Terii’s Cycling Babble

They’re Just Popping Up Everywhere!
March 28, 2012, 5:23 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Flowers that is. Since I first saw those on the ride past the shopping center, they’re all over the place. More of those white ones turned down my dad thinks are called Lilly of the Valley. Yesterday while running errands, I found a roundabout center  just blanketed with crocus which must have exploded out of the ground. Also some very modest ground hugging little blossoms like mini-dandelions along the on-ramp to a road.

I’ve ridden twice since the one I last blogged. Loke limped on the earlier one, but it turned out to be from a small cut on his paw. I’d planned to run him for the River Loop w/ Extension, but when I found the wound I decided to cut the ride short to go home and clean it right away. While I was irritated with the injury, I wasn’t worried because it obviously wasn’t from the return of the infection. So, that ride ended up being just over 2 miles and rather boring.

It still was a RoI (Ride of Interest) since it officially ticked my year’s distance total over 100 miles! Nearly 1/6th of last year’s total. I felt rather satisfied with that.

The days in between that ride and yesterday’s, I’ve been keeping a close eye on Loke’s feet since he’s finished all his medications. The swelling seems to be completely gone and I’d not seen any sign of infection… I think. Maybe.

A few days ago, while doing one of his daily foot checks, I thought I spotted a spot on the skin on the underside of Loke’s left front foot that didn’t look quite right. The fur might have had some of that all-too-familiar discoloration and perhaps the skin there looked a tiny bit too pink. Paranoia or was I just being hyper-aware? The thought of it made me sick though. Loke had taken his last dose of the antibiotics just 3 days earlier. When I found this ‘maybe’ patch of infection, I’d been carefully clipping the fur on Loke’s feet to clear it for his first slathering of Medihoney Barrier Cream.

That slathering has been a bit of a contention between Loke and I. Could be interesting if I have to do this to him for the rest of his life. *sigh*

So, I applied the cream and waited to see.

So far, the skin has remained healthy looking. If there was fur discoloration I might have seen, it faded. If the skin truly was a little too pink, it’s returned to the proper shade of white doggie skin. Honestly, it’s a little hard to tell. Honey is one of the main ingredients of the cream and, as we all know, honey is sticky. I now have to plop the furball into the tub every few days to wash his feet because they look down right filthy with the honey collecting dirt though I use as little as possible. Whether it’s my imagination or not, I do feel encouraged.

Monday morning at 5 am, I dropped Jens and his dad off at the train station. Jens had a business trip in the southern part of Sweden around his dad’s home town so decided to go by train and invited his dad with him. Not just a good husband, but a good son too. Brother as well. He’s very nice to his sisters.

Speaking of good husband, Jens utterly threw me for a loop.

A few days ago, he announced we’d gotten our income tax return. When he told me how much, I laughing said, “A new trike! One with a 26″ rear wheel for snow riding!” He looked puzzled and said he thought the ICE trikes were more than that.

I shrugged, admitting I wasn’t sure. Done with the joke I went back to work on my 3D model  and he went to the kitchen to write a work e-mail.

A few minutes later, “Well?” came out of the kitchen.

Baffled and mostly distracted I answered with, “Well what?” as I fought with the mesh of a tuning peg for my lute-like instrument.

“How much are the trikes in SEK?”

Stunned, I flew out of my chair to go stare at him. I didn’t say a word as I hurried back to my computer to look.

Turns out, the price once converted to Swedish currency was a little over half of what we expected. Jens seemed perfectly willing though he’s very nervous about the engineering of the new folding method of the current models.

At first I was excited as I looked through the various options and price differences. Giddy even. Then the alarm went off for Loke’s anti-inflammatory medication. It was like getting hit with a wall of ice water. Forlorn I looked between the trike on my screen and Loke. His feet have been so difficult and it seriously puts a crunch into my rides. He goes destructive and howls fit to raise the dead if try to take the trike out without him. Even a ‘quick’ 2 hour jaunt on an extended Börje/G. Uppsala loop could spell the ruin of many shoes or maybe even a piece of furniture. Jens and I can go as we please, but the trike better stay home with him. Regretfully, I decided the risk of little use outweighed the cost and Jens’ willingness to seriously consider a new trike.

Personally, I think Jens’ willingness comes from the fact he got so aggravated by hearing ‘There’s too much snow and/or rutted ice” when he suggested I take Loke for a run a few times.

Again, my husband has stunned me. “We’ll plan another trip to England.” I got a excited again though it was more at the idea of another road trip through the English country side and taking pictures of old castles, village ruins, and standing stones than it was over the idea of a new trike. Shows how much I let it go. I was even wondering if the Dartmoor pony mares had already begun foaling. The babies were so adorable and for wild ponies you could get pretty close. One hugely pregnant mare even walked around stealing ice cream from children.

Then I wilted once more. “No. Not with Loke’s feet needing constant attention. I can’t expect your family to wrestle him down every day. Nor would I wish it on the breeders either.”

So, Jens tried another tact. “So, you go to England and I stay home to tend Loke. Public transportation is very good if you don’t want to drive. Trains and cabs can get you to Falmouth and the ICE production site. Back to London. You could even take an extra day to maybe see the British Museum. Better yet! I think you should see if my sister can go with you!”

That’s the gist of it any way. When I still seemed resistant to the idea of going to test ride a trike, he still thought I should go to England with his sister. I think he feels guilty for the trips he’s taken without me. Even when most of them have been for work, it’s still been places like Las Vegas or Paris with a bit of London thrown in. I can’t say I’m envious. I’m just not a big city girl. Give me small towns or country villages any day.

One last shocker for me from Jens, he would want to find a way to keep the Trice even if we got the new Sprint. He’s been trying to figure out how to store it! Given how he complains about how little space we have, that’s astounding.

