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Okay, Ladies.
I need some encouragement from you fearless ladies out there who are still commuting through the winter.

I stopped my bike commute to work after daylight savings time because I have been discouraged by loved ones that it would be too dangerous for me to ride after dark. In reading a womens adventure mag this weekend I decided I missed my commute too much and was going to just go for it. Hubby wasn't happy, but took me to REI to get a good front light (to go with the two smaller knog lights I already had on my bike) and reflective adhesive for my back pack.

I was all excited to start back on Monday morning. I was riding along enjoying a crisp, cold morning when I hit some ice (the kind that just looks like wet pavement) and went down HARD on my right side. I even conked my head really hard. Of course I had a helmet on - or I'd probably still be in the ER. After collecting myself, I got back on and went to work. I made it through my workday. Luckily, a friend offered to take me home - I didn't ask - still wanted to try out my night commute, but was scared. I drove to work today, but only made it for about 30 minutes. I felt like I'd been in a car wreck.

So, I'd like to hear from you die hard ladies out there who are fearless, because honestly I'm still a little afraid, but I so love to ride my bike to work. Were you ever nervous about the night commute? If so, how did you overcome it?
 

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i moto too
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sorry to hear about your fall. i feel for you with the ice. last week i laid over my motorcycle on the ice and i was scared driving it home, just stayed away from ANYTHING that looked wet. i don’t ride my mountain bike too much on the road, but the last few rides on the trails there has been snow/ice on them. i’m not great with slippery stuff, so i just take it slow and keep telling myself how great it is that i just made it through that section and didn’t fall, and how fast i’ll be when it’s dry. but when i’m on the road, i just try to stay out of everyone’s way (no matter how many lights and reflective items i have on) because i know it’s hard to see some times when i’m driving. if you have some old tires can you maybe add some small studs, just a few towards the outside, and then when it’s cold enough to have ice that day, put those tires on so in case you start to slip they will hopefully grab enough. good luck with your riding, and even if you are a little afraid, just think of how much you love it and all the good rides, and how many of us are jealous that they’re not getting to ride too.
 

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Hi. I invested in some studded tires after a hard fall last year. They're a bit noisy on the pavement but WELL WORTH it on the icy sections. Just today they saved my a__! As for commuting during the dark, chilly months light and layer up. Good to see (ha ha) you got a nice light system. As for clothing, I use a ski jacket and always carry a face mask.

Give a hoot, go commute!
 

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Seeker of Dirt
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Keep it up!

I was commuting to and from work in the dark this fall with my 3 yo. in tow. Lights everywhere would be my advice. I have one on my handlebars, a headlamp and a blinky on the back of the trailer. I also have multiple reflectors on the back and sides of the trailer.

Unfortunately I got a nasty lung infection that stopped my commuting for awhile. The infection was unrelated to the cold commute, it was from the yuck that the last tenants left in my furnace. Fortunately, a HEPA filter cleared it up. About the time I kicked the infection the snow started falling and we're now up to almost 4 feet in my yard. The streets are down to a mere foot in the neighborhoods I commute through. :D

If you are still able to commute, go for it! ;) I loved my rides in the dark. I found it very peaceful, especially in the residential areas.
 

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I can't emphasize enough how critical it is to be visible to drivers if you want to ride at night and survive. Illiminite jackets are great; they glow in headlights. Someone on our forum found an ultra bright rear blinkie called a DiNotti (brand name). Wear reflective clothing or vest, get multiple insanely bright rear blinkies, a bright front light, and a second front light that blinks. Reflectors on the bike. If you have access to one through a local bike club, take a Road I course. Basically, it will train you on the safest ways to ride in traffic.
MtBr.com forum with comments on the DiNotti; not cheap, but how much is your life worth?
http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories.../tail-light-pro-series/PRD_413461_130crx.aspx
 

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winter rider

Get some studded tires and keep extra batteries for your lights. Try to choose a route that is well lighted if possible. I live (Alaska) where it is dark most of the time during the winter and I am always on the defensive around cars... I just don't trust the gas people :skep: and there aren't a whole lot of winter riders up here. I am actually more scared of who is out on the trail or road more than anything else. You'd think I would be more scared of animals but we have a LOT of freaks up here. I don't ride alone past 8pm on the popular wooded trails and always carry my cell phone when it's dark. Don't give up your ride time... you'll regret it. Do get some studs.

Kathy
 
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