A wet bicycle glistening in the sun on a balcony with a glass banister. Many buildings can be seen through the banister, far below.

First wash in a long time

I woke up resolved to undertake a long-planned upgrade. I wasn’t able to get to the Workshop in the Sky until about 10:30, though, and in that time I’d had second thoughts. I’m about six weeks away from departing on a week-long ride, and it’s possible this upgrade will take more than one weekend to complete. As is always the case with me at the wrench, as well, there’s the chance things won’t go according to plan.

So I decided to put off the upgrade until after I return the big ride, when it will be too hot in Tokyo to get in much cycling anyway. But meanwhile there were a couple of things still to do: reinstall the Brooks saddle I picked up last week from the repair, and change the front tire.

I’d thought the tire still had about half its life left when I swapped it from the rear to the front. I had a replacement waiting to be installed before the Ohio ride, and I was wondering if I should get more of the remaining life out of the old tire before the swap. But that was being silly — I have maybe a dozen rides between now and departure.

When I let the pressure out of the tire I had a closer look at the tread, and I discovered it was rather thinner in the center than I’d realized. So it was a good time for the replacement. Rather than keep this tire as a spare, I’ve thrown it away.

The saddle went on without too much trouble overall. In the process of tightening it up, I remembered I’ve got a torque wrench for this purpose. I hadn’t seen it during a recent clean-out of the tool box and I knew it wasn’t on the floor of my den (like a lot of other stuff is). After a moment’s reflection I thought to check under the bed and there it was, among all the dust bunnies.

Finally, I thought this was a good time to wash the bike. It’s been months since I’ve given it a scrubbing, and the pressure washer is all charged up. (It’s very low pressure. Kärcher calls it a “multipurpose cleaner.”) For a change I started with the bike in the stand, and removed the rear wheel as well. That gave me some room to reach a lot of areas that are harder to get a brush into when the wheels are on the bike. After going around with the large brush, medium brush and toothbrush, I put the wheels on and removed the bike from the stand for the final rinsing off. It really is cleaner than it’s been since the day it was new.

A wet bicycle glistening in the sun on a balcony with a glass banister. Many buildings can be seen through the banister, far below.

With the bike down on its tires on the Workshop in the Sky, I stepped back for a look. Yup, the saddle nose was pointed up. I got out the torque wrench and had another go, and it’s looking very level now.

Tomorrow’s weather is looking perfect for a ride (as is today’s).

Not so fast!

There was one more thing I’d wanted to do, which I recalled as I was writing the blog: move the Garmin from the stem back to a handlebar mount. I’d moved it to the stem a couple of years ago in an effort to clear up some space on the handlebar (something the Forking Dynamite project should help with). But the stem mount doesn’t allow me to use the add-on battery, which will come in handy on the upcoming ride.

I bought the external battery for Lejog but it wasn’t working on that ride. I’ve since got it working. Although I haven’t used it since I switched to the stem mount, it had a full charge when I tried it out today and immediately started charging up the Garmin.

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One response to “First wash in a long time”

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