard packed that it was just as good for rolling over as any paved surface.  I loved the way the fields and woods looked as I moved past them and how the sun played on the well groomed hides of the horses we saw.

I must add that I am quite pleased with my new Platypus bladder.  It doesn’t leak at all and was easy to drink from and get water to squirt into Loke’s drinking dish when it was time to let him have a breather/water break.

It was only about 3 miles from the castle to the end of the dirt road.  As we came to paved surfaces again, I decided to put the cloth boots on Loke.  Frustratingly, the skin on his paws doesn’t seem to be toughening up much.  So, I fastened them on.  It’s sort of funny when he’s wearing them.  He clumps along and it sounds almost like some small pony trotting along beside me.

Rasbo Church

Rasbo Church

Crossing the busy road that we had driven on to get to Årby Castle, I paused at Rasbo kyrka just for a quick picture.  It has the same white, very basic inset geometric patterns that Rosbokils kyrka has.  The information I found says the original structure was built in the 1300’s.  As ever, additions like the vapenhuset, tower and other renovations were built over the centuries.

Rasbo kyrka sits at the edge of a little village.  It’s mostly a suburb like collection of modern houses that I passed through with little interest.  Soon though we were pedaling along fields and forest again.  I found one wooded spot that caught my attention.  It was populated by the tall narrow conifers that are so prevailent in Sweden.  They cast the area in a dim shade as they grew up between a collection of ancient boulders cast off from the ice age as the glaciers retreated to form a craggy little hill.  The jagged edges of the stones were softened with a thick, but delicate covering of moss.  Something about those mossy shadowy places draws me.

Around the 9th mile or so, Loke suddenly started limping.  This time, it was his right foot instead of the left.  I noticed that he held his foot up as we stopped.  Checking the foot, I could find no outward signs of injury though I did find that one of his toes seemed tender.  Almost like how our toes would be if we stubbed it.  There really was no way to clearly direct my husband how to find me, so I pulled the boots off in case they are some how causing his limp and eased on, deciding to get to place Jens could find us more easily.  Fortunately, it wasn’t far to Funbo where my husband knew exactly where to find us.

Loke was soon packed off and on his way home in an airconditioned car.  Today was one of those glorious days that can be quite rare in Sweden.  Perfectly clear sky with no trace of cloud.  Quite warm, so I’m sure it was a relief for the furry one to get a ride home rather than jogging along in the heat.  Less than half a mile out of Funbo kyrka, I spotted a deer. It was bounding rapidly across the field to the right of the road.  From the edge of the field, the ground rose so that the road bed was about 6 to 8 feet above the wheat.  A thick tangle of weeds and wildflowers ran riot up the side and into that, the deer disappeared.  As I cycled on, I waited for it to either bolt across the road or double back over the field.  It did neither.  I actually got up from the trike and walked back and forth along the edge of the road where it had seemed to vanish.  No trace.  Amazing how such a bright orange-ish brown creature, larger than Loke could vanish into a waist high tangle of dark green with no sign.

My Eyes! My Eyes!

My Eyes! My Eyes!

I know I’ve mentioned the manor house painted in vivid orange and yellow in one of my previous blogs, but was unable to get a photo of it the first time I went by because my camera was in Detroit, Michigan.  The last time I went by was heading out toward Funbo and the hill is so steep, it’s quite difficult to stop at a good position to click it.  Much better to just let the trike go ripping down the hill at almost 25 MPH.  This time since I was coming back from Funbo and creeping up the hill, it was no problem at all to just stop, dig in the bag for the camera and ‘click’.  This picture doesn’t really do the house justice.  Aside from the vivid, almost blinding hues of it’s exterior, I find it quite stunning.  There is a pair of smaller houses flanking the drive (hidden by the trees) and over to the right a proper Swedish style (red) barn and farm outbuildings.  Across the street and down a slop just around the curve from the drive of the house, is another small building.  Something like a stone garden hut painted in the same orange and yellow.

Before I got home, there was yet another deer.  This one was standing boldly on the side of the road as I zipped along.  It simply stared at me until I was perhaps 10 or 15 yards away before leaping off across the road and over the wheat field on the other side.  It even stopped a few times to look back.

I got home just in time for lunch, so plenty of time before we head to Stockholm for dinner.



