Terii’s Cycling Babble

Ever Feel Like The World Is Against You?
May 24, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Then it’s good to know I’m not alone when I have moments where I feel like that.

Last week was a bit of a bummer.  All my will power just crumbled under the pressures of my body.  Bad knees and back shot any chance of me getting even a measly 50 miles in.  It utterly soured my mood.  Throw in a few migraines and I was just having a peachy time!  Maybe I’m just finding it difficult to recall when I do obtain goals, but it honestly feels like every time I try to set one, even something as minor as cycling 50 miles in a week, it’s like the world (and my own body) rise up in rebellion to deny it.

Okay, that’s enough.  It’s a  new week, so no more wallowing in self-pity.  Same goal.  Try to get 50 miles this week.

Saturday turned into a  glorious day and my husband kept asking if there was any place I wanted to be driven to get at least a short ride in even though my knee was bothering me a bit.  He knows how down I’ve been.  Finally, he couldn’t stand it any more and took Loke for his business walk and then chased us both out the door with instructions to not come back until I’d at least done the river loop.

Bless that man.  It did help.  The day was absolutely perfect.  Around 70 F and not a cloud in the sky with almost calm air.  Though it was on the warm side for Loke, it was just right for me.  So, I just wet his ears and lower legs down and cycled for a bit over an hour by doing the River Loop w/Extension and the Field Loop together for a total of 8 miles.  It still meant less than 30 miles for the total last week, but it felt good and I took it nice and slow for my knee.  Pity I couldn’t count it toward my 50 miles for this week. Hehe.

Yesterday, the weather was just awful.  The temperature did around 15 degrees of down turn with a high around 55 or less, leaden gray skies and this spitting, unending rain.  In spite of the chill we even had a thunderstorm!  Probably only about 6 or so growls of thunder, but still.

Today came out gorgeous.  Of course, I had a dental appointment this morning, which was fine since it was around 40 F when I woke up.  By the time I got home from my appointment (getting a cavity fixed which was a painless snap), it was perfect and Loke had already had a nice long walk with Jens while I was getting the tooth tended.

The air was actually chill enough, I pulled on an extra layer on my tops.  It turned out to be the perfect choice and had me dressed just right.  The sun was very clear and very warm which was a nice balance to the stiff (chill) breeze blowing around.  I decided to do my other short loop… which from now on, I’ll call Jalla/Vaksala Loop.

It really is quite astounding how fast everything grows once it gets warm enough here.  Already the greens are starting to leave behind those softly bright yellow tones and are into the deeper, more vibrant shades of summer.  The sunlight had that almost glass like quality to it.  I don’t really know how to describe it, except to say it gave all those greens and bright yellows an almost hard edge to them.  A sharp clarity where everything stood out in perfect and intense focus to the human eye.  The dandelions seemed to almost glow.

It was a bit of a drag starting out at first.  Right into the force of the wind and the cycle path still had quite a bit of gravel on it.  Still, I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so Loke and I just poked along through the residential area toward Gamla Uppsala.  Once we were passing Gamla Uppsala, we picked up the pace quite a bit.  Loke was running at a pretty good lope for over a mile until we had to cross the street and make our turn.  I was rather surprised to have made it over both crossings of the train tracks without a single train!  I’ve had as many as four trains go over those crossings in less 10 min it takes me to go from 100 yards on one side of the first to 100 yards to the far side of the second.

From Winter to Summer

Loke picked up speed again once we got out into the ‘country’.  Maybe it was the scent of the cows in the distance.  These weren’t the curious sort.  They just laid around, chewing their cuds as we went by.

The next field over though, there was a hawk that jumped out of the taller grass about 50 feet away.  50 feet doesn’t sound that close, but for a wild animal with a 3+ foot wing span, it’s still breath taking.

As I rode on, I almost started to wonder if I should call this route the ‘Lazy Short Route’.  Though Loke wasn’t pulling that much (he rarely does), I didn’t seem to need to pedal much.  Which isn’t a bad thing given my knee, though it means I don’t get as much exercise.

With the cooler air, Loke wasn’t as interested in water as he was the last few runs.  Still, I dutifully offered him some at the usual spots.

Camera Did Not Do Justice.

I had a bit of interaction with a horse on this ride.  There are quite a few stables along this route and I guess this particular horse had never seen me before.  He was in a fairly small paddock and the poor thing panicked when I came up.  He ran like mad for the far end of the small space, which of course, got Loke into wanting to go at a dead run.  I yanked on the brakes and started talking to the poor thing before he really freaked out and threw himself through the electric fence.

He was a pretty animal.  Just your usual brown bay with a blaze down his forehead roughly ? shaped.  Once I stopped and began talking, he calmed down in  a surprisingly short time.  After pacing back and forth a bit and drawing in deep breaths of air and snorting them out for our scent, he began to get curious.  In less than 10 minutes, he was standing with his head over the fence looking at us intently.  By the time I was satisfied he wasn’t going to do anything potentially damaging to himself from fear, I moved on.  He ran, but instead of it being in a terrified gallop away from us, it was along the fence line with us.

The next stable over, we had a herd of horses come charging down toward us.  Just 5 or so of them.  The funny thing was, they left a woman with a grain bucket to come run with us for the length of the pasture.  I think that’s the first time I’ve seen horses willing LEAVE grain. Hehe.

Much to my surprise, there was not a single foal in spite of the 30 or 40 horses I must have seen today!

After that it was just a quick jaunt to Vaksala where I decided to do a little detour.  The last time Jens and I went to check on one of his fishing spots, I was reminded of a runestone just a short distance from the Vaksala church.  So, I made the turn to go ‘collect it.

Uppland’s Rune Stone #961

Enter Rune Stone #961.  It’s a very beautifully carved stone and I can see why Öpir was one of the leading rune carvers of his time.  Translation and details about the stone (as translated from the info sign) if you click the thumbnail.

After that it was just a quick jaunt along some cycle paths between the mall and home.  It was very noisy at one point as it seems there’s one collection of trees that is a yearly nesting site for a murder of crows.  Some 15+ crows all flapping and cawing as they tend their eggs and young.
I toyed with the idea of adding the river loop and extension for a bit more distance, but as I started it, Loke was lagging and my knee was aching a bit.  Loke’s slow pace could have been because of boredom, but I couldn’t claim the same of my knee, so I cut the extra distance a bit short.  Still gained a couple miles by it though.
It was a nice ride and I feel good about it and Loke is now flat as a rug.  I might even ride the loop again tomorrow by going to see my MIL for my weekly Swedish practice!
And fingers crossed for my 50 mile goal. *mutters under her breath*

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