Terii’s Cycling Babble

Random Babbles & Lots of Runestones!
June 12, 2012, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Our Backyard Bunny (Hare) and Friend

Yep, I know it’s been quiet since my last post. Not much going on really. After cutting our tour short because of Loke’s feet, I was determined to give him a few days rest. Then unpredictable weather has moved in along with continuing ankle problems. That injury is giving me complete fits. Fine one day and wake the next morning to spend the entire day or two hobbling with every step.

That’s not to say I haven’t been riding mind you. It’s been restricted to River Loops or the equivalent.

Within a day or two after the failed tour, Jens decided I should try running Loke for shorter runs, but more often. Like even 2 or 3 times a day.  His hope is that it will toughen the furball’s feet. Personally, I think he just wants to not worry about taking Loke for walks.

Seriously though, I know he’s probably a little fed up listening to me grump and grumble about not being able to ride as far as I’d like us to. Unfortunately, we’ve only had one day where I did go for more than a single ride in a day, being the one after Jens made this suggestion. The problem, of course, being my ankle preventing me from lugging the trike in and out of the apartment even once let alone 2 or 3 times.

The solution was to leave the trike outside. It made for a nervous day. I kept it in the back, locked to our balcony with every cable and lock we had. I figured if anyone messed with it, I’d hear with the balcony door open. I still was quite uncomfortable and kept walking out to check every 20 minutes.

Oh, and here is a video of Loke taken in the morning before my husband left for work after carrying the trike out for the first ride of that day. Not sure why it sticks at 12 seconds, but I thought I’d share my silly furball’s antics.

Since then, we’ve been riding just about every other day for the River Loop with whatever additions I can stick on it to give it SOME measure of variety at least.

Archaeological Dig Site Near Gamla Uppsala

A few times, I’ve even ridden a sort of reverse Grave Mound loop. That’s been kind of interesting as it allows me to see the progress of their archaeological studies. They’ve opened several more HUGE stretches. I stayed to watch until Loke started woofing at me. I can’t blame him. All he had to amuse himself was the pavement of the sidewalk/cycle path and the wall of a concrete barrier.

Husby-Långhundra Kyrka

Against my better judgement, Jens and I took a short outing on the 6th of this month to the annual medieval market held every year at Husby-Långhundra Church. It still amazes me there used to be a waterway connecting to Uppsala once navigable by boats and now all that remains is a tiny thread of water not even wide enough for a canoe. I think Loke could jump it. Not that he would try. He’s a bit timid when it comes to water. Given his past experiences when he’s suffered lapses in judgement, I can hardly blame him.

Musicians at The Medieval Market

Though we rarely stay for more than an hour, Jens and I try to make it every year. I think I’d probably spend more time there and even buy a few things if I were still active in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). To quote from their official web site – “The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.”  I was an avid participant between ages of 19 – 30, attending events most weekends and making my own costumes. Very many happy memories. It even turned out my father’s mother was also a very active member long before I’d even heard of the group.

Interior of Husby-Långhundra Church to the Back

But I ramble.

There is a reason I mention this day even though I didn’t ride. Husby-Långhundra Kyrka was the beginning of a ride in June of 2010. I didn’t walk around it to look for runestones because the lawn of the graveyard was being tended. This time, I had Jens to occupy Loke and even better? The church was open to the public!

Before I discovered that, we did a stroll through the market, stopping to listen to the musicians for a time. There was also some kind of play going on, but the area was so tightly packed I didn’t think I could go into the crowd without going crazy. As it was, the market lane had so many people it was unpleasant and even Loke looked a bit rattled at times. At least one of those wasn’t when a young girl suddenly appeared to throw her arms around his neck and squeeze as she grinned happily.

