Wednesday, March 07, 2012

An Amazing Day

Bald Eagle on the Cedar River
Sometimes you just have to stop and really give what is going on around you some serious thought. Too bad most folks are in such a hurry, or trying to cram their cell phones into their heads, not even digesting what it is that is going on around them. (Actually, they are probably doing all of that at once.)

Take for instance yesterday. I was on an extended ride home from work. Going the long way around, and why not? It had been 7 degrees Fahrenheit the morning before, and by 2pm yesterday it was 67 degrees Fahrenheit with a brilliant sun in the sky. The swing in temperatures meant that we were seeing the 60's for the first time since last year, so the air felt positively hot to me. Riding with no coat or gloves. Glorious!

So instead of putting my head down and hammering, I decided to back off the pace a bit and look around. It was pretty windy, even the geese were down along the shoreline of the Cedar River dodging the constant 20mph plus winds. Then I saw it. A Bald Eagle in a tree.

These days seeing a Bald Eagle, while cool, isn't all that big of a deal. Well, not as big of a deal as it once was. In fact, I remember a time when you would never have seen one here. It wasn't all that long ago either. So when you think things won't ever change, well....they do. It just takes time, but they do. The eagle is a good reminder of that here where I live.

More Fender Love
So I waxed on about fenders on yesterday's post, and then I went out and tested them, which I will report on here now.

I knew with these warmer temperatures that I could find some in-town muddy, peanut buttery roads. I did, and the IRC 42mm tires did the "pizza cutter" and I got about as much mud, gunk, and gravel mixed in as I could about anywhere. The fenders were set up high off the tires, but not ridiculously so, and I never got clogged up or heard a scratch from a rock. The only thing that could stop this rig would be clay type B Road stuff, which no bike I am aware of can traverse when it is wet, or even just moist sometimes.

So the deal here is that the fenders get to stay on for the long haul, or at least until I get tired of the plasticky look. Maybe I'll end up with bigger meats on here again, I don't know, but if so, then they would also have to come off.

All I know is that a nice set of orange painted metal fenders with black pin striping would look rad on there. Hmm......

In the end, it was an amazing day. Super temperature swing, Bald Eagle sighting that had me slowing down to contemplate it all, and a successful fender test. It doesn't get much better than that.


Ari said...

The first time I saw a Bald Eagle was in Decorah. I was truly amazed and somehow relieved that our national bird had not gone extinct.
I also spotted one out riding the other day here in Syracuse, N.Y.
What a great animal.

Hook said...

I've often wondered why more gravel guys don't run fenders, especially in longer events where there is a good chance of rain. Is it just aesthetics?

Guitar Ted said...

@Hook: Various reasons exist. Some don't want the chance of a stone getting caught up in the fender, or to even hear that noise, others feel it is a wind grabber and slows them down, still others feel that muddy roads could cause the fender to buckle or pack up with mud.

And of course, you are also right to think that some do not like the look and can't bear the thought of extra weight on their bike.