Terii’s Cycling Babble


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’.

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