STEP #1: Outfit your Bicycle
Hopefully by now you have a bicycle that you have been commuting on. You do not need a special bicycle to commute on during the winter. There are certain features that you will really like, but there are always ways to deck out what you have! First step, and something that can be utilized year round, are fenders.
If you do not have those mounts do not fret. You can use a frame mounted fender. Even if you do have the mounts these fenders are easy to snap off and on depending on your need!
45NRTH, Schwalbe, and Continental are some great tire brands to start looking at for studded options!
The last and arguably most important piece to outfit your bike is LUBE. I cannot express how important lubing the moving parts on your bicycle is. We covered chain lube in our ABC's of bike maintenance post. In the winter all of these ideas will become even more important as salt, sand, and cold are attacking your bicycle.
STEP #2: YOU!
First off you will want to wear different clothes. We have oodles and oodles and oodles of posts about what to wear when commuting! Check them out. I want to touch on what you can do to make the winter commute a little less harsh.
First things first. KEEP RIDING. Ride a little outside everyday. It is the best way to figure out how to dress and to let your body acclimate.
Even if it is just a short jaunt to the store. It will keep you motivated and it won't be as intimidating when you go out for your whole commute.
Once you have conquered some snowy and cold commutes it is probably time for a break. I use a friends car at least once a week to give myself something to look forward too. Then I also realize commuting on my bike is usually faster and much more enjoyable.
Second thing is to give yourself extra time. Extra time to get dressed, to ride, and to get undressed. This time probably adds up to around 15 minutes total for my commute. Acknowledging this added time is necessary because then I am not stressing trying to make up for it during my ride.
Last and overall the change of seasons is hard for everyone, bicycles included! Taking the change one step at a time will ensure you actually want to be riding and will continue to do so after the winter season has blown by.