It was fun while it lasted but the roads are to icy and the dirt roads and trails are to deep.
My home brewed vintage cross bike worked pretty good and I got a good taste of cross riding. I am actually going to buy a newer cross bike next season and use this ride for camping and spring riding.
I would recommend to anyone that recycling an old commuter into a cross bike is well worth the trouble. And its cheap, so there is no risk that you can't sell it if you find getting muddy isn't your thing.
Ever tried studded tires on the ice? I haven't had the chance. We don't get much ice here, but I've read about it. I want to try it. When we get ice, it rarely stays for more than a day.
I have but with the wind chill on a typical mid winter day thats -30 or colder so any type of distance or time is out of the question. But its fun going out for as much as you can stand. The real training is done indoors anyways.
1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
Studded tires are surprisingly good. I have a pair I'm planning to use on my commuter bike this winter if necessary; I had them on my Raleigh Twenty a couple winters ago, when I thought I would commute on that. It didn't work as a commuter bike, but I rode it around the golf course when there was a crust on the ice, and played with my kids when they were skating on a frozen pond. I'd tow them a bit, then once I got up to speed they'd push themselves ahead of me. Silly wintertime fun. The bike handled fine on the ice; I never slipped a bit.
For me, it's studded tires pretty much as soon as the nights stay below freezing. The black ice around here is particularly dangerous first thing in the morning as the sun hits what froze the night before.