Cleaning 0.01

26 Apr

I made an earnest attempt at cleaning my bicycle over the weekend. Oh sure, anyone might look at the end result of my efforts and scoff or put on that parental mask of admiration over such crude work- but hey, it’s all in good fun. My bike’s slightly cleaner now, so that’s a step in the right direction.

My goal for this project was to clean the chain and wipe off the frame since its acquired a nice coating of road dust and grime from riding. I used an old Race for the Cure shirt as my work space, placing it beneath the bike chain to catch anything gravity might claim. Using pieces of this year’s Race for the Kids shirt as rags, I focused attention on the chain. It was black with gunk. After a few awkward moments, I found that an over-under degreaser approach worked best for me: pour degreaser over chain, absorb excess with the rag underneath, and scrub.

Not completely satisfied with the rag’s thoroughness, I solicited the help of one of my most favorite (and loathed) cleaning supplies: the toothbrush. With its help I was able to clean away a good deal of the muck… the rags and toothbrush were completely black by the end. With the majority of the grit out of the way, I applied some chain lube with the toothbrush to finish work on the chain. Lastly, I wiped down the spokes and frame, which had amassed a good deal of dirt and random road stuffs.

While my cleaning efforts may have been sub-par in comparison with a person who actually knows what they are doing- I’m glad I’ve found a use for all these race shirts I’ve acquired over the years. I’m sure I’ll be more efficient and exhaustive with cleaning and maintenance once I become more familiar with bicycle parts/mechanics in general… and that, like clipless pedals, will take some time.

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