Winter, as defined by cold (9 degrees this morning) and snow (still on the ground and on some roadways in the form of ice) has arrived in Bozeman. Fortunately for my bike ride to work, I have these:
When praying to Our Lady of Perpetual Verticality, it's best to sound like you mean it; and I can tell you that as these little crunchers move along dry pavement, few will doubt that you do. The weight penalty is pretty big - this is the bicycle equivalent to wearing ankle weights, but the traction payoff is huge.
Part of me enjoys the whole hard-core winter bike commuter thing simply because it justifies specialized gear - studded tires, extra-bright lighting, hats, gloves, etc... Also, it's really great when all the fair weather trail people go off to their nice warm gyms for the winter. Less people, less off-leash dogs, more solo freeze-your-ass-off-in-the-dark-and-cold riding. This is why God made Patagonia jackets, right?
On these winter commutes it's just me and the stars - and the occasional freaked out deer illuminated in the blueish glow of my headlight; all to the prickly soundtrack of carbide on the occasional patch of dry pavement.