Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring Preview

High 50s and into the 60s tomorrow. As a native New Englander, I know this is not the start of spring. Just a little preview to keep everyone from totally losing it. It will most likely snow again, at least once more, before winter is really over, but I'll take it.

This little warm up is melting the giant snowbanks, which is three parts awesome and two parts a drag. The awesome is that as the snow banks melt, cars have have their parking spaces back, and we cyclists can have our bike lanes back. One of the drags is this:

Gross. As the snow disappears, we're left with dirty piles of trash. Although I did just find that red straw I lost in December.

The other drag is that the snow turns into water, flows into the reappearing bike lanes, and makes fenders pretty necessary even on a beautiful day like this. I have my humble opinions on bicycle aesthetics. Fenders are one of those things that I think bikes look better without. But I'm willing to give up looks, if it involves keeping the water that melted out of that snow pile off of my back.

I meant to write up a little review of Portland Design Works' Origami Fender before the winter hit. Just like all other quick mount style rear fenders, it's lightweight and easy to install. The feature that sets it apart from those other guys (and what I most appreciate) is that it's easily stashed in a back pack (or messenger bag, if that's what you're into). The 'mud flap' part of the fender is made of thin flexible plastic (think this), that snaps onto the seat post mount. Unsnap them, and they'll easily fit without sticking out. See?:

Bag w/ regular fender

Bag w/ origami fender™

Function when you want to keep trashy snow water from soaking you. Easy stowing when the weather turns nice.

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