Terii’s Cycling Babble


Not So Much
March 18, 2016, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

The impetus of my rides stumbled a bit. I started to put my energy back into the mindset of ‘I am a cyclist’ even to the point of drafting up a tidy schedule and making a goal of a minimum of 15 rides for March.

I should have known better.

I took two scheduled days of rest after the nice 17+ mile ride from Björklinge to home.

On March 8th, I had Jens drop Loke and I off at the storage where I did a short ride back to the apartment, a River Loop a bit later, and finally, back to the storage once the hubby was back from work. About 9 miles for the day.

The last 2.3 miles were done in the dark which was perfect for another test of the lights. They are quite good actually. The front beam reflected cleanly off signs over 100 yards away which is a decent indication that traffic can see the lights from even further away. All that is left is a test of weather proofing, but I’m quite content to wait on that one. Rain isn’t my favorite riding weather.

I had a ride scheduled for March 9th, but my body betrayed me. Just threw a huge honking wrench in the works of my plans. I came down so sick that for days it was all I could do just to walk from bed to the couch and, then when night rolled around again, back to the bed. Riding was out of the question.

March 13, I didn’t feel as profoundly horrible physically. Mentally, I was about to climb the walls. I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll do so again – there is only so much vegetating with Netflix I can endure. Still pretty sick, I yet found myself stumbling around the apartment to pull on cycle clothes and the shoes. I didn’t really want to go for a ride and yet it seemed impossible to stop.

Loke was pretty indifferent. I guess the hamster-tracking is really getting on his nerves.

Once I was in the trike’s seat, I didn’t feel quite so bad. My energy levels weren’t precisely humming, but the muscles felt strong and the pedals turned without me feeling like utter death. Loke was downright sluggish which meant I didn’t have to feel guilty for not burning up the asphalt.

Like most days since the Björklinge ride, it was well above freezing. The snow was vanishing fast and very little ice lingered in the river as we plodded around the River Loop. Given my circumstances, we managed a surprisingly brisk 5.75 miles.

I felt even better on the 14th and considered a ride. Another wrench in the works reared its head once I woke. Loke was tottering around like an infirm elder. He moved slow as if wracked with pain in muscles and joints. When he walked on any hard surface, he limped as if his right shoulder hurt.

I started getting ready to ride, but Jens began pushing me to take the fuzzy with me. Rather than argue with the hubby, I just didn’t ride. Wasn’t like I was up to running marathons either. Instead, I hobbled around the block with a very sore husky.

I have no idea what triggered it. He did the 17+ miles the week before without effort. 5.75 miles is nothing. He should have been bouncing off the walls after that little bit, not wanting to just lay flat on the floor and move as little as possible.

With Jens working from home so much lately and saying, ‘TAKE LOKE!’ if I so much as thought of going for a ride, I pretty much just gave up on riding for a bit. Wanted Loke to have some time to recover from his mystery soreness but not end up being the bad guy with my husband. So, even when Jens brought up me taking Loke for at least a short little walk, I just said I didn’t feel well enough to ride.

Tulips and/or daffodils!

Tulips and/or daffodils!

Pity, because spring was here in full force. The days had been mostly sunny and in the 40’s. The snow is all but gone. I would have loved to go out for a pleasant, not-stressing-about-my-potentially-injured-husky, solo ride. Just felt like I was being cornered by my husband when it came to the trike and Loke. While I rarely go for rides without the fuzzy, he isn’t inseparable from me and the trike. Especially when I’d rather not cripple him.

I would have ridden March 16th, but a dental appointment right in the middle of the day just left me feeling frustrated and stressed. I didn’t get home until almost 3 pm. By the time I would have dressed to ride and got to the storage, almost 4 pm. Then I would have been starving and trying to hurry through the ride with a slow, bored husky so I could dash home and and cook dinner in a rush. Rush, rush, rush. Stress, stress, stress…

Perfect to make one dread something that’s supposed to be enjoyable.

