Sunday, May 19, 2013
Seems like the rain is here to stay, doesn't it? And it sure has put a damper in mileage logs for cyclists over the past five days.
Those who actually enjoy riding in the rain are few and far between, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it. After all, training for events like the Trek Across Maine doesn't miraculously happen while you're laying on the couch listening to the rain drops and getting caught up on the last three episodes of "The Firm."
If you've been braving the elements with your leg warmers and rain jacket, there are a few basic maintenance items you should keep in mind to keep you bike performing at a high level.
Chains and gears: Especially this time of year, when the roads are still covered with sand from winter plowing, chains and gears can get prematurely worn. Wet roads cause additional sand and grit to be tossed up by tires and into your chain. Be sure to wash and/or wipe your chain, chain ring, cogs and external gears after a wet ride. And finish up your chain maintenance with some fresh lube.
Brake pads: These can also have grit embedded in them after a rainy ride which can make them less efficient and shorten their life. Be sure to wipe off the pads and the rims they sit on.
Pedals: If you've been clipping and unclipping throughout the ride and hitting the road (or the dirt on the road) with your shoes you'll likely find grit in your pedals. Give them a quick cleaning and a drop or two of lube so you'll be ready for the next ride.
Riding in the rain shouldn't harm your bike, but it will benefit the pieces and parts if you give them a quick cleaning after your wet trip.
If you need any help with lubing you bike check out this video:
Karen Beaudoin is an online editor for Maine Today Media and contributes two blogs to the company's websites.
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