Some people are into bicycle maintenance. They get a kick out of lubricating derailleurs and messing with thingamabobs. (See ecovelo) These are the same people who spend pretty Saturdays waxing their cars, if they own them. I am decidedly not one of those people. Quite the opposite. I neglect maintenance even when I know it’s wrong.
Today Oma and Betty Foy both got their first real scrub-downs since I adopted them. Yes, that means Oma has been through nearly a year with me, including a grueling winter, without a thorough cleaning. Betty has gone through a milder four months. The process was simple: I used Seventh Generation lilac dish detergent (gentle on the earth), a pan of water, a washcloth, special chain goop, and an iPod pumping sweet jams.
Oma’s cleaning took only five minutes. Betty’s took an hour and a lot of scrubbing. *&%$#@ grease. *&%$#@ derailler. &%$#@! chain. Words cannot express how much easier it is to maintain Oma. Everything is neat and enclosed. Failure to clean her will not affect her performance at all. For people like me, who simply want to ride their bikes and need reliable everyday transportation, Oma is perfect.
Betty Foy is gorgeous, but I really need to say on top of her maintenance. Heart lugs are not so pretty caked with road mess. Sometimes I worry that I’m not an appropriate guardian for such a nice and finicky bike. If there were a social services for bicycles, someone would have reported me by now!
How do you keep up with bike maintenance (or not)? Do you have a schedule that you follow? Any tricks of the trade or motivational words you’d like to share?