Terii’s Cycling Babble


The Mileage And The Fairing
September 29, 2015, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

The rides continue to mount. In the last post, the last ride was on September 24th. Since that one, Loke and I have gone out on the 26th and 28th as well.

The morning of the 26th was the first ride with the fairing. It was mostly cloudy though broken up into clumps with hints of blue peeking through the gaps. The temp was about 45 F when I started which was chill enough for a couple layers under my cycle shirt. I refrained from adding wool under my tights though.

As I wheeled the trike out, I noticed one thing right away. The bottom of the fairing very nearly scraped the ramp before the front wheels followed up the incline. I’d have to raise it about an inch at least and hope it would still protect my feet on the down strokes of the pedals. I’d already locked up the storage though and didn’t feel like going back in for one of the tools necessary for the task.

I was excited and curious as Loke and I set out, beginning the River Loop. Right away I thought I could feel a difference as we made the first jaunt away from the storage. It’s a slight decline and Loke usually tries for a 15 mph run though I tend to keep him to about 11 mph. 12 mph if I’m not paying close attention.

My new 'winter view' from the trike seat.

My new ‘winter view’ from the trike seat.

It felt as if everything from about an inch or two below the knees was sheltered. Everything from that point up felt more chilled.

Encouraged, I decided to turn the River Loop into something more extensive. The Gamla Uppsala/Vaksala Loop sounded pretty good. Something a bit longer.

Loke didn’t seem to notice the trike’s new ‘appendage’ at all. He trotted along as blithely as ever, jaws gaping in a content husky grin.

I kept watching my feet as I pedaled, trying to judge how much space I had between toes and the back of the windscreen. I even pointed my feet at max extension, leaning forward to feel with my fingers. There was space enough that they never touched the screen. I definitely could stand to move it in a couple inches which would help a bit for ramps and other abrupt inclines like speed bumps or curbs.

Trike, fairing and Loke just before being greeted by the golden.

Trike, fairing and Loke just before being greeted by the golden.

I discovered another thing I will have to watch out for with the fairing. We were coming by the river, heading for the swimhall where I stopped to take a photo of the trike. I was settling back down when a woman came along with a golden retriever. He was very determined to come meet Loke and me. He very nearly blundered into it. Slapped it with his tail a few times too and after half climbing into my lap to slobber on my face while Loke pawed at him, he snagged the edge of it on his collar when he backed away. No damage done, but something to keep in mind.

From there we scooted onward across the busy street and toward the mosque where we turned to make our way past the grave mounds. The wind was a bit blustery at times. Sometimes my feet seemed to feel a bit of it, but I thought perhaps it was less than they might otherwise. It wasn’t really cold enough for me to be sure. Mid-40’s or warmer I rarely bother with shoe-covers even.

As I crossed Vattholma Road near the grave mounds to continue north on the cycle path, my fairing scraped rather rudely. It was on a bit of pavement ‘ramp’ up a curb as I crossed the road. Once out of traffic, I stopped to check the damage, but it seemed fine. Whew. Would have sucked to have major damage on the first ride!

Loke jogged along well as we cruised on the cycle path beside Vattholma Road. Scooting across the road on the turn toward Vittulsberg, I coasted down the new underpass beneath the rail tracks, letting Loke stretch his legs. Once across the E4, I slowed next to the pasture where I hoped I’d see the curious cows again.

Curiosity 'moooooved' them. September 20th.

Curiosity ‘moooooved’ them. September 20th.

And I forgot to mention the cows the last time I rode this area on September 2oth! As we’d come up to the fence back then, about 15-20 young cows all looked up across the field. First one came at a trot which made 2 more come. Then 3 others moved into a lope to catch up which set them all running. Loke was a bit wary as I stopped to grin while they pounded up to the wire. I think he was worried they wouldn’t stop.

But they did and then stood there, crowded as close as they could as they sniffed the air for our scent. It had been ages since I’d come across so curious a herd.

This time though they didn’t even look up from where they lay, chewing cud, in the center of the field. Ah well.

As I paused there, disappointed in the lack of cattle interest, I spontaneously decided to see if my GoPro still had a charge. Before heading out to ride on the Kattegattleden in July, I’d charged the video camera and put it in my handlebar bag, but never used it. I screwed the camera mount down, got it settled and hit record before moving out.

It admittedly feels a little silly to use the camera slow as I am. Creeping along with a 10 year old husky. He still goes along at about 7 mph on most flats, but down hill, he’s quite a bit slower than he used to be. One thing I did like about the new spot to mount it was that I was pretty sure my feet wouldn’t be whizzing by the edges of the frame.

It wasn’t perfect though. I’d clamped it down tight as I could and yet the camera still moved when I’d hit particularly hard jolts. Several times, I had to stop and correct it. Moving tarmac isn’t that fascinating. Once I watched what I’d recorded, I also rediscovered another annoying issue with the camera. The inside of the case fogs up after a while, rendering any recording fairly useless. At least what I did have was foot free!

I may share some of the footage once I find a video editor that doesn’t require a degree in rocket-science to operate.

We passed the mall and started along the edge of the fence of the 4H pastures when I came upon a man out with his cocker spaniel puppy. He was patiently trying to teach it to walk on a leash and sit on command. Naturally, a weird bike with a dog was just the distraction he needed. The little guy tried to rush us and yapped at the end of his leash until the man picked him up. I offered to let Loke and the cutie meet, but he said the puppy was too wild. He’s going to find out that not meeting other dogs will not correct that little issue. I asked how old (11 weeks) and then said farewell.

We rolled to a stop at the storage unit with 13 miles. 13.06 miles according to my Garmin.

Tentatively, I was hopefully about the fairing. Most of the time, into the wind, my feet and shins seemed fairly protected. At one point, I thought my left foot started feeling cold, but it might have been just some discomfort because I can’t quite get the cleat position for the pedal good enough and since I was ‘looking’ for cold, my brain perhaps interpreted it as such. If it was a bit cold, it wasn’t the fairing’s fault as the wind had been coming from the left and a bit behind.

Before putting the trike away, I fiddled a bit with the fairing’s positioning. Loke was a bit of a pest while I worked. He’s not fond of the storage unit. It’s boring and something about it just kinda rattles him. It’s not quite as bad as following me as I crawled into 5000+ year old burial chambers on hands and knees, but he dislikes it more than the laundry room in the cellar.

Finally he left me alone so I could work. I slid the screen in as far as it would go, tweaked the angle a little bit and made sure it was on straight.

The 27th, my cold had a bit of a relapse so I stayed in, resting up in hopes I’d shake it.

