Winter approaches, which means dark days and wet roads. We’ll see about snow: it’s been pretty minimal in the last few years.  The dark is no problem -I’ve got headlights powerful enough to illuminate passing aircraft- but the damp surface is putting me off. Wet roads mean mudguards if I’m not going to damage the plywood deck on the Xtracycle.

I don’t like mudguards. When I first got the M-trax a decade ago, I fitted a pair of plastic ones and got halfway home before the front one fell on the road. Of course, it did this in the dark, in the middle of nowhere. The ‘securing bolt’ disappeared under a bush and is probably still there. I fixed the mudguard the next day, using two bolts this time: it fell onto the road again. When the back one went the same way I replaced it with a Crud Catcher which handled everything I threw at it until last month. Then I discovered there was no way it would fit under the wooden deck that comes with the Xtracycle.

I suppose I could just leave it, but spraying plywood with water can’t be good for it. I’ve got a carpenter friend who I could probably persuade to sand and re varnish it if I ask nicely, but prevention is better than cure- and I’m working on him for a pair of footrests anyway. So yesterday I tried calling a couple of shops and looked online for some decent  traditional mudguards, preferably without the self-destruct feature. It took all of yesterday morning to find some that would fit on my bike but eventually I tracked down a pair that claim to be solid and which have a pretty good reputation in cycling circles. Hopefully these will prove me wrong and stay on the bike. I’ll believe it when I see it.