Terii’s Cycling Babble

Moments of Peace In Turmoil
April 23, 2013, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

I’m going to have to write this over a couple days thanks to my shoulders.

The day after meteorological spring had been announced, rain moved in and proceeded to wash away the remaining snow and add to the water already laying on the over-saturated ground. A couple days were very windy. Last Friday (19th of April), I’d walked out to tend an errand and had to make my way back through high gusts that made the heavy rain ripple in horizontal sheets. Very impressive and unusual for Sweden in my experience.

After my last post I did ride again, twice. Both of the outings were very short. Mostly because of weather and concerns over aggravating whatever condition was causing such pain in my arms.

So, just basic River Loops for a bit of light exercise and boredom for Loke and myself. The first ride, the river was running fairly quick and a little high, but not unusually so for spring during the thaw. A pair of picnic tables sit near the water’s edge in one lovely spot. When the water starts rising, I use them to gauge how high it is once it spills over the lower bank.

I wasn’t surprised upon seeing the water just beginning to lap at the table/bench legs closest to the water. Jens had taken the train that day. When I went to pick him up from the station, the train was about 20 minutes late because sections of track had been underwater.

I rode again the next day (Thursday, April 18th) and water swirled over the tops of the table’s seats by a good 2 inches. A very dramatic rise in just 24 hours.

Friday, Jens asked if I wanted try sleeping on the floor with my sleeping bag and a new pad (which I’ve been pining for) to see if that would help me. I could drive him to work and find something to amuse myself and Loke in the area. When he was done with a shorter day of work, he’d take me around to the various outdoor sport shops. We were successful and I now have an Exped camping pad to fit into the bottom of my Big Agnes sleeping bag! Yay!

After we returned home, Jens heard on the news that flood warnings were being announced for downtown Uppsala. Roads closed off and sandbagging in a few spots. I wheedled him into driving us so we could look.

View Over First Spillway

View Over First Spillway

It was crazy and, in spite of the drizzle, there was an almost carnival air to the river sides near the town center. It only needed was clowns selling balloons and cheap, greasy fair food sold from wagons to be complete. In 8+ years here, I’ve never seen the river run so high. Jens can’t even remember the last time it came up that far.

Hopefully those windows are sealed.

Hopefully those windows are sealed.

There’s a lovely old mill building right near the spillway. The last time the water came unusually high, it lapped just beneath the sills of a pair windows low down, over looking the river. This time, the sills were a good 8-10 inches underwater as the churned froth swirled past the wall. Given that the mill is now the Uppland Museum, I hope those windows were made water tight.

Seating for 50..46... 22

Seating for 50..46… 22

The Greek restaurant with seating next to the water wasn’t offering outdoor seating. They were in danger of losing tables and chairs. In a couple places, the water was barely a foot below the walls separating the river and streets. Most sections of the river most of the year, it can be as much as 10 feet from top of the stone wall to the water edge. No wonder they’d closed off one of the streets to cars.

As Jens, Loke and I strolled around, in awe of the nature’s force raging through Uppsala, I found signs of a reprieve. In one spot where water quietly lapped over a tiny, park-like strip, I let Loke creep out into the 3-4 inches of water to investigate a pair of ducks, stopping him short of the drop-off into torrent. I looked down and saw the line of fine debris, a high water mark, about 5 inches short of the water’s current edge.

That’s not to say another good hard rain couldn’t have reversed the trend rather quickly, but every little bit would help.

Saturday dawned cold (33 F) and utterly clear, the gray skies and rains past. Definitely good news for the flooded areas. I was in a bit of a funk though and just let the day slip by without a ride. My arms still bothered me and my right knee had also decided to join the fun. Good thing I have an appointment with a physical therapist on the 23rd.