Felt better again on the 28th and felt a bit of pressure to get out again. Most of the load to keep Loke amused and exercised as been falling on me of late. I guess as long as his joints and feet hold up, it’s no big issue. Another source of the desire to ride was a discovery I’d made the day before.

Since my Garmin Training software decided to get all weird and consistently starting randomly ‘eating’ entire years of entries, I’ve started relying more on BikeJournal.com. Garmin Connect is okay as far as keeping track of individual rides, maps, average speed, cadence and such, but it doesn’t seem to have any ability to break down mileage by weeks, months or years. A combination of Garmin Connect and Bike Journal would be perfect, but since I haven’t found that, I use both.

However, I’d gotten a bit slack about my entries since about May. From early on, this year just kinda felt like a complete bust. The slow start from January until March thanks to the worst symptoms of post-stroke issues, then the plantar fasciitis in my right foot which meant a few weeks and days more without riding. My grand tour plans wrecked by the stroke itself back in November leaving me unable to train hard over the winter to gain fitness before warmer weather.

That sense of failure before the year even began left me kind of apathetic about staying on top of my mileage tracking. I mean, it was just going to be a crappy, low mileage year. Right?

While recovering from the cold on the 25th, I buckled down and plugged all the mileage from the rides in.

The results stunned me. I was about 15 miles short of 800 miles. 803 miles is my 3rd best year total of riding, back in 2012. Second best year is 980 which was my first full year (2013) with my ICE Sprint 26. Best ever was 2008 with over 1200.

Somehow, apathetic as I’d been about most of the rides, with 95% of them under 20 miles and 80% of those less than 10 miles, I was somehow managing to turn 2015 into one of the highest mile years since getting my first trike back in 2006. The credit-card tour in July was less than 150 miles of it, so it helped, but it was barely 1/6th of the total.

I came to a few decisions with that discovery. I was at least, going to make 2015 my 2nd best year for miles. I will round it off by breaking 1000 miles before December 31, 2015. I toyed with the idea of making it the best year ever, but with so many issues of late, it felt too much like setting myself up for failure. If I have a bad week or two, or winter is particularly harsh, 600 miles would be firmly out of reach. 200 or 300 miles, even with bad symptoms or weather is obtainable.

The ride on September 26th nudged me right up to the edge of 800 miles.

So, yesterday, September 28th, I got dressed in cycle clothes before Jens even woke up for work. It was colder that morning then my first ‘fairing’ ride. I hoped it would prove, one way or another, if my investment for a birthday gift was going to pay off. The sun was still very low, barely over the horizon beyond the trees as I dropped Jens off at the train station.

I went directly to the storage, getting lucky with finding an early parking space and hurried to get the trike out. This time, I had wool under my leggings as well as my top. I even pulled my heavy wool layer over my cycle shirt for some extra warmth. It was about 42 F as I pushed everything to the top of the ramp. Knit cap pulled over my ears under the helmet, wool gloves snugged on, I clipped in and rolled out.

It was brisk and I wondered if it had been a mistake to not bring my old shoe-covers.

A perfect autumn morning!

A perfect autumn morning!

It was one of the earliest rides of late, rolling along down the first stretch before even 8:30 am. Colder than the last ride, it really seemed like the fairing was doing as it should. The winds were still, so no side gusts confused the issue. Loke wanted to jog along at least 8 mph which added to the rush of air from the front. My feet felt as snug and unchilled as if on a sunny, summer day of 60-65 F. They weren’t ‘toasty’, but no hint of cold either.

I quit worrying about not having the shoe-covers.

The day became unexpectedly magical.

I’ve ridden the River Loop some 70 times or so this year. Hundreds of times since 2006. All spring and summer, it’s been ‘bleah’. I ride it because it’s quick and easy, gets Loke moving. Exercise for me too, I guess, but nothing inspired. Many times when I ride some other route, I still have to cover about 3 or 4 miles of it just getting to and from whatever else I ride.

As if I don't have enough photos of this view...

As if I don’t have enough photos of this view…

But in autumn, something amazing happens. It becomes another world almost. Some delicate shift in quality of light. A subtle change in the leaves from the dark, ‘hard’ greens of summer to a soft flush of paler, gold-green of autumn. All that is old and blandly familiar becomes new and fresh. Air so brilliantly clear it feels as if one could see forever if not for the screening trees That delightful otherness remains and only grows stronger as frosts come and finally feathery white blankets of winter snow.

It was a perfect morning and my lips pulled into a smile with the joy of it. Loke’s breath came out in soft puffs of mist as I rolled along the river extension and I admired the deep gold of the light on the subtle autumn shade of leaves across the fields. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt that deep, content pleasure during a local ride and I reveled in it.

I thought about heading off on a longer loop, but duty (and the need for a bathroom) held me to the River Loop. There was too much to be done to spend hours out in the countryside.

Alas, most of my tasks for which I’d cut short the ride remained unattended. As I did the first of them, I started feeling quite unwell and staggered home to tuck miserably on the couch for the rest of the day.

But what a lovely beginning it had been!

I almost went out for another ride this morning too. Jens had to catch an even earlier train, so we left just as the sun was ascending from its nightly rest. The muted striations of the clouds, just glimpsed between the buildings of apartments and businesses hinted it was going to be a colorful sunrise. For an added treat the ‘super moon’ was still mostly full and hung large in the darker blue-gray of the western sky.

What an awesome idea to ride out to Gamla Uppsala where I could watch the dawn come with mostly open views to the east over the fields.

Once I dropped Jens off, I knew it wasn’t a great idea. I would have had to leave the storage on the trike before 6 am to have made it there during the most colorful part. Even if I hurried, I would have been caught in the midst of the buildings and trees, the sunrise hidden from view. Determined to still enjoy it, I hurried for Gamla Uppsala.

Okay, so it wasn’t a trike ride, but I ride there fairly often and it has always been a favorite place to roll through regardless of the season. It was just too beautiful to not share.

Super moon over smaller mound as we climbed

Super moon over smaller mound as we climbed

I was naughty. As much as I complain about people climbing the mounds and the damage they cause, that’s what I did. Unlike everyone else though, I stayed off the path, even if it was only by a foot or so. The grass and plants can take a single person walking one time, without appreciable damage and no addition to the erosion.

Loke was sooooo confused by the trip up though. He’s been walking around the grave mounds since he was 8 weeks old and not once in all that time has he been up them. After a minute or two, he was thrilled. He bounced through the weeds gleefully, sniffed around, and once even flung himself down to do a sliding wallow down the slope.

Bad as I’d felt yesterday, I felt pretty okay tackling that climb. which completely stunned me. I didn’t push myself as I really didn’t want to trip or slip on the uneven ground.

Panorama. Can just make out the cathedral and castle to the far left

Panorama. Can just make out the cathedral and castle to the far left

I made it up just in time.

