Terii’s Cycling Babble

She’s a Tricksy Cruel Tease
January 8, 2014, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Mother nature that is. Granted, that’s generally been true. How many times have I started readying the trike under sunshine and yet 5 minutes into a ride, clouds have moved in with nary a light ray to be seen? Quite often.

Today was one of those days, but more cruel for the fact it was the first day there’s been sun and blue skies since December 30th. I went out with Loke at 8-ish, expecting the usual dreary gray. Imagine my surprise when I realized the sky above was actually blue for the most part. A few clouds streaked here and there, but mostly blue. The sun was out too. The gorgeous red-gold hued light painted the tops of the buildings and trees.

The wonder of it made me giddy. It also made me determined to ride in spite of my initial plan to head out to Granby Mall to fetch Loke’s medicated shampoo and do grocery shopping. Loke limped a bit, though less than in the past 2 days. Limping is limping for better or worse, so he wasn’t going on the ride with me.

I hustled him through a mile walk before charging wildly around the apartment to find and then dress in my cycle clothes. 15 minutes after getting back to the apartment, I dropped a kibble filled ball on the floor to distract Loke and was gone.

Disappointment rolled over me like the clouds that had returned to cover the sky during the short, quarter hour it had taken me to dress. Not the least little scrap of blue to be seen nor a hint of of the red-gold light. But the temperature was still mild at about 42 F, not much wind and most importantly, no RAIN. I decided to seize the opportunity.

It was a bit before 10:30 by the time I clipped in, turned on the GPS and rolled out.

It was immediately obvious that the past 2 months with barely any cycling had taken their toll. I’m sure all the bad food during Jens’ holiday vacation running from a few days before Christmas until 12th Night didn’t help either. And yes, Sweden acknowledges 12th Night. It’s not as big a holiday as Midsummer or May Day, but many businesses do close so many have the day off.

Also, I ride harder and faster on a solo ride which makes me feel weaker than when toodling along with the fuzzy one. I’m still not fast though. At times like this, I do miss riding the Trice with its higher gear inches and, therefore, higher speeds. Of course, that’s harder on my knees. A trade off and I if I get to tour, I’ll be even more grateful for those smaller gear inches.

Feeling rather weak and sluggish, I quickly changed my mind about doing a 12 mile route and set my sights on the River Loop with an extension or two. So, I spun along, trying to keep my cadence up rather than mashing. By mile 3, the muscles along the tops of my thighs were burning. It turned out I was also over-dressed, particularly my head. I had to fold up the ears of my winter cap for a little relief. I wasn’t going to wimp out though. Not with so few windows of opportunity to ride of late. I gritted my teeth and spun on. I even added the out-n-back along the river which I’ve not done since last summer.

They’ve made a few changes there. Improved the park-like feel of it on one side as a buffer between the cycle path and the industrial section. it will take a few years for the trees to be more than leafy twigs, but it’s a start. They also added a short gravel ramp down to the river amongst a thicket of trees. That surprised me. Maybe they did it in hopes of dissuading homeless people from camping there, which I’ve seen happen a couple times.

It felt a little odd, cycling in January with not a hint of frost, ice or snow. Not to mention, wearing light wool top and feeling hot while being without gloves. My foot-warmers weren’t needed either. I think most disturbing was the sight of drown worms on the pavement. Seriously? Worms out at this time of the year? I think that was even worse than the sight of a snail which may or may not have been dead. If dead, it hadn’t been so very long, so must  have been crawling around in the last day or two. This is almost late April/early May type weather.

I coasted back to the parking lot with 6.7 miles and legs that felt like burning noodles. While disappointed that the sun had vanished before I got to ride under the blue skies, I felt grateful for the respite from the rain though 42 F is… somewhat doable if it had rained as long as it was a light one. Not pleasant though.

Loke hardly looked up when I came back in. A good indication that he hardly noticed I was gone. So, the first ride of the year with a scant 6.7 miles and searing muscles. Better than nothing, though it still leaves 103 miles to tip over last year’s January total. Will it happen? I wish I could say, but with the weather being what it is this winter, it’s nearly impossible to tell. There’s forecast for clearly, but below freezing temps by this coming weekend. That’s no promise I’ll be able to ride if all the wet on the roads freezes into a slick skin of ice as it had on December 30th which prevented me from riding in spite of gorgeous sunshine.

We’ll see. Fingers crossed!


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