Poked around my old photos and found yet more evidence of my own folly dating back to those more innocent times in early/mid-2016. Y'see, when I added the Red Sled to my collection, I borrowed the fenders from my Rockhopper for it and (very briefly) considered the Rockhopper a stripped-down "go-fast" (snort, snicker) bike.
Of course, I then decided to commute on the stripped-down "go-fast" (chortle, guffaw) on what promised to be a dry day... which promptly turned into a rainy day the moment I arrived at my office. At least the commute home provided some artsy-fartsy blog fodder photos, to whit:
Mmmm... crusty drivetrain parts. Can't you just hear the sand in the chain, grinding its life away? (To add the tiniest bit of value, notice the presta valve dork nuts under the bottle cage, spacing it out over the front derailleur clamp. Pro tip!)
I am perhaps the worst smug bastard on earth whenever I see a fenderless rider get a skunk-stripe of grunge on his or her back. Here's karma in the form of a serious mud bath all over my Arkel backpack, a fairly new addition to my increasingly large and embarrassing bag collection that I have yet to fully review on these pages. Mini review: The stuff inside stayed bone dry, and the crust wiped right off without a trace.
Jeez, now it's a "how many different brands of (non-matching) bags can he stick in one post?" contest. This is my who-know-how-old Jandd handlebar bag, one of those tubular/barrel-shaped throwbacks that adorned the saddle or bars (or both) of a lot of 1970s ten-speeds. It may look like this bag took the brunt of the front wheel spray, but trust me, there was still plenty left for my face.
The moral of the story: Fenders. Or mudguards, if you're British. After this ride, I abandoned the silliness of a "go-fast" and adorned that sucker with a set of legit full-coverage fenders post haste. The bike still gets filthy because I'm lazy, but at least my teeth don't.