I never knew how to clean a bike before. Actually, I used to take my bike to the bike shop to have THEM clean it. Imagine! Now I find it ever so satisfying to take a long time to go over every inch of my little red TREK, scouring it, loving it. There is a great product called Simple Green that we have. It takes away grease and is non toxic. My kind of cleaner.
There is a certain order I follow when cleaning my bike, a certain method I now have that puts me in a quiet place. Today's session was particularly satisfying because for a long time I was all by myself in the parking lot. Now there are a number of riders, all cleaning bikes, sharing tips. giving help, having fun, but not being completely quiet. Not being meditative.
I opened the trailer, set up up bike stand, put my bike up on it, and began the cleaning. The chain, the rear cassette, the chain ring, the toe cleats, the frame, the brakes. I strip the bike first, taking off all the bags and bottles and it looks so fresh and new and unencumbered. I don't carry a lot of gear, but still, when I get it ready for cleaning, it seems so innocent. I have spent a lot of time with this machine in these past weeks and I feel very attached to it.
My bike is now pristine once again. The chain ring is clean, the cassette, glistening. All the cogs of the chain are clean and have new lubrication. All the metal-touching-metal junctions are siliconed. I've gone over the tires, the brakes, the spokes, the frame.
A rest day is a good thing. I had a massage. I ate lunch. I cleaned my bike. I will have dinner later. I might have a nap now. Tomorrow we're back to it. I'm ready, with not-so-tired legs and a very clean bike.