5:30 am may be the earliest I've rolled out of bed for a bike ride. But it was worth it in the end, even though there was some debate along the way (seven riders and marginal conditions is sure to result in differing opinions).
Our FC ride started out on hard wet ice - a little nerve wracking - but good skills practice. After a mile or so, we stopped to discuss the prospects of busted collarbones and compound wrist fractures, and concluded that after a conversation of that nature we had no choice but to play it safe and ride the roads for a while (an accident after that discussion would set a new standard for stupidity).
So we ground our way to the top of Fire Tower road where we were promptly faced with another opportunity to make a good decision, but of course decided instead to jump back on the trails for a descent down the other side of the firetower hill. I think the logic went something like "this potentially bad decision would be offset by the good decision we already made."
Conditions were actually slightly better on the descent (slush with occasional patches of ice) but it was still sketchy enough that we found ourselves aiming FOR protruding wet roots and rocks because they at least offered a measure of traction, if only for a split second.
About half a dozen crashes by the end of the ride. I think I accounted for half of them. They took more than the usual toll because I was using new cleats on pedals tuned for worn cleats, so it was nearly impossible to unclip before impacting the ground/rocks/ice. Even funnier (not) was when I rode into my driveway afterwards, tried to unclip (couldn't) and had to grab the basketball hoop to keep from falling over in my own front yard.
Glad we did it though. Not sure what that says about us but there it is.