Here comes the sun!

Here comes the sun!

It’s obvious why people want to do the climb. The views are beautiful, though probably less impressive in the light of full day. That’s my opinion any way and I’m sticking to it!

It was cold as I stood up there, admiring the landscape around the height. I was glad of the lovely poncho Jens had surprised me with the night before. I really would have loved a pair of gloves though. My fingers ached with the bone deep chill of 35 F. I discovered that patches of what I thought to be dew had actually been frost on my way up.

I stayed up there until the brilliance of the colors muted from dawn colors to a pretty morning. Getting back down the mound was a bit trickier than going up.

I took the back way home as it goes by more fields and pretty scenery than the way I’d come. Another photo opportunity that made me wish I’d had a proper camera. I’d not expected to have such a beautiful dawn, let alone be chasing it down when I’d left to drive Jens for his commute.

Mist among the trees

Mist among the trees

There was a dense bank of mist across the fields, rising off the river I suspect. Just another treat on an already breathtaking morning. I’ve been smiling for hours after such a lovely start to the day.

I’m hard pressed to recall such a glorious sunrise that offered so many photos since the last morning of my trip to Denmark with Jens a few years ago.



Catch Up
September 29, 2015, 7:20 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Just a short little blurb to stay on top of things.

I’ve been riding quite a bit actually, but just local stuff. We all know how exciting it is to go over the same ground again and again and again and…..

But it’s not been all bad. In spite of battling a cold Jens so kindly graced me with, I’ve been feeling pretty strong doing it. My last ride on September 24th, I actually found myself enjoying the River Loop. That was a surreal experience.

There’s still been drama unfortunately. Weirdness with the face indicating a possible clot in the brain again. I was stressed and anxious about it, debated going to the hospital, but after the last 2 experiences with it, I decided to wait and see. Not much they would/could do about it and I didn’t want to inflict so much physical pain on myself to be mostly ignored in a room with nothing to do. The hospital beds just kill my back. The last time, I barely go any sleep because the muscles along my spine would cramp and spasm if I laid still more than 20 minutes. After the first evening, there was hardly a nurse to be seen. No more checks or tests. Apparently, I was just penned up there for an extra 19 hours to wait for the doctor. Could have done that at home with less pain and less stress.

I still rode through that time, especially since the hubby was in London for most of it.

Loke’s been running strong. Granted the rides have been generally short with just a couple stretching over the 10 mile mark.

The fairing arrived. The shipping company texted or called the hubby on September 14th to say they’d deliver between like 10 am and 2 pm. Jens of course works and I had a slew of appointments over the first half of that week. So, we arranged to go pick it up when he got off work that day.

I was thrilled to bits as I walked out of the shipping center. I’ve wanted one of these for maybe 2 years. There was also some nervousness about whether or not it would work on the Sprint 26.

My attempt to get the fairing mounted didn’t happen right away. I did pull the key piece out to look at it and felt a stronger pang of doubt at the sight of it.

It was a few days more before I had time to take a proper look. The 2015 Rugby World Cup has been a distraction and I didn’t want to mess with it if the trike was wet in case I had to send the fairing back.

Finally, I could get a look and there was an issue. Where the mount needed to be fastened overlapped with the screw clamps of the pedal boom. It was a couple days more before I managed to schedule a time with my father-in-law for help. I had images of cutting bits of wood or the like to make it work. Don’t ask. We settled on afternoon of Wednesday, September 23.

I went for a ride that morning. The River Loop I actually enjoyed despite leaden gray skies. The air was only a bit cool and mostly still. The temp held pretty steady at 54 F according to my Garmin. Loke tried to run like he was 6 years old or thereabouts.

One moment of the ride was fun. I was passing the school when a handful of the kids out for recess came running to the edge of the cycle path. They yelled and waved so gleefully that I swerved over. As many times has I’ve passed the school, I’ve gotten waves and stares, but no more than 3 times have any of the youngsters spoken to me and only when I’ve stopped for Loke to ‘mark territory’ or for me to put/take off extra layers.

This was the first time any of them have waved me down. One boy led the little group. A gregarious young man with sandy blond hair, 8 years old, maybe 9. He was all wide eyed as he looked at the trike. Then the questions flew. All in Swedish of course. I had to ask him to repeat himself most times. Kids generally haven’t learned any English yet and they talk fast. The activities of yard workers weedwhacking the undergrowth of the frisbee golf course on the other side of the cycle path didn’t help.

His first question was, ‘Where did you get this?’. When I answered it was made in England, he followed up with, ‘Have you been to England?’. He seemed very impressed when I told him I’d been there several times.

Spontaneously, I got up and invited him to take a seat. He looked a bit flummoxed about how to get in so I explained while pointing to the proper leg to go over the boom. He was clearly enchanted as he ran his hands over the mudguards and looked closely at the steering bars and grinned at the Garmin from the proper position. He had to sit well forward in the seat to reach the pedals.

Then he looked puzzled as he examined the steering bars more closely. ‘Where are the gear shifts?’. I was delightedly surprised. While kids start riding young in Sweden, gears aren’t anything common on bikes for his age group. An obvious display of attention to detail and interest in bikes. I helped him up and showed him the twist grips. He loved them. Another boy plonked himself down in the seat, but he was content to let the other one talk.

Loke took an unexpected interest in the second lad. Leaned over to give his face a lick which is unheard of. Loke barely likes to give kisses for goodies let alone lick random strangers. Then the leader of the curious bunch asked how many gears and was impressed with the number. Then his intelligent, quick attention shifted to Loke. He asked if he could pet him. Loke warmed to him too. Instead of sitting with a mildly irritated look and staring into the distance, he wagged his tail and leaned into the boy’s hands. There were the usual questions of course. What was his name? What kind of dog was he? How far could he run? The answer to that got many wide eyes and awe-struck exclamations. When I told them he was 10 years old, the blond boy was amazed. ‘He’s older than me!’ he exclaimed.

I told them I had to get moving again. It was coming up toward lunch time and without a definite time to meet with my FIL beyond ‘afternoon’, I wanted to get back home. The boy gave Loke a final pat and asked when I might ride by again. I told him I came through a few times a week. He nodded and led his little gang back toward the school buildings.

I zipped back to the garage as the first droplets of drizzle started. I reconsidered my idea of riding to my in-laws for the attempt to mount the fairing. The reason to go there was to be close to whatever tools we might need. The rain changed my mind though. Better to be snug and dry in the garage and bring whatever tools we might need.

My MIL called about 15 minutes after I arrived home. We agreed about the weather and she said they’d come pick me up in about half an hour. I had just enough time to inhale lunch and finish a cup of tea.

