Today is one of those really tough bike commute days. Did you ride today?
Here's an article with 11 motivators for sticking to your winter commute including: fewer sick days, calories burned, bragging rights...
This is mostly me, but I didn't ride on Monday. If I ride every day regardless, I will fall. I don't want to fall anymore. So sometimes (bad storm or ice), for safety, I leave the bike at home.
I was out doing some errands as a ped in that $#@! and decided against riding to work that night. Thick slushy uncleared lanes, drivers not even pretending to stop, lakes at all the intersections, and pelting sleet? No thanks.
Live to ride another day.
I have studded tires, and ride year round, but I stayed off the bike on Monday and Wednesday. I've learned that no matter how confident I am on my bike in active snow, I can't control how the car handles that still speeds and then proceeds to slip out in an intersection.
The interesting thing is that when I rode on Tuesday, I expected the protected bike lane on Lake to be horrible. Traditionally they never plowed it until days after a big snow event (if at all), as a normal plow truck couldn't fit in the lane. This year, though, they took out the protected-lane bollards for the winter. Sure enough, it was plowed and clear (though some other buffered lanes on my trip, like Washington in the West Loop, were still pretty bad, which doesn't make sense).
The new protected lanes are great and get people out more for sure, but the City is definitely having issues keeping them cleared in winter, and there are stretches where I have felt less safe riding in the winter than I did in the past. You end up forced back into the lane, and cars now think cyclists shouldn't be there in those stretches since the (now impassable) protected lane is right next to where you're riding.