Welcome. It has been a busy week at Bicycle Adventure Club HQ with work, family, bike cleaning and a New Bicycle!
The Easter holidays coincided with some fabulous weather so there was plenty of social media activity that has taken us vicariously, on adventures all over the UK. It has been great to see so many people out on the National Cycle Network routes and trying out bike touring and bikepacking. Your posts have certainly given us some ideas and inspiration!
Two of our friends have set off this week to compete in the Race around the Netherlands.
I hadn’t heard of RatN before and it sounds fantastic:
Race around the Netherlands is a fully self-supported bike packing race.
The RatN is a do-it-yourself challenge.You are your own ride organizer.
Understand that this is a personal challenge against the clock. Not against others!
It is 1890k in distance with 6800m of elevation.
I’m not quite brave enough (yet) to tackle anything with the word ‘Race’ in it but I am looking forward to hearing how they get on.
I did manage to take advantage of the good weather to clean my bike and let it dry in the sunshine!
I love to clean my bike it has been part of my riding routine since I was a child. Stuffing strips of old rags into all the nooks and crannies, removing every last bit of dirt. Using sticks, screwdrivers and pipe cleaners to scrape off clumps of oily dirt and polishing every last bit of rust off my chromed rims. Grazing my knuckles and getting dirt-splattered in the process.
Cleaning my bike is like a meditation. A physical task you can lose yourself in with a feel-good result at the end. It’s almost as good as riding and everyone knows a clean bike goes faster than a dirty one!
A big upside to cleaning is: getting to know bikes intimately. I see how parts wear and know when they need replacing. This means I rarely bust out my tool kit in the field as I’m usually ahead of any mechanical problems.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing you how to wash your bike; but you can’t Google time and elbow grease. It is time worth spending as the pay-off can be the confidence to trust and love your machine.
For years I simply cleaned with hot water, rags, washing up liquid and elbow grease but there are a few items that I now use that make the whole process much easier and satisfyingly cleaner!
I love a good biodegradable, degreaser. Getting the drive chain clean is so important for a smooth and silent ride. In days gone I could spend hours taking everything apart and using petrol baths, sonic cleaners, countless toothbrushes and rags. There is still a place for this kind of deep clean but a quick spray of degreaser is a joy. I use Muc Off Drive Chain Cleaner. It is biodegradable which is important and it just makes the whole process a breeze.
The other piece of equipment I use is a chain scrubber tool. I picked up a cheap one years ago which quickly fell apart and I upgraded it to a Park Tools version. Much sturdier and easier to clean after use. I especially love the little magnet at the bottom which collects all the metallic sludge. Once you have the hang of it it makes cleaning the chain very easy.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to be gifted a Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit. It contained fancy coloured cleaning liquids, lube and a plethora of brushes that still haven’t quite replaced my rags and toothbrushes but it is a brilliant kit if you are looking for something for the cyclist in your life!
Once my chain is super clean I lube it up with muc-off lube. Wet or Dry depending on the time of year and conditions. Smells like bubblegum. What isn’t to love!
Here are the links to my Amazon Page if you fancy treating yourself or someone else. I do earn a small commission from items purchased through these links so please use them it is appreciated.
It is an upgraded trail bike for Mary. Mary has been riding the Surly Wednesday, a great confidence inspiring and comfy ride, especially in the muddy winter conditions but it struggles on some of the more technical trails and is overkill on long trail days.
First impressions of the Transmitter are good. It is super slack fun with a beast of a front end. It is a lot of bike, probably too much for our current abilities, but it inspires. Mary threw herself around our local trail on the inaugural ride and by some miracle she didn’t fall off! She certainly came home smiling from all the Flowness! It will make a very capable bikepacking rig!
Bicycle Repair Kit
We have been delighted by your responses to our Bicycle repair Kit Adventure and the ‘Getting your hair right’ out-takes on our Bicycle Adventure Club YouTube Channel. It has been such a laugh, thank you for liking and sharing.
We have more videos planned so stay tuned!
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