Terii’s Cycling Babble

Tricksy Weather
April 9, 2011, 6:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, yesterday was something of a lesson in aggravation.  Actually, I could say that of this entire week!

The spoke issue stopped the trip to Öland as well as the local rides I would have taken even with Öland canceled for some other reason.  Like my husband being sick, which he was.  While I was glad to have him around this week instead of picking up some nasty flu in Detroit which would have put me down for 3 weeks, I would have spared him the tummy bug he’d caught if I could.

I also discovered Loke’s had another flare of up that fungal infection in his foot.  The vet warned us it might never really go away and there would likely be intermitted returns of it.  At least we know what it is now and caught it early.  Treatment already underway.

Neil (one of the great guys at ICE) sent me a FedEx tracking # with my e-mailed order confirmation.  Electronically, I watched my package leave England to land in Paris before shuffling from one place to another there before landing in Stockholm at 8:04 am Thursday morning.  Nothing was budging me out of the house until that package arrived.  Around 1 pm, the door bell rang and I bounced to answer it.  I was actually grinning and laughing with glee as I accepted it.  That earned me a few quizzical looks from the FedEx guy.  By 1:30 pm, I’d swapped tires around.

Did I go for a ride with my new front wheel?  No.  Wind howled outside.  Usually in our snug little apartment, we can’t hear the wind.  Thursday, I could hear it.  It came and went with this dull roar.  The sheet metal of our balcony wall would rattle and bang from time to time.  A few trees went down here and there and at one point, a friend of my husband’s was apparently stranded in Stockholm because the gale force winds took down some of the electric lines the trains use.  Nope.  I wasn’t going out and having Loke thrown into my lap or getting blown backwards while trying to pedal.

Yesterday dawned gloriously clear and around 40 F.  Jens was feeling well enough he wanted to try one of our fishing/cycling outings.  I quickly mapped out two for him to choose from.  One was a 30-ish mile loop around Gysinge (aka The Streams) and another was about the same distance, but more of a zig-zag starting from an island called Singö he likes to try catching sea trout at.  He chose Signö.  Destination decided, we packed up.

By the time we were on the road, the sun was vanishing.  10 miles outside of Uppsala, I noticed flecks of rain on the windshield.  By 20 miles, it was raining.  It was still raining when we reached the island and the 56 F temps we had started out in dropped to 36.  Guess who left bullet proof thermals at home?  Yep, I did.  Hey, 56 F and sunshine, my thin woolies with my wind-resistant leggings as backup would be fine.

Singö Kyrka

After driving for a bit more than an hour and a half, Jens and I both were determined to make an effort.  I wanted to try my new wheel and my husband wanted to practice his fly casting in the Baltic.  So, on to Singö Kyrka we went.

It proved to be a pretty and quite unusual church.  It’s the second wooden church I’ve seen in Sweden counting the one at the Sami village in Stor Blåsjon last year.

The rain lightened a bit, so while my husband shuffled his fishing gear around so we could unload the trike, I grabbed the camera.  I didn’t find any runestones, but given how lovely the church was, I happily walked around it.

As always, information on the church if you click the thumbnail.  I also found this site which has three photos of it.  One is it’s appearance today as well as a photo from 1910 and 1930.  http://www.singo.dk/lankarvanstraspalten/kyrkan.html

As I worked to get the wheel on the trike and put everything else together, the rain intensified.  I started getting aggravated at my hair, my glasses fogging up, the hat on my head as I struggled.  My back helped not at all.  I had to work in 10 second bursts as bending over made it ache.  The extra layers I pulled on while settling the trike fell short of keeping me warm.  My upper body was fine since I found my 200 gram weight top in the car, but my legs were cold even before I started.

Jens still encouraged me to go for a short ride.  At least to the parking area he’d leave the car at to fish.  He’d even wait in the car with a cup or two of coffee before pulling his fishing gear out.  It was only a few miles and Loke was already so wound up, I agreed.

I regretted it almost immediately.  The wind generated by 15+ mph speeds combined with cold rain felt like ice.  I could barely see through my glasses as Loke spurred us faster and faster.  By the time I nearly ended up as the filling in a bus/truck sandwich, I was shivering.  That was around 1.5 mile.

Yep. I had a close call yesterday.  The road was one of those narrow country sort with no middle line.  Cars can pass side by side, but there’s not a lot of space for it.  As we were rounding a curve at 17 mph, a bus came roaring up behind us and began to move over to go around just as a light goods truck came racing from the opposite direction right on what would have been the center line if there had been one.  The bus slammed it’s brakes with that stomach-turning ‘ur-ur-ur’ sound as it and the truck both swerved sharply to their respective sides of the road.  I didn’t even want to look in my mirror to see how close the bus came to rear-ending me and I bit the inside of my cheek hard enough to draw blood at the near miss of the truck.  Loke didn’t even notice as he galloped on with his doggie grin.

Fortunately, the last .7 mile to the parking lot was uneventful.

My husband had apparently finished his coffee quickly because he wasn’t in the car when I got there, but I saw him walking toward us over the bridge from the tiny island where the best fishing spot is.  I felt terrible at the idea of stopping soon since it had been such a long drive, but Jens decided he hadn’t dressed for wading in the Baltic in 36 F either.  56 F yes, but not for 20 degrees colder.  Since neither of us wanted to do our activities in the cold rain and near freezing temps, my sense of guilt eased somewhat.  Very quickly, we were packed up and snuggled down into hot car seats.

The total ride distance?  2.3 miles. Not even the distance around the most basic River Loop.

Uppland Runestone #595 - Very Unusual Stone

Uppland Runestone #595 Side

There was one additional stop on the ride home.  Every time we’ve driven to Singö, we’ve passed by a sign for a runestone.  We’ve always whipped by it on the curve too quick to stop for it.  On the way home this time, we remembered it.  I’m sharing it now since it’s along a stretch of road I would try to avoid and unlikely to cycle it.  There are far more pleasant stretches of road to pedal along than this 10 mile stretch.  If there had been more than a single runestone along it to tempt me, but there’s not.

This stone really surprised me.  It had two complex and highly religious images on it.  Before finding this one, the stone I deemed most religious in context was one which the runes spoke of Christ and paradise as the best world for Christians.  The pictorial carvings here show mass and Sacrament as well as referencing a bible story on the side.  Full info to be seen if you click the thumbnail for the front of the stone.

We still took care of another cycling related issue before the day was out.  When it came time to shop for dinner, I walked Loke around the pastures of an old farm (1800’s or earlier and now owned by a 4-H group) right across from the mall where my husband went into buy groceries.  He also went in search of a new battery for my ‘cycle phone’.  I have 2 cell phones.  One is an iPhone which is essentially useless when I’m riding my bike.  It seems like 3 feet from any building and I lose service and since I tend to spend most of my time in the open countryside, yep. Useless.

My old phone has great coverage, but recently the battery started to wig out.  One call would drain 90% of the charge.  At least, I hope it was the battery.  I love that old phone for the incredible coverage as well as the fact it used to hold a charge for a week.  Perfect for touring!  Hopefully, the new battery will prove as reliable.  Seeing as Jens likes me to call in to let him know we’re fine, it’s kinda critical.

Wow. I can manage quite a babble from just 2.3 miles of cycling, can’t I? *chuckle*


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I enjoy your blog, Terii. The church and runestone material is interesting and I share your interest in cycling.

“recumbutt” is an alias of “tbarron” on RRI. You got me to sign up for a wordpress account just so I could leave you a comment. 🙂

Comment by recumbutt

I’m glad you enjoy it! Now that you have an account are you going to start blogging too? 😉

Comment by terii

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