It took about 40 minutes, but with Å’s determination, we managed to get it on. It’s not perfect, the mount sitting kinda wonky and off to one side, but it doesn’t impact the fairing’s proper position and took none of the elaborate rigging I was thinking on. I was soooo thrilled I almost forgot myself and Å almost got a hug. I remembered in the nick of time, but joked with him about it. He’s an awesome man, but very much with the stoic and reserved Swedish nature of another age.

I felt a little bad that I’d not asked the husband of one of Jens’ sisters for help as well. My reasoning had been on the issue of tools. Å had mentioned to the guy about the task and he had really wanted to come help. I thought his skill were more slanted toward computers, like my hubby, but it seems M is good with his hands and fiddly stuff too. Unfortunately, a conflict with some other task had meant he couldn’t come.

I have to say, I’m soooo thrilled with the results though. I’ll take some tools to tweak height and angles if need be, but it’s on!

The plan had been to ride yesterday to test it, but waking up with a very sore throat, ear ache and sinuses jinxed that. Of course, it also turned into one of the prettiest day’s we’ve had in weeks. Mostly sunny with lovely puffy clouds drifting through a sky of autumnal blue. About 55 F and only breezy at times. There I was too sick to ride. *grumble*

I’m feeling better today and about to run out for a ride.

So, that’s me all caught up for now. More will following in the next few days with photos and a review of the fairing. Fingers are crossed that this winter will be less brutal on my toes thanks to the new addition!



Hits Keep Coming…
September 11, 2015, 11:11 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Before I get into the meat of this post, let me say, ‘Oops’.

Kungsängen Church

Kungsängen Church

Last post about the 2nd ride along the Mälardalsleden, I said it was odd that I hadn’t photographed Kungsängen Church. Turns out I did. It was on my iPhone and it never occurred to me for some bizarre reason to make sure I had already downloaded all the photos from that day. So, here’s the church and, as always, what history I could find on it is available by clicking the thumbnail.

Onward to the post!

My rides became a bit sporadic after the 2nd leg of the Mälardalsleden.

I took 2 very short rides (under 5 miles) with Loke on August 5th and 7th. Being that short, they were simple River Loops. Then for reasons I can’t recall, didn’t ride again until August 13th and then only a slightly longer River Loop of 5.3 miles.

It was my birthday on the 14th. Jens and I went to Stockholm to have Peking duck at the same restaurant as the year before. A huge risk in a way. The food had been excellent that first time, but to say the service was abysmal would be an understatement. There was another restaurant in the city that serves Peking duck, but I decided a known good duck over an uncertain one was the way to go.

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

The gamble paid off! This time, not only was the duck amazingly good, so was the service! A wonderfully satisfying birthday feast.

Jens also ordered my chosen birthday gift. A goodie for the trike no less! A Windwrap XT mini-fairing. It’s a small windshield that fits around the front of the pedals to break up the wind flow around the feet. Given that a brisk sub-freezing wind howling through the cleat slots of the shoes can defeat even my high end footwarmers, I’m hoping this will level that playing field. Reviews seem good and even a couple people who’s opinion I trust have given promising endorsements.

There was also some sad news on the day. The woman who owns the kennel where Loke was born sent birthday greetings from her and the rest of the pack. I told her to give them all hugs and smoochies for me, especially Loke’s sire. Turns out he had passed on a couple months before, back in June.

The 15th and 16th… no clue what I did. Riding didn’t seem to be part of either day.

The 17th was a nightmare. I felt okay when I woke. Sat down at the computer and was working on a blog post actually. Abruptly, I realized the left side of my face felt odd and I could feel my pulse hammering all through my skull. I checked my blood pressure to find it was through the roof.

I had Jens take me to the ER. Less than 5 minutes of walking through the door the circus began. Neurological tests naturally, then out came the needles. I don’t know how many times I was stabbed. I lost count, but at least it was only a single nurse and not 3 or more. She even tried my upper arms and in my shoulders with no luck. Finally after over an hour, she tried the left foot. 5 seconds, catheter in and done. Hurt like hell.

Jens came back with my iPad and sat with me for a bit before I told him he didn’t have to wait with me. I don’t know why, but for some reason, part of me just wants to deal with it alone. Seems silly to have someone sitting there staring off into space and waiting, waiting, waiting.

Finally, I was told they weren’t going to pull the ‘stroke alarm’. The weirdness in my face came and went, but never particularly bad. I had CT scan, fun, fun.

The next 5 hours had a nurse coming in every hour to check blood pressure, neurological response, temperature and pulse. The pulse really drove them crazy as finding it was a special challenge.

By that time, I was in shared room. My roommate was a man, a little older than me, Ray, I think his name was. His English was pretty good as he’d worked in other countries with the UN offering health care to UN workers. Really nice guy who was incredibly apologetic when he got loudly sick. He appreciated it when I told him, ‘Well, you wouldn’t be in here otherwise’ and added it was no problem.

After the 5 hours of hourly checks… nothing. I chaffed at it. The bed was just killing me. I couldn’t find a good position to sleep, I was soooo hungry but they wouldn’t let me eat. I was bored, stressed and scared. Jens assured me there was a reason I was there. They wouldn’t have had me taking up a bed for nothing. Honestly, I think that’s exactly what was happening. The only reason I still took up space there was simply waiting around for a specific doctor to get to me. All the tests had been run and another doctor had been there to tell me much of the results were normal. No change in the CT scan from the last one back in November.

But other than that, no one ever looked in on me. No more pressure checks or tests. Just hours and hours of twiddling my thumbs, painful sleep and boredom from 5 pm August 17th to about noon August 18th. I could have keeled over and no one would have been discovered it until ages later. Except maybe Ray, but he was out of the room most of the time.

Finally about noon, the doctor who specializes in strokes and such came in. I can’t remember her name, we recognized each other from back in November. She’s hard to miss, a cheerful woman, shorter than I am, of Asian origin. The verdict was blood clots in the brain. Not much they could do about it, but they really wanted me to get my cholesterol down. They were going to put me on medication for that.

I’ll admit, with Jens’ vacation, I’d gotten a bit bad about avoiding high cholesterol foods. Still avoided cheese, butter and such in our own kitchen, but we ate out a lot and of course quite a few of Dylan’s burgers. I’d been planning to clean back up after his holiday was over, but… well…

Needless to say, we canceled our anniversary dinner in spite of the fact I was out of the hospital in time for us to go.

There was a funny moment after I met with the doctor but before they released me. Perhaps it was more that I was finding humor where I could to keep my mood up. Jens called to tell me that the web shop we had ordered the mini-fairing called about a small issue. He had given them my phone number and he thought they’d call very soon.

