The night of February 1st, I headed out a little before midnight while it was still snowing. I had some difficulty negotiating the tire tracks near my apartment, but once I reached the more desolate areas, it was smooth sailing. It helped that it was mostly downhill.
Also, I ordered a bottle dynamo for the Ross immediately after the ride. I had been contemplating it for a long time since my white LED lights tend to go dim while riding in cold weather and that night, it got so bad that they all but shut off. It was the last straw. I didn't have trouble seeing things (surprisingly) but I'd prefer not to get hit by inattentive drivers.
We got a snow day on February 2nd. In the last 35-ish years, U of M has had two days of school cancelled due to winter weather and it just so happened that I got to experience both of them. I'm not one of those kids who sit around hoping for school to be cancelled, but I can't deny that the extra day in the weekend was nice. Anyway, school was back in session today and my companion of choice was ol' Gwendolyn. We rattled along the pathway on the way to central campus, trying not to get shaken apart by the snow compacted by footsteps. The ride down there was a little slower than usual but nothing got in the way of the heavy, old Raleigh.
I have noticed that after a year of commuting, the tires that were so good when they were new last winter are now a little worn down. They were cheap tires and I'd say they've done less than 900 miles. It still looks like I have a lot of tread left at first glance but it's getting a little thin for snow riding. It's no worry, though. I'm careful to take it slow and after the winter, I think I'll get a set of Schwalbe Delta Cruisers since those are so much better. The gum walls on these tires are cracking more and more and on the rare stretches of smooth pavement in town, I can feel that the tires are becoming less round. I think the Schwalbes will be worth the extra money as many other cyclists have confirmed.
My friends who don't regularly ride call me insane for riding in this weather but hey, people pay money to go to places like Colorado to ski, snowboard, and get hurt, so why not do it for free on my vehicle of choice?
I'm kidding about the "getting hurt" part.