St. Patrick’s Day dawned almost as pretty as the 16th, though a bit cooler. It was 32 F when I woke with an aching hip and knee. I gulped down a couple of Alvedon (Sweden’s version of Aleve), still determined to ride.

By the time I had Jens drive us to the storage, it was almost 40 F.

After he left us so I could ride the trike from storage to apartment, Jens decided to work from home instead of heading to the office. As soon as I came in with the half mile between storage and apartment extended to a generous 3.5 miles or so, the hubby’s first words were, ‘Aren’t  you taking Loke for a longer run?’

I’m rather proud of myself about not sounding snarky when I told him I wanted to wait until it warmed up. It was supposed to be nearly 50 F and I rather liked the idea of being able to head out in lighter weight thermals or even no thermals. More importantly, being able to put away the footwarmers. I might love riding in snowy conditions, but since there is no snow I’m to the point I loathe fiddling with those batteries. Not to mention, the inserts are a little thicker than the standard insoles. My feet appreciate having that millimeter or so extra space between the sole and upper.

Jens did the ‘When are you going?’ question about a dozen times before I grumpily went out the door about noon-ish. Really feels like he’s constantly poking me with a stick of late, particularly when it comes to me riding with Loke.

Things pretty much stayed annoying. I would say Loke was ‘sluggish’, but even slugs would have laughed at us as they raced by. Seriously, slow. For about a mile on a flat, we did a walking pace. My walking pace, which is in a whole new category of pokey since the stroke.

I tried to encourage and pester him into going faster, but he was having none of it. Neither was I. I turned us right around and left him at the apartment with Jens. 1.8 miles.

Then I went back out. The only positive thing was being a little faster, but not much. My hip still pained me as did my knee. I felt weak and slow. All of it changed my mind about not going out into the countryside. There was still an errand for me to do though.

Winter's last holdout.

Winter’s last holdout.

One of the reasons I’d decided to bring the trike home for the day was because there was a cycle repair/maintenance class for women at the cycle shop that evening. So, I’d planned to go for 10+ mile ride with Loke once the sun was up and the day was warmer. When time for the class rolled around, I was going to ride to the cycle shop for the class.

My hip and knee acting up nixed that. I just couldn’t see sitting on a concrete floor to hunch over gears or brakes or tires. Pedaling was challenge enough. I stopped by to let Lotten know though. Poor woman was running around madly. Spring means everyone in the city rushes to the cycle shops to get their bikes tuned up and ready to roll for the warmer weather. She thanked me for letting her know I was cancelling and scrambled on.

I called Jens to ask he pick me up at the storage, but he was in the midst of a phone conference. So, off to back home I went with a measly 3.8 miles.

Bright light! Bright light!

Bright light! Bright light!

It was about 7 pm when I went back out to the trike to roll it to the storage. There was still a blush of light in the western portion of sky, silhouetting the clouds beautifully. I put on my new lights, turned them on with the phone app and beamed (haha) at their brightness.

Loke came with me, course. I figured if he was going to be a complete slug, I could just go the most direct route there.

He caught me by surprise. The furry powerhouse from December and January reappeared. His legs were a brisk blur as the jogged along at a clip to make a prize sulky racehorse proud. We made it back to the storage in good time with 1.39 miles.

Maybe the fact it had gotten dark was enough of a change to the scenery that he was interested enough to move.

I also felt great. My hip decided not to hurt. The weariness in the muscles that made me feel so slow on the solo jaunt was replaced with strength and vigor. If I’d had that when I left Loke at home, I would have dashed off on my old Börje Loop which is about 18 miles.

4 rides for St. Patrick’s Day with a total of 10.44 miles. Pretty sad really.

For tomorrow, March 19th, the plan is tentatively set for me to do another leg of the Mälardalsleden. The weather may put me off and I’ll do a local ride instead, but it is at least planned.

Fingers crossed!

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