Now that daylight savings has come to an end my ride home after work is a night time ride. I haven’t found it to be a particularly big deal, but I’m glad I got in some night riding practice during October to ease myself into it. Climbing the South Hill at night time seems a little harder, it should really get interesting when it’s a cold snowy night.
Morning rides have definitely been quite cold lately. My wool gloves work well down to freezing, but don't provide quite enough warmth below that range. I have a pair of ski gloves that should work for colder weather though (should have used them today). I'm also going to need some additional neck and face coverage down the road, but I can get by for now. I've been running my studded Nokian Hakkepeliitta tires on my Trek since November 1st and I've been very happy with their performance. They're a little bit heavier than my original set of tires and they're noisier because of the studs, but they still run great on dry pavement. They have a kind of reassuring sticky feel, but I don't feel like they're significantly slower than the tires I was running before. I'm looking forward to having that extra traction and peace of mind when the temperatures stay below freezing all day. I've heard that studded tires can have less stopping power on wet roads, but they've been fine on the couple days that it's rained this month. I think the key is to ride at sensible speeds and avoid situations where you have to do a hard last second stop. Today was actually the first day I rode into work this week as the scheduling demands of <a href="http://saxonsports.com/basketball.htm">Ferris basketball practices</a> have forced a change in my commuting routine. To compensate yesterday I threw my bike in the back of my Element and got in a nice hour long lunchtime ride on the Centennial trail. I'm definitely going to go that route with some regularity this winter depending on the game schedule and winter road conditions. I'll still be bike commuting pretty regularly, but it will probably be limited to three days a week. My number one riding priority at this point is still just to get at least one ride in every day. 52 days and counting!