So, that’s how things stood when I wrestled the trike out to take Loke for a run yesterday. Nothing special, just planned for the River Loop with Extension barring any limping.

The sun shone but not too warmly as it came through a curtain of high thin clouds that turned the sky white. Still birds were singing and it felt warm enough to go without an extra layer of wool or even a jacket. The trike was stripped down to it’s bare necessities since it meant one less trip out the door and climbing the stairs. I can just take the main body out, come back in to change to my cycle shoes, grab helmet, seat, flag and dog along with my crappy spare purse to carry phone, poopy bags and keys. I wrap the purse strap around the headrest of the seat. A lot more manageable than my pod bags for such a short ride. If it gets much warmer though, I’ll still need the pod bags to take water for Loke.

Loke was the most excited I’ve seen him for a ride in quite a while. Even the one I blogged last where he’d followed me around what I’ve dubbed ‘Clipped in and Ready to Roll’ position, he didn’t have this excitement. His nearly perfect right side heeling was punctuated moment of wild spinning.

That excitement held as we went out the door. This was the old Loke. The yodeling, kangaroo hopping bundle of fire that wanted the yank the trike at high speed for our wild mile. His tongue flapped in that huge husky grin with happy looks at me when the only times I slowed him down was to cross streets or turn. I found I wasn’t stressing about his feet. No more than I was last year before the infection frenzy. I didn’t even keep a paranoid eye out for random limping. We just enjoyed the moment.

As we shot past the school, flew through the underpass and up the hill to the left turn along the 55 toward the river, I felt it. Though it had been absent around our apartment and by the school, it made its presence known. That sadistic wind was back and it was cold. A stiff northerly that brought the remnants of winter’s bite in its caress. I suddenly regretted not having the huge bulk of my luggage rack with bright red panniers that always carry my bright yellow windbreaker. I wasn’t willing to give up the ride though. Not with Loke so wound up.

As we reached the top of the slope beyond the underpass, I got a thumbs up and a big smile from a guy saying, “Roligt!” which translates to ‘Fun!’

We made good time along the same-old-same-old loop. Off to the north though, I could see this dark blanket of clouds washing toward us on the back of the norther. I started to wonder if a frigid rain was going to be added to the mix. It was particularly impressive to see as we turned onto the extension which went right into the wind.

Toward the end of the extension cycle path which runs right up against the top of the river bank, I spotted a white car parked to the side of the path. That irritated me since it WAS a car and not a city work truck. As I came close enough to make out it was actually a police car, I noticed a man hurrying from the middle of the field as he waved for my attention. I stopped and politely waited for the officer. Once he was close enough to be heard over the wind, he warned me his K9 partner was in the car. The back hatch of the car was propped open a little and the dog was in a kennel cage. He just didn’t want me to be alarmed when the dog reacted to our presence. I thanked him and he went back out into the field with a smiling nod.

Though I’d been warned, that dog STILL made me jump and squeal like a little girl. Pedaling up to the car, waiting for it. Passed the front passenger door, waiting for it. Passed the rear car doors, waiting for it. Came to the open hatch and it was like the cartoon Tasmania Devil exploding out of nowhere. So, yeah. I jumped. Hehe.

I don’t know what it was about that field, but in the 4 minutes it took for me to reach the end of the path, work the trike around a 5 or 6 point turn and come back, another K9 unit arrived. The new officer gave a bemused smile as we came up followed by a cheery ‘Hej’ and a wink before walking out into the field to meet the first one. Oddly, neither dog reacted to our passing.

The dark clouds were looming ominously and blocking the sun as Loke and I went by the swim hall and across the road to follow the river a little further. With construction of a new wing at the swim hall, the cycle path is often closed off for cranes to lift things over. I add a little distance to avoid playing musical crossings at the intersection. It looked like we were about to get dumped on as I rushed us along, but it held off as I made it back home. Loke still had a bit of energy as we came back in. Me? I was chilled. Surprisingly, we’d made the 6.4-ish mile loop in under an hour. Pretty good considering more than half of the time was spent straight into the teeth of the wind along with stops for Loke to do his business. I guess it shows how much Loke helped and how much the tailwind boosted us once we’d turned south.

Annoyingly, it didn’t rain at all. 20 minutes after getting home, the clouds blew away and the sun was shining again. Just in time for me to go shopping for things for Loke.

The first stop was the vet clinic to buy more of the specialty skin support food. As I entered, the two vet techs gave me looks of horror. You know, the ‘Oh no! Not AGAIN!” I grinned and assured them I came only for a bag of food. They gave relieved laughs at that. They asked how he was and I told them his feet looked healthy, the swelling was essentially gone. I also told them about the possible beginnings of the infection’s return and admitted maybe I was just paranoid, but it looked fine now as I slathered his feet daily with the Medihoney product. They were glad to hear and hoped it remained that way.

At the pet store, I took him in to weigh him. When I pet him, he’s starting to feel down right skeletal, like he’s losing weight. Don’t get me wrong, he’s always been a bit thin. Huskies are meant to be. It eases the impact on their joints if they’re not carrying excess weight. Even the vet said that after saying Loke was ‘a little underweight’, but he’s healthy and it’s better if he’s running a lot. Of course, I think if I fed Loke up to a weight Niclas would say is correct, the breeders might say he was obese. They thought Loke was rather fat last summer when he was weighing in at 24 kg (53 lbs).

But the scales say the furry one is holding in right at 22.4 (roughly 50 lbs). I still might increase his food a bit.

A woman passing by exclaimed, “He’s beautiful! Like a wolf!” She was even more impressed when Loke got on the scale and sat when I told him too. He’s such a good boy… at times.

That’s enough cycle/dog related babble for this post! Here’s hoping I get a few more miles in and my sleeping bag arrives soon!


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