This thread is about tips and tricks people have learned through experience and trial and error. I see a bunch of scattered topics when I search, but invariably there is always a comment about "yeah, but it doesn't happen, so don't worry about it until it happens. This must be your first winter". WTF?
As you know, I'm an idiot and want to bike 120km a day year-round in Sweden (lowest temps expected are -25 C). I'm not in the mood to get stuck in the forest and die a slow and untimely death by my bike that has no brakes, became a single speed, a frozen free hub, two flat tires, ice in my camel back, and a dead headlamp.
Here's what I have so I can assure you I won't die and people will find me before I become a popsicle: a cell phone, a gps with extra batteries, a semi-travelled route in a semi-populated area, a map of my route at home (printed, soft copy on the pc, and loaded into the car gps), knowledge of the local customs and language.
So, back on topic -- I want 100% reliability. Redundant systems are fine by me, but obviously weight is a concern since I am powering my bike.
-Shielding that was home made to protect the bike from failure (long and short term failures)
-Methods of preventing hardware failure through: behavioral changes, certain types of rituals, etc.
-How to make sure your lungs don't freeze and you suffocate, fall of your bike, and die
-Frostbite prone areas of your body that you never thought could get frostbite
-Water intrusion (bike and person)
-Pre and post ride rituals
-Flats and frozen spares
-Sticking to things like that kid in "A Christmas Story"