Terii’s Cycling Babble

Charging Into The White!
November 29, 2012, 3:18 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Yes, I am! And running face first into ‘disasters’ too I might add.

The first of which has been a return of back problems. I think it was lingering traces of my unwise tromping around Falmouth coupled with a day of doing up and down on the floor, wallowing around, sitting hunched over the trike to fit on the assorted accessories. At first I thought it was going to be my knees giving me difficulty, but it was my back. That’s the main reason I’ve not ridden the trike more. A few days of the past week or so, I could barely walk through the apartment without seeing stars. Carrying 30 lbs of metal, rubber and mesh was beyond me.

Dreary November Day – Gamla Uppsala Church

Another reason has been the weather. I’ve been fighting off a low grade cold for some time now. While winter has been dragging its feet as it did last year, it’s been near constant rain. Last winter was rather snow-free as this one was shaping up to be but I don’t remember if it was this soggy. It almost feels like I can count the number of rain-free days we’ve had the past 3 months on just my hands with fingers left over! In spite of that, I’ve been squeezing in between the raindrops when I can. Today was the third ride since my last post. Or is it the fourth?

3 or 4, I was settling into the trike. The lower gearing was starting to feel natural. My legs still ache the next day after a ride in ways they haven’t done in years with the Trice. Maybe there’s just enough of shift in the leg position or those 3 mm less of pedal length that it’s working muscles differently.

One ride earlier this week, while still technically the River Loop, ended up over 9 miles as I added in a zig-zag to pick up a new accessory. What might it be? Why, a handlebar mount for a GoPro camera. Loke waited outside with the trike as I ran in to grab the package. Thankfully it fit just fine into my pod bags. Getting home would have been complicated otherwise since I haven’t mounted the red pannier bags onto the Sprint.

Sunday, Jens left for Paris in a cab with his parents. He went for business, but decided to invite them and add an extra day so the three of them could do a little sightseeing. Fear not! I chose, vehemently, to stay home. Jens isn’t the sort of husband to thoughtlessly ditch his wife at home. I simply have no interest or stamina to ramble the streets of Paris on foot. He spent about 4 days asking me, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to come?’ several times an hour.

But Jens in Paris until Thursday meant Loke’s outings fell to me. Given the condition of my back, it’s been a bit of a challenge. Monday was the ride to pick up the GoPro mount. Tuesday, I had to rest, my back too bad to wrestle the trike out. Yesterday though, Loke turned into a complete bully, letting me know my measly attempts at walkies were completely inadequate.

So, out the door the trike went. It was raining as I carried the seat and sundries out. Nothing heavy, but just a constant drizzle which had lasted for 60 hours or more. It was cold too. Hovering around 33 F. I grumbled about how it should be snow at this time of the year. Seriously! Late November in Sweden. Come on! Not to mention, snow is much easier to deal with than near freezing rain when one lacks a rain suit.

Some higher power must have been listening because as I wrestled the trike body out, I saw a few flakes among the rain drops. By the time I had everything settled and Loke was yodeling for me to hurry up with the clips, it was snow. Tiny, dust like grains of ice, but technically still snow!

Grinning, I turned on the GoPro and off we went.

When I first started cutting down the 1 hr and 3 min into something more manageable, I couldn’t stop laughing at the video. The sight of my toes whizzing by in the corners of the screen just struck me as hilarious for some reason.

Yes, to clarify, there is no sound. I hesitated to put music in since because I’m uncertain about tedious things like copy-right laws. The sound the camera recorded is a loud, roaring sort of noise from the trike wheels on the road vibrating through the camera case. Not pleasant. Still, it means I’m finally using the GoPro! It only took me most of a year to find an acceptable mounting for it!

Since it was nearly 34 F when I got home from yesterday’s ride coupled with the fact that it’s been so warm and wet lately, I didn’t expect the snow to stick. When I went to bed last night though, the browning grass was gaining a cap of soft white.

This morning?

Much nicer than leafless sticks and dying grass!

Guess who was burrowing in the snow?

It was beautiful! Though the sky was just as gray as it was yesterday, I felt my spirits rise. I went out on a short walk with Loke with a smile on my lips and a bounce in my step. As for the fuzzy one, he was in a fine fettle. Kept charging to the end of the leash and giving me nasty looks when he nearly dislocated my shoulder. Refused to listen to vocal commands like ‘Vänta!’ (Wait).

Once he did his business, I hurried out on an urgent errand. I needed a studded tire for the trike.

I had to go to two places to find one. The first place had 27″ studded tires all over the place, but hadn’t received any 26″ which are more common. Soon though I was hurrying back home to fit the tire.

It was hell! I thought the rear wheel on my Trice was difficult. I’m not taking this off until the snow and ice are gone.

Aggravatingly, I managed to mess up the adjustment on the parking brake. I fiddled with it and think it’s settled.

About 12:30, Loke and I headed out into the piles and slush of a barely freezing day with 3″ of snow being plowed away.

It was glorious!

Sleepy Ducks Riverside

The trike skittered from side to side since the front wheels still had normal tires and Loke was pulling like mad, but it would have been the same on the Trice. One difference. I didn’t spend the entire time fretting about the derailleur! I powered through slush and mounds of snow that looked like sand with what felt like a feral grin. Just knowing that last year, this snowfall would have put a screeching halt to my outdoor rides! The rear tire gave me enough traction though it was still like pushing along over boggy, damp sand. My tires slipped a little coming up from the first underpass, but we made it and continued on.

My glee at being able to ride in spite of snow didn’t last very long. About 2-3 miles to be precise. As I started out, I thought there was a tiny bit of sloppiness in the shifting. It got worse. Near as I can guess, though I was as careful as I knew how to be, I think I unwittingly rattled or pulled the rear derailleur out of alignment. All I know is the trike shifted flawlessly before I swapped tires and now it’s misbehaving.

River Panorama

It’s left me a little bummed though I’ve tried to hang on to the joy I had at the beginning of the ride.

I can tell you though, there will be no riding the trainer this winter. I refuse to face the nightmare of wheel swapping until I’m confident studs won’t be needed any more.

And to top it off, my GoPro had less battery life than I thought! Instead of roughly 2 hours, it only had one. My attempt to ride the same loop as yesterday and record the difference snow makes failed. Less than 5 min into the video, the little camera was dead. Just wasn’t my day.

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