Terii’s Cycling Babble

Really?! That’s all?!
July 30, 2016, 4:27 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

With July wrapping up, I just looked into what I need for August compared to last year. August 2015 only had a total mileage of 65.95 miles. Seriously.

Of course, then I thought about it and it does kinda make sense for at least part of it. I started pretty good, riding roughly every other day for the first week. Then the second week, I only rode once. I have absolutely no recollection of what was going on at that time to explain why it just stopped.

The third week makes a little more sense. The 14th was my birthday and the morning of the 15th, I rushed off to the hospital because my face was feeling weird. Three days in the lower pit of hell that is a hospital stay, so clearly no riding then. That to be followed by paranoia about having a stroke or the like while out on a ride. Especially on a ride with Loke. The images of becoming suddenly incapacitated while crossing a busy intersection or at the top of a hill and dragging him to death.

That of course, took a few days to get over. I only rode 7 days of the entire month.

You know, with six months of 2015 having not even breaking out of the double digits, it’s amazing that I came so close to setting my best ever year total for mileage. January had just 18.33 miles. February, 56.14 miles. March, 58.84 miles. May, 85.02 miles. August 65.95 miles. Finally December with 95.55 miles. Just boggles me that the 140-ish mile average of the other 6 months was enough to be so close.

September 2015 was the highest mile month with 148 miles.

It also begs the question of how on EARTH did I not get more total miles in the years when 30 mile rides were a breeze? At times my health or Loke’s stopped me for a week or two, but that shouldn’t have had a 1000 mile impact. A few times there were things with the trike that took weeks to settle. Winters must be given their due. 6 years where all riding stopped once more than an inch of snow came down until the paths and roads were cleared by spring thaw until I replaced the Trice with my Sprint. But still! How did I not managed to do like 240 miles a month in warm weather and break 2000 miles for a year at least once?

Even looking back over my blog offers no adequate answers.

Okay. Enough of my ranting.

I have done a few hamster tracks since the Jumkil ride. 4+ miles here. 9+ miles there. For 2 of them, I’ve even dragged the trailer.

In the midst of the hamster tracks, Loke had another trip to the vet. The previous trip, she’d still been concerned about the hint of potential skin infection in the fuzzy’s paws. So, one of my tasks has been washing his feet with a medicated shampoo. I was to be doing it every other day and I did.

So, one morning, I was washing his paws only to find this angry red lump on the top of his foot. A bit less than half an inch across and swollen up about a quarter of an inch. The fur on his foot had hidden it until wetted and lathered. It hadn’t been there during the previous wash. I was sure of that. No clue what or why. It didn’t seem to bother him. No limping and he offered no additional trouble to getting that paw washed. I still immediately called the vet to schedule the earliest appointment possible. They had a time for the next day.

About 2 hours after I booked it, I had my answer as to what the lump was in a fashion. An abscess. I found this out because it burst. Nothing horribly dramatic like the ruptured tumor last year, but still icky. Had to insist that Loke sit still while I cleaned it as much as I could.

Naturally, by the time we went to the vet the next morning, it looked much better. Loke really didn’t like getting his foot shaved so the vet could get a good look to be certain there was nothing left in the wound. She’d clipped the hair and let go of the paw to put the razor away. When she reached for the paw again, Loke gave her hand such a look. An ‘Oh HELL no!’ glance as he yanked the foot away. Doesn’t come across as funny in text, but it was hilarious in reality. The vet and I both burst into laughter. Loke was not amused.

So, the foot washings have gone from once every 2 days to twice a day. At least Loke doesn’t have to sit in the bathroom for the 15 minutes or so to let the shampoo work. The vet actually suggested lathering his feet up and then walking him before rinsing. So, it’s what we’ve been doing.

One of my rides earlier in the week was to go get fruit. It’s been ages since I’ve had some of that tasty watermelon and cherries from Vaksala Square and the summer isn’t getting any younger. Soon, it will be gone. Just got so caught up in planning the trip up north and then taking the long rides into the countryside that fruit fetching slid by.

Morning of the 28th, Jens kept trying to encourage me to take another long ride where Loke would come for a bit and then I’d go on solo. In response to his persistent suggestion, I responded with “Fruuuuuuiiiitttt,” in zombie like fashion.

About 9 am, trailer hitched and loaded with about 28 liters of water, off Loke and I went.

It warmed quicker than anticipated, but carrying extra drinking water has become an ingrained habit. The toodle through town was fairly uneventful until we came near the square. As I came into sight of the hideous concert hall that sits on the edge of Vaksala square, all I could see was some kind of fencing that had screening up. There were metallic bangs and clangs around the shape of a structure made from pipes and tarp-like material.

I had a bad feeling. I followed the fence line where it ran right at the edge of the cycleway that skirts the square and it stretched almost to the street before I could cut over. I passed an opening where a forklift just passed and could see the structure was a stage. Along one side of the enclosed space was a row of almost 20 port-a-potties.

My guess was right. No fruit stand. They’d pretty much enclosed the whole square for the music thing, leaving no space for the produce market. Then, to further irritated me, a crew was also working to take down the old trees at the edge of the square! I hope they didn’t take them all.

Sulking and fruit-less, I headed back home.

Those miles were all extra for the month. I was aiming for 145 miles. The failed fruit run made 155 miles.

Then I went out with Loke again yesterday. The ride was pretty much for Loke. We were scheduled to have dinner at the new apartment where one of Jens’ sisters and her husband have moved recently. M is a bit fearful of dogs. If the dog is calm and quiet, he can deal. He’ll even laugh or shake his head when Loke wanders over to put his head on M’s leg to beg for food. But the first half hour or so when Loke’s excited to be with the whole family and desperately hoping/expecting food like he used to get, he’s a bit insane. Jumps and rampages around, or repeatedly yanks my arm out of its socket.

It just seems rude to go into the home of someone who’s fearful of such behavior with Loke.

Jens didn’t have time to walk him so it fell to me to get Loke properly exercised before being left alone for several hours. Out the door we went at about 10 am.

Again, it warmed fast and much more than any of the forecasts said it would. It was supposed to be in the mid-60’s but wound up in the low 80’s and no cloud cover to speak of. Another day of very slow going and lots of water and shade breaks. I just did another Uppsala toodle.

I even combined it with a foot wash. Loke was not impressed. Jens dropped us off at the storage and the first thing I did was soak Loke’s feet in extra water I brought and lather him up. Then about 20 minutes into the ride, I had him step into a puddle and swished his feet around. That got me strange looks. I finished by pouring the last of the extra water over his paws to be sure they were rinsed.

The loop got us about 6.33 miles in a bit less than 2 hours. So, now that puts me at over 160 miles for the month. It’s official. It makes it the highest mileage month in over 5 years. Maybe longer, I quit looking after going clear back to 2011 and seeing way too many months that didn’t even have 50 miles. Years before I had stroke.

As for the dinner, it was a good meal as it always is with Jens’ family. A very Armenian meal, I might add. Jens’ sister Tina has embraced the food of her husband’s heritage and has turned into a very good hand at it.

Loke and I are going to take a bit of a trike break today as I have another things to tend to. Just as well. I have a feeling it’s going to be another of those days where the weatherman lied about how pleasant and cool it’s going to be.


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