Sunday, April 21st, also started quite chill, 31 F and frost though at least clear as Saturday. Early on, it also began with an utterly STUPID incident which could be extremely irritating to downright ruinous. I was getting a small handful of musli out of a box. While trying to close it up, it dumped over to spill most of it’s contents onto the floor and under the table right among much of the trike stuff stored there.

Not such a big deal in itself. Muttering in annoyance, I began sweeping up, but soon had to stop because the burning pain flared in my shoulder joints. Moving the stuff around while dealing with broom and dustpan obviously wasn’t a good thing. The task required the vacuum. At 5 am, I wasn’t going to go blasting it. Jens wouldn’t have been the only person unhappy with me. Loke was closed in the bedroom with my snoozing hubby, so the cereal was safe for the moment. Making a mental note to remember to clean it up as soon as Jens woke, I took pain meds to ease my arms and settled in to watch TV.

My brain must have just glanced at the note, made a contemptuous sound and crumpled it up. Jens had been awake for about an hour when I heard him say from his computer in the kitchen, ‘Loke, what are you licking on?’

Horror filled me and I inwardly cringed at having forgotten the spilled cereal. I called Loke to come into the livingroom even as I flung myself toward the kitchen. Yep, he’d been lapping it up though at least he hadn’t been gobbling it as quick as he could. Before we cut out all wheat, rice, potato and corn from his diet, he wouldn’t have given the musli more than a cursory sniff, certainly wouldn’t have eaten it. Now, he’ll get whatever he can of the ‘Forbidden 4’.

I was so angry at myself and nearly in tears. By estimate, I think he managed to eat half to 3/4th of a cup. Most of it is oats, which I don’t know if he’s allergic to. There’s wheat too though. I just wanted to cry at the thought that my scatterbrained nature combined with bad shoulders might have effectively poisoned my furball. It won’t show up for a week or more, but it could start the whole cycle of skin infections all over again. Then there’s still the virus which caused the tumor in his toe. My only hope is that his immune system has had a chance to strengthen enough to take this blow as he’s not had anything else to send it crashing that I know of. I’ll have to step up my checks on his feet from once every 3-4 days to every other while keeping my fingers crossed.

I should have just risked ticking off the neighbors and Jens to clean it up right away. Hindsight and all that.

Obviously, the entire incident left me in a very deep funk. I still feel angry and upset just typing about it. Jens was rather pragmatic about the entire affair. ‘What happens, happens’ philosophy with ‘Don’t let it stop you going for a ride!’ chiding. He started all but bullying me to pick a place for drop off to get me away from the River Loop.

I briefly looked at runestone distribution, but that just proved too frustrating in combination with the amount water saturating the ground.

The sheer number of the stones in Uppland is boggling, over 1,400. So many I’ve been trundling passed, just out of sight and completely unaware. Most of them are far across fields, probably among the rock mounds farmers have built up over the centuries of plowing. Big stones and small boulders are always coming to the surface. Other carvings tucked into thickets of trees. The problem is, many of them require me to cross fields on foot. I might have giggled through the muddy field incident when I rode in the Danmark area, but that doesn’t mean I want to repeat it. Especially since it would mean not reaching the stones any way. Things just need to dry out a bit before I try that again.

I decided to not worry about a thorough runestone hunt and go for a ride in the area of Wik’s. Maybe pick up a few stones as I trundled along, but leave the ones across fields for dryer conditions.

By 11 am, the temperature had climbed into the comfortable range as I collected my gear. I was glad of that. It would mean sparing my shoulders the hardship of wrestling on 3 layers of clothing, my shoe-covers and settling the batteries for my foot-warmers.

Like a Phoenix From Cold Ashes Of Winter

Like a Phoenix from cold ashes of winter

A wispy veil of cloud moved in as we drove toward the castle. It was so thin it barely dimmed the sun, but I wondered if it might herald truly gray skies to come. The fields we passed were an unpredictable mix of temporary ponds/lakes, gooey mud and surprisingly dry appearing. When Lake Mälaren hove into view, it was something of a shock to find it completely frozen across except where rising water levels had seeped out from beneath the ice. Large stretches of pasture along the shore line were submerged.

