The rain fell through the night and stopped just in time for my morning commute. If the ground is thoroughly soaked, and you don't have fenders on a bike, you can get just as wet as you would if it were pouring rain. The tires fling up all kinds of water and sludge all over you and your drivetrain. It certainly made me appreciate the coverage today as I stayed completely dry.
I used to think that fenders looked dorky. Even last week, someone told me that it made my "road bike" look like a "beach cruiser." Now, that's not offensive in any way. But it did make me think that something like fenders change the perception of a bike. The same is true with my car.
When people see my car, I'm sure they see a station wagon. Not me, though. I see a vehicle that fits six bikes... or three kayaks and three bikes... or allows me to fold down the seats and sleep inside on top of a mountain at a ski resort... or many other possibilities. But, yes, the most notable thing is that it's a station wagon. But that extra bit of cargo and that hatchback make it so much more versatile. It's totally worth it to me.
And those dorky fenders on my bike may take it from a sleek road bike to a rugged utilitarian machine, but it's worth it. On days like today, I stay dry and can accomplish more. My station wagon and fendered cyclocross bike can get the job done. That's what I love about both of them.