Terii’s Cycling Babble

First Ride After Tooth!!
April 3, 2010, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

On March 30th, the tyranny of the tooth was over.  After a day of starvation in prepartion for the sedative, the tooth was removed with far less anguish and hysterics than I anticipated.  Whatever they gave me definitely took the edge off the world and left everything fuzzy.  I was told not to cycled for two days or so.

Friday (April 2nd), my MIL came over to help with some spring cleaning and light redecorating in the livingroom with slip covers for the couches and new bamboo mats in place of the fur gathering oriental rug.  It made it a bit difficult to escape for a ride and the weather was kinda ‘bleah’.

Today dawned gloriously clear and I kept an eye on the temp.  It was about 25 F when I woke.  Around noonish, we were supposed to go to my in-laws for lunch.  As it quickly warmed up, I had an inspiration to to take one of my ‘short loops’ that goes very close to my in-laws with Loke.  Around 10 am, it was around 45 F, clear skies and almost no wind.  PERFECT!

Gamla Uppsala From A Distance

It turned out to be harder than I anticipated.  I was having trouble catching my breath and it felt like a lot of work to push along.  Loke wasn’t exactly a speed demon either.  It might have been the gravel in both of our cases.  Increasing the rolling resistance for me and stinging Loke’s paws.  It will definitely be nice when ‘The Great Vacuuming’ begins.

What is ‘The Great Vacuuming’?  It is when all the gravel that has been laid down over snow and ice through the winter is picked up by these big trucks with vacuum like attachments.  Some have arms that can swing out with large spinning brushes to gather the gravel out of the grass of medians and such.  They’ll clean up all the streets and cycle paths that have been graveled.  Makes cycling (or even walking) so much nicer.  It is definitely more needed this year than the previous ones since I’ve lived here.  The sheer amount of snow was not quite record breaking, but was close.

I realize now, as I type this, once I turned onto a road that hadn’t been graveled over the winter, our going became so much easier, even up the hills.  With the warming sun on my black clothing and no wind as we pedaled through the country side, it became pleasant.  Loke was quite happy to be out and running, but I still noticed that neither of us were exactly racing along.  It was becoming clear that I was going to be late to my in-laws.  Still, the day was so pretty I wasn’t terribly worried, so I called to tell them to start without me if I was too late.


The snow has been going fast.  Places solidly blanketed in white just two days ago are showing patches of earth beneath.  A couple fields were almost clear entirely, showing the dark, almost rich black of the turned soil.  It might have been the route, but there were far more meadow larks than there had been on my Ulva/Gamla Uppsala loop.

Along one part of the road, I had to stop for a train.  I took the opportunity to give Loke some water and also to brush out some of his coat.  He’s been shedding like mad and we don’t have dust bunnies in our apartment.  We have dust whales.  As I brushed him with a flurry of huge clumps and drifts of white swirling around us, I could see in my rear view mirror a couple of birds swooping down to gather up mouthfuls of the fur for nesting material.  It was kinda fun to see.

Just liked this image.

There were a lot of horses out today as well.  There was one moment that was a bit worrying.  I was passing a barn when there was this tiny young woman with a HUGE horse.  I don’t mean huge in the sense of ‘Clydesdale’, but a very tall thoroughbred type.  He saw us going along and his head went up as far as it could go and ears forward.  Even from 30 meters away, I could see him tense up as did the woman leading him.  Immediately, I slowed down and started calling out to him, praying he wouldn’t take off and drag the woman with him.  Thankfully, he just stood there and watched as we made our way by, me chattering cheerfully the entire time.

I also discovered something new and quite nice about this route.  There was one stretch of it that goes along a quite busy road used for commuters to and from Uppsala from the surrounding tiny village areas.  Last year, it meant riding on the shoulder for about a mile with cars and trucks whizzing past at 60 mph or so.  It was a big shoulder, but still unpleasant when a truck or bus goes roaring by 8 feet away.  Well, they’ve put in a cycle path!!  A nice, smooth stretch of paving with lights (not that I need them) and a good sized ditched between the shoulder of the road and the path.  More than 20 feet separating cyclists from traffic.  It was so nice!  It will be even nicer when they get the gravel off of it!

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.  Loke and I continued to poke along.  I did see a pair of cranes fly over head, which was nice.  Loke saw a cat he really wanted to play with.  Conveniently, it was on the way up a rather steep hill, so for that one I got a lot of help.

Vaksala Kyrka

Not far after that, it became mostly residental and boring part of the ride.  Loke recognized the area though and sped up quite a bit.  He knew we were going to go see my husband’s parents and he absolutely adores them.  On this ride, I also bothered to stop and get a picture of Vaksala kyrka.  I rather like this church.  It’s a bit like Danmark and Jumkil churches combined.  As often as I’ve ridden this route, this is the first time I clicked it.  This makes church #2 photographed for the year.  I’m only counting those I haven’t already ‘collected’.  As I always try to do now, there is information if you click the photo.

Loke was almost running flat out for the last mile to my in-laws.  He wasn’t overly tired since the run had only been around 11 miles.  Still, it took a bit of an edge of the hysterical energy he generally has when we visit them and he calmed down very quickly once he got over the inital excitement.  I parked my trike in their garage and went up to a nice meal of nettle soup, bread, cheese and Swedish waffles with strawberry preserves and whipped cream.  Mmmmm….  Loke even got some cheese and ice cream!

A very nice day.

My New Toy!

Oh!  Before I forget!  My husband got me a new toy.  He decided I was doing so well with the whole dental phobia thing and knew I was a bit upset over the idea of losing a tooth, he mentioned that maybe when I got it pulled, we would get me a Garmin Edge 705.  When I staggered home, still a bit foggy from sedative and pain meds, on March 30th, he suddenly handed me a bag with the new cycle GPS and European map.  I was so thrilled.  At least… I think I was.  I know I was when I woke up from a 2 hour nap. *hehe*  I’m hoping this will help with my touring so I can find places to refill water and buy groceries!  Just like a car GPS, it lets me search for places and will guide me to them!  Just makes me giddily eager for my first tour!!

Now I just need to make sure I have everything I need.  *sigh*

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