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A Shiftless Century.(27 posts)

A Shiftless Century.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 6:47 PM
Miss M used to hate the winter; it gets dark early, it is cold and windy and no one wants to do much of anything outside. Then I came along.

I grew up in Hawaii and lived in So Cal for many years, both places where although the winter is dark it is pretty much warm enough to ride year round. I saw no reason to change when I moved to Washington D.C.

All of a sudden Miss M had a riding partner who is just as crazy as she was. After a couple of winters getting our clothing dialed we are ready to ride all day any day. It has actually gotten to the point that we look forward to bad weather so the roads and trails will be pretty much empty except for the few (and rare) other cyclists who have enough skill, experience and motivation to be out in the winter crud.

Saturday December 20th was the shortest day of the year. The forecast was for strong winds, lows in the mid 20's and highs in the low 30's.

It was going to be a fairly typical winter ride for us. Except for one little detail; Miss M had fallen in love with her new Waterford SS. I rode my Gunnar Street Dog so it was going to be a shiftless Saturday.

We left the house well before dawn and were riding up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capital as dawn was lighting up the Eastern sky.
We hit the monuments.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 6:49 PM
D.C. is an amazing town full of famous and not so famous monuments. Something is always under construction or renovation. Saturday the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial was drained for the on going work on a new WWII memorial.

How could we resist riding where there is normally 2 feet of water?
Korea.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 6:52 PM
On the Southern side of the reflecting pool is the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Not quite as famous as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial it is still amazing and well worth a visit.

We got there just as the sun was rising.
Washington and the Tidal Basin.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:08 PM
Miss M isn't all that comfortable with the camera but I convinced her to take this picture of me in front of the Jefferson Memorial with the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument in the background.

She had to stop and got off of her bike to take the picture so she was pretty cold for the next few miles. Nice shot Miss M.
The Memorial Bridge.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:21 PM
After a few more miles in D.C. we crossed into Virginia via the Memorial Bridge to visit Arlington National Cemetery and the Marine Corps Memorial. The sun was just starting to be high enough in the sky to light up these statues donated by Italy in thanks for our help in rebuilding their country after WWII.
I haven't been in D.C. since '66, but your reports...The Walrus
Dec 22, 2003 1:53 PM
...remind me of what an impressive place it is--despite the partisanship and bureaucracy and corruption and just plain stupidity that goes on there. I always enjoy the early morning shots of the monuments (best time of the day for that, IMHO) and streets. I'm also finding it increasingly difficult to resist the lure of the roads and trails you ride out in the country--I might one day have to forsake my vow to never go east of the Rockies again, and check it out.

Another dangerously tantalizing report--thanks!
My pleasure but thanks for the thanks. nmMB1
Dec 22, 2003 2:08 PM
Georgetown.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:24 PM
We were zigzagging all over the area (mostly just because we like to) and crossed the Potomac back into the District before we started heading out of town. Traffic on M Street was pretty tame this early on a Saturday.
Bethesda.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:27 PM
We headed up the Capital Crescent Trail to Bethesda for breakfast. The trail was pretty much deserted except for the always-present joggers, hardly a cyclist to be seen.
O.K., enough of this city stuff!MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:30 PM
After breakfast we headed out to the quiet back roads of Maryland to see how we would do on 30 miles of rolling hills out to Poolesville. We did good.

One of the local randonneurs Jeff caught up with us on Esworthy on his brand new Bike Friday. Looks nice and sunny doesn't it? Notice the snow starting to build up on the side of the road? The sun helped but it was still well below freezing.
Whites Ferry.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:33 PM
We crossed the Potomac back into Virginia on Whites Ferry. We were seeing more and more snow on the ground as we headed towards the W&OD Trail. When the sun wasn't shining it was pretty cold.
Good ol' JubalDropped
Dec 22, 2003 8:03 AM
I'm reading "The Killer Angels" right now, so it's funny to see that the ferry in this picture is named after good ol' Jubal Early.
Don't forget --Gregory Taylor
Dec 22, 2003 2:29 PM
Ol' Jubal seriously menaced DC with his raid in 1864 -- he fought battles at the Monacacy River and on the outskirts of DC in Maryland. Lincoln rode out to the fort where the Union Troops had stopped Early, and came under fire.
Well that doesn’t look good.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:37 PM
After all it is winter and this has been a really wet year.

