Terii’s Cycling Babble


One Goal Beaten!
January 17, 2013, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Hard to believe.

I knew I was going to beat my main goal for this month though. I mean, I only needed something like 1.2 miles to pass the combined mileage of January and February of 2012. I was even fairly determined I was going to do it today. That tiny bit of distance was nothing!

It almost didn’t happen today though. Migraine made me nauseous, a bit light sensitive and sluggish though thankfully not much pain. Yet, the end being so close and Loke being a pain in the rump, out the door I went.

Loke's 'PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME!!' Look

Loke’s ‘PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!!’ Look

It’s kind of cute how Loke is when I’m getting ready for a ride. He follows me around. If I sit down, he’ll give these deep disappointed sighs and lay down only to lurch back up if I so much as scratch my nose.

Then there’s his anxiety when I start moving things outside. Even wearing his harness, he’s still worried he’s going to be left. That’s when he pours on all his cute charm and gives me the look that reminds me of his first days as part of our little family.

There was quite a bit of pain in my back as I worked to get the trike together. One day I’ll learn that I shouldn’t sit hunched on the floor (trying to oil the gear cables) and then carry weighty things in and out of the apartment. One or the other… not both with less than an hour between.

Today’s ride didn’t go as smoothly as most of yesterday’s outing. I felt more like I did through most of last week’s rides. Ah well.

But I pushed on. Loke was happy to be out in the snow, as always. 26.6 F with moderate winds and a light snow suited him just fine.

Though I only needed a mile, Loke’s enthusiasm made me reluctant to cut anything short so I was willing to give the full River Loop and as many extensions as I could.

Some of the smaller back roads were quite snow choked with 2 inches of fresh fluff that hadn’t yet seen a plow. I did my best to avoid those, not feeling up to the extra work if I could avoid it.

I’d started off wearing just a wool top since it had been barely freezing (31.2 F) when I locked the apartment door, but the wind proved to be quite persuasive in its arguments about adding another layer or two on my upper torso. I didn’t want to stop on the roads, so I gritted my teeth and went on until we reached the beginning of the cycle paths by the school. As I pulled another layer of wool on and my windproof top, a pair of boy’s about 9 years old or so, came walking over and stared. It wasn’t the trike that held their attention, it was Loke.

Getting the tops tucked in, I gave the boys a smile and greeted them. They shyly answered back before one of them asked if Loke was a ‘drag hund’ (sled dog). I answered he was a Siberian Husky which is a kind of sled dog and then asked if they had dogs. The first one said they were dog hunting (I think), but they had cats. Telling him I liked cats, I put my helmet back on before telling them bye.

The cycle paths had been recently plowed and decently graveled, so they were much easier to navigate than the first roads.

The straight stretch toward the military base (I think that’s what it is), we got some decent speed going. It was there Loke did something he’s not done in quite a while. In mid-step, not so much as changing his stride, Loke managed to snatch up a stick. About 18 inches long and a little thicker than my thumb.

I expected him to drop it after a short distance, particularly when we slowed to do the U-Turn for the run back down the road to the next bit of cycle path. Nope. We hit 10 mph and Loke galloped along with that stick tight in his teeth. Even when came to a near stop to make the right turn onto the path. As we hit about 11 mph on that short stretch of path between fields, I decided to fumble for my iPhone in an attempt to photograph the sight of my furball running with a piece of tree branch in his jaws.

Loke & His Stick

Loke & His Stick

I’m quite proud of the picture. It’s a display of physical dexterity really. Ratting over ice and snow while trying to keep from skidding around, juggling an iPhone with mittens on and still getting Loke in frame. All at 10 mph. I’m sure I’d have felt differently if I’d dropped the phone. I knew if I stopped, Loke would drop the stick to chew on it.

For more than 2 miles he carried it. The furthest he’s ever kept hold of something while running with the trike. It’s not the biggest though. The record for that hearkens back to Loke’s first year with his wheeled toy. It was shortly after a wind storm. As we swerved around to avoid downed branches, Loke caught the broken end of one in his jaws. A pine bough of some sort, nearly 5 feet long with smaller branches and all their needles still intact. Almost big enough for him to hide behind. Head down and neck braced, he pulled that big bushy mass for almost 1.5 miles. How it made me laugh. He looked so incredibly proud of himself.

