Terii’s Cycling Babble

Sad Start to March
March 7, 2017, 6:34 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

There were a few more rides after the one last mentioned in my last post in mid-February. Just quick little half-hour jaunts per my sister-in-law’s recommendation. The last was on the 23rd or some such before things took a nose-dive. The reasons for the lack of rides are varied.

One of them is that I simply got busy. This task, that task, those errands. It felt silly to lose almost 2 hours out of the day for a measly 30 minutes of ride what with dressing in layers, readying the dog, finding parking, etc. Another hiccup was that after a few rides, the improvements in my hip during rides started to reverse. Nothing drastic as the what drove me to ask my SIL’s advice, but still discomfort. I began to wonder if I’d improve faster if I didn’t ride. So, I decided to take a few days off.

After those first 4-5 days, my hip felt much better. Hardly a twinge or ache to be felt and I reveled in it. Feeling the best there I’ve felt in months made me reluctant to risk a ride. Ironic really. I didn’t want to go to a physical therapist because I was terrified he/she’d tell me to stop riding. Yet, R told me to keep riding… and there I was, having stopped.

The weather has been terribly confused. Unable to make up its mind if it’s winter or spring. All our snow was gone at one point, except what lurked, hidden under the gravel from where the plows had shoved it into the gutters. Then, I even spotted the first hints of daffodils and tulips peeking out of the turned earth of a flower bed while walking Loke.

The very next day after seeing those, the snow came back. Inches and inches of it. I almost went riding in it when it first started to fall because it was so lovely and wasn’t so deep as to make riding harsh. I chickened out though. Then we got even more snow. Caught the city by surprise it seemed as it took forever before plowing began. Actually, it started so late, I had to wonder why they even bothered. Traffic had mostly cleared may streets, even ones as small as the one where our apartment sits.

Over the weekend, the snow stopped and the sun emerged. Gorgeous day. Breathtaking with the inches of snow and blue skies.

It wasn’t until yesterday though, March 6th, that I finally braved the trike again. It was such a glorious day. Not a cloud to be seen over Uppsala, though I discovered it was mostly cloudy in Stockholm when I drove Jens to his office. On the way back from that errand, it was easy to see more clouds lurking on the distant northern horizon on the parts of the E4 that goes through miles and miles of vast, open crop fields. Neither cloud covers even approached Uppsala. The entire day, it remained dazzling and flawless, as if the city lay beneath a bubble of perfection.

Between the beauty of the day and the fact Jens wasn’t around to take Loke for a long walk, I finally dragged myself out for a ride. First in 11 days. 11! Quite a bit more than my ‘no more than 2 full days between rides’ rule.

I was nervous as I dressed and we finally stepped out to drive to the storage. I gave the trike a quick check before rolling it up. Pressure in the tires, making sure the brakes weren’t grabbing, that sort of thing.

Loke was fairly ‘meh’ about the outing. I don’t blame him. It was a pretty day though. We crossed the park and set out on our short 30 minute toodled as a test. At first, I felt pretty good actually! Enough that I decided to add a tiny more distance with an extra loop along some other streets. I kept my pace down, watching my legs, and… my hip started to ache in spite of all my care.

It was especially noticeable on the last .5 mile or so back to the storage. No where close to the near crippling intensity last month, but significant and frustrating. I parked the trike back in storage with a whopping 2.06 miles. The first for the month of March.

Sad really, but I’ve given up on any hope of making 2017 better than 2016.

I’m actually feeling very despondent about riding right now. Part of it because I’ve started copying my blog posts to save as backups. Looking back over the time when a 20 mile ride was ‘short’. Or the days when I could plop myself down on the trike at 5 am and finish up the day with an amazing outing 12 or more hours later. Back when rides were about discovery and magic. Not just… hamster tracks to get miles and try to stop Loke from harassing Jens for walkies. The quantity of my rides might have increased sharply, but the distance per ride and the quality of them has taken a sharp-nose dive. For the places seen, runestones, churches, and other things I love to find and explore, 2016 was the worst year even compared to years where I rode 600 miles or less. 90% of the miles just round, and round, and round on the River Loop or dashes into Uppsala. It’s depressing. It’s frustrating.

That’s probably another reason that the frequency of my rides has declined so sharply. I’ve just lost heart and so very profoundly bored with being stuck with 1.5-4 mile rides on the River Loop and suffering when I do ride.