Friday, April 23, 2010

Very minor setback...

Well, here it is, April 23rd. It's sunny in the nation's capital, warm and even the north wind isn't too cold.
But, I am not out triking; in fact, I haven't gone out in awhile. True, we have had a few less-than-ideal days but the weather hasn't been that bad. So, what gives?
Well, the problem is that my MS is acting up. Thankfully nothing too serious but it's been enough to keep me from getting in those fabulous long trips that I am wanting to do. Luckily, it's only April and the season here tends to go on until late October or even early November so I'm not too worried about missing out.
But, still, I do not like not being able to do the things I enjoy. Certainly, I can adapt (you have to when you have any chronic illness). I do have a few crocheting projects on the go and those are my back-up activities. But when it's sunny, warm and otherwise gorgeous, it's hard not to feel that pull to "shoe" up (yes, I'm using a noun as a verb but so what) ease into the seat of my Catrike Trail and zoom away.
What I can say, even from here and surrounded by skeins of black and bright purple yarn, is that the trike has been performing flawlessly. The brakes and shifters are all working perfectly and show no signs of breaking down...

...if only my legs would follow suit.

Oh, I am healing up. These sorts of "relapses" occur fairly regularly and the result is really that I need to take a week or two off from any heavy physical activity but it's the waiting that gets to me after awhile. "Patience," I remind myself as I shuffle along looking like a 3 year old child that's just woken up. "It will pay off!"

Now, back to my rows of dcx100 twice before yarn colour change!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

18k on such a nice day

Okay, the poem was yukky...but the day sure wasn't.

Here it is, April 1st*, and it's been a warm and gentle month so far. I'm getting the hang of using my biking shoes, clipping into the pedals is getting easier though my left shoe continues to be a hassle when trying to disconnect. Still, that did not stop either of us from getting out and zipping along the roads on our respective catrikes.

Typical for us, we pack a picnic lunch and head out to enjoy lunch "al fresco" and, today, it would be Mooney's Bay for an early season lunch. We loaded up and left our house around 11:20. Heading west along Hunt Club Road, I couldn't help but notice just how much traffic there was. Then again, maybe it was people heading out for the long weekend. We got to McCarthy street, turned north and headed towards Southmore. A quick left turn onto Southmore and we were almost instantly immersed in the eerie silence of midday suburbia. I passed a woman doing what looked like dethatching her front yard. She looked up and regarded us as we zoomed past but otherwise did nothing. At one point, Adam commented on how he could hear quite a number of cardinals - a little early this year. True enough, when we stopped at a stop sign, we could both hear the telltale whooping chirp of cardinals.

When we got to Mooney's Bay, I noticed two things - a lot of people out in shorts and also that it was only 11:40, still too early for lunch. So, we decided to continue along the bike path around Mooney's Bay, under the Heron Road bridge at Hog's Back and then onto the Colonel By bike path. Besides the usual complement of pedestrians and other cyclists there were a few construction workers. We knew the bike path was under some repair/maintenance and actually encountered a few places where it was pretty tight to get through. We didn't know how far up the path we could go before encountering any kind of real obstacle but we had both the gorgeous weather and the time to find out.

We didn't have to go too far...

The picture above was taken along the bike path and between the Hartwell Locks and Dow's Lake and that was as far as we went before turning around to head back to Mooney's Bay. By that time, we were getting hungry for lunch. There were no picnic tables out - yet - so we were relegated to a bench only and likely the same bench we went to last autumn when a late season warm spell made heading out a pleasant venture.

During lunch, we got to watch students from a local high school come out and enjoy the day. A small hill close to us had other people out playing and otherwise taking advantage of the warm, almost summer-like weather. This is what having a catrike is about; it's about getting out, getting some exercise, getting around and enjoying the life we have. Most importantly for me, though, it's about sharing a great lunch with the man I love on a beautiful day in a beautiful city park.

I am finding that I am able to both get and maintain 1 to 2 kilometres/hour more speed with my biking shoes than with my regular running shoes. I attribute it as much to placebo effect as to my being able to (I think anyway) increase my pedallling efficiency. Personally, I don't really care how or even why - just that I am able to go out and go triking!

*no silly joke about today's date - no fooling!