New Ground!
June 21, 2009, 8:10 am
Filed under: Day Rides

I’m sure all of us wake up in a ‘Mood’.  Well, that was what I did on the 20th of June.  I felt incredibly restless and impatient to get out on the trike and see some place I hadn’t pedaled over before.  Ideally, it would have been by having my husband drive me out some 35 or 40 miles and me find my way back home.  He was feeling a bit delicate however since the night before was Midsummer, which is a very big holiday here in Sweden.  Generally full of much food and drink.

Still, I was determined to go since I didn’t want to sit and be grumpy all day.  So, I plotted out a big loop with my maps, both the very pricey and indispensable touring books and the nifty ‘Map My Ride’ online mapping function.  The ‘Map My Ride’ web site said it would be roughly 42 miles and it would take me over new ground and some that I hadn’t cycled in around 2 years.  So, I loaded up on lots of water and packed a bit of food for me and Loke before bullying my husband to wrestle the trike out.

It started out as a pretty day, but I found that having Loke with me was sort of like poking at that sense of irritation I woke up with.  After about 3 miles, he was bored since the first 10 miles or so were going to be over roads and paths we’ve been over so many times before.  There really was no way I could tell him that it was going to be different.  His speed dropped to below 6 mph and between his pokey-ness and water breaks, it took  us 1 hour and 30 minutes just to go 6.5 miles.  With that, my impatient mood and stressing about Loke’s paw sucking the joy out of the ride, I finally just stopped and called my husband to come get him.

I did feel kind of bad as I packed him off and waved bye.  That vanished as I hopped back on my trike and moved out.  Suddenly, I was cruising along at over 10 mph and zipping down hills at speeds anywhere between 19 and 30 mph.  It didn’t help my up-hill speeds any.  I was still crawling up the slopes at speeds of just 5 mph or less.  Generally, I view going up hills as a sort of rest break for Loke.  A time of slow lazy walking to catch his breath.

Random Scenery

Random Scenery

Although the day was pretty, it was also fairly cloudy.  Those huge fluffy clouds with ponderous gray undersides that have the potential to be scattered showers.  Around mile 10, that’s what happened.  One of the clouds started showering and doing a fairly good job of it.  Panic hit.  Though I would love to scan my map books and be able to print both my scanned and online maps and bring THOSE with me, our printer is down.  So, to help keep me from getting lost, I was depending on my memory of the maps online and my very expensive touring book.  The panniers on the back of my trike are in no way water proof and while my map books are in a snug plastic binder thing, it is in no way sealed.

I found a tree along the side of the road and waited.  It was just one cloud, right?  Not very big, the shower shouldn’t last long and I would be able to pedal on with my books safe.  After 15 minutes, I noticed that, as it was at ground level, so it was at the cloud’s level – perfectly calm.  No wind to move the cloud, so it was cheerily sitting there and drenching everything.  The tree was getting wet enough to no longer be remotely considered shelter.  I considered for a long moment before sucking it up and jumping back on my trike.

That rain was cold.  I’m not even sure if Sweden (unsurprisingly) is capable of a warm summer rain.  I haven’t been able to find any rain gear to fit me and I was kicking myself for not packing some wool thermals that will at least still hold some warmth even when getting drenched.  It had felt fairly warm in the sun, but with it gone and something close to ice water falling, it should have been fairly miserable.  Truth is though, when I’m caught in moments like that, I do enjoy them in some perverse way.  It’s a challenge.  My husband was home, he had my maps online so I could have told him where to find me and gone home in a snug car.  Instead, I was pedaling on.  I do admit, I considered having Jens come get me for the sake of my threatened maps.

I made it along another 4 miles or so through increasingly heavy rain to the first of the major landmarks on my route.  Funbo Kyrka.  There, I found a small school and they had a shelter built for the children to wait for buses in bad weather.  Only three walls and a roof, but about 10 feet by 15 feet.  Most importantly DRY.  I pulled in under it and checked the maps.  Much to my surprise, the top section of my pannier had mostly resisted the rain.  There were a few drips that had gotten through, but not enough to threaten my maps in their plastic sleeve.  I was at a loss of how to keep them dry.  So, stuck waiting the rain out, I decided to eat something.  I pulled my paper plates and fork out from the plastic bag and… “Hmm. I doubt they’ll fit in this flimsy plastic storage bag.  I’ll check.”  The phrase ‘Like a glove’ comes to mind.

