Terii’s Cycling Babble


Sabotaged!
May 6, 2015, 8:02 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Goodness, but I’ve been slacking with the posts! It took me over a week to write the last one in spite of my excitement at having fresh ground and blog-worthy material. Getting off to a weak start with this one too.

Still I press onward!

Monday morning, April 27th, Jens left at 5:30 am for a business trip to London, not due to return until Thursday. With Loke’s ‘walks’ falling to me, I opted for us to go for a ride. Part of the plan was to check one of the local cycle shops in hopes they could do the brakes on my trike. It’s the same shop I used to avoid because of DF biased rudeness from the people there. I discovered they’ve changed owners and staff when I lost a screw in one of my cleats, popping in to get a replacement. They were so nice and awesome, getting my shoe all fixed up and not even charging for it. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least ask if they could help.

So, off we went. With the trike still in the back of the car, I went to park at the storage. From there, I assembled the trike from the back of the car and rolled out. When done with the ride, I’d simply store the trike in one piece like I always did on the local rides and still have the car to quickly get back home.

Loke was back to his draggy self as we meandered through the city. Suited me fine as my legs still felt Saturday’s ride. It had been a fairly windy day and the terrain there had been quite a bit hillier than around here. I’d set a new record for total feet climbed during a ride since getting my Garmin Edge 1000 actually. Definitely felt that in the thighs.

Along the river, they were gearing up for the big annual celebration at the last day of April. A day of drunken revelry and silliness. I avoid downtown area of Uppsala like the plague during that day particularly since the one time I unwittingly went downtown on April 30th. A young woman threw up on my feet. Charming…

I used to avoid the downtown centers of most towns in the south on Mardi Gras too. No force on earth would have been able to drag me to New Orleans on that day. I’m such a hardcore introvert.

Part of their preparations was putting up fencing around some of the trees along the river. Only those with flower beds around their base. Yes! Protect the plants from being stomped and worse! I heartily agree.

Soon, I rolled to a stop outside the little cycle shop. The same awesomely nice woman who helped me with my shoe was there and I asked her if they could help. With a glance to the little nook that serves as their work area, she answered with, ‘I don’t know. Can I take a look?’.

As she patted Loke and peered at the brakes and the rest of my trike, she admitted their work space was so very little and she wasn’t even sure if they could get the trike through the door. When I explained where I’d need to go if they couldn’t help, she replied, ‘There must be a way. Let me ask the mechanic.’

The guy came out and took a quick look. His suggestion was quick and to the point. It was a relatively fast procedure and he could do it in the courtyard behind the shop. They even had the proper brake pads. So, we decided that I’d return the next morning as the shop opened and they’d get me settled first thing.

From there, it was back to the storage, ending with 7.3 miles. Rolled it in, swapped the shoes and was back home in a wink.

The next morning, April 28th, I was a bit edgy about leaving Loke home alone so early in the day with only one of my pitiful walks to hold him over. Still, I wanted the option to go into the book store or the like while the pads were being swapped. To avoid looking like a complete freak, I even pulled on a pair of normal pants, black capris actually, and a decent shirt.

I felt like I was flying as I pushed off toward the cycle shop, tired legs or not. While not the most circuitous route, I didn’t take the most direct either and arrived in under 15 minutes. I had to wait less than a minute before the nice woman opened the door and pointed me to the proper courtyard entrance.

I opted to stay and watch as the pads were swapped. During the procedure, my feet started hurting. The right one in particular. Ironically, as the mechanic worked, he found that my right brake disc was slightly warped. Protected by the spokes and such, I have no clue what could have done that. He did what he could with the warped disc and soon I was good to go. I also asked for a rough price estimate on a new disc. Surprisingly cheap actually. I decided I’d make do and when the brakes again need work, I’ll get the right disc replaced along with the pads.

My instincts told me I should just go home, but I didn’t listen. I was too intoxicated with the speed I’d displayed without Loke even with tired legs. I wanted more than 4 miles. Clipping in, I pushed out to join the paths that would connect me with the latter half of the Vakasala/Granby Loop.

The faster I went, ticking the miles by, the more my right foot hurt. The pain became considerable. By then though, there was nothing for it but to push on to home with no way for a rescue with Jens off in London. Back at the storage, I put the trike away with 9.1 miles and a bad limp.

A comment by a friend of mine had me looking up for plantar fasciitis. It sounded precisely like what I was experiencing which was inflammation of the connective tissue through the bottom of the foot which displays itself as heel pain. Treatment? Stretches, ice, staying off the feet and avoiding the activity which might have caused it.

Jens was supportive and kind upon learning about the foot. He called from London, having read my FB about it, and told me to stay off my feet as much as I could. When he got back, he shouldered the task of walking Loke through the long weekend with not a complaint.

The whole foot issue felt like a kick in the gut. I’d felt fine until the solo ride where I’d been hammering the pedals. I’d been doing so well before it all! Riding often and dropping weight and inches like crazy. I’d beaten the mental block of boredom and been riding the tedious loops to push for increased stamina. Now, my very body has to sabotage me? As if my mentality hadn’t done that enough in the past.

My one consolation has been discovering they’ve added a rowing machine at the gym. I’d never tried a rowing machine, but the morning after the beginning of the foot pain I went to the gym for the first time in 2 weeks and discovered the addition. I ignored it at first, changed and went in search of a hand cycle I use for warming up and arm work. Much to my dismay, they had removed my go-to warm up machine. With the foot I couldn’t do the treadmill or cross-trainer or any of the other things I would have done.

Dubiously, I eyed the rowing machine. I sat on it, set the foot rests in what felt like the right position, and gave an experimental stroke to see how my foot felt about it. When there was no twinge of pain or other complaint from it, I put in my earphones and started off at a slow pace to warm up and get the rhythm.

I’d intended only for 5 minutes of warm-up. Somewhere in the tempo of body, music, and machine, I lost myself. Eyes closed, I pulled and relaxed, pulled and relaxed, the speed of the motions increasing. When I again opened my eyes, muscles feeling the burn of exertion, I found I’d been at it for 9 minutes and 18 seconds with a speed of about 7 mph. I set my jaw and pulled on for those last 42 seconds to make an even 10 minutes.

It felt oddly thrilling, getting up from the seat and feeling all wobbly in the muscles like that. I decided I liked it. I had found my new go-to exercise while my foot recovers. Not as great as cycling, but somehow more satisfying than any other thing in any gym I’ve ever done. Pity I’d never discovered it sooner, granted this gym didn’t have a rowing machine previously.

Pity it can’t make up for the sheer calorie burn of my riding. I’ll be able to build up to the equivalent of my short rides maybe, but for all day outings like the one on April 25? No. Not unless we found some kind of mini-rower that can hide in the corner of our tiny apartment and I stroke along while staring at the TV for 2 or 3 hours at a time….

Still, half a loaf is better than none. Right?

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