Bicycle with bright yellow panniers on balcony with cityscape in background

From the depths of the toolbox

I’m taking advantage of a three-day weekend to do some cleaning and light maintenance in preparation for a short tour next weekend. (For which the forecast is now rain, but I digress … )

Kuroko hasn’t been washed in quite a while, and I decided this was time to remove all the gunk and residue from the wet lube I’ve been using and switch to a general-use lube. Following my experience making the same switch with Dionysus, I knew my job would be a lot easier if I left the cogs soaking overnight in degreaser. And that really did the trick.

After the overnight soak it took just a few minutes with a stiff brush to remove all the gunk and grime, leaving me with (mostly) shiny cogs. I applied fresh grease to the hub and locknut, and then spent a couple of minutes fitting it all together again. Then it was back on the bike for some derailleur adjustment and the application of the new lube.

Getting ready to tour

For the overnight tour next weekend, I decided to use the panniers — one at least — rather than a backpack. While the gears were soaking yesterday I mounted the rack which has been sitting on the balcony since … with a start I realized it’s been since I returned from England three years ago. Today, after giving the bike a very quick washing, I dug up the panniers from the very bottom of the toolbox where they’ve been all this time. Unlike the rack (which has had to brave the elements), they look fresh, almost new.

I wasn’t sure if the saddlebag would fit over the rack. It’s not really necessary if I have the panniers, although it is convenient. It was a near thing, but it fits without rubbing (at least when it’s not crammed full), and that’s a good thing because I can use the saddlebag without having to remove the rack on rides when I’m not using the panniers (most days).

I’ve got plans for some longer rides again in the future, and a few more modifications to Kuroko in preparation. But for now, this will be perfect for an overnight trip.

Slow lap around Tokyo

I didn’t post last weekend’s short ride with José. I’d been thinking about riding to Yokohama until I realized the marathon was running the same day, and right over a good portion of our route. After considering the options, I decided the tour of the Tokyo landmarks was more appealing than another jaunt on the Tamagawa cycling course.

We didn’t press hard, and we took our time over lunch at Big Sight. We parted ways at Budokan, which is just a short sprint from José’s flat. Based on a riding time of 3:14:27, I averaged 18.9km/h. The ride brought my total for October to 518km, a level I haven’t broached since May.

GPS record of bicycle ride
Great day for a slow lap

Checking the weather forecast for next weekend on a daily basis now with fingers crossed!

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One response to “From the depths of the toolbox”

  1. […] set out this morning in sunny but cool weather towards Yokohama, which I’d had to give up on last weekend when I learned the Yokohama marathon was running the same […]

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