Terii’s Cycling Babble

Disheartening Update
April 26, 2012, 8:32 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

At least that’s how it feels.

My rides have been infrequent and local. 3 rides since my last post.

Primus ETA Power MF Camp Stove.

Before the rides though, Jens surprised me. He had ordered the camp stove I’ve had my eye on for a while. I’ve been reluctant to commit to it because while not hideously expensive, it’s not precisely cheap, but he had found a special on it for half price. He thinks it’s something we can use even when we just go to Singö for fishing and relaxing.

The 16th. Miraculously, it was a pretty day. Partly cloudy as usual, but I decided it was nice enough to go for a ride. I was determined to do more than a river loop and for once, do the ride I had in mind. The Vaksala/Granby Loop with a bit of an out and back along what I thought was a new section of cycle path.

Loke was excited by my cycle clothes and hysterical with glee when I put the harness on him. I was also quite eager to see what progress might have been made on the archaeological dig site. Sadly, it appeared they had stopped working on the site shortly after I’d left it last time. Except for two giant dump-truck like tractor things leaving 3 ft deep ruts along one edge of it as they moved back and forth, it was inactive.

The ride went great, though I was quite disappointed to discover what I thought was a new cycle path was in fact an access road built along another very busy road. They’re doing major construction along the big road and making it bigger and transforming it into ‘A non-meeting’ road. Meaning the opposing directions of traffic will be separated by a divider and access to and from via ramps. So, the people who live right along the road need their own new little access road. It ended after about a mile. Oh, and the improvements to the road will mean no bikes.

I also rode on the 20th. Just the river loop. The only reason I mention it is because it was an utterly miserable ride. It was just under 40 F (4c) when I woke and raining. Since snow had been in the forecast, I felt encouraged. With dinner at Jens’ family later that evening and their standard poodle in heat, Loke had to stay home and needed a decently long outing. I planned to take him around 2 pm.

Hard to see... but snow!

Bad move. Around 1 pm, the temp had dropped to just above freezing turning the rain to snow. Thick, wet flakes came down in furious flurries interspersed with periods of small flakes and all of it in stiff winds. I watched in dismay as the lawns and cars around our apartment went white under a quickly thickening blanket.

Still, Loke had to be taken care of. I pulled out my bullet proof thermals to put under my lycra cycle clothes since the spandex has always seemed to shed snow.

It was a nightmare. In the 5 min I left the trike body out to fetch the seat and furry one, I think 10 pounds of wet snow had covered the top of my red panniers. Those aren’t waterproof by the way. Got the seat attached, tossed on the sheepskin, clipped Loke and sat down in the snow that had collected on the wool in that brief time.

Things only proceeded to get more miserable. The snow kept hitting me in the eyes and the goggles were no use. They only collected those huge wet flakes until it was like trying to look through a snow ball. My face hurt from the impact of the ice shards as we ripped along at 10-15 mph with me peering through my fingers in a desperate attempt to protect my vision. My gloves were next to useless. Worse! For some reason my top was collecting snow which promptly melted. My wool shirt beneath it got wet. Thankfully, wool keeps a lot of warmth even when soggy or we’d have turned back before I finished the first mile. At least my legs were fine. The snow just bounced off my leggings.

At one point, the wind and snow were so bad, even Loke was forced to put his head down and close his eyes. I had to hold on to his harness to keep him from caroming off the trike. Made steering the trike and shielding my own eyes more of a challenge.

I’m pretty sure it’s not my most miserable ride, but for 4.5 miles, it ranked high.

After that, we had quite a bit of rain. One day was pretty, but I was so incredibly bored with my local loops and desperate for some place different, Loke and I went for a forest walk! I had the car, but it would have taken forever to wrestle the dog kennel out of it and the trike stuff into it. So, jumping into the car to drive to a local hiking trail it was!

I wore a belt made to walk/run dogs or even have them drag a person on skis. A 3 meter tether hung off it. I was prepared for a fiasco. The last time we tried this, Loke nearly killed me by alternating between dragging hard or stopping to sniff, crossing behind me and tangling my poles. I wore a small backpack with his normal leash so that I could swap to it and walk without the poles if he proved to be a pain. Drawing a deep sigh for calm and patience, I started off across a field for a short test.

Immediately, Loke went to the front, trotting happily, sniffing and… that was it. No running in circles around me. No hard pulling or yanking with starts and stops. He kept only just enough tension in the tether to keep it off the ground. I was struck near senseless in surprise! Hopeful, but wary, I cut toward a path through the trees that would lead us to the main hiking trail.

Hiking! Loke Waits For Me To Move

Loke’s near perfect behavior continued. He wove back and forth across the path as he sniffed. Of course, he stopped a few times to mark trees and such, but when he went back to the front, still no dragging or yanking. It lifted my spirit and I had so much fun on that walk. It’s the most fun I’ve had with him that didn’t involve the trike in a long time.

On the way back, I even risked jogging a little. the results were hilarious. Instead of just increasing his pace at the front, Loke fell back to run next to me. He gave the tongue-lolling husky grin while staring intently up into my face and bouncing. It was as if he were laughing at me and asking, “Whatcha doing? You don’t do this!” Even when I had to go back to walking again, he stayed right by my side with that bouncy grin. It’s hard to run and laugh at the same time.

I get the car again tomorrow. Maybe we should go back there for another walk/run.

More gray and rain which began to get me quite down and then we finally had a perfect day on the 24th. Clear, no wind and while cool, by no stretch of the imagination could it be called cold. Mid to upper 50’s F. Other than that, it was only a river loop as I’d had a bad episode with my knee a couple days before and Loke had sores on his feet again that I found over the weekend. So, the ride was doubling as a ‘trike-walking the dog to the vet clinic while being careful of my recently recovered knee’.

Niklas was in surgery, so I made an appointment. At least it waited more than 2 weeks since I last finished treatment to come back… right?

Ugly, isn't it? Poor Fuzzy

So, Loke’s foot got the vet treatment again yesterday. Shaved foot and Niklas confirmed it’s the yeast infection back because of Loke’s suppressed immunity. He changed the treatment a bit. Surprisingly, I felt pretty much nothing about the whole affair this time. Resigned maybe. Worryingly though, it seems to have worked into the nail bed of one toe.

So, I now need to wash Loke’s feet with the iodine solution 4 times a day and use a new anti-fungal stuff twice a day for 3 weeks this time. Treatment began last night after I picked up his new medication from the druggist.

This morning though, my numb resignation turned into real worry. Two of Loke’s feet are actually affected though the one in the picture is by far the worst. Or so we thought. It might be his other foot which is more of a problem. As I carefully cleaned and dried his feet, paying special attention to the infected nail-bed, I took a closer look at the rest of his toes just to be sure.

One of his nails on the other front foot is ORANGE around the base and splitting. The cracks are running up under the nail bed. Obviously, something is actually in that nail which scares me to death. Can it get into bone? I made sure the ointment got into the area as much as possible, but this worries me too much to take a ‘wait and see if it works’ approach without Niklas’ opinion. I’ll be calling him today…


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