Fall and Cyclocross season dovetail nicely with the season for long rides. Those time when you and your pals just spin the little ring for a few hours between coffee and pastry stops, it's pretty much the best time of the year, delightfully removed from the ego and restlessness that comes after months of earning your base fitness. Like the weather, fall is riding is just chill.
The arrival of Fall also means the beginning of the rainy season--which is roughly seven months out of the year here in the Northwest--which also means you'll need a pair of fenders if you want to ride those long hours with others.
Obviously, it's not a requirement for every group ride and there are those who have some strange moral opposition to besetting their sharp-as-a-knife race bikes with a set. This anti-fender rhetoric can, at times, take on such vitriol that some will even resort more drastic measures.
Example: A friend who lives on the east coast told me that his community once tried to institute a fender policy. The experiment in dry neighborliness gave rise to FLM--The Fender Liberation Movement. Those who saddled their beautiful road bikes with fenders could return to their bikes after a day of work, or long coffee stops to find them "liberated" of their fenders. That's right, FLM would go around town cutting fenders off bikes. The community finally gave in to this quasi-political protest and lifted the fender imperative; muddy faces and wet ass once again reigned in the Leigh High Valley. Score one for radical activism, I guess.
As you know, the Pac Northwest is much more liberal in these (and all) instances. Those who hate fendered bikes simply talk about you when you're not around. Lame? Sure. Hurtful, of course not--sticks and stones and all that.
Here, we support you fendering you bike in the wetter months. I (this is Bob writing), in particular can't stand the soaked feet and wet ass feeling that accompanies this time of year. There is a time to be intentionally uncomfortable, but the fall is not that time. When it comes to what fenders are the right fenders we think you can't go wrong with Portland Design Works' Full Metal Fender. At a $120 dollars a set they are not what one would call cheap, but the hold up to seasons use and are so easy to remove and reinstall (after initial set up) and that my friends is what we call value.
There are other fenders out there of course. But we think these are the best ones, and so they are the only fender set you will find in our 1000 square feet. Installation cost is $40.00, and we've done more of these than anyone else in town (as per PDW, and they wouldn't snow us). Stop by or call down (206.328.5400) and talk to us about how enjoyable fall and winter riding can be with the right equipment.