Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bike Work


My bike = Saturday night fun.

One of my very least favorite things to do is clean my bike. This becomes especially true in the middle of winter, when rain, rain and more rain leaves the entire bike covered with a layer of black grime and every crevice of the chain filled with black slimy sticky goo. In fact, cleaning bikes is one of the things that I am perfectly happy being sexist about and saying - boys should clean bikes. At least, I'm happy to let them clean my bike. The one catch in that scenario is that I haven't actually had a boy in my life willing to clean my bike in more than 10 years (oops, maybe I should chose more wisely). So, it's something I put off. But, along with creating extra dirt, the grime of the rainy season also acts as sand paper on brake pads. So if there is no bike cleaning boy around and one wants to make it through the rainy season in one piece, it's wise to at least do some brake pad changing - if not full on bike cleaning.

I knew my brake pads were in need of some love, so, my goal this weekend was to get them changed. What I did not realize was that my exciting Saturday night plans would involve bike cleaning, but I am feeling a bit smug to have it done long before late Sunday afternoon. I actually had real Saturday night plans, but a bout of what I am sure must be swine flu canceled them (I am sure it must have been swine flu because I can't imagine anyone canceling coveted Saturday night plans with me for anything less than swine flu).

So, I just spent an hour or so cleaning my bike. This involves much dirt. Slimy grease. Frequent swearing. And some mental anguish when it's time to adjust the brakes. And even worse, it involves a good 20 minutes or so of post cleaning clean up. Especially when it's dark, pouring rain, and 40 or so degrees outside - meaning the cleaning is happening inside. I think I washed my hands about 10 times afterwards - by the end I think I took much of the skin off with the grease. Then I had to wash my feet and the floor where grease spots had been tracked through out the house (this despite the fact that I had been very very careful and changed my footwear post cleaning and pre clean up). It even involved cleaning my computer mouse, as at some point mid cleaning I had to change music.

But now, my bike is somewhat clean and I have brand new shiny brake pads. Unfortunately, the kicker in all of this is that now it is 100% guaranteed to rain every day next week. This is a 100% certainty. Shoot, I might even say a 200% certainty that the first time you ride a bike after cleaning it, it will rain! Sigh.

Happy Saturday night! S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT. I bet you're all jealous. Hmm, what fun is in store next?

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