Monday, May 01, 2006

Gettin’ lubricated!

Married couples start to act alike and even think alike if they’ve been together long enough. For instance, on Saturday, Mary wanted to go to the grocery store. I got in the car to take her there, and as we pulled away from the house she said, “Oh! I need to go to the Pet Cemetery too!” The weird thing is that I knew exactly where she wanted to go, and it wasn’t a pet cemetery. It was PetSmart. We were out of dog food. I live with blondes so I’m beginning to understand their thought processes. Pray for my sanity.

I made fun of her all the way there, and the people in the store were treated to the sight of a middle-aged woman punching her husband several times while he laughed. It could be worse. We could be those people who wear matching outfits, but I’d probably shoot myself first. Somehow, I suspect she’d want me to match her outfit, rather than match mine. After all, I’m one of those guys wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt with plaid Bermuda shorts. I look like a beach bum from hell.

I wrote about riding in the rain on Friday, but I didn’t mention that Mary had warned me about it when she saw the weather report Thursday evening. She wanted me to drive and avoid the rain. I was actually looking forward to it, but then again, I’m more than a little twisted. Regardless, when I arrived at home sopping wet, she had one of those glorious I-told-you-so moments that wives seem to relish. I give her ample opportunities.

Yesterday as I was tinkering with the car, my neighbors stopped to talk. Kim saw me coming home drenched on Friday. Chuck laughed and said he’s done the same thing. They ride a motorcycle, and they know that it’s impossible to stay dry but with enough layers you can stay warm. They’ve been married a long time too. They complete each other’s sentences.

After they left, I cleaned and lubricated both commuter bikes. The Bianchi had a flat, so I fixed it. Since I’m cheap, I try to get the most from those expensive drive train parts, and keeping them clean and lubed is key. My rule-of-thumb is to do this every 200 miles or after riding in the rain. I use WD-40 to clean the chain, spraying it onto the chain as I rotate the pedals. Then I scrub a few links at a time with a rag and let it sit for a few minutes so the propellant can evaporate. WD-40 is a good cleaner but not a good choice as a chain lube. It doesn’t stand up to the pressure generated in the links. After it’s evaporated, I use Amzoil’s MPHD. It’s a wax-based lubricant. Again, I’m cheap, so I don’t mind this leaving a brownish waxy build-up on the components, though I do try to wipe off the excess. I’ve tried the ‘boutique’ lubricants, but I’ve returned to the industrial stuff on the commuters. WD-40 is good at cleaning the crud from clipless pedals too. Just use an old toothbrush to scrub them.

This morning the Centurion was practically silent under me. The only sounds I heard were the birds, the wind, and an occasional creaking noise coming from either a shoe or my old knees. I rode the fixed gear with its fenders mainly because the weather report calls for more rain later today. Sure enough, the radar is showing a line forming off to the west and moving this way. I may get to do another quick clean and lube tonight.

Also, it’s Monday again, the night when bible-toting Baptist commandos try to infiltrate our neighborhood. I just may wear the beach bum clothes and sit on the front porch while reeking of solvents, drinking right from a bottle of whiskey. I have a bottle that’s almost empty. I’ll just fill it with decaffeinated iced tea. That way it won’t keep me up all night. I haven’t found any spray cans of Baptist-Be-Gone, so the whiskey bottle will have to do.


Blogger George said...

You are *BAD*

I really like the whiskey bottle idea. I don't drink hard liquor very much, so I'll have to get one from one of my friends.

My wife and I have been married 23 years and we are total opposites, not sure if that's the reason why we get along or what, but it's worked so far:-)

4:55 AM  

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