I am noticing fewer cyclists on the road and more empty space at the racks downtown. I am feeling like it's more important than ever to keep riding in this shoulder season. It's like the old folk tale of the guy who goes out to the barn every day to pick up his newly born calf. When his neighbor asks why the hell he is doing that, he replies "if I do this every day, eventually I'll be able to pick up a bull!".
Maybe it's a poor analogy, but I think if I ride every day, pretty soon I'll be riding in winter. I suspect it would be very difficult to re-start after a week or so off the bike at this point. Probably more so when it's really cold. On the other hand, keeping doing what you are doing is relatively easily (momentum vs. inertia).
I am actually liking the shoulder season more than mid-summer; To keep me comfy, I have a very nice REI wind/rain jacket that I love, and to make it even better, it was a little too snug this spring, but fits now. Plus, I am now wearing a really bad-ass snowboard helmet for a little extra warmth - it looks really Mad Max and hard core (at least by my standards). I've also seen some good sunrises, too.
Unrelated but potentially interesting, I have a friend leading an exploratory discussion of bike advocacy in Minneapolis. Yes, we do have Transit for Livable Communities and MN Bike Alliance, but TLC seems like a gong show at times and MN Bike Alliance has a state-wide focus. The thrust of this potential advocacy group will be Minneapolis.
The first meeting will be Saturday, October 31 at 11:00 AM at the offices of Twin Cities Streets for People at 212 3rd Ave. No., Suite 515. If you are at all interested, this could be an opportunity to help shape the platform of a group focused on bicycling in Minneapolis. As they say, history is made by the ones the showed up. I am planning on being there and hope plenty of others show up as well.