I've been riding the same route at the same time every day since June 2003 so motorists will expect to see me on the road. (My previous commute was 40 miles round-trip and I did it only a few times a week.) I haven't had to modify my route due to snow, though the first mile is tough if a plow hasn't come through. Narrow or no shoulders most of the way, a few hills, and lots of Canada geese at my job.
I am the only woman and the only person in management who commutes by bike (and I have over 1,000 coworkers). There is one other year-round cyclist on my shift. Bike racks were installed at my job in December 2003 and I've convinced the people responsible for removing snow and ice to clear the sidewalk leading to the rack.
? On a cold, rainy morning, a motorist rolled down his window to say, "Isn't it a little cold to be going to the forest preserves?" He seemed to be impressed when I told him I was going to work. ? I was pelted by Jolly Ranchers thrown by high school students from their school bus on my way home from work. My fingers were bruised and sore for over a month and I had to get a new helmet because the impact ruined my helmet. The students also pelted a mini van and the impact put nicks in the windshield. I don't think these particular students will throw things at me again because they know I can (and will) chase their bus and find someone to squeal on them. ? I fight road rage with a sign on my milk crate that says, "Share the road, it's the law." I used to get honked/yelled at several times a day to get off the road/get on the sidewalk and now I only get honked/yelled at a couple times a month at most. ? I am big on being visible. I was hit by a car in October 2002, most likely because the reflective piping on my jacket was not enough to make the motorist aware of me. He left me unconcious in the intersection. I got a concussion, lots of bruises and swelling, but was able to ride a week later and the bike was fine.