The commute is mostly on town and country roads with heavy car traffic ~40 mph. Little to know shoulder. However the middle portion is on a 4 lane state road with speed limits of 45 mph...minimal shoulder also. Up and down Berkshire hills in both directions. As long as there is no snow, ice, salt I am able to commute. Last year I did not ride in January or February. This year I was able to ride some in January.
I am a father of 2 girls. My wife is also a bike commuter 1 day per week in the summers. I work as an exercise physiologist at a health resort. I am just trying to do what we humans were genetically set up to do.....move.
As I was riding up a hill I watched a squirrel get chased down a tree so quickly, by a fellow squirrel, that he slipped off a branch, went free falling down 15 feet into a pile of leaves and then throw it right back into gear and climb back up. You won't