Rainy days - it's what bike mudguards were invented for!
We were blessed with the weather at the tail end of October, catching some last minute rays of autumn sunshine up in Scotland and going for a family cycle ride in Kielder Forest. However, that now feels like a distant memory as we've crossed the line into November and been hit full in the face with a torrent of spray. Rain, rain, rain - what's going on?
Now, as I'm fully aware that I don't dissolve upon contact with water, and am happy to cycle whatever the weather, I've always resisted fitting bike mudguards. I know, I know, it is an irrational thing but it's stuck by me through thick and thin for my whole life.
When (at the age of 8) I was presented with my first racer, standing there gleaming in a not very subtle shade of orange and bedecked with shiny silver bike mudguards, I looked at it with excitement and with a beaming smile etched across my face, as a plan formulated in my young mind. I already pictured myself hurtling along; the scenery a blur of colour - just me and my bike, not a mudguard in sight.
Even at this early stage of the relationship I had already designated the mudguards to the parts bin of 'not required' items that lived in the back of the garage. And that is how it has always been. I've had countless bikes, and each and every one of them has always been stripped of the items I deemed to be 'superfluous', and once the deed was done I'd merrily go on my way.
I've not spent too much time delving into the reasons for this, other than it may have been a result of being an avid Tour de France watcher, and coming to the conclusion that if the riders on my TV screen didn't need mudguards on their bikes, then neither did I!
Well it does appear that I'm finally growing up and starting to see sense (Not a lot though, Ed.), as this year I have fitted a pair of bike mudguards to the daily. They'd been hanging around unused and unloved, when this strange notion came over me that perhaps I could fit them to the bike! Ok, so they weren't designed for a mountain bike with front suspension forks, but as I'm a fairly practical kind of guy with an alteration here, and an additional fixing there I soon had them affixed firmly and ready for action.
Now on really wet days I no longer fear gravity. Running the risk of my sodden MTB shorts being dragged down towards my ankles due to the gallon of water they've soaked up on the journey is a thing of the past. I'm now as dry as the Atacama when I reach my destination. Furthermore, my little companion sitting astride the tagalong is having a much better time of it, as the water from the back wheel has a totally different trajectory, which is great for him to watch and adds an additional element of fun to the journey.
Another bonus is that the frame of the bike has been much cleaner since fitting them, meaning less poking around trying to free the fallen tree debris that's somehow got itself lodged behind the chainset and making me wish I had the digits of a seven year old. Where is N when you need him!!!
So there you go. An older, wiser and drier Cycle Sprog extolling the virtues of bike mudguards in wet weather. Not rocket science is it!
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