Well, I was in the midst of getting set up for an EKG when they did call. I had a hard time not giggling at the ridiculousness of being hospitalized for something serious and getting the electrodes stuck on me while chatting about an internet order as if nothing out of the ordinary.

It seemed that the fairing I’d ordered was out of stock, but they had another version (cheaper) in stock. Would I like to change my order so get the difference refunded and receive it earlier. I declined because the difference between the two fairing options is how they are mounted. The cheaper one in stock mounts to the front derailleur post and has no quick release.

The one I’d ordered mounts to the underside of the pedal boom and with a quick twist of an allen wrench, the main frame and shield of the fairing comes right off. Nothing sticks out beyond the pedals so it won’t interfere with transport which is important.

He let me know it could be some weeks before the shipment arrives. I told him I’d wait because that quick release was important to me.

Once out of the hospital, I was in a state of high panic for a few days. Every time anything felt the least bit odd, I’d just about go into hysterics. Jens kept trying to push me out the door for rides, but that terrified me too. The idea of having a stroke at the top of a hill and injuring Loke by dragging and/or crashing because I couldn’t control the trike…

So, it’s probably a miracle I poked my nose out the door on the trike on August 23rd though for less than 4 miles of River Loop.

August 25th, I rode almost 10 miles stretched over 3 rides. I think Jens was out of town on that day so I used the trike to ‘walk’ Loke as I wasn’t feeling well enough for walking. One of those rides was to Vaksala Square for fruit though.

August 27th was a roll through Uppsala which stretched out toward Vaksala Church and back through Granby for about 11 miles.

The strangest feeling autumn is coming....

The strangest feeling autumn is coming….

Once between the 27th and September 9th, I even did an older 10 mile loop. The old Vaksala Loop which begins by headed toward Gamla Uppsala and then cutting in through Vittulsberg before rolling past Vaksala Church and Granby mall. Another loop was toward Börje, then off toward Läby Church and back to Uppsala along the 72.

By last week (first few days of September), my brakes were pretty much gone. At least the left one was. So on Monday, September 7th, I went for a ride through Uppsala, but stopped by the cycle shop.

The very nice woman from the cycle shop in downtown Uppsala who helped me replace a screw in my cycle shoe has changed jobs to work at the shop very close to us. She made the booking for me to bring the trike there on Wednesday for Bobby (the awesome mechanic) to take a look and tweak or replace.

Post-groomer. iPhone does no justice

Post-groomer. iPhone does no justice

September 7th, Loke also went to the groomer. I feel almost guilty for all those years we tormented Loke with home baths. Never quite as clean, took longer and not to mention the fact that he’d spend most of a day damp and, if it was chilly weather, shivering. Loke has no problems with her, greets her warmly (for him) and isn’t distressed about being left there.

When I come back, I get a fluffy, soft and dazzling white husky in exchange. One full of bossiness too I might add. There was another customer who was bringing his dog in for the first time. A bit hard to understand because of a stroke. When he finally left, the groomer thanked me for being so patient. Loke on the other hand, spent the entire time woofing at me, stomping his feet and even pawing at me to go. Still nice to have a white dog instead of one faintly gray.

Jens dropped Loke and I off at the garage the morning of the 9th and I did a sort of River Loop-ish kind of ride that ended at the shop right about 9 am. Lotten was getting the shop open and she held Loke while I removed the seat to make the trike easier to work.

The ride there also reminded me to email the web shop about the fairing. It was a bit on the nippy side. I had my thin wool on under my tights and top. The wind also chilled my feet slightly. If it kept up, I’d be needing that fairing soon.

The walk home was a bit of a slog. Silly me had forgotten proper walking footware so I plodded along in my cycle shoes. They’re not as bad as some, but still not fun for more than a slow stroll around church or the like.

The cycle shop texted me that evening that they were done, but I was shopping groceries on the other side of town (better fruit selection) and couldn’t get to them before closing.

Kirk, the guy who had called about the fairing when I was in the hospital also emailed a reply to my query. They had just gotten the shipment from the US and spent the entire day unpacking it. The fairings were in and mine should be going out that very day.

So, that brings us to yesterday, September 10th. I decided to get a few more miles in than just a River Loop. I was going to try buying Loke’s dog food at the vet clinic and riding home with it in the trailer.

Jens worked from home so he dropped me off at the shop without Loke. Lotten told me that the pads had still been in good shape, so the brakes only needed a bit of tweaking to be good as new. The charge was 150 kr, which is quite cheap. While chatting with her about the coming winter, I told her I needed to find some cable oilers for Bobby to install so I could blast out the ice when the cables froze. “We have those!” she said. She went and poked around a bit, saying she had seen them but couldn’t remember where, but they did have them. I was thrilled to hear that. Definitely the next time the trike goes in, it will be getting a set of them!

I was very lucky last winter and didn’t seem to have any issues with the gears getting frozen, but I don’t want to count on that again. The first winter was annoying, trying to ride with only the front chain rings for gear changes.

I put the seat back on and settled in to ride to the garage for the trailer. The first few turns of pedal found my left hip uncomfortable. I paused for a moment and pondered whether I should just ride directly home to get Loke for a very short River Loop.

Instead, I decided to try riding to the garage on a bit longer route to see if my hip would ease up. It happens sometimes.

I didn’t hurry, but simple eased along toward the grave mounds, trying to enjoy the day. The hip did let up some and felt mostly okay as I zipped along the grave trail along the mounds and fields there. Unless it’s turned mushy by lots of rain, it’s a fast track.

Going that way lets me see the progress of the train tunnel too. They’ve covered over a portion of it though there’s still a gaping pit to either side.

There’s another project in the area of the grave mounds I was curious to get a visual update on. I think I mentioned months ago that it appeared they might have been prepping some of the ground between the mounds and the highway for construction. I worried a bit that they might take the awesome foot/bike path and convert into a road, cluttering the area with houses and businesses.

That's a lot of clay...

That’s a lot of clay…

Well, Jens found out exactly what’s going on. Decades ago, the natural clay layer of the area was stripped away for some reason. Well, all the digging and piles of earth, which happen to be clay, are to restore the original strata of the ground as much as possible. The path through there used to be slightly higher than fields. Now, the reverse is almost true which is unlikely to change as they will still have to replace the topsoil when they’re done.

While I view it as a noble endeavor to restore what was destroyed, I have to wonder… where are they getting the clay from?

Still the ride let me test my hip a bit as well as check up on those two projects.

The day had started off at about 38 F or maybe 40 F, but by the time I was back home with the trike and trailer to pick up Loke, it was nearly 60 F. I took some time to strip off my thermal layers. I warned Jens that I wasn’t sure how long a ride was going to be. If I decided my hip wasn’t up to it, then I’d cut it short. Or maybe I’d do the planned loop, but skip getting the 8 kg (17.6 lb) bag of dog food.