We pulled up to the front of the castle proper so I could get a shot of the Sprint in front of it as I did with the Trice years ago. Loke explored happily with my husband as I readied everything. Then I waited a bit while a couple dressed in road cycling gear took turns posing for photos in front of the castle. I didn’t want to interfere with their shot given how much it annoys me when people stray into the frame.

Wik's Castle and Sprint 26 Trike

Wik’s Castle and Sprint 26 Trike

Uppland's Runestone #851

Uppland’s Runestone #851

Jens made things a little exciting as I tried to move the trike to the castle’s ramp by letting Loke romp around me on his flexi-leash. The furball was gleeful and exuberant with anticipation. Probably a bit worried as well. After all, there I was in the seat and pedaling, but he wasn’t on his running bar. My husband was laughing in spite of stress at perhaps being late for a televised Formula 1 race back at home. I made him stay while I took the photo of the trike and castle.

As I’d parked the trike, I saw a runestone standing on a little hill just to the side of the castle. As many times as Jens and I have gone to Wik’s just to walk the 2 mile trail looping the grounds, I never knew the stone was there. I took pity on Jens though and sent him rushing home while I climbed up to look at the weathered, lichen stained, 900+ year old memorial. It was very eroded and without any trace of paint highlighting the runes. With the lichen covering so much of it, I couldn’t see the least hint of a carving on it.

Loke didn’t yodel as I sat down, turned on the GPS and loosed the brake. He did pull us off like a stone out of a slingshot. It only lasted about 200 yards before I slowed. Down from the hill leading up to the castle, a woman on a horse ambled down the road…. slowly. I didn’t know horses could walk that slow if they weren’t grazing. Loke, of course, wanted to rush up and to say hi. I’m pretty sure that having something as strange as my trike with a dog attached coming up quickly behind it would not have ended well for horse or rider. One bad horse incident is enough for me thank you. I’m not about to go rampaging headlong into another. I cause enough trouble when I’m careful. I’d hate to see the results of careless.

Overflowing Lake Mälaren

Overflowing Lake Mälaren

So, for the next 200 yards I kept the brakes clenched while Loke strained and scrabbled at the tether end. Then he did yodel and yap when I stopped to take photos of the lake. By the time I put the camera away, the rider had turned down an unpaved road.

We flew. Husky smile with a flapping tongue, Loke stretched out to run. He might have gone faster, but I held us to about 16 mph. That section of road is smooth, straight and I think still on a down grade. I’m not sure how long he could have maintained that pace, but I knew there were runestones along that road. 3 or more.

Uppland Runestone #865

Uppland Runestone #865

Uppland Runestone #861

Uppland Runestone #861

I stopped for the first one I spotted and discovered that 3 had been reassembled. It seems the small chunks I remembered, scattered along the lane leading to the castle had been part of a single stone. It was fairly recent too. Relatively speaking. I’m guessing the work was done in the past 2 years. The last time I rode through the area, the pieces had been randomly spaced at the ditch side. Pity there still seems to be 2 or more parts missing.

Loke actually huffed at me when I stopped to take a photo of the next stone. He didn’t even have a chance to build up respectable speed before I applied the brakes.

As we moved on, Loke powering on at a 12 mph lope and the spring in his running bar squeaking merrily with his stride, I tried to decide which way I wanted to go. I was curious to go to Balingsta as I’ve never taken a close look at the church though the runestones around it have been moved. It would mean 2 mile out-n-back.

I decided to do it. I’ve never walked around the church there. Stopped in the parking area once or twice, but for some reason I hadn’t passed through the lychgate for a closer look.

It was a quick mile to the church. The road was in good condition even after the crazy winter and it’s fairly flat. Loke continued to run strong in spite of being a bit on the warm side. He wasn’t ready for another pause when we reached the church. He did his odd, ‘aro-ruho’ grumble at me when I tethered him to a fence post.

