It's December in Boulder, and that means your bike is taking a beating from the elements!
Don't let this be you
There are some things that you can do to protect your bike from these nasty elements, as well as increase your enjoyment (or decrease your misery, depending on how you look at it).
Some easy and inexpensive changes:
Fenders - These will keep your bike and legs and back from getting splattered with water and road grime. They make a lot of different kinds, depending on how you want to mount them.
Lights - As it's getting darker earlier, lights are becoming a must! and if increasing your enjoyment involves not getting ran over by a car, light it up.
Degreaser / Lube - Squirt some good grease on your chain and it will be less likely to get gunked up with road grime.
More in depth changes:
Winter tires - Some knobby tires, or even tires with studs in them will really increase your traction in the snow and ice, if you don't mind changing tires.
Headset sleeve - This is a little neoprene sleeve that covers your headset, keeping dirt and road grime out. These can be purchased for ~$5 online.
Balaclava - Cover your handsome face.
Coat - Often a coat with some zippers in the arm pits is nice because you can cool off fast.
Gloves - Toasty! the farther up your arm they go, the warmer.
ect - You know what... if you've made it this far in life without figuring out how to stay warm, biking in the winter is the least of your problems.
Keeping your bike clean is also very important. I try to at least knock off all the snow and slush after I ride in the elements. After several rides like this , it's a good idea to clean your bike off thoroughly. This can often be accomplished (to the chagrin of your room mates / fiance') by tossing your bike in the shower. Get it clean and wipe it down.
Rub a Dub
Notice the bike? I have been able to take the cross bike for a few rides! The wrap up posts are in the works, so stay tuned. Also, to be perfectly clear...
Wash all the gunk off, make sure it's COMPLETELY dry before freezing it again. Some things to try to focus on are the brake pads and surfaces, chain and mechanical parts. Once it's clean, it's very important to re-lubricate the moving parts. This will ensure that you don't get any rusty parts and the grease will repel more dirt form sticking.