Terii’s Cycling Babble

April 23, 2017, 5:01 am
Filed under: Misc

Freeedooommm!! As per Mel Gibson’s yell in Braveheart as William Wallace was being executed. Explanation coming.

I’m still here, just not very active in terms of blog or riding. Almost through the month and I’ve one whole ride to show for it. Or is it two? Not sure and the Garmin site is conking out so I can’t see.

Last week, I dropped the trike off at the shop to get the spring thing done to it as well as contemplate options for upgrading the gearing since the chain needs replaced as well. 9 speed cassettes are near impossible to find now. Kinda like 26 inch tires. So, upgrading to 10 speed.

The gears aren’t done yet, as Bobby wanted to research the options and figure out the cost before ordering, but he did get the tires and pedals swapped. Once that was finished, I rode it from shop to storage. Longest ride since Valentine’s day. Thankfully, my hip hardly seemed to notice it.

Naturally as soon as I swapped to smoother, not-studded tires and back to my SPD pedals, the temperature dropped and we had ice, snow. I wasn’t going to risk skidding around while people in cars with summer tires did the same. Not to mention having subfreezing winds howling through the cleat slots in the bottom of my shoes. It’s been nice not having my toes feel like they’re getting twisted off with pliers this winter. I’d kinda like to keep it so.

Once it warmed up, of course, I slept wrong and aggravated my hip. Yay.

But there is progress. I’ve been reveling in having most days with a mostly pain free hip. I’ve been jealously guarding that feeling which has de-motivated my urge to ride. Also, since my miles were so abysmal during even January and February before I waved the white flag to my hip, I just feel there’s no way to catch up the lost miles to make 2017 the new ‘Best Year Ever’.

But, in the past week, there has been a new mental shift from, ‘No! I won’t ride because I like my hip not causing constant pain’ to ‘I want my freedom back!’ I’ve been working hard to cultivate it.

I’ve been eating better to help with my weight. It’s been driving Jens a little nuts because he’s like, ‘Hey! Let’s go to our favorite restaurant’ and I respond with a ‘meh’ at best or an outright no.  I’ve committed to more gym time to do the exercises my SIL has recommended. She’s even gone with me twice so far. Once to teach me the exercises and again to be sure of my form.

And I’m not doing this to just plop my rump in the trike seat and do circles on the River Loop. The key word here is FREEDOM.

That is something I’ve been losing for the better part of 2 years now. Even with last year being the best ever in terms of miles, it’s been the absolute worst for quality miles. Out of some 200 rides last year, close to roughly 170 of them have been on what I call ‘hamster tracks’. About 140 of them, just on my basic River Loop hamster track. Even just going for ‘short’ 8 mile jaunts to do things downtown like I did until about September last year became too difficult. I loved doing errands on my trike. Admittedly, I loved pelting out through the countryside for 20-30+ miles more, but still, the 7-12 mile rolls to tend to things while dragging my rattling trailer around was nice too. I’ve lost it. Lost it all. I’m trapped on the same 3-6 mile circle when I’m not deprived of the trike all together.

My trike used to be my wings. Well, they’ve been clipped and left me flapping in small, repetitive circles. I’m sick of it.

It’s been brought home harder to me the past couple weeks too. Firstly, the yearly produce market has started appearing at Vaksala Square near the concert hall. Parking in the area is nigh impossible and, since I’ve been able to cycle so little, my neuromsuclar pain makes it agonizing to walk a half mile, particularly if I try carrying 5 lbs of fruit for half of it. It has to be the trike. Both to remove the parking issue, but also to help remove the symptoms of the nerve pain.

The other portion of having it ‘brought home’ to me happened on Friday when I ran an errand in the area of Enköping.

Enköping? one might wonder.

Well, it appears that Loke has had the bad sense to go get allergic to reindeer, which yes, relates to the errand in Enköping. Loke’s new potential allergy been a multi-layered discovery and mostly by accident. He’s been having issues for quite some time. Stiffness and limping that had us undergo the treatment with a shot a week thing. It kinda seemed to help, but then a few days after the injections, he’d been stiff again. Even after the last one, while he was better than before the treatments, it wasn’t quite as good as I hoped.