Uppland Runestone #495 – Husby-Långhundra Kyrka

Little girls in particular seem to love Loke. Maybe it’s that they’re quickest to express their love of animals and it’s not every day you see a husky of gray and shining white. Or any color for that matter. As I was getting ready for another ride about a week ago, a young girl of about 4 or 5 came running out of no where. She had a huge smile and bounced from one foot to the other as she asked if she could pet my dog. Loke loves children, but his energy makes him a bit too bouncy at times so I’m glad she had been taught to stand back and ask first. I made him stand still as she patted his back. He wiggled around enough to get a lick on her face which made her give a laughing scream. Then I saw the woman coming around the hedge with a relieved look at finding her child. She didn’t mind in the least that her girl had met Loke, only that she had slipped away without asking mom first.

She never so much as took a look at my trike.

River & Uppsala’s Cathedral

Runestone NF 1975…. I think. 😛

This past Sunday, Jens left on a business trip to London. Given the lingering injury I’m suffering, I asked if we could put the trike in the car. Makes it difficult if I want to ride my trainer, but much easier to go for rides with the dog. Given how difficult it is for me to walk at times, I decided it would be better to go on the trike with Loke than hobble around the block.

It may have been a mistake. I could get very addicted to how easy it was to get ready for a ride yesterday! I got dressed, harnessed the dog, made certain I had cell, GPS, water, flag and keys before leaving the apartment to go to the parking lot. From there, I was clipped in and ready to roll in less than 5 minutes. Much smoother and easier than the 20-30 minute ordeal of getting the trike out of the apartment. Wrestling 40 to 50 lbs of trike up and down the stairs is rough even when I’m not injured! Multiple trips on those stairs to get out the pod-bags with water, seat and then Loke non-existent! I loved it!

Uppland Runestone #929 – Uppsala Cathedral

Pity I have the car so rarely on weekdays. *mournful sigh*

As I was getting dressed for the ride yesterday, I was in a mild funk at the idea of riding the River Loop AGAIN. It’s easily been 20 times out of the 30+ rides I’ve logged this year. While filling the water bladder, it occurred to me, I’ve never cycled through Uppsala with the purpose of actually seeing the city from trike PoV. I knew there were quite a few runestones at the cathedral with all the old buildings around it. I was fairly certain I could see quite a bit while avoiding the worst of the downtown streets.

Feeling much better about the ride, I slung the camera bag over my shoulder and went out.

Loke yodeled a bit as I settled the water bladder and camera bag, but in short order we were zipping along the roads. I actually decided to do most of the River Loop for a very practical reason. Much easier to clean up after the furry one’s business on a fairly quite cycle path rather than a crowded streets. Maybe I could even avoid needing to stop by adding that little distance.

Uppland Runestone #931 – Uppsala Cathedral

Uppland Runestone #933 – Uppsala Cathedral

Loke has continued to run good even over the tediously repetative River Loop. Much better than I’ve been doing lately. One could say he’s been my motivator. I don’t want to make him drag me the whole way, so I pedal enough to keep the tether latch jingling with slack rather than hearing the squeak-squeak of the spring.

Uppland Runestone #934 – Uppsala Cathedral

The sun played tag with the thick clumps of clouds with their threat of rain. In the river, I saw people in kayaks paddling up stream. In no time, we were passing the swim hall and crossing the street to continue along the river as long as we could before I’d need to part ways with it to get to the cathedral. It’s nice to have such a pretty river running through the city.

Uppsala Runestone #935

It was surprisingly busy downtown even considering it was a work day. Something was going on in the more modern shopping area, I think. At least I could hear loud music and crowd noises. I steered well clear of that.

An Old Coach House Perhaps?

It was a little hectic getting past the place where my favorite restaurant is which is right below the cathedral. The church itself sits on a high spot with walls holding earth of the hill back. There are stairs up to the doors, but getting the trike up those would be unpleasant. Instead I rattled down a tiny cobbled street with a few shops and a cafe, getting quite a few startled looks, and continued to climb up as the street circled the back of the cathedral. I’m not entirely sure, but I think cobblestones are worse on 20″ wheels rather than the usual 26″ or 27″. I’m surprised I didn’t rattle every screw on the trike loose.

Another Old Building Behind Cathedral

I found a way up to the cathedral level and pedaled around to the back where I remembered the runestones from my dad’s visit. Jens and I had taken him to the cathedral and even went inside. I think he was actually very weary of churches and cathedrals by that point, but was too polite to say so. After all, Italy probably has far more of them than Sweden does! Hard to believe it’s been almost 5 years since he was here.