Just outside of Leesburg we started to run into stretches of ice on the W&OD Trail. It was pretty slippery but we only had to walk one short stretch.
Ew, no fenders! I'm surprised you ventured w/out fenders! nmAsiago
Dec 22, 2003 8:24 AM
Now this is more like it.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:41 PM
Late in the afternoon as we got closer to town things finally started to warm up (it may even have gotten above freezing). The sun finally broke though the clouds for good and we had a nice tailwind. The trail was dry and we actually started to see a few other cyclists.

Life is good!
Miss M gets her just desserts.MB1
Dec 21, 2003 7:43 PM
We got back into Georgetown just as the sun was setting. After 107 cold and windy miles we hit one of our favorite restaurants.

Now this is how you get through a winter-do you think Miss M will share?
As usual, did better than me...........Len J
Dec 22, 2003 4:34 AM
Xmas shopping & family reduced my ride to 2 Windy hours.

Did you guys do fixed or SS. I did fixed. Fixed into a 14 MPH damn cold headwind had me grinding in a low cadence.

But the ride home was fun.

Great pix as usual. Miss M looks comfortable on the new bike. Glad she likes it.

Len
Shiftless ? I don't think soScot_Gore
Dec 21, 2003 8:22 PM
From Webster's

Main Entry: shift·less
Pronunciation: 'shif(t)-l&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: shift (resourcefulness)
Date: 1584
1 : lacking in resourcefulness : INEFFICIENT
2 : lacking in ambition or incentive : LAZY
- shift·less·ly adverb
- shift·less·ness noun
great.. but could you show some more views ofcolker1
Dec 22, 2003 4:30 AM
miss m's bike? have to say i kept looking for the bike's details. it's wrong, i know, and the bike fixation is not getting better.
Details of the Waterford.MB1
Dec 22, 2003 5:27 AM
Custom R14 Waterford Road Frame with track dropouts and 120mm rear spacing.

Brooks Finesse Saddle on a Tompson straight post.
Salsa Poco 38cm bar on a Ritchey Pro 9cm stem.
Shimano standard reach brakes and Shimano levers.
Chris King 1" threadless headset.
Shimano DuraAce 24h road front hub radial laced to Velocity DeepV 650CD rim with aero spokes.
Phil Wood 32 hole fixed free rear hub laced to 650C Matrix rim with 14/15 DC spokes 3x.
Shimano 105 crank 165mm with DuraAce BB.
42t chainring, 16t Shimano freewheel, 15t Shimano DuraAce cog.
3/32 Taya chain.
Vittoria Rubino Pro 650X23C tires, Bontrager tubes, Velox Rimtape.
Cinelli Bar Tape. Blackburn Stainless Cages. Cateye Moda Computer.

The sucker is crazy light, dead quiet and faster than you can imagine.
thankscolker1
Dec 22, 2003 6:01 AM
could see myself hooked on such machine. steel, simple, pretty, light and handmade with high quality. my kind of addiction...
Damn...she rides a bigger gear than me...biknben
Dec 22, 2003 6:47 AM
I'm riding a 42x16 FG now.
650C wheels. nmMB1
Dec 22, 2003 6:53 AM
Ahh yes...that would make a difference.biknben
Dec 22, 2003 7:04 AM
It's too early for me to think about math, especially on a Monday.
Chain ring on the inside or outside?Dave Hickey
Dec 22, 2003 7:11 AM
It's hard to tell with the picture.
Outside with some itty-bitty spacers. Perfect chainline. nmMB1
Dec 22, 2003 7:14 AM