Terii’s Cycling Babble


Best Ride of the Year!
January 22, 2015, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Okay, so only the second ride of the year, but still!

Just a few days after my last post, winter came rampaging back. First it was a dusting of about an inch of snow followed by temps into the teens and even a couple days of single digits! The snow made the tired, old scenery stunning, but once it hits 25 F or colder I just can’t deal with those temps. Then it warmed again, but before all the ice could clear the way for summer type tires, we had a major snow fall. I’m talking 6 inches or more.

Since then it’s been mostly wintery. A day comes along and starts turning things to slush, but not enough to clear the paths for my unstudded trike. Tuesday, after looking at the forecast with more snow and temperatures at least hovering close to freezing, I decided to give up on expecting clear paths. Off Loke and I went to the storage for me to work at swapping tires.

It took 3 hours over 2 days, but I did it. The rear tire wasn’t nearly as hellish a task as I expected. Only the 2nd Circle of Hell instead of the 6th or 7th I braced myself for. Jens actually wanted me to go for a ride right away yesterday. After two days of muscle aches from walking to and from the storage and wrestling with tires while sitting on a cold cement floor, I just didn’t have it in me.

There was actually a very valid reason for Jens to want me to ride. Other than to spare him an extra walk with Loke. He wanted me to test the gears ASAP so I’d know if the trike needed to go to the shop south of Stockholm before the weekend. Most every time I’ve combated with the rear tires of either of my trikes, I’ve managed to skew the gears. Today should have been out too as it was laundry day.

My absolutely wonderful mother-in-law came to help with the washing. Bless her. She heard about the muscle fatigue that makes everything a challenge. She’s arranged to come help with the chore every other week. I help of course, but I think my current limitations thanks to my medications cramp her style. So when she sweetly insisted that she finish the last of the laundry solo, I relented after asking ‘Are you SURE?’ about a dozen times. If she wasn’t so kind a person, she probably would have thrown the bottle of fabric softener at me to chase me off.

Not even noon, I got ready to go for a ride. Loke was a bit anxious about being left until I put the harness on him. Then off to the storage we went.

I had my doubts about the ride as I put the seat back on the trike and piled gloves, hat, helmet and cycle shoes onto the seat to be pushed out to the parking lot. My arms and legs hated me just for that little task. I could only imagine how hard it would be on my legs to push through fluffy white stuff with these big knobby tires. I was committed.

Once the trike was out of the storage came the challenge of changing shoes. I didn’t want to try walking the trike out through all the snow in my cycle shoes as that turns treacherous quick. Snow packs into rock hard ice around the cleat which gets slippery.

It turned out to be difficult to get overshoes, cycle shoes and footwarmer batteries all settled while sitting on the trike. I managed for one foot. Then I simply sat in the snow to do the left foot. Loke wasn’t impressed with the time I took. He sighed, woofed and stomped his feet at me.

Finally got my feet snug. I dusted the snow off the seat and clipped in. Loke immediately started hopping like a mad dog. It had been 20 days since our last outing.

After we made it up the last little slope of the parking lot, me pushing as even my studded tire couldn’t grip, we were off. Snow flakes peppered my face as Loke did his level best to pull us into running speed. I of course, kept him jogging as much as I could while he shot me little irritated glances.

First true snow ride in 2 years! :D

First true snow ride in 2 years! 😀

Unconvinced I was up for much of a ride, we took a left turn toward the swim hall when I’d normally take a right for a portion of the River Loop even when planning to go downtown. That surprised Loke, but gave him even more oomph to be running. We bumped over snow and ice at a good clip along side the football fields.

My target was the American Food Store. Jens wanted some seeded bagels that Charles has brought in and it feels nice to have a goal for local rides. The most direct route to there is maybe 2.5 miles round trip. I took a slightly more circuitous route on the way there.

I was surprised by how un-painful the ride seemed to be. No screaming hip. My thighs and calves weren’t violently protesting. I felt surprisingly good. The best I’ve felt doing anything exercise like since the whole stroke episode back in November. Completely unexpected to feel so awesome what with snow and studded tires adding huge amounts of roll resistance.

Charles’ wife was checking on a large delivery pallet outside the door when I rolled to a stop at the shop. We chatted briefly about the weather and the delivery before I asked how Charles was doing. She smiled and said he was inside. I almost fainted. We’d actually managed to cross paths?

It was great to see him and I had a lovely time chatting with him and his wife, catching him up. Tore has been telling about what’s been up with me, but it can be nice hearing it directly. In spite of the fact I was wearing several layers, including my fluffy, heavy wool, he said, ‘You’ve lost weight! You look great!’. That was so wonderful to hear! Was very nice to reconnect.

The ride back to the storage was fairly direct. Loke still had plenty of oomph to help up the gentle climb away from downtown. We rolled to a stop at the storage unit with 3.3 miles under the tires and paws.

Loke did great in spite of his mystery ailment and I felt pretty good too.

Yep! Loke’s still been having the same issue I mentioned in the last post. Tests have all come back normal though he did show some very small traces of a bacteria. There shouldn’t be enough to cause him problems and he doesn’t have all the symptoms, so it’s hard to know. Steena (the vet) called a specialist and is waiting to hear back for advice or if the specialist thinks they should see Loke.

At least we have gotten the symptoms a bit under control. We swapped Loke from kibble to baked chicken for a while which helped somewhat. Then we finally managed to get him a few blocks of the reindeer butcher scraps packaged as dog food. That’s helped him immensely. I don’t think it’s cured the problem, but simply made the symptoms more manageable.

I think he’ll be going to the vet tomorrow though. He’s got one of those infections on his foot. The first one in quite a long while. Just need to get it taken care of. I hope he’s not become allergic to reindeer now! That would be very inconvenient!

 

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