Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Joe-Made Fender = Fail

In anticipation of a wet Sub9 Death March this Saturday, I made a fender from this 100 count CD tower.  I work at a radio station and empty compact disc towers are as abundant as men and women who can give you the time and temperature four different ways.  Its 44 degrees at 4:44.  That’s 16 minutes before the hour and we’re expecting a shower.  44 minutes past four and the thermometer reads 44.  Quarter to five and just shy of 45.  See.  I’m not making that up.

Tube snippet btwn frame & fender keeps it from slipping
In the respect that my Joe-made fender may keep some water from hitting the front of my body during the Death March in Hoosier National Forest, I have succeeded.  In the respect that it looks like a pot smoking 10th grade shop class dropout crafted it from a CD tower of Metallica bootlegs with a pair of dull tin-snips and ugly green zip ties, it’s also…a glaring success!  In your eyes, you are making a note never to ask a certain blogger to come over and help with your home construction project.

Anything I cut ends up looking as straight as Steve Buscemi’s smile.  I know.  Measure twice and cut once.  The problem is my one cut is always more crooked than a Wall St. hedge fund manager.  I threw my first three drafts away.  I will blame the first two attempts more on the plastic being too brittle or the possibility that I am left handed and the tin snips were not.  The third attempt got burned.  A friend suggested that I heat up a screw driver to poke holes in for the zip ties rather than drilling and risking cracking the plastic.  That really didn’t work.  So I tried heating up the plastic.  While I enjoyed a 3 second high from the fumes, I turned my fender into a burnt Frito Lay potato chip reject.  It should be noted that I cannot operate a cigarette lighter and should never be put in the position of using anything with fire aside from the stove and only under direct supervision of an adult.

My fourth attempt wasn’t that bad.  Well it wasn’t awful.  It didn’t totally suck.  Well maybe it did.  Yeah.  As the two old men critics on the Muppet Show would say from their balcony, “That was horrible.  Get him off the stage.  Boooooo!”

The only redeeming qualities of my ho-made fender are that it is clear, which looks kind of sporty.  It probably will keep some water from hitting my legs and working its way into my socks, which is also nifty.  The glaring FAIL is that while the edges are straight, they are not 90 degree from the factory cut edges.  It’s also slightly off center.  Okay, the Mississippi River runs straighter between Dubuque and New Orleans.  And, after reading a recent article in Bicycling Magazine about Aero bikes versus light bikes…my fender is as aerodynamic as a city bus.

The final death blow is that you can buy a nifty perfect fender, that's much better than mine for one tenth of the time commitment for $9 at your local bike shop or REI if you click here.  That’s sort of disconcerting when I figure I put at least 2 hours into this project.  How much do you make an hour?  I'm guessing enough to buy a freaking $9 fender.

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