Balingsta Church

Balingsta Church

The place was quite busy. First it was a couple on motorcycles. Curious, they came over to give Loke a bit of a pat and ask about the trike before wishing me a good ride. I wished them the same.

I left Loke with his new collapsible bowl full of water to explore the church yard. I’m happy to have done so. The churchyard was bigger than I thought, allowing me to get a good shot of the church with its tower of beautiful bare stone and lantern cap. It really is a pretty little 12th century church which was almost lost to time and ruin. I’m quite happy that it was decided to reclaim it before it it was beyond all hope though it meant its successor was abandoned and torn down.

Flowers and Butterfly. Ah, Spring!

Flowers and Butterfly. Ah, Spring!

Signs of spring were in a blaze of color along the stone foundation of the porch. The first ‘blåstjärna’ (blue star) flowers I’ve seen this year were in full bloom. Butterflies danced on their bright petals accompanied by the drone of a lonely little bee.

Returning to Loke, who waited impatiently, another couple approached. They were older and far more curious about Loke than the trike. Then the gentleman asked if I’d ever been inside the church. Answered I had not, though I’d been fortunate enough to find some churches open last year. The woman gave Loke gentle pat on the head before they left.

If Loke was peeved about going back the way we came, it didn’t show in his speed. With him setting the pace, we sped along between 8.7 mph and 12 mph as he alternated between trotting and loping. The church and cluster of houses around it disappeared behind us and we passed the road from Wik’s to truly begin our winding way to Uppsala.

Old Farm Buildings

Old Farm Buildings

Suddenly, I relaxed. I was astonishingly free of pain and found the perfect gear with brisk cadence to keep pace with my fuzzy cycle partner over mostly flat ground. Fields stretched around us, trees in the distance. Mostly blue sky overhead with the sun still warm through the thin clouds. The air was softly cool and vibrant with birdsong. I was smiling as I took long looks upward at a raptor of some kind doing lazy circles high above.

I felt truly peaceful for the first time in days. Perhaps even weeks. The issue with my shoulders has just left me cranky, exhausted from bad sleep, and bored. Dreading bed time because I must sleep on my back. Dreading the days because I have to stay off computers, shouldn’t hold a book for reading or many of the other things I do to keep my mind busy. Fretting about the 125 mile goal for the month slipping away while walking starts off uncomfortable and becomes painful after 15 or 20 minutes. Seriously limits my exercise options. Then the morning’s disaster with Loke and the cereal was no help. Yes, peaceful feelings have been scarce, but the gorgeous day worked its magic.

Can you tell I love crocus? Purple are my fav.

Can you tell I love crocus? Purple are my fav.

One really nice thing about riding someplace other than the River Loop is being able to see that Loke really is recovered from the toe issue. Riding near home, he drags at barely more than 5.5 mph. Yet, he was trotting along at over 8 mph and showed no signs of slacking. There are other pleasant things about taking the trike to other places, but watching how strong and quick he goes when he’s not bored is comforting. It makes me smile.

We cruised onward, following the Sverigeleden. It was one of the roads we’d taken back on the foggy December day last year.

It’s amazing the things I’ve missed on the 2 previous rides I’ve done that stretch and the 3 or 4 times I’ve been in a car over it. When I reached the spot where Jens and I spotted the moose in December, I certainly don’t remember all the houses in the immediate area. When I think of moose, I think of wide open stretches with not a human dwelling except perhaps a tent or tiny sod cabin lacking power or running water.

Yet, to either side of the small, wooded hill now lacking the shroud of white over rocks and undergrowth, were at least 2 houses and another 2 or 3 on the opposite side of the road. I should be forgiven for that lack of observation at that particular time though. I was in a rush to get the lens swapped to get photos.

