This winter, and so far spring, has been pretty close to perfect as far as cycling in Michigan goes. Or better, it’s as good as I’ve ever had it. So far.
We’ve been able to put in a ridiculous amount of miles during the winter, when we’re normally hibernating and spinning relentlessly on our trainers without the payoff of actually going somewhere. Then there’s spring, which technically hasn’t even started yet but is here in full force.
Take this week alone… I’m sitting at 137 miles and I still have the two biggest days of the week to go – and the weatherman says we’re to expect sun and a high temperature of 65, 50 before we even clip in later this morning.
Yesterday I rode with my wife and buddy, Mike. My wife had a school field trip with my daughter so we put in 17 with her, stopped at the house where I threw on my vest to block some of the chilly wind before heading back out for 28 more miles. Today will be another 38-40 and I’ve got Sunday to work on getting over 200 for the week, though we’re probably looking at indoor miles there as the forecast is crap.
200 miles in a week… In March ?! We haven’t even hit daylight savings time yet!
I thought about working on my bikes yesterday but realized I really don’t have anything that needs doing. Let me tell you, that’s a good feeling right there. I cleaned up the Trek because I hit a couple of muddy patches on the road but that took all of five minutes. Then I looked at my wife’s Alias… Woof, it had seen better days.
So I took it into my maintenance cave (the spare bedroom) and commenced to breaking it down for a massive cleanup. I cleaned the frame, brakes, wheels, hubs, spokes, derailleurs, the cassette…. and then went to work on the chain. Oh my. My wife’s bike came with a chain that had no Missinglink so I’d have to break it to get it off – and I was in no mood for that. Once I got into it I knew the chain had to come off. There was gunk everywhere. The jockey wheels were a mess and even after the chain was relatively clean, grit could be felt when I turned the crank. I decided enough was enough so I went and put a new chain on it (she had 3,500 miles on the old one anyway, it was time).
I took it to the shop instead of working on it at home and after the chain was off I cleaned the jockey wheels with mineral spirits before installing the new chain, with a shiny new Missinglink. No more silly chain cleaning tool.
Now all that’s left is my wife’s mountain bike… and that’s bad enough I’m going to make her do it. Wow.
So that’s where I’m at. Life is good and I’ll be riding again in just a few hours. It doesn’t get any better than that.