Since I've only been at this for a couple of months, and not so seriously/regularly at that, I'm not going the standard "Best of" route. Instead, I just have a couple of random thoughts that I'm going to lump into a post.
1. For being a government organization dedicated to public health, the Baltimore City Health Dept (where I work) sure doesn't go out of its way to make bike commuters feel welcome. There are two of us who bike regularly. I usually get in about three days a week, and Caroline is a five day rider. Where do we lock up? On a couple of old police barricades (one apparently "borrowed" from the NYPD) and an air conditioner stand. Now, I'm not saying that nicer facilities would mean more bikers, but a token actual bike rack would be fantastic.
2. Reflective tape is great. The picture is a before/after using the flash to show how brightly the tape shows up. In this case it is made evident with the camera flash, but from experience I can say that car headlights have a similar effect. A great, passive (in other words, no batteries or bulbs to die on you) way to make extra sure you're visible during a night commute in traffic. Note: passive is fine as a backup to active lighting, not as a replacement.
3. Convertible gloves, also great. First saw mittens similar to these a few years back. Those were wool, like the hobo gloves in a previous post, and when I moved to Baltimore I picked up these fleece ones from REI. They've got the windstopper stuff, so they don't let in the breeze and being able to flip the flaps down while riding (they're teeth-friendly) means I can head out with my fingers free to work the brakes and cover them up if it's too cold for exposed extremities.
That's about it for now. I'll end the year with a shot of the parking lot at work when I headed out this afternoon. If you look really carefully in the upper right corner, by the exit, you can see the bike area.
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