I've been biking to work this week. Yes, it's been cold, but the sunshine on my back, my scarf, and my helmuffs are keeping me warm -- a little too warm, in fact -- on the morning ride. Let's just say that the hair dryer in my desk drawer has been getting a lot of use.* For the evening ride, I swap my cardigan and scarf for the fluorescent jacket and am fairly toasty with that arrangement.
The worst part of the evening ride is the darkness; my little 2 watt lights can illuminate the trail directly in front of my tire and reflective items along the trail, but they're not sufficient for cutting through the gloom. In fact, I almost hit a ninja jogger last night (not even his SHOES had reflective bits). A 600 lumen MiNewt and a more robust tail light should be on my doorstep when I get home tonight. I do think that 600 lumens is overkill and I don't want to sear the eyeballs of oncoming cyclists (or motorists, for that matter), but I like the option of having that much candlepower on my handlebar. I'll probably keep the light at 250 in traffic and then bump it up to 400 when I'm in inky blackness (or perhaps the reverse...). And I'll keep the less sufficient lights in my pannier as emergency back-ups if something goes awry.
*Although, I worry that the woman who keeps using the restroom while I'm changing my base layer and drying my hair may think I'm homeless.