As mentioned earlier not many people bother to cycle in Niigata in the winter , lots of rain, snow and temps down to - 3 deg and like last night - lots of black ice. I rode to work yesterday in powder snow which was quite easy but coming home last night was really dangerous as there was black ice everywhere, of course I rode quite slowing trying to pick the safest line possible and when I saw a patch of deep snow I rode in that instead of on the road. But there was one section of road that took me by surprise , the main route back towards my house was quite dry but the sides of the road where the cars ( God bless them ! ) had compacted the snow was solid black ice and could not be avoided easily without riding in the line of traffic. On approaching one large patch of black ice I had nowhere else to go so tried riding slowly through it. But the black ice was thick and slippery and my front tyre washed out towards the traffic and I came down and rolled to the side of the road and just managed to pull my bike out of the way of a large bus. Thank god for my natural padding , helmet, gloves and several layers of clothing otherwise I would have been seriously hurt for sure. From now on I will be lowing the air pressure in my tyres and taking the back roads to work rather slowly. So for all you brave winter cyclists out there , take care !.