May 9, 2006

Flap envy.

Ahhh, the splash-guard. Unsung hero of the wet commute. Those in the know, know that fenders are seldom "enough" - only a good set of flaps can truly transform a sloppy commute into an enjoyable one.

Last night, rummaging thru the garage I came across a horribly under-used hammer hanger. This clever device is designed to loop thru a workman or lineman belt, allowing the user to drop a standard claw hammer into the attached metal loop, keeping it handy but out of the way as they shimmy up a utility pole. Not being a workman or a lineman, I've naturally seldom used this to its potential. I think at one point I imagined using this while working on the gutters around the house - but there it had sat in its box for who-knows-how-long. Well made and sturdy, it was a shame to see it going to waste.

After a wet ride this last weekend, I found myself having "flap-envy" - a friend has a gorgeous new Rivendell replete with SKS fenders and handsome leather splash flaps, front and rear. Seeing this in my head as I held the hammer hanger in my hands, I took up some utility scissors.
Trimming a long section from its middle, I began to see my vision take shape. Some careful trimming, a few new holes drilled in the end of the front fender, and a little digging thru the hardware drawer - and viola: Yeah, it's missing the Brooks logo, or the GB logo - but it works, and it's far prettier than the hacked water bottle that was previously doing the job.

A little mink oil, a little drying overnight in the garage, and nature's perfect timing this morning - a cold front pushes thru, and rain begins. Perfect!

The flap does, as expected, wonderfully - and my trusty Kogswell gets a little nudge up the "classy" ladder. You never know what you'll find in the garage, and how it might elevate your ride.

Enjoy, tinkerers!

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