I live in a suburb of Buffalo and have been commuting to work (2.7 miles away) several times a week during spring, summer and fall. In reading some of the threads in this forum, and other websites, books and blogs about being car-free, I'm tempted.
I put my bike away at the end of November when snow first hit the ground, and will bring it out once it's mostly melted, probably March. I have plans to buy a Workcycles Oma this summer, which will allow me to bike in the rain (with the help of a raincoat) and have been toying with the idea of biking next winter too. I've read about how you can get studded tires to help when there is snow or ice on the ground.
My husband is strongly against the idea. Granted, he can't force me not to, but he's told me that he would not want me riding in the snow because he'd be concerned for my safety. I'd of course want his support if I were to do this, and was wondering if anyone had any comments about the safety of riding in snow or ice with studded tires. In my area there are few bike lanes, and no bike lanes on my way to/from work, so I ride in the street. The streets aren't always plowed in a timely manner, and when a heavy snow hits, sometimes there is quite a bit of slush in the streets. He said he doesn't doubt my ability, but he is concerned about "the other idiots" that would be sharing the snowy road with me. Are his concerns valid?
I haven't made any decisions yet. I'm an incredible wimp when it comes to cold weather, and I'm not 100% sure I'd want to rely on bicycling and public transportation when it's below freezing with an even lower wind-chill. I'm so used to leaving a heated building and getting into a heated car. On the other hand, DH is always saying how I should try to get used to the cold weather instead of hiding from it. Maybe relying on a bike all year round is a way to do that.
We have plans to move to warmer climes sometime within the next 2 years. Maybe I should just wait until then. Still, the adventurous part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and go car free right now!
ETA: I suppose I wouldn't actually be car-free, since DH would still have his, which I could use if needed, so I guess I'd be "car lite." Still, I wouldn't plan to use his except in emergencies.