Sunday, July 27, 2014

short solo ride, and a clean bike

I was planning to do Ken G's "Ride the Hills with Hart's" ride today, but 1) I am so roundly sick of getting rained on, and 2) in all honesty, I am more tired from yesterday's ride than I had expected, so I just took the bike out to do a short ride, not too far from home, so I could hightail it in if the precipitation warranted. But despite the gloomy prediction, the skies held back. I decided not to push too hard, to push when I felt like it and relax the rest of the time (see the meditation near the bottom of this post on Laura OLPH's blog for the inspiration for that decision), and then I wound up thinking about another route for my slow ride next month (probably the last I'll do)... in any case, I wound up doing this ride.

It was just enough.

Then, with visions from yesterday's ride of Tom's immaculate drivetrain in my head, I came home and did the full cleaning of the bike.

Complete this phrase: A clean bike is:
  1. A sign that your obsessive-compulsive disorder is returning with a vengeance;
  2. Not a bike that I've ever seen outside a shop;
  3. A happy bike;
  4. What happens when the weather won't let me ride enough.
Full cleaning, for me, means:
  • Clean the chain (with mineral spirits; I know it's enviro-toxic, but I use about a twentieth of the quantity I used to use of water-based degreasers, in addition to dirtying up gallons of water - and the mineral spirits does a better job);
  • Drop the wheels off;
  • Wash the bike with spray detergent, rinse with water. Go over the greasy stuff with a wipe with mineral spirits on a rag.
  • Wash the brake pads with detergent, rinse with water.
  • Wash the wheels (hubs and rims) with detergent, and rinse. Pay special attention to the braking surfaces.
  • Clean the cogset/cassette with mineral spirits and a brush. Wipe with a length of sisal twine run between the gears (this time; every second time I do it, I take the cassette apart and do the deep cleaning).
  • Lube the chain using Ken G's "just enough lube" technique (after replacing the wheels, of course).
  • Test ride to make sure the brakes don't squeak (and to hear the glorious silence of a newly-lubed drivetrain).
Why don't more of us do more of our own maintenance? Why do so many riders do NONE of their own maintenance?

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