We passed a few people as we worked our way through the residential area back to the cycle path. All of them laughed at the sight of a white and gray husky trotting along like a dog seized with a purpose… and a stick in his mouth. I’m pretty sure that’s what they were laughing at. People might stare when we go past without sticks, but very rarely do I hear laughter in our wake.

I was a little saddened when he dropped it.

The out-n-back along side the river got cut a little short. The last half mile of it or so had almost 4 inches of unplowed snow. I tried it, but I just didn’t have the strength and energy to chew through it so turned back before reaching the unpaved road at it’s end.

The last mile was uncomfortable. It felt like the top of my big toe on the right foot was being pinched off with pliers. That was with shoe-covers. I’m glad I didn’t forget them if that’s how cold my feet got with them.

We finished the ride with 7.29 miles. I was a little disappointed with that since yesterday we’d ridden 7.3 miles without the addition of the military base approach.

Still, the warm glow of accomplishment made me smile as I took everything back into the apartment. The combined total mileage of January and February of 2012 had been 61.31 miles. With this ride under my belt, January 2013 stood at 67.6 miles. I’d done it by 6.3 miles!

The question now is, ‘Can I beat First Quarter 2012’s mileage (112.77 mi) by January 31st, 2013?’

I don’t know. I’d like to! I think that would be a big boost of confidence and something to aim for. Looking at the weather forecast for the next 5 days, I’m not so sure. It’s supposed to get colder again. With my rides averaging 7 miles each, that comes to roughly 7 more rides to get the 45+ miles to tip me over 113 miles. I might be hard pressed to get in the next 14 days if we get a week of 20 F highs.

Loke wasn’t terribly happy to be back in the apartment after just 7 miles. He kept hovering near the door as I went in and out. When I went to take his harness off, he scurried away from me. Standing just out of reach, he woofed and pranced his front feet. Rather than chase him or leave his harness on, I got tricksey. I gave him a scoop of food in his dish. As he gobbled it down, I ambushed him and had him out of it before he knew what happened.

At least one of us could have done a 30 mile run today.

 

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Congrats on your accomplishment, Terii. your determination, as always, is inspirational. Give Loke a pat on the back for me too.

Comment by Jim Greenia

Thank you, Jim! Consider Loke patted! He’s been a powerhouse of huskiness lately. 😛

Comment by Terii

Grattis!

About your cable problem, there are “seals” you can install. There are others, but here’s one.
ftp://ftp.hpvelotechnik.com/anleitungen/snakeseal_anleitung_d.pdf
I think I actually have this, not sure. Since I don’t cycle in the snow I can’t say how good it works though…

Comment by scorp

Thank you! These might help though I’m wondering how much of the moisture gets in there due to condensation when the trike keeps jumping from warm to cold and back. Definitely worth a look. I’m just hesitant to fiddle with removing the cables since I’m so hopeless with the gears. :/

Comment by Terii

They say to let a professional do it and there’s also something about using fat on the cable. You can probably ask around on forums and find out how well it works and also find out about other brands. I have a HPVelo, that’s why I think I already have it and how I knew about it. Even if it isn’t 100% it should make things better. I think if there’s very little ice it probably breaks when you brake (ouch – pun NOT intended).

I found a tip somewhere about spraying the whole wire with “låsolja”, the kind you use for the locks on cars in winter. Maybe that’s a good idea?

Comment by scorp

Lock oil is what was recommended by one of the guys at the cycle shop. I’ve been trying to trickle that into the cable housing for a few days now, but I don’t think I’m getting enough in to do the job.

I’m sort of adapting to having only 3 speeds. Still way better than pedaling on the trainer in front of the TV. If the front derailleur cable starts freezing, then I’ll have problems. Lol

Comment by Terii

Is it the gear wire too now? Poor you!

Comment by scorp




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