The ride didn’t go too bad. Loke was thrilled to be running even if just over ho-hum ground. My hip didn’t feel too bad at all. We wove our way through Uppsala to the vet clinic on the south-eastern edge of town.

Perhaps a mistake, but I was gonna try!

Perhaps a mistake, but I was gonna try!

Though part of me felt crazy for attempting it, I went ahead and bought the dog food and carried it down. As I flopped it into the trailer and set about securing it, I pondered whether to take the chicken’s route back the way I’d come for 8-9 miles or take the longer, but visually nicer loop I’d used when coming to the shop to look for Loke’s rabbit ear treats.

I gave myself a pep-talk, essentially along the lines of, ‘You can do this! Surely the watermelon and other fruit you’ve dragged around weighed almost this much!’

As we headed across the parking lot to a cycle path, a whisper of doubt crept in. There was quite a difference in the feel of the trike, but I pushed on. If I needed to lighten the load, Jens could come get the food at the very least.

I took the paths along the busy roads, heading initially toward Nåntuna before cutting in toward the heart of Uppsala. Loke was fairly bored with that stretch, until I made the turn down the road which ends at the old bridge. Then he perked up. We rolled along the gravel path beside the river and soon joined up with our usual stretch through downtown Uppsala. I made a point to stop by the American food store in the new location too.

I got a bit of a treat on the way between the American food store and home. I was coming through an intersection at the same time the gorgeous Rolls Royce rolled through. Oh, there was a Lamborghini behind it too, but I much preferred the Rolls.

We arrived back home with right about 11 miles. I parked at the apartment to drop off the dog food, but wound up relaxing for a few hours while Jens was wrapped up with phone calls. Loke was still pretty perky.

For the final stretch of the day, I extended it a bit to be Loke’s last ‘longish’ walk of the evening. As we rolled down toward the Frisbee golf course, I saw a guy on a bike with a quite large and very enthusiastic furball. Quite beautiful furball actually and I thought, perhaps slightly familiar. They were in front of us when the dog suddenly laid down, nearly yanking the guy clean off his wheels. He really wanted to come meet us.

Loke of course, went nuts so I slowed down to ask if it was a husky. The guy replied he was a 10 month old husky/Malamute cross. That made me almost certain, so I asked the dog’s name. Charlie.

World, meet Charlie. Such a gorgeous sweetie!

Charlie at 6 months of age

I gave a delighted laugh at that. I told the guy I’d met Charlie before, in the city forest back when he was just 6 months (and 70 lbs at least). His coloring looked a little lighter than I remembered, but he was still the same huge, lovable monster. I asked how much he weighed now. Right about 100 lbs and still with some growing to do. The guy remarked that he’d been told Charlie could get as much as another 20 lbs before he’s done.

Charlie got right up in my face to give me smoochies. By the feel of his coat, I could tell he’d recently been to a groomer. Hehe.

Loke of course, chose that moment to be a complete donkey’s butt. They got into a bit of a wrestling match, each trying to get around to mount the other in a dominance display. At least there was no growling or aggression of that sort.

We pulled them apart and the guy laughingly said he’d go the other way if I’d move on. Charlie clearly wasn’t going to move until we were out of sight. As it was, the goofy monster again nearly yanked his owner off the bike.

I have to say, I was delighted to see Charlie with someone clearly able to keep up with his exercise needs. I wondered if that meant he’d changed owners or perhaps the couple I’d first met him with were related to the 20-something year old guy who was with him that time.

It was really great to see him again. Such a beautiful and sweet dog.

I got the trike and trailer put away and Jens got me back home. I have to say, I felt pretty damn good about the day. I’d ridden almost 20 miles, 14 of it dragging extra weight of the trailer and 7-ish miles of that with a big bag of dog food. I hardly felt like I’d done that much.

Any day one discovers they are significantly stronger than previous believed is a very good day. The fact the temps had been 65-72 F during the ride, mostly sunny and with very little wind was just gravy!

And can you believe it!? With this post I’m caught up to current events… for now.



Mälarsdalsleden – Leg 2
September 11, 2015, 6:59 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Leg 2? Really? Was that only the 2nd time I’d ridden it? Swear it felt like the third.

After Loke’s 6.5-ish mile post-recovery jaunt, things got a bit complicated. I wanted to do another portion of the Mälardalsleden, but Jens wanted Loke to get a decent amount of exercise. More than what could be had from walkies. We decided on something of a compromise. Jens would drop me off at where I’d ended last time before heading into Stockholm to look around at stuff and maybe have lunch. Then he’d come get Loke to return home while I rode on for a bit longer.

It admittedly turned into a bit of a fiasco, with the starting point being too far from actual Stockholm for Jens’ liking. He still decided to make it work.

Yttergran's Church

Yttergran’s Church

The starting point, as I said, was where I’d ended last time. Yttergran Church. Jens was warily eyeing the busy road as I set up. When he finally commented on it, I assured him there was a cycle path almost the entire 1 mile portion of the road before turning off into a much quieter area.

Whatta day for a ride!

Whatta day for a ride!

It was a pretty day, warm without being hot, the blue sky filled with puffy clouds with no threat of rain to be seen. Loke was ecstatic to be out and away from Uppsala for a change. A good day to be out for a longer ride.

Of the first 3-4 miles, that first one was the most peaceful and interesting. The cycle path was set off the main road and screened by trees and such. Hardly saw the road at all. On the other side of the E18, Loke and I continued south-east through a mostly residential area. Thankfully, it was a cycle path that kind ran along between the backyards of houses lining two separate streets. It was mostly green, free of car traffic. Not fascinating, but not horrible either.

Random Memorial Stone

Random Memorial Stone

Loke and I both were relieved when the route cut sharply north, under the E18 and into the countryside beyond. He went with a higher tail and head while jogging along, nose working overtime to catch all the scents in the wind.

Much to my relief, Loke was moving just fine. Frustrated with my restrictions actually, but better that than re-injury. Never mind his odd, mystery injuries only seem to show up hours after any kind of activity. Gotta love dogs that are so into what they’re doing they refuse to give even a hint of discomfort until it’s over with.

A couple hours after we started, Jens called to say he was done in Uppsala. Where should he go to pick Loke up? I told him I’d call him back and find a spot I could swerve off the road to look at my maps. As I did that, a taxi pulled into the same area just in front of me. The driver got out, curious about the trike and Loke. We chatted a bit before he got back in the car. He didn’t leave, just sat there. I think it was break time or something.

