We both tried to dress in layers due to the cold and I stashed extra gloves in my new panniers. We have always previously used a very small backpack to carry the camera, a snack, our IDs etc on our rides. It was really nice to be able to put all of that in the panniers and get the load off our backs. I also tossed in my multitool almost as an afterthought.
Our ride starts on a little downhill and before 30 seconds had passed my eyes were crying icedrops. The wind cut through all the layers and made even downhill seem like a struggle. After the first 5 minutes or so we turned onto the low traffic road that will be a major portion of my commute. Headed away from the house it has a very slight grade for the entire length of it. Today that slight grade combined with the headwind made the ride feel like we were on treadmills! It probably didn't help that it's been a little while since we've ridden. Once I was able to concentrate on my ride instead of traffic I quickly realized my seat was feeling low again. Then I realized I had brought my tool with me and I could fix it so my thighs were not in agony the whole ride! We quickly pulled over and I made some quick adjustments to raise the seat, making sure it was straight before the final tightening of the screw.
We took a more leisurely pace (I guess comparatively my pace is almost always "leisurely"!) and rode quietly through a few neighborhoods enjoying looking at the different houses and yards. We reached the end of the main road and decided to turn around and make our way back. In my opinion it is almost always better to return a bit early and be able to say "we should've gone a little further" than to push and push and go too far and have the ride turn into a nightmare that makes us both angry and irritable and more inclined to skip the next ride.
We took a little detour down the greenway that parallels the main road every now and then doing some little "races" with each other. Before long we returned to the road. I felt like my seat was low again (already!) and asked Becca to look at the marking and see if it had fallen. Sure enough it had, so off we pulled again and out came the tool again and this time I really cranked on it to get it tight after making the adjustments.
Then all that was left was the railroad crossing and the intimidating hill up to our house. Bonus, this hill is also along the busiest part of the road, there is almost no shoulder, and it is a single lane each way, leaving little room for cars to pass. Needless to say, it is my least favorite part of any ride! The hill has a short and sharp incline then levels out for a few hundred feet and then inclines again until we reach our complex. I was able to make it up the first incline in 4th gear and only had to shift down to my low gear when I was more than halfway up the second incline. I was worn out when reaching our front door, but didn't need to collapse just to keep breathing! We logged about 6 miles, which for us is not wonderful, but not pitiful either.
Despite the cold, the traffic and the need for two adjustments it was a fun ride on a beautiful day. That's all I ever want.