Maybe moose in Sweden are just a little less picky and more like those in Alaska. The news reported several moose straying into the fringes of Stockholm a few years ago.

Looks like it should be a runestone

Looks like it should be a runestone

Another example of things I’ve missed was a tall stone standing on a grassy hill at an intersection. Pulling into the shared drive of a pair of houses, I got a good look at it. If it’s a runestone, I saw no evidence of an inscription, certainly no sign. The handy Samnordisk Rune Text Database shows no stone in the immediate area. It’s placement doesn’t appear to be the influence of nature. Sweden does have standing stones, this might be one of those. Either way, I’d never noticed it before.

Random building forgotten over time

Random building forgotten over time

I was using my memory to navigate through the area with my Garmin to prompt me from time to time. I came to another intersection where I stopped to offer Loke water. The way straight would take us down the Sverigeleden, the section I’d ridden both times in this area. To the right was new ground which would follow the lake shore a little more closely. I didn’t think I’d be close enough to see much of the lake itself, but still. Completely new scenery and the tiny little road was paved.

That surprised me a little given how small the road was. I’ve actually seen larger roads that had never been paved.

One of the steeper hills

One of the steeper hills

I took it. The surface was good and made wonderful rolling. The character of the landscape changed subtly. Less of the vast plowed fields. What fields lined the road were smaller and left unplowed after last autumn’s harvest. The soft yellow-gray of winter-bleached wheat stubble made a nice change from the various shades of mud and plowed dirt. Mostly though, it seemed to be patches of woods and fenced pastures where smooth weathered bedrock rose out of yellowed grass as thick and short as plush carpeting.

As I wound through the beautiful scenery, I caught up with a woman and young boy on a bike. The child was a bit wobbly going up the hills, so when they heard me coming, they stopped to let me pass. I heard the boy ask his mom, ‘What kind of bike is that? Can I have one?’

I want to mention there were a lot of cyclists out and about. How could they not be? Mild temperatures, just short of warm and sunny skies on a Sunday. Though it had been calm at 11 am, it had gotten a little breezy in some places, but nothing torturous. I can say with confidence, I saw over 100 Lycra clad people on racing style bikes hammering for distance, speed and cadence. Perhaps a dozen of them were women. Odd that so few ride racing bikes compared to men. Before my back converted me to a trike rider, I was one of those rare women. Lycra clad and riding a road bike.

Another Standing Stone

Another Standing Stone

On a Pretty Lane

On a Pretty Lane

Roadies weren’t the only cyclists roaming the country roads. Loke and I crossed paths with perhaps a dozen people doing the leisurely, out-to-enjoy-the-day pedaling. Most of them were women riding with children.

I just love little buildings like this. Can you tell?

I just love little buildings like this. Can you tell?

Less than a quarter mile where I passed the woman and boy, the paving ended. It was no particular hardship as, thankfully, the earthen surface was reasonably well packed and the little bit of loose stone was more like small pebbles and thinly scattered.

Cresting one of the steeper hills in the area, I spotted a standing stone at the edge of a pasture. I coasted down the little lane toward a barn, but decided I didn’t feel up to tromping through the field and doubted there’d be any carvings. So, I settled for snapping a shot from the fence. I paused there for 5 minutes or so to let the water settle in Loke’s tummy and give him a moment to cool off.

He didn’t really appreciate the gesture. All that was running through his fuzzy brain was ‘Go! Go!’. At least it seemed that way. It felt as if I had a fur covered robot ticking along beside me rather than a husky. He’s definitely gaining stamina by leaps and bounds!

Lovely cluster of trees in a pasture

Lovely cluster of trees in a pasture

Västeråker’s Church came into view where the small road was going to rejoin the marginally larger one. A cluster of houses, a miniature neighborhood, had been built where a patch of woods gave way to field. From down the road, a woman on a bike stopped and called out to a pair of girls playing in the old wheat stalks. The girls ran to her and the three of them watched as we came closer.

