Terii’s Cycling Babble

Huskies, Plans & Stats
July 11, 2013, 5:14 am
Filed under: Misc

Yes, yes. It’s been quiet here I know. Life has had me scrambling around and most of it has been a headache. Though I have been riding, it’s just been local loops with nothing exciting occurring, so this is just a babble to share things Loke related, vacation and stats.

First! Loke!

Loke & siblings on their birthday.

Loke & siblings on their birthday.

The furball turned 8 years old on July 1st. I hope Kerstin doesn’t mind I used that photo. It was too cute not to. Loke is the middle one in the back. Looks surprisingly small compared to the others, which is odd. I seem to remember him being the monster puppy of the litter when we brought him home. If he was the runt, then he more than made up for it.

Before Loke’s birthday though, Jens and I scheduled a day to drive to Insjön to visit with the lovely couple who run the kennel (based at their house) and see the new puppies which were going to be a few days shy of 5 weeks.

The drive was roughly 3 hours. Since we were leaving around lunch and I didn’t want to end up stuffing myself with McDonalds for dinner, I shopped a foot long Subway sandwich before we left. Half was devoured for lunch and the other was packed with cherries and fresh local grown strawberries in a plastic grocery bag.

Tina's shoes properly mauled.

Tina’s shoes properly mauled.

Jens’ sister Tina came with us, as did Loke of course. Once we arrived at the kennel, in my eagerness to see the pure cuteness that are husky puppies, I lost track of Loke. When I tore myself briefly away from the bumbling little bundles of fur, Jens said Loke was tethered to a flag pole our hosts had in the front yard with his bowl full of water. The puppies were too young to be inflicted with the huge rampaging beast that is Loke, their uncle. The pup’s mother is Loke’s full sister, just from a later litter.

Loke's Dad. Handsome, yes?

Loke’s Dad. Handsome, yes?

They were adorable. At 4.5 weeks, they were a little shy of strangers, but soon enough they were bouncing around with that uncoordinated way of young carnivores. I became so absorbed in watching their antics and playing with them, I didn’t take more than a few photos. Tina took plenty though. I just have to get copies from her.

We had a nice visit. Loke got to ‘play’ with one of his other sisters. It was shock for him at first. She came tearing out of her kennel to get right into his face and proceeded to chase him. Leaping and bounding as she bowled into him or jumped over him. After about 20 minutes though, his attitude kicked in and he had her on the run while he tried to mount her like he does every other dog in the world. She was too quick though and much smaller meaning she could wriggle under a nearby trailer out of his reach.

Full of cake and saft, we said our goodbyes and went to the car. It was then we discovered that while Loke had been left alone in the car for less than 4 minutes, he’d done something bad. In the front passenger seat, a few wisps lay. I looked closer and it proved to be thin, clear plastic and shredded white paper. Exactly what had been around my sandwich. I looked into the undamaged grocery bag where the fruit still sat, but my dinner was gone.

Apparently, as soon as everyone’s back was turned, Loke had jumped into the front seat, carefully dug around in the food bag on the floor boards to lift the sandwich bag out… then proceed to shred it in order to get to the forbidden bread within. I’m guessing the meat and cheese were afterthoughts. There was not a crumb left. Not even the least little smear of mustard. I wanted to cry. His feet had just healed and now I had that to look forward to again. *sigh*

For the first week, I treated his feet twice a day in hopes of holding off the results of his raiding. Now, I’m doing it every other day or so though I check daily. Some redness, but nothing more thankfully.

As for his feet though, they just seem so incredibly fragile and slow to heal. He goes on an 8 mile run around here and the pads look worn as thin as onion skin. Then it takes 3 days before they look anything near normal again. I remember the dog who could run 30+ miles and have the pads look barely scuffed. The next morning, they’d be just fine and hard as iron. I guess it’s just age and/or his constant abuses to his allergies making it so.

Socks are… hard to predict. Sometimes, they rub the edges of his toes to leave raw spots where the pad meets furry skin which leaves him limping anyway. I’m trying different sizes, struggling to find a balance between fitting well enough to not flop around, tripping him but loose enough that hopefully he won’t get bloody spots on his feet. *sigh*

Loke’s the main reason I’ve not been doing more than tedious loops around here. I’d love to ride other places, but Jens always wants me to take Loke with. That means the hubby has to drive me since if I want to do anything over 10 miles, Jens will need the car to fetch Loke. That means 3 trips for Jens. 1 to drop us off, 2 to rescue Loke, and (if too far for me to ride back home) 3 to pick me up. Just the thought of it makes me shudder and feel it’s too much hassle. So… I just do hamster track loops. Yay.

Tours have the same issue. Though everything from the paw pads up has the stamina of a champion, Loke’s feet can’t deal 30+ miles for 2+ days in a row. So if I want to tour, I need to do it on my own… which means Jens has to be home from work. Something’s always coming up on weekends which I feel obligated to attend, not to mention I do like seeing my husband on occasion.