With that taken care of, I faced the idea of continuing rain with less trepidation.  That not so big cloud had not only not moved, but had seemed to swell from the time it started sprinkling to the downpour it had become.  Fortunately, by the time I finished munching my tuna salad sandwiches, the rain stopped.

Funbo Kyrka

Funbo Kyrka

So, I moved out to look at Funbo Kyrka.  It’s a nice church with the usual churchyard of grave stones around it and large old trees shading parts of the grounds.  I haven’t quite been able to translate all the info on it yet, but it seems the original parts were built in 1180.  There were renovations to the church in the 1300’s, 1400’s, 1600’s and 1700’s.  The small dirt road continued on around and there are other structures as well.  A pretty stream is crossed by a stone bridge built of three arches.  I wasn’t able to find a good unobstructed angle of the bridge for photos. The tangle of shrubby undergrowth was just too thick.

Uppland Runestone #987 - Funbo

Uppland Runestone #987 – Funbo

In the churchyard, I found a rune stone from the 1000’s AD.  According to the information plate, the inscription roughly reads (barring my bad translation of old Swedish words and syntax), “Kättil and Gyrid allowed to raise this stone after Torsten, their son.  Vide and Roland (something) the stone after their brother. God help Torsten’s spirit.”  The stone was used as a threshold stone between the ‘vapenhuset’ and the church.  While, ‘vapenhuset’ seems to translate to ‘weapon house’, I  think it means something like the entry foyer of the building and the worship area of the church proper.  It was moved to the church yard in 1866.  The runes are referred to as ‘mirror turned’, reading from right to left instead of left to right.

Past Funbo, the area got quite a bit more hilly and it seemed all of it was up.  At least the scenery was nice, so I was semi-content to stare off through the trees as I forced my legs to keep dragging me up.

Old Road Marker

Old Road Marker

I almost feel like the long climb was worth it.  What goes up must come down, especially since I hadn’t really had any significant down slope time before reaching the uphill spot.  For almost 3 miles, I got to rip along between 19 and 23 mph with easy pedaling to keep my speed up.  Throw in a few semi-sharp curves and it definitely got my heart racing with something other than effort on the pedals.  I loved it.  Something I wouldn’t have been able to do with Loke, sadly.  To be honest, I did miss his company… at least going up the hills.

I was seriously enjoying the new scenery I was getting to see.  That sense of frustration and irritation that had driven me out the door and had me send Loke home after just 6.5 miles evaporated.  There seemed to be plenty of downhill to zip along and I pedaled my way through both rain and sun.  At one point, I stopped along the road for a few minutes.  There was a woman leading her horses into pasture.  I decided to wait as she was fighting to get the fence open and quite a few horses spook when I pass.  They probably won’t look twice at a bike, but with my trike, I’m quite a different profile.  Most of the horses along my usual routes are used to me and respond with curiosity or even an eagerness to run along the fence with me, but I tend to use a bit of caution when I pass unfamiliar animals.  It would break my heart if I spooked them into hurting themselves.  So, I waited until she got both of them in the pasture since a panicked horse charging along the road would be a bad thing.  She definitely appreciated it, waving and saying ‘Tack så mycket!” (Thanks so much!)

Lagga Kyrka

Lagga Kyrka

The next little village area I came to was Lagga.  As always I spotted the sign for the church and made my way there.  Lagga Kyrka’s main part (the longhouse section) was begun in the 1200’s with parts added during the 1300’s.  Other improvements and renovations were added over the centuries.  I can’t say there was much that pulled me about this particular church.  I guess maybe there’s just a look or feel to it that left it so removed from the sense of past that should feel connected to it. By it’s outer shell, it looked as if it could have been built just decades ago.

Uppland Runestone #481 - Lagga Kyrka

Uppland Runestone #481 – Lagga Kyrka

Predictably, there was a runestone in against the churchyard wall.  “Torgisl and Torsten and Vibjörn and Olev allowed to raise the stone after Torbjörn, their father”.  This stone like the one at Funbo, apparently spent part of its life as a threshold between the vapenhuset and church as well as in the church floor itself.   The ones who carved the runestones are unsurprisingly called runemasters and generally, they’ll sign their work much in the same way an artist signs a painting.  This stone was unusual in that it wasn’t signed.  According to the information plate, its style is much like other stones in the area carved and signed in the same frame by a runemaster called Fot.

