Looking back, I see it’s been just about a year since I started blogging regularly about my bike commutes to work.  One thing is for sure:  Winter is the most interesting time of year to ride, because the varying weather conditions give each ride its own set of challenges.  That starts with figuring out what to wear, and also what gear to pack for the ride home, as conditions can change a lot from morning to evening.  But in addition to that, winter weather conditions can also dictate what route I take to work, to a greater extent than during other times of the year.  Snow and ice on roads are often a factor, but today’s challenge was the wind.  We started out the day in the upper 20s with a brisk west wind.  I wanted to get around 15 miles in this morning, and soon after starting the ride, I realized I was dragging a bit.  Given this, ordinarily it’d be a no-brainer to head through the park and then up through Halethorpe/Relay, because it’s less hilly than the alternative of riding through Catonsville.  However, going through Halethorpe would mean a long uphill grind into the wind, which would have been brutal.  So I elected to do Catonsville instead, where I pick up the same elevation riding east on Edmondson Ave.  The initial climb up Thistle Rd. and Oella Ave. was a bit of a drag, but once I got onto Edmondson Ave., I picked up a tailwind and the remaining uphill climb was (literally) a breeze, in spite of me not being 100%.  The next couple of days look like carbon copies of today, so I might be riding similar routes through Wednesday.