One nice thing about being in a city where a lot of people ride bikes, is that inevitably, businesses build up around making things for bicycles, so it’s easy to find the things you need or want, either for practical or stylistic reasons (and of course, sometimes both).
This winter, riding along with my wife, she mentioned a few times that I would spray her if she was behind me, so we decided I should get a rear mudflap, as a consideration to all the folks who end up riding behind me in our consistently wet climate.
If I’m going to add something to my bike, I want it to both fit the aesthetics of the bike, be practically useful, and just look nice in general. I appreciate the resourcefulness of people who use cut-in-half water bottles or other random pieces of plastic or cardboard or whatever to accomplish what they need – but I personally have a hard time making an addition that I don’t find aesthetically pleasing. It’s not that I necessarily care if other people find it ugly, I care if I find it ugly :)
In any case, we are lucky here in Portland to have Walnut Studiolo, who make beautiful leather and wood objects, many of which are for your bicycle.
They made me a lovely leather mudflap, which I had put on at Clever Cycles while they were doing some other work on my rear wheel.
Photo courtesy of Russ Roca
Walnut operates their business out of their home in SE Portland, and it was great to get to pop by and meet them in person when picking up the mudflap. We had a good chat about rod-operated hub brakes, internal gears, and riding in all weather.
Thanks again to Walnut! Because of them, the citizens of Portland will be happy to not be sprayed in the face by my bike this autumn/winter/spring :)