I was looking forward to this morning’s ride. It would be my longest since the crash last weekend, and while I knew my hip would be able to handle it, I still craved some longer than usual road time.
I went through my usual procedures prior to a ride, topped off the air in my tires, and pulled out of the driveway. And about a mile down the road, it hit me — I hadn’t lubed my chain.
Now, I’m pretty good about doing that. I try to lube it once every two weeks. But there are times when it just doesn’t get done. This time around, I think it’s been about a month.
My problem is, I’ve never really set a routine for maintenance of the bike. Often, I’ll grab a few stray minutes before the Sunday morning club ride and run the chain through a rag, then apply the lube. What I really need to do is set a time, like Saturday afternoon, where I give the bike more attention than just the chain.
Besides the chain, the bike could use a thorough washing. Last week’s wet weather left lots of grime on the wheels and tubes, and while I flicked a towel over them to get the worst of the gunk off, I can’t honestly call my bike clean right now.
Luckily, my indifferent maintenance hasn’t caused any problems yet. The bike performed well on today’s ride. Okay, sometimes the shifts weren’t as smooth as they could be. But overall, I’m satisfied with the way things are. They just can’t keep going along this way.
It looks like we’ll be having nice weather for the rest of the week. I’m sure some day I’ll set aside an hour and give my bike the kind of attention it deserves.
stern look and tsk tsk
Bike Noob says
Yeah, I was afraid I’d be in for the disdain of Timmy.
Robin Fitton (@inrepose) says
I commute around 4000 miles each year on a mud and gravel trail-way. It does take its toll on the bike and those special wax lubes don’t actually shed the muck, they collect it. I think that you can get away with leaving the chain for a while, especially if you are on the road and in the dry. I have to clean the gunk off mine every week because it gets coated in muck, sand and dirt all through the winter on the trail but on the road in the summer you can get away with it. I suppose it depends how many miles you are putting through the bike and if you only do a couple of casual <30 mile rides a week you can reduce the maintenance window. 🙂