There was another brief spit of rain as I left the smaller back roads and joined up with a busier one.  That part of the road actually tied in with a section of the Sverigeleden and I planned to follow that back to another area I was familiar with to finish the ride home.  Along the busy section too was something I’d been curious about for some time, the Mora Stenar (The Mora Stones).

Shelter For the Mora Stenar

Shelter For the Mora Stenar

Expecting something like standing stones or runestones, I was more than a little surprised to find these actually sheltered.  It’s an unassuming sort of building stuck close to the side of the road with its coral pink stucco and a golden looking Swedish Crown capping it.  The parking was simply a bus-length (and wide) widened section of shoulder across from the shelter.  I was a bit edgy parking my trike there and then clumping across the road with my cycle shoes.  I love my trike and having traffic pass it at speed with less than a yard’s clearance makes me uneasy.

Mora Stones

Mora Stones

Fortunately, the stint on the busy road section was blissfully short.  Just a couple hundred yards past the Mora Stones, I was pedaling along a narrow paved road between grain fields and thankfully in the sunshine again.  A glorious chance to dry out and warm up.  I went by a collection of old Swedish country buildings that had something to do with Linne, but with the sheer number of people that seemed to be there, I felt no real need to stop.

Linne is something of national pride to Sweden.  For those who don’t know (as I didn’t), he’s the man who first developed the system of giving latin names and categories to the various species of plants and animals.  Particularly around here close to Uppsala, there are quite a few places that have something to do with him.  Gardens, paths, etc.

Danmark Kyrka's Steeple

Danmark Kyrka’s Steeple

I got to enjoy that nice warm sunshine as the road twisted through wooded areas that didn’t quite shade the road.  At some points I could spot the E4 in the distance.  It”s a major highway that runs clear up to the most northern reaches of Sweden all the way down to Rome (broken by a ferry trip) in Italy.  Passing along one tiny field, I spotted the steeple to Danmark Kyrka and the church bells began to chime out.  I’ve seen this steeple and faint glimpses of this church many times over the years on my way to Stockholm and often thought, “I wonder how I would cycle there.”  Well, now I know.

Danmark Kyrka

Danmark Kyrka

Danmark Kyrka is one of the more distinctive churches, I think.  With its tall steepled bell tower built onto the church and red brick facade rather than pale painted stucco appearance, it stands out from most of the other country churches.  I haven’t quite been able to translate all that I found about its history.  What I have puzzled out is that the original structure was built in the 1300’s.   Of course, there are other renovations on the church through the centuries.  One of them was in 1889 when lightning struck the tower down.  In 1979, the copper plating was added to the steeple.

Danmark Vicarage & Trice Trike

Danmark Vicarage & Trice Trike

Sitting next to the church was the prästgård (Priest yard/farm/garden) which in English would be called a vicarage.  Essentially, the priest’s house and yard.  I tend to feel a little odd taking photos of these as often it is still someone’s home and I don’t know them.  Skuttunge’s prästgård is one of my favorites   It’s not just the one house and a single additional building, but a full collection of buildings and the care taker is a very nice guy with almost fluent English.  I spent almost an hour chatting with him and his wife while getting slobbered on by their gorgeous and very friendly golden retriever.  The care taker even gave me a tour, showing me the inside of baking house and a couple of the other buildings.

But, I go off the subject of this ride.

Actually, the rest of the ride home was rather… ‘Ehhh’ for lack of a better term.  Just ground to cover as I wound my way through a contemporary residential area.  Along the way, I lost the Sverigeleden.  I think it was because I was focused on the roads and the cycle path (and the Sverigeleden) took off in some direction away from the road.  Still, I recognized the area I came out in.  It was raining again, after 5 pm and I was really starting to feel the ride.  I sort of knew the way where to pick up part of the Sverigeleden again to find my planned route home.  The problem was, it was going to add perhaps another 8 miles than if I just made my way directly.  The draw back to ‘directly’ was that it would take me almost through the downtown part of Uppsala.  While generally bike friendly, busy Uppsala streets can be a bit hair raising when you’re head is at bumper height with most cars.  ‘Tired, hungry, cold and wet’ won out over ‘less traffic and more interesting’.  I pushed directly into the center of Uppsala and ended up in an completely unfamiliar area.  I wasn’t lost exactly since I knew home and/or river were ‘That way’.  I zig-zagged my way along, sticking to small residential streets until I popped out on an intersection and looked around with a sense of, “I’ve only been here a couple hundred times”.  Within 15 minutes of that, I was home as the clock hit 6 pm.

