Winter Cycling and Separated Infrastructure
For those of us in the colder climes we are now entering that time of year when it's darker earlier, the roads start getting icy, there are patches of black ice, eventually snow etc.. This will be our reality pretty much through to late March or early April here in New England.
As I peruse the Commuter forum there's lots of discussion around these issues with riders talking about donning their winter gear, reflective gear, keeping their lights charged and mounting their studded snow tires. But inevitably the chat becomes more serious when we become what one poster described as "an eight ball on the pool table" during inclement weather and particularly during icy conditions.
This is where "sharing the road" with 3,000 lbs of sliding steel gets real.
So what is a cyclist to do?
I am particularly interested in the opinions of those who spend so much time in BF discrediting separated bike infrastructure. Especially those of you in sunny California, Arizona, Hawaii or even the more temperate Northwest I am curious what you recommend to your chilled brethren.
Do we avoid riding altogether until the temperature climbs back above freezing?
Do we "take the lane" on a newly plowed street?
What's the best way to negotiate snow plows and trucks?
How's that whole VC thingie work in' for ya' as opposed to a nice plowed bike path?
For some of us we have separated infrastructure to ride on and the main issue is plowing- will they or won't they?
The point I'm trying to make is that resisting infrastructure may work for you where you live but frankly, I'd be hard pressed to ride to work year round in Boston without a bike path- but I do wish they would plow it more often- but that is another issue.