Fender-less Was A Bad Choice

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I kept hearing Anchorman Ron Burgundy’s voice in my head during yesterday’s club ride. “Milk was a bad choice” became “Fender-less was a bad choice!”

My CoMotion commuter recently underwent a rejuvenation session at Signature Cycles. I had messed up the rear fender trying to get the Burley Piccolo rack in place, and the bike was in need of better brakes now that I plan to tow a kid around behind me.  So when the opportunity to do a club ride presented itself yesterday I naturally grabbed the bike without fenders. And you can see in the picture above how that worked out for me.

Yesterday’s weather was quite remarkable. It was 35 degrees at the start of the ride. Five riders set out from the usual starting point and one quickly fell behind. I’m not sure if it was a mechanical issue or the pace. It didn’t seem like we were going all that fast but, then again, there’s a core group of people who ride through the winter and others that do not. By the end of the ride, it was 55 degrees. 55 in February!! Yet as I type this it is dumping snow on Long Island and we are expecting 10 inches by afternoon. I ride and it snows, the theme for the past several weeks.

There are a couple of roads on our usual routes that haunt me. They consist of little stair step hills or rollers. Climb, level off, climb again. They trouble me because they occur at the very start or end of the ride, when I’m either not warmed up or when I’m done for the day. For years, when I rode by myself, these roads would beat the crap out of me because I didn’t know how to pace myself and because I’d get all up-in-my-head about them. Joining the club helped tremendously because I had people to pace with and talk to; tackling the hills became less of a mental exercise because there was someone to chat with.  

Yesterday I worked my way up the first road and realized “this doesn’t suck anymore.” I haven’t been up the road since last Spring, so it was nice to get up it without any drama mentally or physically. The first “climb*” of the new year was made easier no doubt by commuting and by the group I was riding with. You cannot underestimate the power of riding with others.

{** I say “climb” but people from other states would call it a mound or speed bump. Long Island is pretty flat compared to Connecticut, for example}

With that first climb behind me, I was able to focus my attention on getting the bike as dirty as possible. We came home filthier than had we been on a mountain bike trail. My brand new mega-dollar Assos jacket has permanent dirt stains on its white portions and I managed to get dirt inside my pockets. That’s never happened before. All this provided the motivation to scrub down the bike. 70 minutes later…..

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As inconvenient as bike maintenance can be to one’s schedule, there is a grand satisfaction to scrubbing every nook and cranny, including removing the crud from the drivetrain jockey wheels. I applied a few drops of NFS chain lube (literally a FEW drops), and the bike was as good as new. 

How’s that for a product placement? In all seriousness, I wouldn’t mention something unless it was good. This was my first application of the lube so I’ll have to see how it works. But it’s recommended by my mechanic, and that’s good enough for me. 

Next time, I’ll take the fendered  bike.

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About robertkerner

Educator, registered nurse, attorney, inquisitive mind
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3 Responses to Fender-less Was A Bad Choice

  1. . road my presently fenderless bike Saturday which turned out to be a little messy for my bike and for my riding partner. Chose my fendered bike for Sunday’s ride!

    • Whoops that should be “rode.” Computer keeps autocorrecting “fenderless” to “genderless” — which occupied my attention! Although the idea of a genderless bike could make some sense.

      • robertkerner says:

        Autocorrect is a stumbling block at times, Oddly enough, none of my riding companions got as messy. I even saw one guy white perfectly-clean white DeFeet shoe covers.

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