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   The ride to breakfast was at 18°F/-8°C but I did it in a double shirt which turned out to be just fine.  Pictured is the Iron Horse sitting outside Short Stack on State Street during breakfast.  The people of Short Stack had to fight the city in order to get permission to have these racks installed.  Once they got them they made little knitted cozies for them. 
   After work this afternoon I went to a new coffee shop to meet up with someone and then to a bike show at the convention center.  There I tried out some prospective bikes.  A rather new class of bikes with bigger tires is making its way into the commuter scene and I tried some of them.  I found that fat tire bikes are pretty impressive on all types of snow.  Behind the convention center there was a partially plowed area.  In this area I had rutty packed snow and piled snow.  I put all of the commuters though them.  I found that the large fat tire bikes do really well regardless the snow, but they are such sluggish beasts I don't see them as a functional option.  The larger mountain bike like tires did quite well on the snow but were not nearly as unruly.  So I have an idea of what I want now.
   Just because I had never ridden one before I wanted to try a road bike.  Skinny tires at high pressure, low posture handlebars and insanely lite carbon fiber frames all said these bikes want to move.  I was expecting a rougher ride than I got, but I really couldn't tell how much faster I was able to move as I had nothing to measure my speed.  A couple things I did notice.  Road bikes don't stop quickly.  Hitting the breaks just locks up their little tires and you slide.  They don't like bumps or snow drifts at all.  Also the slightest amount of ice is really scary and I almost dumped on my first run with one.  For now I think I will stick to my bulky commuters.  They might be slow but are far more useful year round.
   Now that I am listed as a new homeowner I have started receiving a lot of junk mail.  Much of it is setup to look like bills.  Somehow these people know exactly how much I owe on my mortgage and they quote the number to add legitimacy to their deceptive advertising.  Having recently finished an audiobook on the history of scams I find it interesting how consumer protection started at nothing, built up to something fairly strong, and again has slowly been declining.  Caveat emptor.
   My ride into work today was pretty but a bit slow in places.  Most of the trails were plowed and even Elmwood was plowed.  However that was not universally the case.  With my studded tires I worry little about sliding, but simi-packed snow is like riding on sand—you just slow to a crawl.  My ride to work started 20 minutes latter than usual because I needed to start the morning plowing the sidewalks.  This is the first snowfall this year I felt justified in using David Blowie (our snowblower). 
   Forecast called for heavy snow this afternoon.  Today and tomorrow have the highest temperatures of the week and I had to ride.  Going to work I had a 12 MPH headwind and 36°F/2°C.  The weather started latter than forecast with rain.  I was a little worried it would not transition to snow in time for the ride home, but it did.  The temperature was 36°F/2°C and I had an 18 MPH tailwind with gusts of 24 MPH.  The snow was pretty heavy and visibility limited.  I used my strobe most of the ride so that drivers would see me.  For the most part everyone was driving slowly and I didn't have any trouble.  When I got home I was fairly covered with snow and so was my bike.  The roads had just started to accumulate enough snow to slow me down, but not by much.  So overall it was a nice ride.
Powered Taillight

Powered Taillight

   This is my taillight.  I am actually slightly more fond of my old one which after years of use suffered a break in the plastic clip that attacked it to the bike.  This light is brighter (which is why I selected it) but I like the flashing patterns of my old light better.  The biggest problem with this new light is the battery.  It is supposed to be able to remain in a high flash for over 2 hours, but it can't.  The batteries are just too small.  The device uses a USB charging port, and my bike has 5 volt power.  In fact, my bike 8.4V battery packs have a USB connector.  My roomie Zach had a bunch of very long USB cables and I snagged one.  This afternoon I ran it from the from of the bike to the light.  This should allow the taillight to always have power.  I will probably test this out tomorrow on the ride into work.