Terii’s Cycling Babble

Beating My Head On Walls
February 26, 2012, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

It feels like I spend a lot of time doing that. Still, I won’t give up.

We’ve managed to dodge snow for the past few days and this morning dawned crystalline clear if rather cold. I decided I’d actually make another attempt at the 18+ mile Börje/G. Uppsala loop, see if this time I could stay upright the entire way. Around 10 am, the temp had crept up to a near tropical 29 F so I decided it was time.

Loke was a bit twitchy about me getting ready, though it was hard to tell if it was because of the cycle clothes since he’d been that way since I’d woken up this morning. With Jens home, getting out the door went a bit quicker since I only had to go out once instead of running back and forth. Not to mention, the trike went out in one piece. I just had to slap the sheep-skin over the seat, sling the pod bags on and ready my flag.

Loke didn’t yodel too much and soon we were zipping along the streets toward the cycle path.

The first pretty Sunday in a LONG while and everyone was out enjoying it. The cycle path was probably the most packed I’ve seen it in ages. It kept our pace down quite a bit.

Soon we were crossing the 272 onto Gamla Börjevägen. I noticed I was actually feeling a bit nervous as we went along. Maybe a bit rattled from the spill. Hehe.

Not Supposed To Be A Lake Here

The temperature was a bit frustrating. My right side was actually quite cold as the wind came brisk and hard from over the fields. My left side was a bit too warm under the two layers of wool with the surprisingly strong sun full on. Only somewhere in the middle was I comfortable.

That wasn’t my only annoyance. My gears seemed to be a bit weird, rather sluggish to respond. When the chain did move, it would rattle and clack. I decided to talk to Jens about getting it serviced once I got home.

Oh! I saw my first hard core cyclist today! He gave me a cheery wave as he hammered his way back toward Uppsala.

I gave a little cheer when we rounded the curve along the church yard wall. We did not speed around it. I wasn’t going to risk being ambushed by ice again. Actually, I was already risking getting trapped by ice on this ride. When I’d driven the route a couple days before, there were a couple hills that stopped me from riding it. Two of the steepest were less than half a mile apart with a space of flat ground between them. The ice on the road was hard and slick. Combined with the slopes, I didn’t think I could get up those hills even with studded tires. So, if I’d ridden down the first hill, I probably would have had to call for rescue being unable to get back or go on. Gotta love ice. *bleah*

With Jens home though, I was willing to risk that those hills had thawed at least enough for me to get up them.

I made the right turn behind Börje church and slowed to a crawl. The wind which had been annoying from the right was down right brutal from the front. My knee started complaining before I’d gone more than 200 yards. I decided I didn’t want to suffer a 10 mile hard slog with a painful knee. A steep hill with that wind? Ugh!

Kinda Makes Me Miss The Snow

We turned back around. Loke seemed quite happy to do so. He actually ran for almost a mile as we doubled back. I considered heading for Ulva, but it would have the same wind problem. So, that left either doubling all the way back to the River Loop or toward Ströbylund and then along the 72 to the big grocery store before winding our way back to the last half of the river loop. The latter would put the wind at my back, so that’s what it would be.

By this time, the shifting had worsened. At one point, I’d even moved the shifter 4 or so clicks without anything happening at first. When it did happen, of course it jumped all those gears. Another time one click bumped me 3 gears.

As I was climbing a hill, I shifted to a lower gear and the chain gave a jolt and then just clattered. I knew that feeling. I remembered it too well from last year. My chain had jump the rear cog and was up against the spokes. I locked the brakes and pulled the chain back on the cogs, hoping I could at least get up the hill to the small parking lot of a build just ahead. Shifted down and… it jumped again.

I managed to not give a howl of frustration as I got up, put Loke on his leash and started dragging the trike up the hill. The parking lot was far from ideal. The entire surface of it was nothing but slick glossy ice except one little corner of it about 6 feet square. Needless to say, that’s where I parked the trike.

Loke and I had covered about 9.5 miles when I called Jens. A smidge more than half the 18+ miles I’d hoped to cover.

As Jens held Loke’s leash while I dismantled the trike, a man walked over from the other building across the street, which turned out to be a carpentry shop. He was very impressed with the trike and quite eager to find out about it. After a few minutes, we started loading the trike which we managed to do without falling on rumps or faces. All the more impressive for me since I was in my cycle shoes with less traction than sneakers.

So, tomorrow, I’m calling the cycle shop that did such a great job last year. They were more than happy to work on it without the complaints of the cycle shops here in Uppsala. That makes it worth the 50+ mile drive to the far side of Stockholm. At least this didn’t happen during the middle of the touring season.


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