I called Jens back and told him the name of a riding school just a short distance ahead of the fuzzy and I. We pushed on. I parked next to the barn beside the main road. Loke didn’t seem thrilled with the idea that his portion of the ride was over.

I don’t like to admit it, but it felt a bit nice to be on my own for a while. Able to shake loose of the constant vigilance about Loke’s pace and stride, worrying if pushing for 8 or so miles was too much too soon, etc…

I love Loke’s company, but when I feel worried about him as much as I do at times, it’s nice to have a chance to just ride without that tension.

The two miles between the riding school and the first ‘fresh’ church of the day went fast. I zipped down the gentle hills at speeds approaching 20 mph and had a few sections where I cruised along at about 10 mph. Over all though, my average speed wasn’t significantly faster thanks to the climbs.

Håbo-Tibble Church

Håbo-Tibble Church

I rolled to a stop at Håbo-Tibble Church. Doing the usual break to walk around for a runestone hunt though I’m generally pretty aware of their presence thanks to my ‘pre-ride research’.

There wasn’t much memorable between Håbo-Tibble Church and Västra Ryds Church. Sunshine, fields, trees and scatterings of houses and occasional farmsteads. I didn’t even really take any photos over the 5 miles from one to the next which tends to be an indication of how unmemorable it was.

Västra Ryds Church

Västra Ryds Church

I rolled to a stop outside of Västra Ryds Church. It’s a pretty little building. I parked and walked up to see if it was open, but no luck.

Uppland Runestone #608

Uppland Runestone #608

As I tried to find a good angle to photo the church, a man came walking by. He stopped to curiously look the trike over. Then he looked over at me, clearly wanting to ask about it. I accommodated of course. He asked about the brakes and gears. He was completely enchanted by the method I’d used to carry water that day. It was in the truck bag atop my luggage rack. He especially liked that I rode with a husky most of the time and said he would have liked to see that.

After about 15 minutes, he wished me a good ride and went on.

I lingered only long enough to collect the runestone by the churchyard wall before rolling away.

Random old house

Random old house

I continued to follow the signs for the Mälardalsleden. I rolled through pretty countryside and even took a few pictures along the way.

The first leg of the Mälardalsleden I’d done had thrown me a rather harsh stretch involving a gate, a too narrow path, an old rail bridge, 300 yards of loose baseball sized rocks, and boulders set too close together to roll through. I can’t remember the last time I’d had to manhandle my trike around so much or take so long to roll a measly 300 yards. Even Loke had trouble walking on that mess which he did on the flexi-leash so he’d have more choice about where his feet went.

Mälardalsleden... riiiiight...

Mälardalsleden… riiiiight…

I think Leg 2 was trying to lull me into a false sense of security. It almost accomplished it. Then the signs and my maps told me that the trail moved off the road and through some trees. I saw what looked to be a foot path and passed it because I didn’t want to believe that it was the actual route. I stopped, looked more closely at various maps, rolled back to the sign, but yep. It was the route.

After a closer look at my Garmin, I decided to try another way onto it about 100 yards down in hopes it was better. Not really. Good thing Loke wasn’t with me though. He’d have been bounding through weeds taller than his back for a while.

A two wheeled bike would have managed better, but even then feet and legs would have been getting whipped by weeds. For me, my rear wheel was fine, but the two front were well off the trail and I had to work quite hard to roll them through the lush growth. I shuddered every few seconds at the thought of ticks as the plants whipped and brushed over my arms and lower legs.

I actually did find a tick on me. It was perched on my upper arm, waving its little forelegs around in search of more blood rich territory. I flicked it away and spent the rest of the ride looking over every part of myself I could see and flipping my hair in hopes of dislodging those I couldn’t. Remarkably, that was the only one.

Much, MUCH better!

Much, MUCH better!

Tick-creepy and annoying as it was, it didn’t last long. On the other side of a road boom, it opened up into a lovely, wide trail of well packed gravel.

Along that nice section of trail, I came upon a frail, older man walking his dog. The plump, elderly Golden Retriever saw me and did his best to get excited. It seemed he really wanted to plod along with me for a while. That, or smother me with kisses. At least he didn’t seem aggressive. I had enough of that on the 3rd day during the Kattegattleden tour.

It was coming up on 5 pm when I rolled into an area called Kungsängen (The King’s Bed). It appears my brain must have been a bit scrambled by this time. Maybe because of my paranoia that ticks might still be creeping around on me.

I say this because it seems I rolled right by Kungsängen Church without even the least little photo. I didn’t even remember it being there. It was only the photos of the vicarage that made me realize there must have been a church. Quick look at Google World View and yep, there it is.

Cottages at Kungsängen Vicarage

Cottages at Kungsängen Vicarage

So for whatever reason, I didn’t photograph the church, but I did stop at the vicarage to look around the buildings there. Some of them were rescued from collapse at other locations. Though it is an open air museum, it was closed at the time. Photos taken, I moved on.

Just beyond the vicarage, the route took me up a somewhat steep and quite long climb. On the sidewalk opposite me, a woman strode along at a brisk pace with a pair of Nordic trekking poles. Between my slow climb and her quick stride, we kept an even pace together and had time to chat as we made our way. It turns out a friend of hers has a recumbent trike as well. We also talked about dogs and she was tickled to know I often rode with my husky running with. What other topics came up, I can’t recall. Then I was at the crest of the hill and sped on.

I don’t remember much of the ride after that and there are no more photos. I was pushing toward a manor house. That much I recall. The path did follow along the water, but must have been just tedious residential or commercial territory for it to be so unmemorable and not worth taking pictures.

About the time I decided to stop, it must have been nearly 6 pm. I’d planned to stop at the manor for Jens to pick me up. Though it’s serves as a conference venue, the signs indicated a private road. If I’d felt a bit stronger, I would have ridden down there and come back to the more public section of the street, but it would have meant slogging up a graveled hill. So, I settled with parking in an out of the way spot and waiting.

There was also a runestone in the area, but try as I could, it eluded me.

It had been a long ride, but felt fruitful. Loke apparently had loads of energy after his 8-ish miles. Better that then hurting him though.

That was my last ‘long’ ride for the moment. Something I hope to correct this weekend. I have been riding, but just local little jaunts.



Post Tour
September 10, 2015, 5:46 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

The drive home on Friday, July 23rd was remarkably easy. Jens insisted on driving the whole way back in spite of having driven all the way from Uppsala to the west coast of Sweden that morning.

It felt good to be home, but also a sad to have left behind the first successful tour in years and the longest I’d ever accomplished to boot.

Pretty sure Jens was glad to have me home to help with a crazed, bored husky who’d no outlet for his energy for 1 week and 5 days, 5 of those without me around to help keep him in control. The furball had made things a bit difficult for Jens who found it nearly impossible to leave the apartment without him whining or threatening to howl. Just to be able to go mountain biking or do more than a quick errand, the hubby had to leave Loke with his parents.

