Terii’s Cycling Babble


Happy July 4th! And Yes, I’m Still Alive
July 4, 2014, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Too all my friends and family back in the U.S., I wish you all a happy July 4th full of whatever you deem as fun and celebratory for this American Holiday.

Though the blog has been quiet, I’ve been reasonably active. Not burning up the roads or anything, but not a dormant slug either. One weekend a few back, I actually made an attempt to ride from Enköping back to Uppsala. What actually convinced me to attempt it was seeing a cycle route doing just that. Not dedicated cycle paths, but on back roads, but still.

I found the way thanks to a wonderful site. It started with ‘OpenSteetMap’, but there’s a secondary ‘OpenCycleMap’. It has Local, Regional and National routes mapped. Dotted blue lines for dedicated cycle/foot paths. Bathrooms, food and even shelter from rain. And there was a pale blue line (Regional) between Enköping and Uppsala. Not that far either! Less than 35 miles. Oddly, when driving to that area, it has always seemed sooooo far, but it’s not.

It was a disaster. First, right at the beginning of the ride, we had to go up this crazy hill to a church. A very nice church crammed with murals and other details, but getting it to it wrecked my knee before we’d even really started. From there it just was annoying. Loke ran well at least, but my knee hurt making me pedal bad which left me feeling weak. There were those annoying flies.

It’s been a couple years since I’ve complained about the flies. They just haven’t been that bad since whenever the last cycle season I was screaming over them. So, I felt hot, weak and slow, then the flies came along, dozens of them buzzling around me. Then they started bouncing off my face. Up the nose, around the mouth, getting behind my glasses to bounce off my eyes.

The final straw was my gears. They’d been acting up for a while, but I could still manage. Well, the shifting abruptly became completely unreasonable while I was flapping my hands at the flies with a screaming knee and facing a looooong climb. I looked to the west where open farm land stretched and Långtora church waited in the distance…. down the nasty hill I was facing and mostly flat beyond. Oh, and the wind (though not too bad) would also be at my back.

Loke and turned and made for Långtora where I called Jens to get us so we could wait in the shade while I ate cherries. The best part of the ride was sitting in the soft wind beneath the shade of an apple tree to wait for Jens.

I was completely disgusted with the fiasco. Though I have pictures, they’ll just have to wait until I make another (hopefully more successful) attempt at the ride.

The rest of the rides have been around Uppsala naturally. One day Loke and I went toward the city forest to do a quick toodle through there before gliding through the city back home. Several River Loops (naturally).

Most recent was the loop which takes me along the rail tracks to the heart of the Uppsala, then out toward my in-laws apartment, cutting over to Vaksala church, the mall and back home. This time, where I would generally make the turn off a cycle path toward the 4H area with the runestones, I curiously went straight. A bit on, the cycle path cut through a high earthen bank where a park sign sat. I stopped for a look.

It’s a national park area with paths that lead to two tiny villages as well as looping through woodland and fields. I was a bit curious, but by this point, we’d done 6 miles and I didn’t want to break Loke since one day earlier in the week, he had a really bad time with lots of limping. Though he hadn’t limped at all on this outing, there’s no reason to push him to it. I did take a little peek for about a half mile though. The pavement gave way to a gravel path which wasn’t bad for rolling. If that’s how it is all through the park, the trike will have no problems. Ideally though, we’d (yes, Loke too) would adore it if it became the hard-packed earth covered in leaves and pine needles like many of the city forest trails.

I took a turn to cut back toward the residential area again, resolved to come back another day and explore the park’s trails.

July 1st was Loke’s birthday. 9 years old. I did take him for a ride. The exciting (haha) River Loop. But he was still so excited and full of fire that he wanted to run. I took pity on him and in celebration of his birth bumped his speed limit from 8 mph to 9. Of course, he wanted more.

Now, I’m about to take him out to head down the path along the rail tracks to the heart of town and onward to my in-laws apartment. We’re having dinner there this evening. Kiki’s home-made lasagna (drool). The 2-3 miles there isn’t really enough to dent Loke’s energy, but I still think it will be good for both of us.

Oh, and Jens is pushing for me to take a tour. I’m actually thinking of having him drop me off in Gävle (about an hour north of Uppsala) and cycle on the national coastal route. Over a 100 miles, especially if I chase down churches and the like. How long will I stay out? Dunno. If I can just make it an overnight trip for ONCE, I’ll be happy. Not sure if Loke’s coming or not. At least it’s still kinda close enough for the fuzzy to be rescued by Jens if need be.

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