The woman called out a hello and complimented me on the neat bike, echoed by the girls chattering questions. When the girl’s asked for Loke’s name, I answered and invited them to come pet him if they wanted. Immediately, they ran up and proceeded to do so. Loke gave them a few licks before just enjoying the attention. Why was he wearing the harness? How far could he run? How old was he?

Uppland Runestone #841 - Fragment

Uppland Runestone #841 – Fragment

I answered all I could, in Swedish of course. The girl’s weren’t quite old enough to have collected English yet. Good practice for me.

Though the dirt road had been nicely packed and with only a thin scattering of rocks, riding on the pavement again felt as if gliding on air. It made the distance between Västeråker and Dalby Church pass in a blink.

I stopped at Dalby to take a quick run around the church. From the churchyard and parking lot, the frozen surface of Lake Mälaren stretched beautifully pale blue.

As before, I left Loke tethered outside the church yard with the trike and water. An older woman was tending graves as I walked down the path toward the door. We had a cheerful conversation about the weather. She also asked how far was I riding and we talked about how strange it was to see the lake still frozen and how pretty it looked.

Uppland Runestone #840

Uppland Runestone #840

I let her get back to her task and walked around to the back of the church to find Uppland Runestone #840. It wasn’t hard to find, embedded in the wall close to the ground as it was.

Loke was impatient as I settled back into the seat after putting everything away. From Dalby there’s a long climb on the way around the marshy ground to reach Hammarskog manor. I powered up it smoothly. It felt much easier than the last time when it completely whipped my butt and forced me to call Jens to pick us up at the manor. I was baffled. I wondered if it was the difference in the trikes. Then I crested the hill and saw a little dip followed by an even steeper climb. ‘That’s more like it!’ I muttered to myself… sarcastically.

Even so, it didn’t feel nearly as brutal as I remembered. I wasn’t setting speed records on the climb, but it wasn’t killing me either.

Not Canadian Geese! Graylag, Barred, or Bean.

Not Canadian Geese! Graylag, Barred, or Bean.

Near the final stretch of the sharper grade, I heard geese or swans honking. Something about the tone made me fairly certain I’d be seeing geese near the water. As we began the descent and Loke stretched into a happy lope, I could just make the noisy birds out. The higher waters of Lake Mälaren had flooded the area which most times is no more than marshy ground of reeds and mud. Paddling happily in the unfrozen waters and sitting on the dryer portions of ground, were a few dozen geese.

They were tiny with the distance between where I sat to the edge of the water. All I could really see were goosey shapes and just enough of the details to know they weren’t Canadian geese. Loke watched them curiously as I juggled the camera and lenses in my lap to swap to the telephoto. I managed to hold steady enough to get one good photo. Still not sure what sort of geese they are, but that’s because the three gray, heavy bodied goose types look pretty much the same to me. Some of the geese seem to have darker heads then others so there might be two kinds there… or just adolescents.

We finished the fun run down the hill, whipped around the curves and turn to begin the grind up to Hammarskog.

Hammarskog's Manor House

Hammarskog’s Manor House

Most of the area around Hammarskog is park land. Places to picnic, kids to play, a swimming beach (not being used in April obviously), and lots of woodland to hike through. There’s also a cafe in the manor house. The photo is from 2009 which is why it’s my Trice in the photo and not my Sprint.

The place was packed! People wandering around everywhere. I stopped only long enough to run into a bathroom building near the manor house before winding through the throngs of people.

Once off the central grounds of the manor and heading north on a packed dirt road, I breathed a sigh of relief. Relief didn’t last long as the road became slightly mushy right where I had to chew my way up what I think was the steepest climb of the ride. It took us a little while, but the glide down the other side was worth it. At the sight of woods and open fields both, Loke decided he wanted to try a flat out charge. Bully that I am, wanting his joints to stay supple as long as possible, kept our speed to about 16 mph.

