Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bicycle Commuting: Fenders Are Fundamental

Fenders are required equipment for the bicycle commuter

A commuter bicycle needs fenders. I am not given to frequently employing unambiguous declarative sentences here, but there you go. I tried riding my bike to work for a few weeks without them, and even in Arizona, I would run into puddles, rivulets, and other forms of street water, and getting drenched from muddy water flying up your back in an unwanted and unwelcome rooster tail, and flying off your front wheel, and getting all over your bike itself, is a deterrent. But install fenders, and voila: anything short of a flash flood and I just ride straight through it. Having a rack and bag on the back also helps, but with a rear fender I save the bag and bike from all that slop. I'm sure everyone who has them already views all of this as simple and obvious. It is, once you unite the bike with fenders and commute on it regularly. But for someone who doesn't have them, and/or who doesn't commute by bicycle, the reaction, "fenders?" is quite natural. But their utility in this role is great. Now that I have them, I can't imagine commuting without them. Fenders fenders fenders.

About the photo: I'm not quite sure why the pavement is motion-blurred and the palm tree trunk reflection looks quite sharp. It's farther, and it's probably simple optics, but anyway the result is rather odd looking to me, and I like it. Fenders: get some. Get up. Go ride.


  1. I agree with everything you have said about fenders...My touring bike and my training bike both have fenders...only my sportive bike doesn't and I wouldn't intensionally ride that in the rain.....

  2. Respectfully, once we get past our next two rainy months, the fenders will come off Buddy. Only one bike can be ridden at a time in bad conditions and good conditions prevail around here most of the time.

  3. What you say about fenders is what some people say about umbrella's. After many protests, you then find the protester normally has tried them out and seen their usefulness, and bingo, next thing he's starting to collect them!


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