Terii’s Cycling Babble

April 12, 2010, 7:50 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Well, it turned out to be a bit of an interesting ride… parts of it at least.

I’ve discovered that already I’m starting to feel a bit clausterphobic with my cycling.  Part of it is I want new places to see.  New churches, rune stones, ruins, scenery, etc to collect.  The problem is, particularly since it’s just the beginning of the cycle season, Loke and I both need to work up on stamina a bit more.  Pretty much most of the smaller/safer/more interesting roads in a 15 mile radius around Uppsala, I’ve cycled!  We need to be able to go for 35 miles at the least and that’s not allowing for loops.  Out and back trips are kinda like doing the river loop only a bit worse since instead of ‘I cycled here yesterday!’, it’s ‘I was already here two hours ago!!’

I almost talked myself into jumping onto the Sverigeleden and heading toward Stockholm, but was a bit wary about doing it without some planning so my husband could find me in case of emergency at the very least.  If it had just been me, I probably would have risked it, but not with Loke.

So, even though I was feeling more than a little apathetic about doing Börje AGAIN, or Ulva/Gamla Uppsala AGAIN, I dragged myself out, tying to get into the mind frame of ‘It’s a beautiful day, go out and enjoy it regardless of where you are!’  If I don’t get out and cycle, our endurance won’t increase, which was a good kick in the pants to get me moving as well.

Loke I think was picking up on my internal grumblings.  He didn’t make much fuss as I was getting everything out the door.  He didn’t make much fuss while he was hitched to a pole and I was putting the trike together.  The wild mile?  It was merely a quick mile.  As we went, I contemplated which route to do.  It was actually the river that decided me.  As we crossed the bridge, the water kinda looked a bit higher to me.  Certainly the current looked much quicker.  So, I decided to do Ulva/Gamla Uppsala and see if I could ride the Grave Mounds path to cover the River Loop as a finish.

Fur, Fur, More Fur!

I headed out down the extention for a few extra miles (3 miles actually) and stopped to give Loke some water since he was already panting pretty good.  I also took the time to dig out the brush and leave some fur for the birds.

At this time of the year and through most of the summer, Loke’s fur is like a never-ending box of Kleenex.  Pull a clump, another pops up.  Pull that clump, another pops up.  There have been times when I’ve brushed one area on him for half an hour and it just keeps coming.  It gets even worse right after he’s had a bath.

Still, better to leave what fur I can out in the country side for the birds and small animals to make use of rather than strangling our vacuum cleaner.

We went to the end of the extention and did the awkward turn around at the end to cycle back and then take the turn toward Old Börje Road.  I spotted three women walking with a dog and stopped to give them time to leash it before passing.  The scruffy, medium sized terrier looking thing was pulling at the leash and making this growling snarl as we passed.  I kept an eye in the rear view mirror until they were out of sight.

Well, apparently, the owner figured once we were out of sight, it was okay to let her dog loose.  I guess she forgot about terrier determination.  We were probably a quarter mile away when Loke started yanking around like he was worried about something behind us.  I didn’t see anything in the mirror, but that was because the dog was on the far right side of Loke and running for all it’s worth in an effort to catch up.  I only spotted it when it was less than two feet away from Loke.  I used a few choice words in surprise as it kinda thumped into Loke with a snarl before giving this wierd whine and trying to mount him all at a run.

Since it wasn’t actively trying to bite Loke, I just kept telling it ‘Nej!’ and pushed on a little faster, dragging Loke into a run.  Fortunately, the shaggy beast didn’t have much stamina left after it’s mad dash to catch us and flopped down to pant in the middle of the cycle path after about 50 yards.

I must say though, it definitely got my heart racing!

Kinda Sweeping View

After that it was just going along the same ground as before.  The incident with the dog left Loke a bit jumpy.  He kept craning around to try and watch out behind him more than usually does so I was extra careful to call out ‘Car!’ every time I spotted one coming up behind us in the mirror.  If the incident makes him freak out when I start using the trailer, I’m going to be beyond irate… though not at Loke obviously.  It wasn’t his fault.  He was minding his own business.

I did finally start to enjoy the day.  Loke seemed fairly indifferent.  It was a definite sign that he’s already quite bored with our old loops.  The rest of the ride between the ‘dog attack’ and Gamla Uppsala was uneventful though I did stop at Ulva again to look at the river and give Loke some water.

Parts of the Island Under Water

It was definite that the river was up higher than the last time I’d ridden past it.  It was impressive to watch and Loke really wanted to get down to the raging water.  I knew better than that.  He’s afraid of water deeper than his tummy, but it hasn’t stopped him from miscalculating a few times with comical (to us humans) results.  A brief plunge in tiny streams or still water is funny.  If he jumped or fell into that, it could have be worse than simply not funny.  He can be aggravating, but I do love my fur dispenser.

Two Smaller of the Three Burial Mounds

We went on and soon we were coming up to Gamla Uppsala again.  I made the turn that would take us along the church yard wall past the side of the church instead of the back of it and coming out near railroad tracks.  I had my fingers crossed that the path wouldn’t be a soggy morass of mud with the spring melt such a recent thing.  It was actually firm, puddle and mud free for most of it’s length.

This Snow Is Determined!

It was also VERY busy.  Everyone was out enjoying this glorious weather.  I came across this man and woman who were out walking their four dogs.  Quite an odd mix.  A white little thing with lots of fur that I can’t think of the name, a jack russel, something like a very tall skinny chihuahua and the largest of the bunch was a Finnish breed.  Fortunately, they weren’t agressive as they all came running over as soon as I stopped and refused to heed thier owner’s calls.  Also fortunate, that Loke was worn out enough to NOT irritated them.

We talked for a few minutes as the little dogs swarmed all over me, each trying to win a spot on my lap and lick my face while the Finnish dog was standing in front of Loke with a wagging tail and trying to touch noses.  It was cute.  The man actually knelt to stroke Loke for a while, exclaiming what a beautiful dog he was and also this was the second time he had seen us with the trike.  After a few minutes, I went on my way with a cheerful wave and the dogs following me for 50 yards or so.  I wonder if they were envious?

Loke still had a bit of energy to run when we hit the river loop section again and started down the hill toward the bridge for the second time in the day.  I made the turn along the stretch of path running along the river and slowed down to enjoy the area and let Loke do a sort of cool down.  I also stopped to have a look at the spot with the picnic tables.  The tops of them were almost a foot underwater.  The river was definitely up!

Merganser Duck... I think? Yes! It Is!

As I was going past the back of the swimming hall, I noticed a duck.  Ducks on the river aren’t uncommon.  Actually, they never leave.  They just gather up around certain areas, mostly downtown and almost always, they’re mallards.  This one wasn’t!  I think it was a merganser which is a thin billed species of duck that eats fish.  The edges of the bill are even serrated to grip its prey better.  Mergansers are easy for me to remember since I had one slice up my fingers pretty good when I was working as a volunteer at a wildlife clinic in Mississippi.

Seeing the different kind of duck was a nice end to the ride.  I feel pretty good, Loke is curled up like an artic fox on his bed.  Not a bad day at all.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi Terri and Loke

Just being catching up with your blogs.
I have a Spaniel and an Allsorts. the Spaniel sheds enough hair to knit another dog!

Comment by dexey

Hehe! I hear you! I tell my husband that in the first couple years, we already had enough fur from Loke to make a whole sled team!

I haven’t been cycling since the evening of my last one, I came down with a bad cold. So, just been hacking, coughing, sniffling and wheezing. My husband might as well have brought home a flu, if the volcano hadn’t grounded all flights to and from northern Europe. 😛

Comment by terii

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