Friday and Saturday I used as recovery days though I probably didn’t need them. It still felt good to have them. It worked out perfectly as Saturday, July 25th was the last day of the 2 weeks of strict ‘no running’ rest. Well, as strict as we could make it with him lunging back and forth at the end of his leash. Sunday, July 26th, out we went for Loke’s first run after his enforced rest.

Weekends are hard to find parking in the area of the storage so Jens dropped us off. Generally, my cycle shoes come home with me, but after having ended the last ride just before a 6 hour drive back to Uppsala, they had ended up in the storage with the trike. I readied the trike and sat down on a handy spot to put the shoes on before pushing up the ramp.

Someone's ready to go.

Someone’s ready to go.

I looked up to find this image. Slooooowwwwly and quietly, I pulled out my iPhone to catch the moment. As I lowered it, I suddenly found myself teary-eyed. On one hand, the funny part that made me smile, him eager and ready to move with his favorite toy even if he wasn’t yet clipped to it.

On the other, a sad glimpse of what will come. A day when Loke won’t ever again be clipped to the trike but always there beside me in spirit with the all the wealth of memories a dog’s life and recumbent trike can offer. Because of that, this photo chokes me up.

But, Loke was raring to go. Admittedly, he didn’t really get to run on the very short ride I allowed him. A brisk jog at best and only for 2.99 miles. I was determined to ease him back into the swing of things. Even so, that evening he was the most relaxed he’d been in almost 2 weeks.

July 28th, another short outing with him for a whopping 4 miles. He wasn’t very peaceful after that one. If anything, he was even more wired than he’d been before the ride.

July 30th, I did a solo toodle. I can’t remember what Loke did that day though maybe he got a short run with me before the longer solo ride. That seems most likely though there’s no record of such from my Garmin.

My goal for the ride was to head for the shop which specializes in working dogs (sled, guard, hunting). They sometimes have a brand of dog treats that makes chews by turning rabbit ears into something like rawhide. It’s hard to find goodies for Loke that don’t have something he can’t have in them, so when we discover something, we take what we can. Pity he doesn’t like the moose-hide chews as much.

The first part of the ride is one of my normal ‘through Uppsala’ loops. In the area where my in-laws used to live, I cut over to the south side of the road to head off that way. In no time, I was at the shop. Sadly, they were out.

Yep, that's rain!

Yep, that’s rain!

Rather than double back, I decided to make a loop of it through an area around Uppsala called Nåntuna. It’s a pretty area to ride on a little country style paved road that run parallel with the river. A mile or two after I started that way, I hesitated because rain loomed on the horizon in that direction.

Other directions I could have taken back home were uncomfortable from a traffic standpoint being narrow, but busy city roads of Uppsala. I could have doubled back, but it’s a toss-up which I would hate more. Going immediately back the way I came or dodging traffic through the city.

I pushed on.

The roads along the way to Nåntuna are quite large and fairly busy, but they all have good paths set a few yards to one side. Well paved so good rolling to zip along over most flat ground. As I sped along on humming wheels, my mind wandered a little. On the opposite side of the river, there’s a long foot/bike path that runs for a good length of it. It’s the same one I take when I pass through the hospital area and head home through Uppsala centrum.

Pasture and barn

Pasture and barn

But there is also another one on the opposite side. I didn’t know exactly how the surface is or how extensive it might run, but I decided to look. After a pause to look at the map on my Garmin, I thought I saw a way to get there. It involved turning down what looked like a deadend road past a bit of light industrial.

The road was a bit confusing for all that it ran straight as an arrow. It was huge. Wide enough for almost 4 cars, solid pavement. After the first 200 yards or so, it was nothing but fields and pasture.

At the end of the road, it was an ‘Ohhhh’ moment. It halted at the roots of a bridge across the river. If I had to guess, it was probably the main way over the water for this end of the city before the much larger drawbridge was built. That explained the big road seemingly designed to take a lot of traffic.

I already had known about the old bridge with the middle missing because I’ve passed it from the other side. There’s no sign of the old road on that end though. It’s been completely torn up and left to grow over with trees and grass.

There were signs for one of the many Linné’s Trails in the area.

Carl von Linné is something of a Swedish national hero. It was he who developed the method of categorizing all living things by Latin designations. Though born in the southern part of Sweden, he attended university at Uppsala and also taught botany there. He traveled around Sweden extensively to classify plants and animals by pretty much the same method used today. At the time of his death he was one of the most acclaimed scientists of his time.

Along the river

Along the river

Because of his status here in Sweden there are trails all over the area around Uppland called Linné Trails where this famous personage rambled in his quest to catalog every species he could lay hands on. Every now and again, one will pop-up in some of the other counties too. There was probably one around Ängelholm where they’ve preserved the cottage where he stayed when he was in that region.

Any-hoo, the trail ran right along the Fyris River. To the south east, it was little more ran a rut of a foot path through a wall of hip-high weeds, muddy and not very fun for the trike. The opposite direction was graveled, smoother and wider so much more appealing. Best of all, it was back toward town so just the way I wanted to go.

It was peaceful and quiet. The trail surface was a bit soft, but nothing that really bogged me down. The views across the water were pretty and flowers plentiful. There were information boards along the way listing plants and other info about Linné’s finds in the area.

It wasn’t a very long stretch. Less than a mile from the dismantled portions of the old bridge to pass under the ‘new’ bridge. Beyond it was a paved road with the river on one side and dry parking for countless boats on the other. Not a very pretty view to right of the trail. Boat after boat raised up on frames, many covered in shrink wrap to wait for when they are needed.

Some of the older buildings in Uppsala

Some of the older buildings in Uppsala

Then it was into the heart of Uppsala proper.

The rest of the ride was my usual toodle through the downtown portion of the city, but with wide, decently marked cycle lanes so it doesn’t feel like such a challenge. I rolled to a stop back at the garage with 12.5 miles under the wheels, plus the 3 to 5 miles I did with Loke. I found a photo of a portion of the River Loop dated the same day so I know it did it. Not sure why it wasn’t caught by the Garmin though.

Saturday, August 1st was an extended River Loop with Loke in the spirit of slowly building up his distance again. Warily watching for signs of aggravating his last injury of course. We did a smidge under 6.5 miles. The short runs were driving him bonkers. Not to mention that I wouldn’t let him do more than a jog. Poor fuzzy.

Though I’m still woefully behind, I’ll leave this post at this. The following ride was another leg of the Mälardalsleden. Fresh ground tends to run much longer than trying to come up with things to talk about while running ‘the hamster tracks’.