Rode hard and put up wet

Freshly washed bicycle on balcony above city

In the wake of two typhoons over the weekend, I had an eye on today’s forecast to see if I could get a ride in the morning, before it got too hot. Last night it was looking promising.

Rainy cityscape
Nope

It started raining by 7 a.m., and it got worse — worse than we’d had at any point yesterday. (Perhaps not as bad as it got in Chiba yesterday.) In the afternoon it cleared up, but it was hot and windy. So windy, in fact, that when I fetched Kuroko out of the basement parking, I had to keep a tight grip on the handlebars to keep her from being tossed about.

With a ride out of the question, I thought the least I could do is swap in the wheels I’d finished prepping yesterday. That took just a couple of minutes, but in the process I noticed Kuroko was quite mud-splattered. Huh. Did we go through any puddles on our last ride?

Splashing through puddles

I’m a bit lazy about washing my bicycles and I certainly don’t do it after every ride as some recommend. But Kuroko was clearly due for a bath, and I had the time and a (now) sunny, hot day to do it in. The sprayer tank was full of water, too, so I had no excuse.

Bicycle bags hanging to dry on a laundry pole
Laundry

It’s really only a five or 10-minute job to spray the bike down, squirt on some cleaner, use a brush to get into all the nooks and crannies, and then spray it all off again. I just need to take care not to get things wet, like laundry, the neighbors, or our rice supply. Nana hadn’t done any laundry today, so that wasn’t an issue.

After the bath, I put Kuroko back in the stand to clean and oil the chain, and then to adjust the derailleur. It just took a couple of turns of the barrel adjuster to tighten the cable slightly, and all was good.

Finally I hosed off and brushed down Kuroko’s saddle bag and cockpit bag. I didn’t even bother removing anything from the cockpit bag first — just was careful to direct the spray away from the zipper.

And with that, Kuroko is clean and well-adjusted (something we all aspire to), and shod once again in her slicks. Now I just need a break in the heat.

Freshly washed bicycle on balcony above city
Kuroko sparkling after her bath

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