Sunday, May 15

Dusting Off and Pumping Up for Bike to Work Week

As You Can See from Google News, People that Don't Ride Want Us to "Dust Off" and "Pump Up"
Honestly, I'm conflicted about the whole notion of "Bike Month." You see, in reality, EVERY month is Bike Month and it seems a little silly - like declaring June as "Drive Your Car to Work" month to me. Still, it gets a lot of publicity and we're told (mostly by people that don't ride) to "dust off" our bike, "pump up" the tires, and ride to work. In that spirit, I did EXACTLY THAT this weekend. You see, in North Texas, May is the month where those of us that commute year round need to start getting serious about the summer commute season. I've got a queasy feeling this summer will be hot around here. As in hotter than usual.

 Dust Off the Bike
600 Miles of Grime on Buddy. Yuck! Note the Sidewall on the Soon-to-be-Retired Conti
I started off by dusting off Buddy. I put the Eezox dry lube on about 600 miles ago, back in March, and while it is a dry lube, some "dust" accumulated that needed to get cleaned off. The rear hub seemed EXTRA dusty. So, in honor of "Bike to Work Week," I cleaned things up a little.

Dusty Rear Hub - That Simply Would NOT Do! That Thread is From the Rear Tire

Simple Green, Water, Eezox and Soon the Dusting was Done
Pump Up the Tire
However, the advice from the news was also to "pump up" that bike's tires. And, I do confess, I haven't pumped up Buddy's tires in nearly a week. Like as documented here, when I pumped up the rear several times on that last mile home. Looking at the old tire, I've concluded that 6000 miles was a decent life for the Continental 4 Season tire. Conveniently enough, I've had one hidden away in the closet for the better part of a year. You can see the comparison between old (2 years) and new. I didn't bother with the front tire. On the new commute, I've spaced out tire pressure topoffs to biweekly unless something looks suspicious. Since it was a touch high, I'll probably wait and simply top it off the first time I do the rear one.

Sidewall Coming Apart. No Doubt Some of that Occurred in the Last Mile of the Tire's 6000 Mile Life
While I was all enthusiastic about Biking to Work, I got carried away and also fixed the tube on the road bike's front tire. I have no idea why IT went flat other than perhaps the tube was simply ready to fail. Regardless, it'll be ready to go, and just in time for the warm season, even though I don't see myself ever riding it to work on the v3 commute. I'd have to wear a backpack and that would simply not do.

Tubes are $6 Nowadays. Patches Keep Them Rolling on the Road Bike
Bike Week - Pamper the Bike!
Anyway, "Bike Month" has taken on a new significance for me and I think it's a better reason to celebrate than most of the hokey news blurbs on the subject. It seems like a good time to take care of that overdue cleaning and maintenance, and to put the bikes into summer trim. I haven't finished redoing the bag transport configurations yet, but I'd hate to run out of things to cover this month. I'm undecided whether to go to downtown Fort Worth on "Bike Day" this year. This would be the first time it might actually be practical. Perhaps I'll have to see what sort of enticements are offered. To get there, I'd ride to work, take the early TRE train into downtown Fort Worth. Festivate, and then ride the TRE back to work. Simple, if a little extreme.


PaddyAnne said...

Giving your bikes a checkup and spa treatment is a great idea for Bike To Work Week. If companies support Bike to Work weeks for their employees, it helps to make the efforts behind the B2WW's more successful and helps to encourage more people to try it out. Matched with tips or small courses and demo's during lunch hours, they can be very encouraging and influential - in a friendly way! :)

Khal said...

Its always "dust off your bike" time up here. 'Cuz its so dusty!!!

thomas said...

Indeed, it is time for a general bike check up. Clean the chain, pump the tires, have a certified physician stick a finger into the seat tube to check for prostate issues.

opusthepoet said...

Yep, the sidewalls on Blue's tires are getting a little suspect. They are OE and Blue is creeping up on 4 years old. Of course the tread is still pretty good because Blue's original owner put less than 200 miles on him in 2 1/2 years. I put 2100 miles on him in 7 mile increments (mostly) as I used him for riding to and from downtown Garland.

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