Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring cleaning for the bikes

I'm going to brag.
I cleaned my bike.
Not dusting or polishing.
Not handlebar tape replacement.
The messy stuff - I cleaned the chain and gears.

By myself.

Printed instructions from Degreaser, old toothbrush (hello kitty), a couple of rags and chain oil.

What started off looking like this:

Ended all clean & shiny:

Got everything reassembled, and went for a very pleasant (except for the stinky bradford pears) three lap ride of Columns Drive (2.5 mile road, total of 15 miles). I wasn't quite sure of my work, so wanted to be someplace with marked bike lane, not a lot of traffic, and never more than a comfortable walk to the truck.

Bloo's pedals whirred smoothly. Shifting gears were smoother than on my last ride. It was good. And, now that I know I can do it, I can take over general cleaning/maintenance on the other six (or seven?) bikes in the family. Major tuneups and replacements will still be handled by the bike shop, but I can do this part. Before I start on the hybrid and the kid bikes though, I think it's time to look into a moderately priced stand. My ironing board, covered with beach towel and weighted with tool chest, worked alright for a one time thing, but I can't imagine trying to do all the bikes this way. Especially not the girly bikes.

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