Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fall Riding.

Well, it is fall again,....or should I say still.  Not that I am complaining, I have really enjoyed this late riding season.  If the Mayans are right, they picked a pretty good year to wrap things up.

December 2nd, 2012

Now when winter does come, we can clean our gear, sit on the couch drinking beer, and catch up on all those episodes of Breaking Bad that we fell behind on.  So to the winter I say, I still kind of hate you, but thanks for letting me play a while longer while you waited.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Spring Cleaning

It is always nice to jump in the bathtub and get clean after a long ride.  Washing away the grossness of sustained exercise can always be a fantastic way to remember why we are humans.  (This is the part where we start the penetrating music like on a Frank Azar commercial, and the camera focuses in so I can accuse you of neglect.)  Well when was the last time your bike got a babble bath.  Before jumping into the tub and cleaning your bike I will give you a list of the don'ts. 
  • Don't go to the car wash or use any type of high pressure wand. 
  • Seriously, don't use high pressure wands. 
Wands will do more damage then they prevent, which is what we are trying to do by cleaning our bikes, prevent the dirt from working its way into our bike parts and causing damage.  Instead, use a bucket, a couple of brushes, some warm water, and a little bit of dish soap.  Gently scrub your parts, and rinse them off.  Dry your bike off, and lube. 
Also, if you want to really get crazy, you can clean your grips and saddle.  Both of them will have significant improvement with a little whitening toothpaste and an old brush, and without spending anything but quality time with a bicycle you love, you can give it that fresh breath feeling.  (The toothpaste isn't a joke, it works really well, and it is mild enough that it doesn't damage either your grips, or your saddle.) 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning.

Hello friends and family.  I have given you all a much needed break from my ramblings, but it is time for me to post up to the keyboard, and once again produce some fertile thoughts.  Spring is officially here and it is defiantly time for a little spring cleaning.  With Curt Gowdy State Park's lower trail system dry and free of cumbersome snow, WEWANNARIDE. 
And not like this.

But before we hit the trails we have to make sure our gear is ready to roll.  One of the first things I do is check all of my supplies.  In the early season I usually carry a Camelback, not specifically for the water, but for the gear.  In my bag, I like to carry a few warm clothing options....this season is tricky and getting caught out in the cold isn't fun.  Gloves and hat are a given, but I like to throw in a wind vest or jacket. One tool I throw in, and the main reason for the bag, is a shock pump.  After being away from the bike for a while I might want to make some adjustments to my bike, and having the proper air makes for a better ride.  I also put in a few snacks of course, but don't forget your multitool, a pump or CO2 system, and a tube. 

Also, before heading up to the mountains, you should probably air up the tires and lube the chain.  In fact, if you didn't do any maintenance between seasons, you might want to consider a tune up.  If you rider regularly we recommend a tune-up once a year.  It is also a good idea to get your suspension serviced about every two years, or at the first sign of a problem.  I would define a problem as, your shock feels odd, or there is liquid or "muddy" grime around your seals. 
In the photo above, it is obvious that there is a problem due to the sever leakage and abundance of grime.  But in the photo to the left, the problem is less obvious.
To inspect the situation, you can clean your shock using an old toothbrush.  Brush the dirt gently away from the black seals using a rag to clean off the stantions. Gentle is the key word here, we are cleaning to prevent scratches and damage, not to create them.  If, on future rides, the grime keeps coming back there is a problem that will require service by a professional.  As always, you can come into the Pedal House for a free consultation.