It's that time of year where there are fewer windows for good bike riding. It gets dark early and is really cold for the majority of each day. While darkness and chills in and of themselves are not bad enough to prevent all riding as the right gear can make riding through the winter possible, the combination of these conditions don't encourage fun jaunts like long summer days do. I not fond of black ice either. Nor am I so desperate for a ride that I'm going to go all in for studded tires, winter booties and the like. This is a long way of saying that I'm choosy about when I ride in the winter, but I'm working that out. Fortunately, my job allows me some liberty to take a decent ride in the middle of the day. It works out well to take a longish lunch during the warmest hours of the sometimes sunny winter days. There are plenty of worthwhile routes nearby. I've settled into a 15-20 mile lunch ride habit; long enough to go somewhere, but still manageable in the confines of my schedule. Yesterday's ride was particularly nice. Winter lunch rides are a keeper.
New England living is really all about making the seasons work for you. Lots of folks complain about winter and rain, and that's just sad and sort of pathetic. Yeah, I do it too, but I don't ever remember an improvement in weather that resulted from my grumbling about the cold. Sure, winter can seem drawn out at times, but that just means more time for activities that aren't possible during most of the year - snowshoeing, skiing, etc. Winter is a treat for me. Is there anything better than cross country skiing out your door and into the woods? Cold rain is a little more difficult, but that's why they invented things like Gortex and fenders. Bad weather is just a nice excuse to acquire more nifty gear. Lucky me.