Lay to Rest Your Puddle Fears

How to make a mess: mix snow, rain, sleet, and some more snow. Vary temperatures wildly. Add a heaping dose of cars and a dash of city grit. Voila, a mess.

The stage is set for cyclists to become victims of the unattractive skunk tail. If you want to avoid this fate (and you do), make sure your bike is outfitted with fenders. Mud flaps are great, too, and keep your shoes clean.

Once your bike is outfitted with those classy and utilitarian accessories, you’ll be ready to take on all sorts of city messes. Lay to rest your puddle fears and enjoy the view (just make sure the puddle’s not hiding potholes!).

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22 thoughts on “Lay to Rest Your Puddle Fears

  1. oh boy, that sounds familiar. around here, it is puddle central. thank GOODNESS for fenders.

  2. Elisa M says:

    Whenever I forget my fenders, I end up turning my skirt to the side so that is looks like I splashed, not like I wet myself.

    Dirty skunk ass is the worst! I got a clip on fender for Freddy since he has no braze-ons.

  3. Beautiful photos of “the mess”. It’s funny that both in Boston and in Vienna, bikes with fenders are now more common than bikes without.

  4. Dottie says:

    @Elisa M – That’s a great tip!

  5. Mark Simpson says:

    I love the reflected scenes. There is a flickr user who takes lots of pix like this – often involving bicyles.

    @lovelybicyle: really? In my commute i’ve not been seeing that. When the weather is wet i see more bikes with fenders but less bikes in general. When the weather is dry i see more bikes without fenders. People on the streets you are riding must be more intelligent than the ones i have :)

  6. Cherilyn says:

    It’s amazing how something so simple as fenders makes all the difference!

  7. Dottie says:

    @Mark Simpson – Wow! Those photographs are amazing. The ones with people in them are haunting. I might have to start trolling around for puddles. Thanks for sharing that link!

  8. Step-Through says:

    Beautiful surreal photos…like a window into another world. It feels like you could jump into the puddle and land in some alternate city where everything is reversed.

  9. darren says:

    wow! Dottie is right! MArk them pictures are really good.

    ah fenders, i’m still looking for a nice set for my 20″ foldie, anyone got interesting ideas they’d like to share? i’m all ears! TIA guys and gals…

    oh BTW, nice is a prerequisite… haha

  10. Amy says:

    What great photos! I’ve been trying to explain to my students how to find beauty in the ugliness, and these would be a perfect example!

  11. Dave says:

    This is one thing Todd from Clever Cycles here in Portland is always marveling about – that, for instance, only something like 10% of people on a massive “worst day of the year” bike ride have proper fenders, in a city where it rains about 3/4 of the year. I will say, I think the number of people with fenders on is growing, but it’s amazing still to see people arriving at work, for instance, covered in mud from road spray. It’s also really obnoxious to ride behind people without fenders who are shooting road spray 10 ft up in the air and right down on my head.

    We have plenty of puddles, but not from melting snow, just from continuous, light but steady rainfall :) I’m with you though, I don’t avoid them, they’re fun to ride through (, and between the fenders and the chaincase, I don’t really have to worry about splash at all.

    Puddles beware! Here we come!

  12. […] bike path poses a hazard to cyclists; so what else is new? Beautiful views of the Chicago skyline captured in the puddles left by melting snow. DC area governments respond to budget cuts by slashing bike plan funding. […]

  13. Sox says:

    Wow! if you ever get tired of practising law, there is a career for you in photography. I plan to be a copycat.

  14. love the reflection of the photo- greattt snapshot! thanks for sharing!
    lovee your blog- coming back soon!

  15. John Nelson says:

    Nice photos. I really like the bottom two. At first they look like tintype or some other old alternative process. They would make cool postcards printed on a rag or watercolor paper and then deckle the edges. Oh…then soak it in tea or weak coffee to give that uneven aged looked. Oh man, we’re in the digital age and I’m longing for a different era.

  16. Christa says:

    Incredible photos. Yes, the right bike accessories make all the difference.

  17. Ghost Rider says:

    Mudflaps FTW! They’re easy and cheap to make out of old waterbottles or coroplast.

    I bought a small roll of rubber stair tread a few years ago which is enough to make mudflaps for 20 bikes. My front mudflap is mere centimeters from touching the ground and lets me go through puddles almost up to the BB shell without getting wet. Awesome.

  18. Academichic says:

    Dottie, these photos are amazing! S

  19. Dottie says:


    @Sox – “If” I get tired of practicing law? lol

    @Dave – love that invitation post :)

    @Ghost Rider – I don’t understand why so few people have mudflaps, not even people who love their fenders. They are so great at keeping feet totally clean. Then again, I don’t need them on my Rivendell because I have the superlong Honjo fenders.

  20. […] photography (thanks to Dottie at Let’s Go Ride a Bike for inspiration on this one). Reflecting on a change of […]

  21. Coreen says:

    I love these pictures and was inspired to try photography through the puddle lens. Thanks! <3

  22. Scott says:

    These are awesome shots Dottie!

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