So, HvT, Zim and I braved the cold weather and early hour this morning to check out the 7am ride in DC. VonT and I woke up at o'dark-hundred to make the quick trek to casa de Zimmerly only to find that VonT forgot her shoes! This happens to everyone at some point, but VonT is actually famous for this trick. (although she claims that she wouldnt have forgotten them had we taken her car). Thankfully, Robin's boy had a spare set of mtb shoes to lend - with shoe covers on, no one was the wiser.
After bundling up for sub-freezing temps, it turned out to be rather balmy ... relatively speaking. We took a quick spin to meet up with the ride, where we tagged on right before the hammerfest that is Mass Ave. Good way to find your fingers and toes again since they went numb during warm-up spin. I realized during this portion of the ride that I need new bottle-cages... i dropped not one, but two bottles in a span of about 15 minutes. At this point we decided to take a short cut to rejoin the ride and had just enough time for Beth, who was riding with us, to fix a shifting issue. Rejoin the ride and play the accordian game - it wasn't a blistering pace but would ebb and surge at odd places. HvT suffered from shifting issues after conquering Old Angler's ... to the point of dropping her chain. During another shortcut, we were heading up a slight hill when I went to shift to an easier gear - my shifter went slack and Beth said she heard something pop .... I just said "something bad just happened". Yup, the shifter cable completely broke. Thankfully I could still shift the front ring, but I was stuck in my 12 for the rest of the ride. HvT dutifully tried to rig it to a lighter gear, but we started getting cold so I said I'd suck it up and move on. We rejoined the group again and stayed near the front, especially on any inclines, so I could play my own version of the accordian game - bomb the descent, attack the hill and slowly fade toward the back of the pack until we crested. Hey, it works.
Despite the multitude of mechanicals, we'll be doing this one again - its a friendly ride with ups and downs and many short cuts to rejoin. We made it back to Robin's no worse for the wear, and it wasn't even 10am - what a gift, we were done for the day and still had plenty of daylight left ! Almost, ALMOST worth the 5am wake up ... and unfortunately I'll be spending the rest of the day attempting to re-cable my bike. Well, you can't have it all.