Terii’s Cycling Babble


Upgrades!
May 20, 2016, 9:31 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

My riding has continued in spite of my infrequent posts on here. It’s just been running the Hamster Track and not much happening on the outings.

Loke’s been doing well. He’s not started the crazy sneezing though we’re using the muzzle again on local walks where people might be throwing bits of hotdog bun or the like around. No fresh outbreaks of infection.

The most significant thing with him right now is the sheer amount of shedding. Normally, after a visit to the groomer, he barely sheds until it’s time for a coat change. This last trip there, I think we slightly jumped the gun from that perspective. The furball desperately needed it though. He was grungy and starting to mat though I brushed him. All that road salt gunked in his fur from the thaw. But the weather hadn’t really broken into spring yet. So, a lot of fur came off, but with the chill temps, his coat held on to a lot of the undercoat. Less than 2 weeks later, we had that hot snap where it was almost summery and suddenly there were shed clumps of husky fur the size of whales turning up in the apartment. When Loke shakes, a cloud of white bursts into the air around him.

I brush him, huge amounts of fur come off…. and keep coming off. I could probably spend an hour brushing a spot the size of a hand on his shoulder and an endless parade of fur will just keep appearing.

The weather has been fairly mixed though mostly on the cool side. Not much rain except for one or two days. Any precipitation is good right now though. The last couple weeks of April, it rained and iced any time I so much as stuck my nose out the door in my cycle clothes. Sunny while I dressed, rain, ice or snow when I walked to the car and rode the trike.

Apparently, it was just torturing me and not really doing enough to dampen the area. Just 2 days after April 30th, when we had a bout of clear and quite warm days, we had fire warnings for all of Uppland. I thought for sure we’d had enough rain to avoid that, but seemingly not. It was just enough rain to torment me.

Round and round. Still accumulating the miles.

Yesterday was one of the longer mileage days for the month. Actually, the longest ride this May. Pretty sad really at just 12.93 miles. The rest have been under 10 miles. Just no inspiration. And it was no except for the last ride. I had absolutely no motivation to go out the door for a ride. The last few, I’ve felt rather weak and slow. No increase in strength and/or stamina even with rest days.

It was Loke that finally motivated me. After as long a walk as I could manage, breakfast, petting and even tossing a toy around, he still was a bully. So, I dragged on the clothes and pushed myself out the door. Given how I’ve felt on my rides, the water-laden trailer stayed in the garage.

The weather wasn’t too bad yesterday. Quite breezy, mostly cloudy and temperatures that bounced between 62 F to 72 F depending on whether the sun peeked out or not. The wind had a bit of a chill to it that balanced the heat of the sun.

Once we were on the way, Loke was… unenthusiastic. He wasn’t sluggish, he just wasn’t brisk. He didn’t even try to run for the first quarter mile like he usually does. Made me doubt we’d get more than 6 miles done.

My plan to head north on the extension of the cycle way beside the river was discarded when it sounded like a small war as happening at the garrison. Pops and cracks of rifles and guns of various caliber. All that was lacking to sound like a movie’s combat scene was the shriek of artillery and blast of jets. Loke doesn’t care for those kind of noises if they sound too close, so it seemed best not to get too close.

I decided to try and make up the miles by going further back into Uppsala. Perhaps go to the American food store.

It astounds every year how quickly things become green here… once it actually begins. The first part of spring is so dull and dismal. Bare limbs, dead grass, and naked fields of plowed mud. Flowers appear, but they’re kinda like diamonds in the muck for a while. Then finally, the leaves peek out of their buds on the trees after weeks and overnight, everything becomes bright greens and lush. Dense tall grass and trees crowned in verdant glory.

That’s where it is now. It brightened my mood of frustrated apathy.

Better was to come. One of the cycle ways toward downtown has a half mile or more with a 4% grade or so. It’s one that I’ve never been fond of. It slows me down and makes me work for it. Oddly, in spite of the sluggish weakness of the past rides, I cruised the trike up fairly easily. Faster as well. I felt almost buoyant finding that my strength was still improving. Also a little guilty that I’d left the trailer behind.

Loke perked up at least. We rolled along on our round-about way to downtown. As we came down the big hill past the hospital, a splash of color caught my eye. There’s a park at the riverside, in theory banned to bikes. It’s full of flower beds and fruit trees all in full bloom.

I went in, rolling slowly along and admiring the scent and sight of the flowers. Was so lovely.

From there, it was off toward the mosque. Loke was still moving well and I felt unexpectedly strong and fresh when we got there. Spontaneously, I steered north instead of taking a left through the intersection. Gamla Uppsala beckoned.

It was a nice roll through there and finished up at the storage with just shy of 13 miles. Certainly more than I’d expected when I reluctantly went out. Over 70 miles for the month and still 11 days left in the month. Pretty sure I’ll beat last May’s total of just shy of 90 miles.

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