Occupy A Clean Bike Or Get The Ole Heave-Ho

A thinly disguised effort to meld ‘bike washing’ to ‘Occupy Wall Street’.

I’ve had a real hanker’in to get over to an ‘Occupy’ event; but a busy work schedule precludes it.  Seems the best I can do is ‘occupy’ my bike when I get home from the office, in an effort to stay fit.

But, I’m not just anybody’s fool (I’m the sole owner of this here fool)!

I’ve seen enough newsreels of occupiers getting the ole heave-ho due to uncleanliness (not to mention pooping on the sidewalk) to realize that I may face the same fate (the heave-ho) should my chosen ‘occupy’ location (my bike) slide into a state of slovenliness.

Thus, this short tutorial on keeping a bike clean!

Not too long ago I had a problem getting the shifters on my mountain bike to work correctly.  Obviously, the problem was far too complex for this mere chiropractor/bike rider, so I hustled the bike over to the local bike shop.

Low and behold…my bike was suffering from a severe case of ‘no-wash’em-syndrome’.

Who would have guessed that all of that mud build-up between the seat tube and front shifter could be the culprit?  Certainly not this knucklehead.

Anyway…here’s to keeping our bikes clean.  With the increased amount of mud, blood, and guts that accumulate on winter roads, our bikes could use a good cleaning now and then regularly.

I’ve embedded a video below of a pro mechanic from team BMC, courtesy of Bicycling.com, so that you can see how the big-shots get their already clean bikes cleaner (could they be the one percenters?).  There are some very good points in the video, as well as in the linked-to article.

Be forewarned, watching the mechanic wash down the team bike is a bit like watching a juggler perform his craft with no balls.  Since the bike is already squeaky clean, it comes off as a superfluous activity.

Of course, should the bike mechanic not wash an already clean bike, he’d soon be struggling to de-grease a chain that actually has grease on it.  He’d be in the same boat us mere mortals occupy…

Here’s to enjoying the video!

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2 Responses to Occupy A Clean Bike Or Get The Ole Heave-Ho

  1. Ron Fritzke says:

    Hi Jay,

    I enjoyed your comment (I had to read it in two sittings, it was so long and my attention span is so limited).

    Everything from stopping the commies, hosing down 32 year old bikes, evading crazy drivers who can’t wait till they get to their destination before they spew out into their cellphones the crap they pass for thoughts…it’s all there. And then there’s the bonus round…a bit of advice about RV air conditioners.

    Seriously, I did enjoy your comment and appreciate it!


  2. Jay Murphy says:

    The video of the pro-mechanic washing down that bike reminds me of the advice that a WWII vet gave me as I marched off to war in the Korean Conflict. “The easy way to clean your M1 rifle is to stand it in the shower and run hot water on it.” Fortunately for me I had grown up with hunting shotguns and rifles and knew what the water would do for my rifle. Too, hot water and showers were not always available in the Army! I can just see what all that soap, high pressure hosing, etc. would do to a low-end bike with open bearings and too, I don’t remember seeing the BMC pro re-lube the chain or anything after scrubbing the bike. But that’s the way pros do it? Hey kids I suggest, “don’t try this with your own bike at home.”

    The video also reminds me of the advice that Bicycling gave in an article back in the 80s. The advice went something like this…”when you, the bicyclist with the right-away, see a car pulling up to to a stop sign or exiting from a driveway don’t stop your cranks but just look the driver right in the eye and keep on pedaling because if the driver sees you stop pedaling he/she will take your right-away and pull out right in front of you.” Hey, I’ve been riding bikes since 1936 including thousands and thousands of miles on city streets and as all bikers know, both pedal and motor, far too many drivers don’t see bikers. Yes, I know this from experience but at 83 I keep on pedaling. It’s good for the heart and these days it’s good for the pocketbook. It didn’t help the pocketbook back in the 30’s when gas was 10 or 12 cents a gallon; who needed a pocketbook when they had no money or job?

    Watch out for drivers cell phoning and/or text messaging! One good thing about drivers that don’t see you is that if they don’t see you they aren’t likely to hit you on purpose. Hey, maybe cell phones, TVs, GPSs., etc. aren’t such a bad idea, huh?

    Hey, I’ve got to go get my soap and pressure washer and hose down (out?) my 1980 Peugeot. No, it’s not exactly a low end bike but I don’t think I will use the pressure washer! Can sealed bearings withstand a pressure washer? Too, I don’t recommend turning your garden hose’s pressure nozzle on the cooling fins of your RV’s air conditioner. I learned that on my own without any magazine help. That reminds me, should I have taken the magazine out of my M1 before putting it in the shower? Dang, no wonder that I couldn’t fire back at em.

    Keep that old piss pot (helmet) on you head; it just might save your life. Fortunately others taught me that, I didn’t learn it on my own.

    Al fin!