Soggy and with skin only a step from being ice, it felt incredibly good to be home.  Almost as good as I felt getting in touch with new places I’d never been or had only seen from a disconnected distance, zipping past in a car.  Sometimes, I think I just need those solo trips.



Oops! I Almost Broke Loke!
June 19, 2009, 5:36 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Or something rather close to it any way.  We’d had almost a week straight of rain, or if it wasn’t raining then heavy drizzle at least.  Finally Monday night it stopped and the forecast for Tuesday was mostly sunny.  After being cycle-less for so long, it felt good to go out.  I was feeling that the Ulva/Gamla Uppsala loop would be just too short.  It’s not even 2 hours even at Loke’s pace.  So I headed out to do the Börje/Gamla Uppsala Loop at the very least.  The sun was shining and the breezes were cool as Loke and I headed out.  It was just one of those perfect days to be out and moving.  Even though we were on ‘old ground’, Loke was happy to be out as well and was keeping a good clip.  20 miles abruptly seemed rather short as well.

I decided to aim for something between 25 and 28 miles.  There was a large extention I’d added to the Börje Loop once which came out to be about 35 miles, but I remembered there had been an unpaved turn sort of in the middle of it that I was fairly sure would cut about 10 miles off the loop.  I thought that was just perfect so I headed for it to at least check out the condition of the road.  Worse case, I’d get to the turn off to see that it looked too bad to cycle on and turn back to finish the Börje route with a single out and back extention.

The turn was as I remembered it.  The dirt was hard packed with patches of loose gravel piled up where vehicle tires didn’t go.  Even with a week of rain, the earth was damp but not loose trapping mud.  Off we went.  Loke was delighted with the new ground and was keeping a good pace.  I did my best to have him run on the smooth packed ground even when it meant rattling my teeth out with one of my front tires in the rocks.  It wasn’t bad going and scenery was pretty.  Mostly fields, many of them flooded.  A large ditch or canal ran along a large section of it as we went and was full to the brim.  I’m sure another day’s rain would have had the road underwater.

I kept looking at my GPS and trying to judge how much distance Loke and I were going to accumulate.  I was expecting some sign of coming out near a place called Skuttunge, but we just went on and on.  The road meandered quite a bit and then we finally came to a junction with another dirt road.  My first thought was, ‘Hm.  Potentially not good.’  There was a sign for Oxsätra which was a tiny collection of houses and farms on the 35 mile loop I had been trying to cut short.  Off we went in the other direction.

I was feeling okay even as we hit mile 20 and we still had at least another 10 miles to go.  It was still a very nice day.  The clear skies had been cluttered up with fluffy white clouds.  It gave the sky some character and the passing cloud shadows were good for Loke as well.  While, he is a husky and bred to chew through the miles, he’s not made to do it in June even if it is a June day in Sweden.  I made sure we stopped every few miles to brush him out to dissipate heat trapped under his fur and offer water.  So, jogging in the shade of passing clouds was a good thing for him.

Country Road

Country Road

One amusing moment occurred shortly after we had made the turn away from Oxsätra.  The turn was sharp enough that we went almost parallel  with the road we had turned off.  There was a narrow wedge of a pasture between them.  It was almost a lake, covered with water a bit over 2 feet deep and a small hill in the center with boulders and a few trees.  In the pasture, about a dozen cows were snorkling for grass.  Cattle are funny.  Most other animals (sheep and horses, even other dogs), generally freak out when they see us.  It’s probably more the odd shape of my trike AND the fact I have a dog attatched that scares them.  Not cows.  They have such a strong sense of curiousity, they’ll watch us intently as we go by.  Or, even more fun, they’ll some times follow us along the fence line.  Which is what these water cows did.

It usually makes Loke nervous when cows do that.  He’s fascinated by them until the lumbering begins and then he’s nervously looking over his shoulder as we go along.  I suppose there’s something about many, many tons of heavy flesh and hooves pounding behind him that makes him uneasy.  It was even worse this time as there was all the huge splashes of water flying everywhere as they followed along.  Loke dragged the trike into a run about then.

