Keep in mind, this is not meant to be inflammatory, but rather to satisfy my curiousity and perhaps encourage some to re-think their winter cycling strategy.
I read and hear about people who spend hundreds of dollars on top-notch outdoor clothing and gear to be able to commute in the winter, and who rarely go riding without an adequate weather "game plan", so to speak.
I did some reading on the winter forum before tackling this winter's riding, and came away with the perception that winter riding is an incredibly dangerous and complicated affair. I made myself a list of things I needed to get to ride through the winter (I rode last winter, but very little). I ended up procrastinating and before I knew it I had bought nothing and snow was coming within the next few days. So I bought a cheap, used but functional $20 (CDN) mountain bike with slicks. I also got myself a pair of snow pants for about $15 and ski goggles for about $25, and about $10 of miscellaneous purchases (a can of WD-40, a small pouch to protect U-lock from snow/slush, and an ordinary messenger bag - used).
Total = $70 - bike included. (items I already owned include regular winter boots, cheap winter & spring coats, good gloves, a helmet, a hat and a neck warmer)
I now ride comfortably and well-shielded from the cold, and have encountered no particular problems even in extreme weather. I've ridden on snow, slush, and even patches of ice with my mountain bike on slicks and have yet to fall in about a month of commuting 5-6 days a week. In -30 celsius temperatures, I'm riding with a plain old winter jacket I've had for a few years with a T-shirt underneath.
So again I ask, what is the big fuss about riding in the winter?
PS - I don't mean to be arrogant; I'm genuinely confused.