Friday, October 18, 2013

Fender Season

The days of beautiful, sunny, dry, and warm are behind us, at least for us in the northern parts of the country. I know there are many places that have to deal with rainy weather on a year round basis and still have strong cycling communities (Seattle and London), but here in the woods our summers are mostly dry and then fall through spring we see quite a bit more precipitation. Last fall I purchased fenders in the attempt to keep cleaning time down.

I used to avoid wet rides but as I fell deeper into cycling, I cared less about the weather.  A lot of this transition was finding the proper clothing, see my post on winter gear.  I owe the inspiration to ride no matter the weather to retired pro Robbie Ventura.  I made a comment about the challenge of riding in Chicago while I was working for Vision Quest Coaching and he said something along the lines of, year round riding is all about having the correct clothing. I got to a point where I was personally comfortable in about any temperature, I am sure there are some pieces that I can add to my gear but I am content with what I have.

Now my bike is another story.  I was getting fed up with cleaning my bike for an hour after an hour long ride.  If you ride in the rain or snow getting your bike dirty is inevitable, but there are ways to keep that to a minimum.  There are always special articles on how the pro mechanics prep the bikes but the reality is they have the ability to wash the bikes after any race in sub ideal weather.

My solution was a set of CRUD Roadracer MK2 fenders. The piece that appealed the most to me was that they were super light and provided full coverage.  As I only have my one bike I wanted sleek close fitting fender and The Roadracers met my expectations.  They do feel a bit flimsy out of the box and take a bit of getting set up but once they are on you barely notice them.  I felt a lot better riding in the rain and snow knowing that I was not spraying my drive train with grimy water.  I also spared myself and anyone I was riding with from a black shower.

This is a hard time of year for me.  Most of the activities I enjoy require good weather but I enjoy riding too much to let the weather be in complete control.  I feel like I now have the option to set up my rollers for an easy spin or get out and enjoy some fresh air.

As always, get out on your bike and spend a little more time in the big ring.

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