South Doors of Uppsala Cathedral

The stones were there as I’d recalled. I parked the trike  in the middle of the line and walked to each of them for pictures. I wasn’t the only one. Quite a few tourists past us and, of course, took pictures of the trike. At least I wasn’t in those. Loke still had plenty of energy so I didn’t dare leave him tethered to our wheels. He made it quite a challenge to get the pictures too since all I had was the short lead I use when he’s running with the trike. The flexi-leash, I’d accidentally left in the car while readying for the ride. I couldn’t put it on the ground and stand on it while I took pictures, so I was yanked around quite a bit because Loke kept trying to mark the cathedral wall, the trees, the stones.

Runestones collected, I continued my leisurely loop around the cathedral. It is as beautiful outside as it is within. And yes, I’ve actually seen the inside! It’s open to the public most days. Yesterday was no exception. As I crossed the front of the building, a group of about 100 tourists on a guided tour goggled at me so obviously, the guide stopped talking to see what distracted them. Her jaw dropped right along with everyone else’s. I guess none of them expected to see a recumbent trike with a husky. Lots of pictures snapped as we passed.

Helga Trefaldighets Church (Holy Trinity)

I hurried past the tourists toward another church I knew of very close to the cathedral. It’s the  Helga Trefaldighets kyrka which translates to ‘The Holy Trinity Church’ It’s a pretty little church. Pity I couldn’t get a picture without the cars crowding it. From my Wikipedia search, I found photos of the interior which are breathtaking!

From there, I had the crazy idea to pedal up to Uppsala Castle. It sits on a hill much higher than the cathedral. Steeper too. So I crossed Drottninggatan (Queen Street). Random bit of trivia – Daniel Craig stood on that street when it was used to film a scene from the American adaptation of the Swedish book & film ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo.” I spotted it in the film.

The castle’s hill proved to be too much. Even in my lowest granny gear, it felt like I was dragging a 1000 pounds and Loke was being no help. I might have gritted my teeth and crept my way up, but my tire spun in the gravel more than it grabbed which was the final straw. From there, I cut across various streets to the cathedral’s grave yard. There’s a wide, tree line gravel path running along the graveyard wall and a nice 2% down grade. Loke got to run, his tongue flapping in a husky grin as we began the ride home. It was a fairly direct shot down one road that brought us out along the final stretch of the Field Loop before rejoining the River Loop. I didn’t even mind riding that section for a second time.

We finished up with bunch of photos, 7.1 miles under paws and wheels, and something to blog. Not bad for starting from the apartment parking lot.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey Terii,

i’m thinking about doing a bike trip from Karstad to Sysslebäck along the Klarälven. I think you’ve done that ride. Do you think that’s a nice one to do? Sounds cool to follow the river up north. Thanks already for your advice.


Comment by PhiL Marcisz

Hi Phil! I’ve actually ridden in that area a few years ago. There’s a rail-trail that runs between Karlstad and Uddeholm. It doesn’t hug right next to the river though follows the direction and wanders close from time to time. It offers some great scenery, clean (when I was there) outhouses, places to plop a tent if you’re camping as well as a fairly flat ride. That’s about a 60 mile (90 km) stretch of car-free, paved joy. It’s called the Klarälvsbanan (The Clear River Track)

Part of that vacation also included riding in the area around Ekshärad, north of the rail-trail, which was a bit more challenging for me with the hills, but a lovely area all the same. Part of the Sverigeleden run along the roads by the river so it’s considered a good stretch for bikes.

I would cheerfully recommend the ride you plan. It’s a gorgeous landscape and traffic wasn’t too bad as long as the roads haven’t been upgraded to carriage-ways in the past 3 years.

Happy Miles!


Comment by Terii

Hey Terii. Thanks for your advice. Sounds good ;-). Time to make some plans!

Comment by PhiL Marcisz

Of course! Hope you have a great time! 🙂

Comment by Terii

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