Last night I took the rear tyre off my Dahon and found the source of my woes. The rim has worn through the sidewall down to the reinforcement in two places. I don't know how it happened as I only rode about 100 yards with the puncture before re-inflating the tyre. But happened it has and, while I'm not very happy about it, the sorting out is a story for another day.
However, once I'd seen daylight through the hole in the side wall, I didn't fancy trusting my neck to that tyre again. Call me "Old Mr Overcautious" if you like. Anyway, cutting to the chase, with the car not being a palatable option, I had to use my other bike. It's a nice hybrid on 700c wheels that I bought from Halfords a few years back, Nothing to write home about but a nice enough bike really. Crucially however, it has not got mudguards. And today the rain was little short of torrential. End result, I got soaked! At no point did I wish I was back int he car though. There's still a certain air of smug superiority that one can exude when pedalling hard in wet traffic surrounded by company car
I was also pleasantly surprised at how fast the bike was. It's much higher geared than the Dahon and the extra turn of speed really helped to make a wet commute a more fun commute. Quite a convincing argument for up-gearing the folder so I'll look into it after next payday. The closer spaced gears (21 in all) also made it easy to find a comfortable cadence instead of the spin/heave options available with only three. I do love the simplicity of the 3 speed hub gear though so overall I think it wins.
I can't do anything about the Dahon's tyre until the weekend at least so Friday's commute will be back on the hybrid as well. OK not a folder, but a bike none the less.