I should just go sometime during Jens’ vacation… once we get back from Denmark.

Yes, Denmark.

Back in February, I mentioned that Jens and I had been planning a trip to Denmark. Jens had to go to Copenhagen for a few days on business and suggested that Loke, trike and I go along. Then the whole issue with Loke’s tumorous toe began. Then last month, Jens was being sent to Copenhagen again. He mentioned it only after all his plans had been settled at a hotel which wouldn’t accept dogs and he had invited his dad. Seeing I was disappointed, he promised that we’d take a short trip to Denmark soon to make it up to me.

Well, Jens isn’t really interested in going to Denmark, but as I started looking around, I’m now downright fascinated to do so. So, I hatched this brilliant plan! Jens’ first vacation of the year begins June 15. He’d be home so could stay with Loke while I swiped the car to go to Denmark solo, sparing Jens the trip.

Of course, though Denmark, even outside of Copenhagen, isn’t high on his list of places to visit,  Jens decided he’d rather go then stay home and enjoy the novel sensation of having plenty of spare time devote to relaxation.

I hate to say it, but I’m disappointed. I was so looking forward to going without worrying about Loke’s feet, stopping every mile to give him water. I was thrilled at the idea of zipping along at 10 mph for miles when the terrain and wind are in my favor, flying down hills at 20 mph and covering more distance than I can with the furball in attendance. More distance means more to see!

I hate feeling that way. Really I do. Loke’s been such a huge part of my cycling experience. He should have years yet of strong activity left. He used to be the force that bolstered me. Yes, the speed was slower, but together our stamina was greater and we could power on through anything. 40 miles was joy. Now.. 10+miles is anxiety.

Okay, enough of wallowing in teary emotions.

Even if Jens hadn’t already decided he’d rather tag along, he would have ended up doing so anyway. A few days after I’d announced my plans and he said he’d come, he found out that he’s needed in Copenhagen on Monday the 15th though it’s technically his first day of vacation. So, we leave this coming Sunday morning, arrive in Copenhagen that evening. The next morning, I go exploring what I can of the city with trike and dog while Jens attends to business. Then we’re off into the Danish countryside.

Originally I’d have been exploring no further than 20-30 miles outside of Copenhagen which has a fair bit to see, but then I discovered a small island south of the one Copenhagen sits on. I’ve been buzzing with greater anticipation since. I don’t know if I can do the planned rides with Loke. One is 25 miles and the other is nearly 30. Maybe with the proper socks to protect his feet he’ll have the stamina for at least one day and being new territory he’ll have the speed, but I’m too wary of disappointment to hope. I’d rather be surprised.

Fingers crossed I come back from the 4-5 day outing with lots to share!

After we get back, I might still take off on a solo tour since Jens’ vacation will be for another 2 weeks. It might be my only chance.

Jens has also applied for time off in September and we’re trying to shape up big plans for it. That’s all I’ll say on the matter until we actually get them settled. All that has been decided is Loke will be staying here, most likely at our apartment with Jens’ dad for company while Jens and I explore regions beyond Sweden.

And last! Stats!

With the rides being yawn-fests around here, I hadn’t bothered to download the trips from my Garmin since the Mariefred ride. When I did so this morning, I discovered that sometime during the ride before last, I broke 600 miles for the year. Curious, I also tallied up my total mileage since I got my first Garmin in 2007. The Garmin Training Center software says 4,786. Add 12 miles for the first ride of 2013 lost when the Garmin malfunctioned brings the total to 4,798. The true total mileage on trikes is higher since my Trice Q arrived in the summer of 2006. I probably only managed a couple hundred miles that first year, working to regain fitness after having been off bikes for 5 years or more thanks to my back. Then there’s all the times when I’ve paused the tracking during breaks for food, water or exploration of interesting places only to forget starting up again varying distances, though only very rarely over 1 mile. But 4,798 miles has a certain kind of symmetry to it. It means that when I push over the 803 miles of 2012, I will also break 5,000 total tracked miles.

June admittedly ended up being a flop. No real goals made as my mood has been ‘murky’ and uninspired to do much trike wise. 114+ miles as opposed to 166+ last June.

July? Well, with just 77+ miles in July 2012, 30+ miles accumulated already and 3 rides plotted in Denmark for a total of around 60 miles, I’ll beat it. Even if I can’t finish the Denmark rides there’s still the rest of the month to push past a measly 77.

All this means that moody apathy or not, 2013 is still on it’s way to being the 2nd highest mile year since first purchasing an ICE trike!

And blog stats! This will be my 180th post and sometime last week, the number of hits tipped over 15,000. Not too shabby given my complete lack of advertisement.


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