Just had my first winter cycling scare. The weather here has been unseasonably beautiful and today was no exception with temps right around freezing. The roads are wet and I don't have fenders so there was a lot of spray onto my brakes. No problem cruising around town, then I went out on the highway for a few miles. When I came back into town, I hadn't used the brakes for a while and when I came to the first intersection, which was all slushy ice, neither brake worked. To avoid cross traffic I tried a right turn but my back wheel started to slide. I was still on the brake lever and something gave and the rear brake engaged. I ended up putting a foot down and spun 180 degrees ending up facing toward traffic just short of the driving lane. I'm going with Divine Intervention as the only thing that kept me upright and out of traffic, but the first lady to pass me must have thought me a loon as she glared at me and shook her head.
With the back brake working adequately, I rolled home cautiously and put the bike up on the stand in the warmer shop to thaw out. Frozen slush on the brakes appears to have been the culprit as everything works fine now and has been dried and lubed.