February 1st, 2012
Today is supposed to be very warm, so I scaled down from the winter coat to a sweater plus rain jacket. I won’t repeat myself on how the fixed gear causes me to run warmer than usual, but today was another case in point of overheating. The temperature wasn’t actually so high – 37 degrees – but it sure felt warm.
Clothing: Light sweater, waterproof windbreaker, waterproof shoes, messenger bag. Light cotton (?) biking gloves.
If you canvas ten bicycle-inclined people and ask them about maintenance, nine of them will talk about the chain (and the other one will be clever). It bears repeating that if you do any of the following things, you need to clean and oil your chain at least once a month, and probably more often.
1. Ride your bike more than twice a week
2. Ride in rain or snow, even once
3. Store your bike outside
4. Ride off road
As regular transportation cyclists, we all see, and then hear, those bikers who are crawling along, straining their muscles to go five miles an hour, the bike shrieking as though in pain, and the chain recently dredged from the hold of the Titanic. We love to blog about them. I really wanted to make pamphlets to hand to bikers inching up the Longfellow Bridge in spring explaining how to do it (if anyone’s interested, I have other informational ideas, although the whole medium of unsolicited advice is a little obnoxious). I’ll resist the desire to say more, except, clean your chain!