Spring tune-up time!
But of your bike, not your car:
Especially if you don't own a car, like Avid-De Yrne-be:
("I thought I forgot where I parked my car but then I remembered I don't even own one!")
I'm one of those people who prefers to stretch service intervals as far as possible, preferably to infinity minus one day. This is because I perform my own bicycle maintenance, which means instead of riding I'm cursing and losing little screws. However, in August it will have been two years since I'd taken delivery of my Ritte von Finkelstein road riding bicycle, and apart from changing the bar tape and the rear brake pads once I hadn't so much as changed a single cable in that time, and it was becoming abundantly clear from their brown color that I could postpone an up-tuning no longer.
Before you work on your bike, you should always clean it. However, I hate cleaning stuff, so what I do is bring the bike to the gas station and hose off the biggest chunks of crap with the coin-operated power washer. (This might be enough to clean a normal bike, but when you keep your bike as dirty as I do it merely restores the base layer of grime.) After that, I'll take a rag to the thing, but I'll only clean the parts on which I'm working. This means, for example, that if I'm replacing the bottom bracket, I'll clean the "beefy" bottom bracket area, but that's it--sort of how a doctor will prep the immediate area for surgery by shaving it, but leave the rest hairy.
Speaking of bottom brackets, that's the first thing I replaced, and because Ritte sent me the bike mostly assembled and it sports one of those new-fangled press-fit things (you know, because it's "beefier") I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to remove the adapter from the shell, looking to any passers-by (I was working on the sidewalk because it was beautiful out) like a monkey trying to find a Gummy Bear that had been lost inside the frame.
Finally I extracted it, revealing a dank ecosystem inside the bike's robust bottom bracket shell, and then I replaced the whole deal with a seemingly more elegantly-designed system that I inserted with all the grace of a drunk having sex in an alleyway.
Then I tackled the cables, and this being my first time working on the "new" under-the-bartape Shimano levers immediately regretted my decision to own them. For some reason there are all these stupid plastic caps and covers and tiny screws that just want to break or get lost, and while it made me angry at Shimano it made me even angrier at all the Freds who simpered and moaned about how Shimano's cables stuck out in front instead of going under the bartape and how it was ugly, inspiring Shimano to come up with this stupid new design. As far as I was concerned though, it was awesome that the shifter cables didn't go under the bartape, because it meant you could quickly change the cables and housing without removing the bartape, and taping bars is something I only like to do when I run out of electrical tape with which to repair the bartape.
I'm this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to just putting my old levers on there, but now that everything's all buttoned up and finished I have no intention of putting a tool to this fucking thing for another two years:
Incidentally, I also replaced those rims a few weeks ago in an exhausting fit of nipple-twisting, which means that as of now pretty much everything on the bike has either been overhauled or replaced right down to the chain, and I look forward to finding out which of my ham-handed repairs fails first.
I did wrap the bars pretty nicely, though.
Speaking of nipple-twisting fits, Peter Sagan is going to apologize to the prize administration professional (that's PC speak for "podium girl") again, only this time he's going to do it in person:
The Slovakian has not been seen since his video apology to podium girl Maja Leye after his behaviour on the Tour of Flanders podium. The two are expected to meet at the Brabantse Pijl because Maja works for race organiser Flanders Classics.
"I'll see her again and I hope I can find a way for her to forgive me," Sagan told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It was a joke. What else do you think it was? The problem is that some people didn’t understand it. But I apologised to her because she didn’t like it."
Fascinating. I wonder if he'll "apologize" on her face or on her chest.
By the way, I think I may have come up with a good solution for the negative image professional cyclists have acquired recently. You know how the commies used to like to call each other "comrade?" Of course you do:
Communists use the term "comrade" as an egalitarian form of address and common title to supporters of communism that replaces hierarchical and gender-based titles. It is typically abbreviated in English as "Cde."
Well I think a similar egalitarian form of address should be applied to professional cyclists, and that it should be "Doper." As it is, everybody loves a pro cyclist, then he gets caught doping, and then everybody hates him, even though he's only doing the same thing as everybody else. If, though, we just call them all "Doper," followed by their surname, then we'll eliminate the problem. Consider some recent headlines and how they'd be improved:
(Dope Eustice interviews Doper Merckx in 2011.)
See? I feel better about the sport already.
Meanwhile, I was stunned to learn from a reader that those Robs Fords still Mayors of Toronto, though I was totally unsurprised to learn that they're cockblocking some new bike stuff:
Evidently, they object to the showers:
“I’m going to try to kill it at council, but that’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money,” Mayor Rob Ford told the media Tuesday, when asked about the station during an announcement about summer road construction.
The $1.2 million bike station was approved by the government management committee Monday and will go to council for approval next month. The plan includes four showers.
Though to their credit the Robs Fords have offered to shower the cyclists themselves instead:
(Fords showering a sweaty bicycle commuter.)
In other mayoral news, the guy who wanted to be Mayor of New York City and said this:
"When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing? I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your fucking bike lanes."
And was subsequently disgraced for Tweeting this:
Thinks maybe he can still be mayor:
At this rate New York City will be the first city to simultaneously unveil a bike share program and totally remove its bicycle infrastructure.