Monday, May 15, 2006

Blow-dryer Career

I think I can start a 2nd career as a blow-dryer. We went riding on Friday morning with my swanky new bike. Alas got caught in a torrential downpour. And since I didn't have any bike cleaning stuff at home, I could only wipe it and blow-dry with a hairdryer. I've no idea if I'll spoil any parts of the bike with the hot air.... But it was super cool seeing beads of water droplets scurrying out in all directions from underneath the nuts and bolts and all nooks and crannies. And you learn to press every part that's movable, every joint, and aim the hairdryer at it. Ha. And then suay suay, the next day, there was another downpour, and my precious in the balcony kenna a washing on its front. Again. