Terii’s Cycling Babble

What A Mixed Muddle!
September 8, 2013, 5:51 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

The day after the revival of my cycle partner from the fuzzy lump we’ve been calling Loke, his arthritis reared its ugly head and made my poor puppy limp. Well, more of an oddness in his walk than a true limp, but definitely not right. It was easy to tell it was in the hip and not the foot or the muscles lower down.

I took that as a sign that despite his high energy and boatloads of stamina, Loke will be kept to outings of 10 miles or less. Much as I hate it, I’m sure Loke will hate it more once the truly cooler weather sets in. Right now his distance is roughly 620 miles for the year. Even with short runs, it’s fairly certain he’ll break the 702 miles last year. Yet with the shortened distances, with definite rest days in between, it may well mean that this year will be his lifetime best for distance. Any chance of him accompanying me on tours is gone.

Very sad. I knew the day had to come, but I’d hoped not until he was 10 or 11.

Monday, we both took a rest clearly, since Loke was walking strangely. Tuesday, I was about to crawl out of my skin from inactivity. So… I sneaked out.

It wasn’t much of a sneak, but it was an underhanded trick to Loke’s perception. I dressed in my full cycle outfit, complete with the shoes, and then took Loke for a 20 minute walk. They’re surprisingly comfy to walk in given how stiff the soles are for better power transfer from leg to pedal. Most of it is due to the shape of the sole, allowing a somewhat natural movement when walking.

It tricked Loke into forgetting exactly what the clothes meant and once we were home, I loafed a little, making sure he had water. To top it off, I rumpled a blanket and hid tasty little tidbits in the folds. The fuzzy one didn’t even notice when I said, ‘I’ll be back’ and walked out.

I set what was, for me, a blazing pace as I skimmed through the first half of the river loop and headed out into the countryside down Gamla Börje Road. Even as I crept up and then flew down that first hill, I hadn’t made up my mind which loop to do. Läby/Shopping Center? Börje? Ulva/Gamla Uppsala? By mile 4, I’d decided and hung a left to head toward Läby. Before rejoining the river loop, I spontaneously turned toward central Uppsala. When it was all done, I had 17.19 miles under the wheels in less than 2 hours. Not too bad for me!

When I got home, the woman in the apartment adjacent to ours was on her balcony. I asked if Loke had been a bother. ‘Not a sound,’ she answered. Even better was that all our shoes were undisturbed. The only thing out of place was the blanket Loke had flattened in his search for all the ‘cookies’ I’d squirreled away in it. A success all the way around.

Tuesday evening, Loke was again walking normally. Wednesday was a rest day for me though Loke was a bit of a pest. I wanted at least one completely limp-free day out of him before taking him out with the trike again.

Thursday was busy trike wise. Jens woke at 5 am to be out the door for the airport by 5:30. That meant no walkies for Loke with the hubby. After several days being violently sick thanks to migraines, it seems I strained my back muscles. Walking was killing my lower back. That meant Loke’s business outings had to be with the trike.

As soon as the sun was decently up, I got moving to get dressed, harness the furball who seemed somewhat excited for a change and get out to ready the trike. We rolled out just as the clock showed 7:00 am on my Garmin. Loke was raring to go though not quite as fiery as he used to be.

We finished the round in good time. I saw Loke settled in with water and his breakfast before running out the door.

Glorious Day on Cusp of Autumn!

Glorious Day on Cusp of Autumn!

I powered off to do Börje Loop. I felt a little shaky in the legs when I started, but soon felt better and strong.

Look! True autumn coloring on the right!

Look! True autumn coloring on the right!

I really do push myself a bit too hard when riding solo. While I try to spin the pedals rather than mash, I think I still power too much. That or my knees are simply objecting to cadence.

Beautiful horse in beautiful surroundings

Beautiful horse in beautiful surroundings

Still it was a good ride. I found a lovely Appaloosa. I’ve not seen an Appy since leaving the states and this one was gorgeous.

A little further past the Appy, a pair of adolescent pheasants startled out of the field edge. One was going to be a handsome cock come next year or the one after. He already had flecks of green starting on his head and a few more of red coming out of the bland brown mottle of his ‘childhood’ feathers.

Gamla Uppsala Church

Gamla Uppsala Church – March 2010

Rather than stick to the main road skirting the mounds, I decided to take the path through them. As I passed Gamla Uppsala Church, the open door caught my attention. I stopped, abruptly realizing that in the 8+ years of living here and the hundreds of times I’ve cycled or walked by, not once had I gone in.

I loved this chest!

I loved this chest!

I parked, locked and scurried in.

Must have been stunning centuries ago

Must have been stunning centuries ago

It’s pretty, though not nearly as stunning as I expected. It has a bit of a museum feel to it as well. The porch had postcards and books in several languages about the history of the mounds and such.

Beautifully Engraved Leather

Beautifully Engraved Leather

Sadly Faded Murals

Sadly Faded Murals

Just inside the door of the nave were tables against the walls. Set neatly on the tops were bibles. Easily two dozen of them. Tiny small things mean to be carried by ladies. Larger ones with notes written inside. Truly huge ones, almost a foot thick, with yellowed pages and bindings of cracking leather and wood. Some had dates going back to the mid-1500’s.

Not even half of the old bibles on display

Not even half of the old bibles on display

I very carefully opened a few, looking at the personal notes within, searching for dates or possibly family trees that are sometimes drawn within such bibles. I did so only after thoroughly looking for signs prohibiting touching them, but the only such found were for bibles secured in glass cases. Those belonged to kings centuries ago.

Gamla Uppsala Church Interior

Gamla Uppsala Church Interior

The closed pews were lovely.

There were murals, but nearly all so fade it was hard to tell what they were meant to be other than general shapes.

Still hard to believe I’d never been inside after all these years. I’ve been in the cathedral more times than Gamla Uppsala Church!

Arriving home with 22.62 miles for the day, it still wasn’t over. I took some time to recover from the longer ride and still went out again. About 5 pm, Loke and I headed out again since he gets at least two walks a day. I tried to do the ride a bit shorter, but somewhere slightly different to perk Loke’s interest. Technically it was shorter, but still came out to 3.7 miles. Barely clipped off 1.5 mile from the basic river loop.

Still, Loke seemed content with the day and not a sign of a limp. I’d accumulated 29.9 miles for the day making 71 for the month and just 5 days in! I was humming as I jumped into the tub for an evening shower.

I came out and my good mood took a down turn. Loke had a vaguely guilty look about him. A closer look showed that his right-front paw was wet. Sighing, I parted his toes. It was vivid, furious red and painful looking. The infection had reared its ugly head after all these months. Oddly, it was fine just the day before. Not even a hint of it being overly pink.

Bad timing too. The last thing I want is to leave Loke with Jens’ parents for two weeks when his feet need tending. It’s one thing to have someone take care of a healthy dog (or child) for a time. Quite another when there’s illness or something that needs careful attention to add to the favor’s burden.

Started treatment, but it didn’t appear to be working. By Friday evening, it looked even worse. So, this morning, I scurried to the vet with him.

She worked me in after a couple with a pair of cats being vaccinated for travel. We decided to go with antibiotics due to the timing and the fact that the treatments I had from last time weren’t working.

Hopefully, the meds will quickly pull the infection back under control. Because of his on-again-off-again limping from arthritis, the vet also gave me a mild anti-inflammatory medication to use as needed. If Jens’ dad decides to try having Loke at their place, the fuzzy one may need it with a hyper, bossy, bouncy poodle even if she is a year older than Loke.

Fingers crossed that my back and Loke’s foot are in good order by next Saturday!

So, that’s the mixed muddle of occurrences of the past week or so. Good and bad neatly sandwiched. Hopefully things will level out. There’s still planning to do and we’re leaving next Saturday!

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