Finally, we came out off of the dirt road and my concern heightened a bit when I saw where we were.  My Garmin Forerunner GPS read we had cyled about 23 miles and I knew we had at least another 10 to get home.  Definitely more than the 28 miles max I’d been aiming for.  I let Loke rest for about 10 minutes in a shady spot tethered to a tree, making sure he was well watered as I debated just parking us and giving my husband a call.  What actually decided me was the fact that Loke was still restless.  He was a bit warm, but wasn’t laying down.  Every time I shifted on the trike, he’d stand up like ‘Go?”.  With him still looking energetic, we pressed on.

Pretty Little Stone Bridge

Pretty Little Stone Bridge

After a few more miles, we came to Bälinge.  It’s a small town about two miles from Ulva Mill, so we still had about 9 miles to home.  I remembered a little restaurant along the way through the town and Loke and I both could use a break longer than 10 minutes and maybe a bit of something to eat.  We’d been burning a lot of energy and silly me, not expecting to be out for more than 3 hours or so, hadn’t packed any food for either of us.  Behind the place was a football field surrounded by a grassy section with some nice birch trees.  Parking the trike, I leashed Loke to one of the trees and came back with an apple for me and ice cream for Loke.

By then, Loke was quite happy to get off his feet.  He was rolling around in the grass when I walked off.  He did stand up when I came back.  He KNEW I had something for him.  He laid down sphinx like and licked his ice cream with a dreamy look to his half closed eyes as I held it and munched on my apple.  I do believe that’s the slowest Loke has ever consumed human food.  He still appeared to have plenty of go the way he jumped up when I went to throw away the wrappers and such.  So, I pedalled us on.

The rest of the way was pretty much Ulva/Gamla Uppsala Loop.  The furry one was still running good, though he did seem a bit disappointed as we whipped by the mill.  My guess is, he was hoping for more ice cream since I often stop there to buy him that.

Finally we got home roughly 6 hours after we’d left and the GPS read almost 35 miles.  Still, Loke seemed fine.  He went up the stairs a bit slower than usual, but he’s done that even after 20 miles only to want to go cycling again 2 hours later.  I was relieved.  Though the Långtora trip was around 34 miles and Loke was perky a couple hours after it, we’d had that 1 month+ of no cycling and since resuming we still hadn’t been cycling much or far.  That’s brutal to stamina.  He came in, gulp a bit of water, flopped down on the floor and turned into a panting rug.

There was no indication of anything unusual until I came home from the grocery about an hour later.  Loke came to meet me at the door and he was limping badly.  When he’d sit, he’d hold his left paw off the floor.  I cleaned it and could find no indication of a wound.  Near as I could tell it had to be some sort of soft tissue injury.  A bruise or pulled ligament.  He slept and limped most of Wednesday, especially in the morning.  I felt horrible watching him hobble along when I took him out for his business.  I was determined to take him to a vet by Thursday if he didn’t improve.

Improve he did.  I think he sensed the impending vet and he doesn’t like it much.  By Wednesday evening, he was barely limping and even wanted me to throw his ball a few times.  Yesterday, his normal energy had returned and he was getting that ‘attitude again’.  The one where he’s telling me, ‘Trike! NOW!’



Catching Up
June 18, 2009, 11:05 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Well, this has been a rough couple of months and needless to say, it’s taken a toll on my cycling.  This post is going to sort of cram three into one since it feels silly writing 3 different blogs covering 3 different months.

Snow!

Snow!

I found photos from a trip from mid-March.  Not that special of a trip as my trips go since it is essentially one of my two ‘short routes’  both of which cover just 13 to 14 miles.  I ride them mainly when I’m feeling a bit rushed for time, but still determined to go out and cover a few miles at least.  I call it simply the Ulva/Gamla Uppsala Loop after the two main points of  interest I pass along it (see Local Places Page).  It heads out along the cycle paths not far from my home and then crosses a busy road to get to Gamla Börje Vägen  (The Old Börje Road).  After looping through the country side for about 8 miles, I come to Ulva which is the site of an old water mill.  There’s a glass blower in the old mill and a few craft shops up the hill and a couple of cafes.  Nearby on Sundays during the warm months, there is a flea market in one of the fields.  Of course, the photos are from too early in the year for the flea market.  On this ride too, I passed a field that had what looked to be almost a hundred swans on it.  I took photos, but from such a distance that I doubt you’d even be able to see the little white dots of the birds in this size.

