The end of December has brought an interesting mix of personality dynamics among road users. In my experience, Chicago drivers are much nicer in the winter and so far I’ve had no issues. They’ve been giving me generous passing room and follow slowly when necessary. I haven’t seen a lot of cyclists out there, usually sports types who ignore me. Meanwhile, pedestrians and onlookers have been more outgoing than usual, with a road crew waving at me, a guy enthusing as he crossed the street, “You are brave! Look at you! Be safe!” and a Streetwise vendor telling how he loves to see me ride by on my bike every day.
As for travel conditions – although nothing like the northeast blizzards, several inches of snow fell in Chicago over Christmas, piling on top of the existing snow. The plows cleared the streets decently, but bike lanes are full of snow and slush, while small neighborhood streets are still pretty snowy. No problem – I stick to main routes, ride outside the bike lanes and feel extra security from my studded tires.
How is the end of the beginning of winter going for you? Any interesting encounters while riding around?