Terii’s Cycling Babble


Let 2015 Begin!
January 3, 2015, 8:37 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Well, we had a few days of proper Swedish winter. A bit less than a week, but still it was lovely to have a landscape softened and altered by a couple inches of snow.

Then about 4 days ago, the cold snap broke and we again were back above freezing even over night. All that beautiful white quickly vanished, finished off by a rather steady morning rain yesterday.

Upon seeing that there was no lingering ice, I decided to attempt a ride. First things first though, I had to fix a tire. A couple weeks ago, we moved my old Trice Q from it’s place under the purpose built kitchen table to the storage. Upon dropping it off, I found the left front tire on my Sprint utterly flat. Baffling as it was fine when last parked there and still had plenty of air when I went to get my mittens from the trike’s bags during the cold snap. Not moved an inch and yet gone spontaneously flat? Wierd.

So, I left Loke at home with Jens and wandered off to go wrestle with the tire, wondering how uncomfortable it was going to be with my sore muscles.

Turned out I was having one of my ‘better’ days. Still uncomfortable with muscle pain, but manageable. My back wasn’t thrilled with sitting on the floor trying to lever off the tire with the wheel still attached to the trike propped up on a shaky box. I love the stopping power of the disc brakes, but they complicate things when one tries to remove wheels.

Task done, I thought there was still strength left in me to manage dragging on a couple layers of wool and cycle clothes and heading out for a very leisurely outing.

Even if I felt great, it still would have been a slower ride. Loke’s been a bit under the weather.

It started a few weeks ago. Loke got to where he didn’t really want to eat his kibble. He’d drool and beg for our food, but his would just sit in the dish for most of a day before he’d grudgingly eat a few bites. I figured he was just being stubborn and holding out for the doggie equivalent of candy for supper.

Then the other unpleasant symptom kicked in, requiring us to run out the door every few hours, even through the night. I was baffled as I didn’t think he’d gotten into anything to cause tummy upset. His energy was still high and he’d still beg for people food. Then he stopped drinking water, which took a half a day or so for Jens and I to realize.

Then on a Saturday morning, our fuzzy dynamo was out of juice. He didn’t even want chicken and it had been over 18 hours since he’d taken a drink. On a walk, he plodded lethargically behind me. Not sniffing or showing any attention to his surroundings, just head low and plodding.

That was it. Weekend visits costing up to 30% more or not, I took him to the vet as soon as they opened. They were kind enough to fit us in. Steena listened to the description, recommended x-rays to check for something that could be causing intestinal distress. When those came back clear except for indications of some inflammation, she drew blood to check his liver, pancreas, and blood counts. All normal. Then she kept him for a few hours to rehydrate him.

When we went to pick him that evening, Loke was much more like himself. High energy and even gobbling down his kibble like an industrial vacuum. Steena recommended we feed him small portions often and try alternating with chicken which is one of the few things he’s not allergic to. Loke was great for a few days. Then the disinterest in his kibble returned, which could be the same problem or perhaps he’s figured out chicken is next. Who knows.

His energy has been a tiny bit lower. So, I called Steena yesterday to ask that she send off what blood she still has for other tests she suggested. B12 and Folic Acid. She asked that I collect samples of Loke’s (ahem) leavings to be checked for parasites that might be hiding.

So, that’s the husky I took out for the first ride of the year. The first ride in 3 weeks to the day actually. His energy was a bit on the low side, perhaps 80% of normal which meant that I didn’t have to fight him to keep his pace slower.

I think he enjoyed it actually. Interested in his surroundings as he jogged along. To my surprise, I didn’t feel too bad either. My body wasn’t happy with the exertion, but it’s protests were merely uncomfortable rather than unbearable. The rain clouds had mostly cleared by the time I’d clipped in. Ambient temperature was 44 F, but my feet (without the footwarmers) agreed with my Garmin’s display of 36 F in the brisk winds for most of the way. Windchill, gotta love it.