Shortly after this ride, the list of the disasters began.  First it was an agonizing tooth ache.  I tried to keep my mood and spirits up and get out to ride, but that just seemed to aggravate the pain.  That was followed by neck and shoulder problems which were diagnoised as tendonitus.  That made it hard to have my head at the necessary angle while sitting in my comfy armchair with pedals.  I was finally winning with those issues, when my husband went to Detroit for a while.  I took a few rides on my short loops (see Local Places page).  Loke was being kinda draggy on those runs.  Probably from sheer boredom, “Do we HAVE to go down this road AGAIN??”  I was starting to feel frustrated puttering along at less than a 6.5 MPH average.  Though there was one ride that was about 25 miles and I passed some interesting places, but my husband had the camera with him.  I still need to go back that way to take those photos.

Långtora Day Trip

Långtora Kyrka

Långtora Kyrka

Well, my husband came home after a week and returned my camera to me.  During the week of a bored, pokey dog, I decided I wanted my husband to drop me off out in the country side somewhere and let me ride home with Loke.  I looked in my map books for a likely place and roughly plotted out a path that would take me to at least a few interesting places.  I decided to start at one of the many thousands of ancient country churches that cover Sweden called Långtora.  It looks very much like Börje Kyrka though it’s a bit smaller and I didn’t spot any rune stones.  Granted, I didn’t really spend any time looking for the stones either.  I’m not sure about the history behind the church as my limited research as yet to find anything on it, but I’m guessing it’s roughly the same as Börje.

Långtora Bell Tower

Långtora Bell Tower

My husband was willing to drag out of bed at an ungodly (for him) hour, load me, dog and trike into the car and take the winding tiny roads out to the middle of nowhere.  It was a fairly nice day to be out and Loke was definitely the most exicted I’d seen him about cycling in quite a few weeks.  Once everything was set up and my husband was on his way back home, we set off.  The furry one set a blistering pace.  A flat out run at 17 mph on the flats and hit 19 or better on any little down slope.  He kept that speed for almost 2 miles before settling into a slightly easier lope of about 14 mph for another 3 miles.  He’s never kept speeds like that for those distances before.  I guess it goes to show how excited he was for new territory.

The new areas were much like most of the places I’ve been riding for years.  Gentle hills with a few flats all combined with quite a few stretches of open fields and a scattering of wooded areas.  The church I had picked as a starting point was roughly 30 miles from home and I was excited for Loke to be running the distance with me.  It was going to be his longest trip ever.  His previous longest trip was in June, 2008 and only about 27.5 miles.  After that it was just too warm for him to go with me.

Uppland's Runestone #808

Uppland’s Runestone #808

After a few miles, I came across rune stone #808.  It was set off the road a bit, at a crossroad.  It also had a few standing stones with it, one of which you can see in the background above Loke’s shoulders.  Nothing as impressive as Stonehenge, the largest being only perhaps 6 feet tall and two feet thick, but I still found them interesting.  It’s probably hard to see, but this stone is far more elaborate than the one that graces the churchyard wall at Börje (see Local Places Page).  A twisting sort of knot work that loosely reminds me of Celtic with the runes inscribe between and a sort of cross rather like those the Templar Knights wore.  It was made around 1100 AD.  “Gisl and Ingemund, good young men, left this memory stone after Halvdan, thier father, and after Ödis, their mother.  God comfort her soul” is what I think the translation is according to the information plate.  I also passed another rune stone along the route, but there was no information with it.

The small roads out in the country were nice.  I think in about 2 hours of travel time, I was only passed by 2 vehicles and one of them was a tractor.  Other than that it was just light breezes, bird song and maybe the lowing of cattle in the distance to disturb the silence of the day.  Sadly, a castle I was curious to see took me into a small town with a harbor which inevitably meant a busier road.  It wasn’t too bad though and part of it even had a cycle path.

Old Wall

Old Wall

Finally I found the turn off to Salnecke Slott.   The road leading to it was quite pleasant.  Parts of it were unwooded, but even so it wasn’t grain fields that flanked it.  Mostly pastures or yards of little country houses all on little rolling hills and dotted with boulders left behind when Sweden’s glaciers receeded at the end of the ice age.  I passed by a lightly wooded hill ridge area that had an old stone wall built up along it.

