Up at 4am, on the bike by 4:45. Dark, 19 degrees, slight wind, perfect day for a ride. No clouds, just enough light that I was using my small commuter light and could see just enough. I had planned on a long day, since I hadn't been riding at all. I figured the early start would give me 2 hrs of riding in the darkness and still allow for a slow and steady ride into the mid-afternoon.
All was good for the 1st 4 miles, the pavement to the gravel wasn't too treacherous and the initial gravel stretch was frozen but had traction. However, the next 2 miles was a frozen pond of death.....my pace was down to 6mph at best and I was riding the last 10 inches of the shoulder trying to find traction in what little snow that hadn't been blown off the road. After a series of linked recoveries, I hit the pavement just outside of Grimes. 6 miles total and 50 minutes. It would be a long day. I started north again and it just got worse (I didn't think that was possible). I decided that I shouldn't push my luck and road the pavement back to the house. 12 mile ride in 1:25. I suppose that if it heats up this afternoon and melts everything (without turning it to mud), that I could finish the ride. However, I think that my fate is sealed within the 1/2 inch of ice that presently appears to cover all of the local gravel roads.
I'll have to think of a creative solution if I want to get my December hundy ridden.