Those winds cleared the skies amazingly well. By the time we were rolling along beside the river past the log exercise park, the clouds were pushed back from the southwest so the low sun could shine on us. We’ve already gained 15 minutes of time since December 21st (winter solstice). I think the ‘noon’ angle of the sun has increased by a couple degrees so far. For the next week or so, it seems to be increasing by about .3 degree. Like the increase of day length, the noon angle will climb at an accelerated rate. Makes me giddy to think of. Soon, we’ll be gaining as much as 7 minutes of extra daylight each and every 24 hour cycle. Yay!

The river still had ice on it, but it looked fragile with a gloss of water atop it left by the rain. To think a few days previous, I saw human foot prints criss-crossing it around downtown. Crazy people.

I kept the loop to our shorter one. The windchill was getting uncomfortable on my toes and with Loke a bit under the weather as well as our first ride in 3 weeks, I didn’t want to push things. We rolled to a stop at the storage with 4.33 miles.

Welcome 2015! We have begun.

 

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5 Comments so far
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Hi! Remember me? We talked one, maybe even two years ago here on your blog. We live in the same city and I ride a trike too. I’m so sad to hear about your illness. I keep my fingers crossed you’ll be back to normal soon. Spring is around the corner and I hope you can greet it on your trike.

We’ve yet to meat. It’s almost odd we haven’t. At least I haven’t seen you.

Once a lady mistook me for you though. I had stopped to sip some water and she started a conversations like we were old acquaintances. Then she said “Where’s the dog today”, immediately took a closer look at me and exclaimed “But it isn’t you!”. It didn’t take much explaining from her for me to understand she thought I was you. He he, it was sort of funny. Nice lady. We talked a bit more. 🙂

Comment by scorp

Meet, not meat. Even if I love meat. Poor English day. 😉

Comment by scorp

Yep! I remember you! You told me about that pretty area around Björklinge.

I’m muddling along. Medications still leave me drained and such, but my blood pressure is improved. Not been riding much due to muscle pain and not having the energy to swap to studded tires.

That’s funny about the woman. 🙂 We met a couple weeks ago at the vårdcentral when I was there for a check-up on my blood pressure.

Thinking about it, I haven’t really done much riding up to the north of Uppsala in quite a while. A couple times past Ulva, but not much further than that. Most of my rides this year especially have been right around here. Not sure how far down into Uppsala you ride. 🙂

Comment by Terii

You met that very woman? That’s crazy. How do you know it’s the same woman I met? Did she tell you about it?

I live in the very center of the city, so I see a lot of that. Imagine, I was scared stiff of the traffic when I got the trike, now I ride on Kungsgatan like it was nothing.

I’m still scared of some of the highways/country roads though. Like Gamla Stockholmsvägen, Almungevägen after Gunsta and Alundavägen after Jälla. I don’t ride on those and that’s a shame since there’s a lot to see. Do you dare to ride on those roads? You take up even more road space with the dog.

I’ve improved my cycling quite a bit, starting from scratch as I was. I had hardly moved at all for decades when I got the trike. 2014 I made a little over 3000 km of which I’m proud, even if I know some people ride ten times as far. I’m still slow though. I think I need to look into proper training, but it’s so boring. I thought just riding would improve speed and it has, but not very much. I’d like increase my range and I think I need to be faster for that. One can only ride so many hours. This summer I went for a few trips just over 70 km. That’s my longest distance – so far.

Comment by scorp

Yep! She heard me speaking to a nurse and came over to chat upon hearing me speak English when memory failed to provide a Swedish word. A fellow American though she’s been here for decades. I know it was her because you met her in the area she mentioned she lived and I said that if she ever sees a strange bike with a white husky, that would be me. Hence, her confusion and asking you about the dog. 😉

I tend to avoid the busier roads like those you’ve described. They have to have a nice wide shoulder for me to even consider it. I rode on the Börjevägen once which was unpleasant. A few times cars passed so close I could have touched them.

If you live in Uppsala, I’m surprised you hadn’t seen me zip by during the summer. I often did a longer loop to the city forest, past the hospital, skating rink and follow the River back toward home.

As for your riding, you sound well ahead of me. I’ve not managed to break 2000 km yet. I’ve done an 80 km ride once years ago without Loke. 70 km is the best distance with Loke back when he was young and in his prime. My speed is down in respect for Loke’s age though on the Sprint, I’m slower because of the lower gear inches.

Comment by Terii




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