The road threaded along and I passed a field that had 4 or 5 horses in it.  I had to laugh at one of them.  The owner had clipped the animal, which is not uncommon, but it leaves the horse looking lighter where the hair has been shortened.  The more amusing partof it is that on the reddish brown rump was a stylized skull clipped into the hair.  Unfortunately, the sun was just right that the picture didn’t come out well.

Salnecke Castle

Salnecke Castle

Finally, I found the castle itself.  To be honest, it was rather a disappointment.  It appears that it has been converted into apartments and was marked private, so I didn’t feel comfortable rolling down the sloped drive way into the central court.  Not to mention, it was just a rather ‘bleah’ looking box shape, no grounds to speak of.  Perhaps I should just blame Wiks Slott for my disappointment (See Local Places Page).  Spoiling me with beautiful enviorns and interesting structure.  Still, I do enjoy taking my map book and checking off the ‘things to see’ page by page.  So, #238 on Map Book 2 B, check.

Gryta Church

Gryta Church

Thanks to the map, I had also noticed another church down at the end of the road.  So, I continued the pleasant way down and finally came upon Gryta Kyrka.  A bit different from Långtora and Börje, it’s another of those country churches.  I rather liked the area around it though and there was a small building to one side of the grave yard.  It rather looked like it might have been a mausoleum which would be quite rare for the small places like this.  Information I could find about this church was scant and vague.

The next landmark I came upon was Fröslunda Kyrka.  Did I mention that there are thousands of small churches scattered through the countryside of Sweden?  Perhaps I should explain my fascination with them.  The main part of why I take pictures of each one I come across is the fact that they are perfect landmarks.  I can click and remember, ‘I cycle past here’  Fields, forest and lakes can have a certain sameness to them.  But the churches, even if they are nearly identical like Börje and Långtora at least have a name and a clear marker on a map.  The other side of the fascination is the age of most of them.  They predate the discovery of the Americas even.  The sheer scope of time that they have seen intrigues me on a level I can’t even describe.  Stonehenge is the same way, though it’s draw to me is even stronger because the age is so much greater.

Fröslunda Church

Fröslunda Church

So! Fröslunda Church! Sadly, it occurs to me that I forgot to check for rune stones.  I really must stop that bad habit. It looks a lot like Börje Church though Börje is taller with yellow painted plaster rather than an off-white.

Hagby Church

Hagby Church

After that, the ride was very pleasant, but generally unremarkable.  Loke was still enjoying himself even after covering some 20 miles and I made sure that I’d brought some of the doggie socks the kind man had given me to keep all the skin wearing away on his paws.  The next landmark finally brought me to an area I’d covered before.  A small village called Haby I’d gone through on my way along the Wiks Slott trip last year.  It was a nice place to stop and let Loke have a bit of a breather.  He also enjoys getting unhitched from the trike and sniffing around.

After that, the way home was over territory I’d covered at least half a dozen times over the past years.  I did stop at Vänge and bought ice creams for me and Loke.  He really appreciated that.  Then it was about a 5 mile stretch along a very busy road full of traffic noise.  There’s a cycle path along that length though, so Loke and I were perfectly safe.  It was a fun ride and good for both me and Loke since it was through places we’re never been.  It was a bit over 35 miles when I staggered through the door to ask my husband to bring the trike in.

After that, disaster #3 struck.  My husband apparently caught a nasty cold/flu while on his trip to Detroit.  Fortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the Swine flu that was causing such a panic in the States (and world) at the time.  Much to my dismay, he passed to me.  The first cold I’d had in some 3 years.  It kicked my butt.  For 3.5 weeks, I hacked, wheezed, coughed, gasped and sniffled through my aggravation of not being able to cycle.  Loke wasn’t helping either.  After a few days without a run of at least one of the short loops, he turns into a rather large PITA.  Constantly in my face, woofing at me, pawing at me, trying to get me moving the trike out the door.  After 1 week, I was ready to turn him into a rug.  Never mind how I felt about him by week 3 of the cold.

I’m finally over it though it felt like forever, especially paired up with the lack of riding thanks to the tooth ache and tendonitus.  Now, just to regain the stamina I lost and start pushing myself out the door a bit more than once a week.