Generally, I agree with a lot of what Paul Soglin has to say. But not everything. It would appear that I'm not the only one who took umbrage with his recent rant against winter bicyclists. Check out the comments section on this sucker. That's what the kids call a "hornet's nest" after it has been thoroughly poked.
And frankly, he deserved the virtual tongue lashing. Like I said in my own comment to the post, riding in any kind of weather, but especially inclement weather like we've been having, without proper safety gear and adherence to the laws of the road is stupid. But riding your bike in the snow in general is not stupid. In fact, I wish I could do it (well, technically I could, but it's a 16 mile ride one-way to work for me and I just can't face that in the snow). I think it's pretty dedicated and hardcore.
Recently, I met this awesome lady, probably in her 50's, who surprised me when she started telling me all about the ice biking she does up on Lake Superior. Holy crap, ice biking? And here I thought riding in the rain was hard. People like that put me to shame, but they also motivate me to get off my duff and try new things, even if they're difficult. Maybe there's a pair of studded tires in my future after all....
Point is, a bicycle on the road during the snowy season has more to fear from cars than cars do from them (and same goes for all-year-round, frankly). But with some common sense and efforts at safety by both sides, risks can be greatly reduced. And hey, there's that whole bikes-don't-tear-up-the-earth-and-the-air thing, too. Don't forget about that. And get off your cell phone!
(image credit: www.nemba.org)