Fenders are your friend – don’t be the guy or girl with a brown stripe up your backside! That’s exactly what will happen if you ride in the rain or slush with nothing between you and your tires. Fenders are essential for those who want to ride in all weather conditions and keep themselves clean and dry. My oma has huge fenders and mudflaps that keep all dirt, grime, slush, and other city road nastiness off of me. I wear this cream colored coat a lot while riding and it is totally clean. I’d probably get it dirtier sitting on the el train (I have a fear of one day sitting in a pee-soaked seat – ick).
Riding your bike doesn’t have to mean getting messy if you’re prepared. My bikes came with fenders, but most in the States don’t. Planet Bike has some great ones that my husband added to his bike (and hopefully Trisha’s Pinkie will have soon have her own pink pair). There are some that snap on and off easily, but don’t offer full protection. I recommend the full fenders with mud flaps, which will keep your shoes clean and reduce spray for the benefit of any cyclists riding behind you.
Happy (rain/snow) riding!