Terii’s Cycling Babble


The Great Experiment
September 12, 2017, 6:59 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

It occurred to me that I forgot to mention what had happened to my hip when I last posted though I’d mentioned there was something was wrong with it.

Jens has gone a bit nuts for a new PS4 game, so he’s been hogging the TV. I wanted to watch Netflix so went to sit at Jens’ desk. Silly me, I propped my feet up into one of the other chairs. Well, after a couple hours of that as I watched a movie, my hip strenuously objected. It fussed at me for a few days, but fortunately, it didn’t hang on too long.

Even without the hip giving me problems, it’s been a chaotic few days, but finally got out the door for another ride. Really should keep my rump moving so I can break the measly 500 miles I’m aiming for this year.

It might have gotten easier though.

Through the whole struggle with my feet, I’ve kept wanting to move my feet forward, but being clipped in, couldn’t really. The days of attacking my battered Shimano touring shoes with a file to lengthen the bolt slots needed to be tested. Sunday, September 9th, was the day my husband finally bullied me out the door with Loke to try them.

The sky was chaotic as I settled the trike. Everything was still damp from the rain all through the night and morning. The leaden sheet of gray across the sky had broken up into chunks of clouds, some which looked very threatening as the monochrome shades ran through the gamut of the palest, bright silver to the deep underbellies of slate. A guessing game really. Was I going to get drenched or stay dry? At about 60 F, it would have been uncomfortable, but at least not a nightmare.

Loke was actually kind of excited to step out the door. I was wary as I clipped in and we rolled out.

The first 100 yards pain free! I started to grin. Maybe, just maybe, I would be taking it further than the 2.3 miles that we use to get back to the garage half a mile away. About a quarter mile on, I had slight (and I do mean slight) discomfort in my right foot, but my left was happy as a clam in mud.

I didn’t put my right foot down until almost 1.5 mile. A new record of late, I think. Admittedly, my last ride in un-adapted shoes, it took a while longer to hurt than the previous 20 or so and then barely at all on the last 2+ miles after I dropped the furball off at the groomer. True, it could just have been a fluke, yet I was and am hopeful.

I definitely decided to ride on a bit further. Loke was glad of it. He even pulled into a slow run down some of the slopes as I aimed myself for the River Loop extension.

About mile 4, my left foot started having issues. It wasn’t a cause of much concern though, because I think it was because the cleat had slipped. When attaching it, I didn’t wrench it as tight as I should, anticipating the need to do more work on it. So, in the course of curbing Loke’s messes, it had come forward and twisted to one side slightly when I unclipped.

The clouds had thinned a bit as I followed the river path north, but were starting to look threatening again as I finished off the hamster track of 6.75 miles. Loke was slowing by the last mile or so, but since he bounced into the apartment and went directly to Jens to start the ‘staring tail-wag of persuasion’, pretty sure it was just boredom making him sluggish.

As for me, there was a bounce in my step too. Of late, I’ve absolutely hated going for rides around here. While I thought I was factoring in the foot issue into making me so fed up with the hamster tracks around here, it appears I wasn’t giving them enough credit. On the 6.75 miles, only 3 times, I felt compelled to stop to give my feet a break. That’s like nothing. When I did stop, it wasn’t remotely close to the pain of rides in the previous months. As a result, hamster track or not, I actually had a grin on my lips and enjoyed the ride. Sad, but I’m not sure I can remember that in recent memory, not since Loke and I went up to ride around Långsjön (The Long Lake) a bit north of Uppsala.

Suddenly, the 200 miles I still need for 500 miles, doesn’t seem so remote.

Two days, two rides since I went out the very next day, September 10th I had a thought at first to do an 18 to 20 mile loop, but one ride with mostly okay feet does not a trend make. I didn’t want to wind up harassing my hubby to come get me somewhere along the way because I couldn’t take the Inquisition any longer. I did decide to aim for at least going further than I did yesterday on my local hamster track paths.

Mostly sunny, though every now and again a threatening looking cloud would scuttle in. Yet, the sun never disappeared. Breezy and pleasant at about 65 F. When I started, there was a bit of hope that I could make the 20 miler, so I set out toward the Old Uppsala Burial ground as it’s kind of on the way. I cut a couple miles of my usual ‘burial ground’ loop though and took a dirt track I’ve not used in years. I think I’ve ridden it only once before in the 11 years of being on the trike.

Loke was very intrigued by it, being that he probably had absolutely no memory of the .25 mile stretch and it was lined with trees and weeds, tucked in the cool shade.

I needn’t have worried about my feet too much. My left foot was still happy and my right foot was less unhappy than it was yesterday as I had worked at the shoe with the file for about an hour through the morning. Might have gotten my cleat a whole 1/8th of an inch further toward the arch!

The burial grounds were a hive of activity. Joggers, walkers, and hordes of bikes.

As I rolled along the gravel paths of the burial ground. I started itching furiously. Spot on my right arm. Spot on my right leg. Right side of the stomach. Then it hit me, I KNEW that itch. That burning, almost nettle like itch though less severe. Pretty much like fiber glass.

Yep! The ‘Season of the Itch’ was upon me. Once I knew what was happening, I saw it. The fiberglass-like puffs blowing on the wind, pulled off the withered and dried parent plants to spread torment to whoever got in their path. It became a kind of game. Watching the upwind side of the path for the flying clumps, slowing down or speeding up in an attempt to avoid them hitting me.

I. HATE. THOSE. PLANTS. Loke seems immune. Of course, that brat can stick his face into a knee high patch of nettles without a care in the world.

About mile 5, my feet did get uncomfortable enough that I felt the need to take a short pause to put them off the pedals. It was more like the discomfort of old though. More of a tight, tingling numbness than the flayed, charred, crushed sensation I’ve been enduring this year.

We finished up with 7.75 miles, one whole mile more than the previous ride. Loke started getting pokey and I couldn’t tell if it was boredom (most likely) or some other reason. Still, he’s currently curled up contently in his bed, so I guess it was just enough for the furball.

So, the feet were better. I had an appointment on the 11th so no ride then. It was off to the hospital for a heart ultrasound. The results of that were the same as last year which at least means it’s no worse. My heartwall is thickened, but no thicker than it was last check-up. So, that’s good at least.

It was raining today and laundry time, so no cycling again today. That’s good. It will give me more time to file the shoes. I’m aiming for perfection!

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