Then toward the end of last month, he developed another symptom of inflammation though I’ll spare the details.

When his then current batch of boiled reindeer ran out, I was too busy to carve out a 4 hour window to boil another block. Running errands so couldn’t sit at home for that long a stretch of time. Jens didn’t work from home at all for over 2 weeks so he couldn’t babysit it either. I didn’t want to do it in the evenings because then it has to sit on the stove overnight because it’s too warm to go in the fridge until well after I’m desperate for bed.

So, for about 8 days, Loke had just kibble. After about 4 of them, he started moving better. Very little limping, almost no stiffness, and the other symptom disappeared as well. My tender-hearted hubby insisted, no, it couldn’t be the reindeer. Maybe Loke just got into some bread crumbs that had dropped to the floor while Jens was cutting from a loaf. He absolutely hates the idea that the rest of Loke’s life will be nothing but kibble.

I finally had the time to boil up more of the meat and WHAM, the symptoms came back. Stopped giving it to him and they disappeared again. Jens still isn’t entirely convinced, mostly because he wants to have something to spoil Loke with, but I’m pretty sure and since I’m in charge of the furball’s feeding and medical, that’s just the way it is.

Unfortunately, a diet of nothing but the hideously expensive (nearly 100 USD per 17 lbs!) binds Loke up. So, I did some research online about dog-food from rabbit sources. My efforts turned up very little at first, until I found a rabbit farm out on the fringes of the Enköping area. I sent an e-mail and yes, they package the scraps from their butchering to sell as dog food. Several different kinds even. Some is just internal organs, some with a mix muscle and organs, even a kind that includes pulverized bone. It’s all from what they provide for restaurants so from good quality source.

So, Friday, off Loke and I went to the farm just outside of Enköping. It was on the drive that brought home hard just what I’ve lost in terms of cycling. The first 2/3rds of the way there was on the big roads, so it didn’t hit me so keenly. Then I made the turns onto the small country roads and pang hit. I’ve ridden most of the roads I drove down. Explored churches, chased down runestones, rolled by the gorgeous scenery of rolling hills, wooded patches, and charming wooden farm buildings painted in the traditional Swedish red. Some of them are roads I’ve never ridden the trike down and views just as stunning. I ached to explore them on 3 wheels with a husky jogging along side.

It drove the final nail to secure my determination. Correct the imbalance between muscle atrophy of the muscles inside my leg and the over development of those on the outside. Get my ability to ride long and far again. I need it.

We found the farm no problem and the man was very nice. An older gentleman who didn’t know much English, so we had to muddle along since rabbit based dog-food doesn’t come up in my conversations in Swedish very often. He carefully described what he had in stock. I picked the mix of meat and organs. Then I was horribly mortified. I’d been absolutely convinced that I had 200 kr on me, but when I went to pull it out, I couldn’t find it any where. Annoyed at myself and sad for Loke, I went to hand it back. He shook his head and pushed it away, saying if my dog could eat it, I could pay for it when I came back for more.

The drive back out from the farm only pounded my determination more firmly. Oddly, instead of taking me back the way we’d come, GoogleMaps took me down the smaller roads for much longer. I felt almost teary as I drove by Långtora church, one of first few mentioned in my blog. Swung around a sharp curve where a runestone sits that I’ve passed on the trike 2 or 3 times while pedalling through scenery to make one smile. Riding by pastures and knowing they were burial grounds that I’d not properly ‘collected’.

I stopped at a few places on the way back to walk Loke. He enjoyed that immensely.

He was also drooling with the smell of that frozen block of meat tucked securely in a bag. When we got home, he was looking between me and the bag while kissing the side of this kennel when I went to get him out of the car. As I carried it in, he was prancing along in anticipation.

After the first tiny serving of it, so far so good. No noticeable allergy effects so far. Last night, I gave him a slightly bigger share of it. So, we’ll see. Fingers crossed. It will make Loke happier I think, as well as the hubby though he’s sworn he will NOT touch it for anything on this earth.

Another benefit if we can continue feeding him the stuff, it will make that solid gold kibble we feed him last longer.

So, here’s hoping that a soon-to-be 12 year old husky and a stroke survivor will soon be riding around as they once did years ago…