Even the road was fairly busy for its small size. We were almost to the small nature reserve area with the pond when I was passed by the first and only mountain-biker of the ride. Well, trail rider at least. I don’t know if there were enough hills with challenging paths to count as mountain biking. He sang out a friendly greeting as he ripped past us from behind. I could tell he’d had a good ride. Up his back from the bike saddle right up the back of his helmet was a dense strip of black and gray mud. Not to mention all the splatter on his legs and bike frame.

No Speed Records/Limits Broken This Time

No Speed Records/Limits Broken This Time

I would have stopped at the nature reserve, but most of it was underwater and I was starting to feel hungry. The rest of the dirt road was a short jaunt, slightly boggy with the wet and full of pot holes. I was quite glad to reach the paved road with it’s new cycle path. New to me any way.

Even after 12 miles, Loke still powered along and I felt pretty good myself. The cycle path ended right at the top of what I call ‘Speed Record Hill’. It starts off innocently enough, with about 5% grade. Then after 100 yards or so, it drops suddenly. I’m not sure what the speed limit is there, but I’m guessing 50. If that’s so, then I broke the speed limit while setting my best ever gravity assisted speed. My Garmin Forerunner clocked roughly 32 mph which comes out at about 54 kph. Not something doable with Loke. His best ever is 22 mph.

I’m not sure what speed I really could hit on this hill. I chickened out once it hit 30+ mph and started using my brakes about midway through the lines of trees. White knuckle and heart-in-mouth moment.

Uppsala-Näs Church

Uppsala-Näs Church

This time, just 16-17 mph. Even after that charge, Loke wanted to keep his pace quick. On the flat stretch to the next church, Uppsala-Näs, I let him gallop along at 15-16 mph.

Uppland Runestone #891

Uppland Runestone #891

Pulling into the parking lot, I tethered Loke to a tree and went to walk around the church. There are two runestones.

Uppland Runestone #891 sits almost under one of the windows. Alas, Uppland #892 is beyond my reach. It’s apparently inset into the same wall, but buried under layers of the plaster covering. Ah well.

I went back to the furball, who was flat on his side and sleeping like a newborn puppy with a full tummy. Being quite hungry and Loke seemingly tired, I thought about calling the hubby. I pulled out a pack of orange-white chocolate covered dried cranberries Jens had found me to snack on while I decided. I’d been nibbling on them while riding. One or two ever half-hour or so, but now I was hungry enough to eat the rest of them at once.

Loke suddenly woke and began pestering me. I offered him water, which was ignored. Instead he went to the running bar and wagged his tail. On we went.

It was moderately unpleasant. The day was still sunny and not much wind, mild temps, but those odd body pains came with a vengeance and I felt a little breathless. I’d been fine when arriving at Uppsala-Näs. The only thing that had changed was my munching on about 50 grams of the cranberries. I’ve often thought that those symptoms were linked to how much/recent I’d eaten. I got proof.

It made the rest of the way home a hard slog. Yes, home. Loke still wanted to run. I took a slightly different way back to the apartment then I’ve ever done on this stretch. Normally, I go on lovely dirt paths through a nature reserve. With all the rain and this time of the thaw, they could be muddy and miring. Not to mention coming out of the reserve were some very nasty hills and a maze of cycle paths. With my muscles cramping up I wanted to avoid them.

I ended up heading for the drawbridge which had the ramp down to the river path. From there, it was a short and mostly flat jaunt through the city that, after the last few rides, I can now do with my eyes closed.

Though a few inches lower than it had been on Friday, the river was still impressively high. I was too tired to stop for more photos of it.

Jens was surprised when I staggered through the door. Loke still had plenty of bounce, but I finally felt wiped. We finished the day with 22.35 miles. Not bad and it had been good ride right up until Uppsala-Näs. I needed that. It helped me shake off some of the burden of stress and vastly improved my mood.

Still hoping I might top 125 miles for the month…



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