Ride bike, wash bike…

…ride another bike, wash another bike!

It’s not riding in the rain that I dislike so much – especially now that it’s gotten warmer – but washing my bike after riding it in the rain. This week I rode two bikes in the rain, so I had two bikes to wash. Granted, I no longer lick my bikes clean like I used to when they were brand new, but I still tend to be rather fastidious with them, especially with races coming up. And for me, washing my bike isn’t just a quick wipe down with a damp rag – it’s taking the wheels off, taking the chain off and soaking in minerals spirits (thank goodness for Connex and Master links), using degreaser to clean the derailleurs and crankset, scrubbing the wheels, soaping and rinsing the frame/saddle/handlebars, wiping everything dry, reinstalling the chain, lubing everything, and then standing around looking at and admiring it for several minutes.

This week the rain started just before I got to TNW – only 6 or 7 guys showed up, so it was pretty evident the races would be called off. Those of us who were there just cruised the course for a while, and as the rain picked up intensity one by one the others began to disappear. In the end, Dr. T and I were alone with an increasingly driving rain. That itself was not a problem, but when the thunder cracks became too close for comfort we called it quits. Forty-five minutes is better than nothing, but the time and intensity wern’t anything compared to what I had planned for the night. Rain continued thru Wednesday, so to ensure I got a good interval-based workout I ran speed intervals on the indoor track at the YMCA after work. More rain Thursday, but I was planning a rest day for Friday so I moved that up a day hoping I’d catch a break on Friday. It was still raining the next morning and didn’t look good, but I went ahead and brought in my TT bike – I’d go ahead and ride in the rain if I had to, but maybe I could watch the radar and catch a break if it came up (flex time comes in real handy sometimes). That break came about 3:30 – it was still gray and wet on the roads, but with only light rain coming down I set out for TT intervals in Chesterfield Valley. It was only my third TT workout of the season, so I’m not setting things on fire yet, but it still felt good to continue refamiliarizing myself with TT position. I’ve kept the the fairly aggressive position I ended last season with and will try to lower the bars even more in a couple weeks or so.

This morning I washed two bikes!

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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