Terii’s Cycling Babble

Out Again!
April 6, 2010, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Well, Loke and I both seem to be building up fairly quickly.  Today I decided to cycle my Börje/Gamla Uppsala loop if the weather cooperated.  It did.  Around 10 am it was warm enough and I went into action.  I didn’t make it out as quickly as I thought I would.  My dad called and was feeling chatty.  Today was his first offical day of retirement.  He’s feeling a bit uncertain about it work-a-holic that he is.

It was beautiful when we set out.  Loke was glad to be out and I was quite happy to be trying out my new Garmin Edge.  I had to get a bit creative about the mount for it.  It’s on the mounting bar for my rear view mirror.  It actually worked perfectly there!  I didn’t even have to use the backlighting, which is good for my battery life.  It was a bit wierd not having my GPS on my wrist.  I kept looking at my wrist and having little moments of panic, “No! My Garmin’s strap broke!’ *smirk*  I was still doing it even toward the end of the ride.

I headed out along the cycle path that I always ride for most of my various loops.  Now though, I have to make a bit of detour.  They erected these barriers at two intersections along my usual cycle path within the first 1.25 mile.  The first one is no problem.  There is still enough room to one side that I can JUST squeeze past.  Granted, they are springed so I can kinda shove them, but then they snap back and catch Loke in the butt or hit some part of my trike.  It’s the other two that sit where the path crosses the road that were the problem.  Now, only one of them is.  A car apparently skidded off the road during the heavy ice of winter and knocked down part of one.  So, to get around the most problematical one, I take a right turn down the street and zig through a residential complex to come out on the cycle path again.  A minor inconvenience, but those sorts of barricades, which are no problem to a standard bike, can be the bane of my existence.

It felt good to be out and just the perfect temperature for wearing black and sunny skies.  After the first couple miles, Loke started dragging a bit.  I don’t think he was tired, I think he’s already starting to get that sense of boredom with the area around here.  There were a lot of people out today, both on the cycle/foot path and lots of cyclists on the road as well.  All of them calling out and waving as they passed.

The First Time Here This Year!

The snow is going quick now and the landscape is sort of turning into that murky ‘bleah’ brown shade.  Once I got around Börje church though, there was more snow thanks to the fact that it stays a bit colder out in the countryside.  When we took the turn to go to Börje instead of straight to Ulva, Loke picked up speed.  I think he was glad to see some ground he hadn’t run across in over 6 months.

It felt kinda nice to see Börje church again.  I suppose after all these years and the fact that it was the first ‘out in the country’ church I cycled to back in ’06 when I first got my trike, it feels kind of like an old friend.  Silly and sentimental perhaps, but that’s how I feel.  I’ve gone on routes that came at it from all three sides and it has been a place to take a quick rest in a shady spot during the summers and offered the most delicious apples in the autumn.  A launching point for many other longer loops.  It was the church that firmly set my odd compulsion to collect as many of these little country churches as I can with my camera.

It Really Is Spring!!! Yellow Crocus!!

It is only around 6 miles to Börje from the apartment, so I had no real need to take a break and Loke was turning his nose up at any water I offered him, so I didn’t stop in the church parking lot this time.  As I was whipping around the curve onto the road that goes to the Old Farm, I spotted something that brought me to a screeching halt… much to Loke’s irritation.

I just love these flowers and they seem to be everywhere around Uppsala once spring gets underway.  There is even one house in our neighborhood who’s entire yard turns into this vivid purple-blue carpet of the violet crocus, which are my favorite color.  I still like the white and yellow variety too though.

Loke Out Doing What He Loves

After I saw the flowers, I started looking more carefully around me.  Much of the fields around Börje were just that uninspiring brown, but here and there I could see the slight swelling on the twigs of bushes and trees in the beginnings of leafing out.  It brought a smile to my face to see especially after the strange winter we had.

The winter was extremely brutal to these little country roads too.  Most of them were perfectly fine back in December when I was finally forced to stop riding.  Now, after the hard freezes and mounds of snow, many of them have these long cracks running down the center.  A few of them are over a hundred yards long and wide and deep enough for me to put my entire hand into.  Fortunately, they are generally easy to avoid though one road had very large and deep one to the edge.  I was forced to ride down the center of the road to keep my tires and Loke’s feet out of the 10″ wide and nearly as deep fissure.  The Swedish road department is going to have a busy spring and summer fixing that mess!

Around mile 12, it got quite cold.  Even enough so that my hands were stinging and my feet inside the cycle shoes felt chilled and achey.  Fortunately, I’ve learned to pack extra clothing for just such emergencies.  I had my bright yellow, soft shell wind breaker and another leg layer that I stopped to wrestle on.

Brrrrr... Cold Front!!

The temperature drop must have been a cold front that pushed through since it’s supposed to be colder tomorrow and with a chance of rain.  The clouds definitely increased and there was this one heavy, sullen looking line of clouds that had me a bit worried about getting sleet.  Thankfully, it was just a chilling wind that chased me the rest of the way home.  The sun would peek out every now and again, which helped warm me up some, so it wasn’t too bad.  I think Loke appreciated the colder air as he had been running a tiny bit on the warm side for a while.

The entire trip was about 19 miles.  Totals for the 5 rides this year?

First ride – .20 mile.

Second ride – 5.3 miles

Third ride – 13.8 miles

Fourth ride – 10.5 miles

Fifth ride 18.9 miles

So!  Loke and I are building up quick though we didn’t set any speed records.  Who knows?  Maybe I will try an over-nighter already this month.  My husband is supposed to have a business trip to Detroit again this April, so maybe I’ll run away until I know he’s not bringing back a nasty flu like he did this year.  Hehe.  Either way, I’m keeping my camera this time so I can take pictures of where ever I ride.

Oh!  And I’m very happy with the Garmin Edge!!  I love the variety of fields you can pick for the cycle function.  Like heading!  I actually giggled with glee when I saw that and added it.  The map is very nice also.  It is a definite upgrade to my gear!

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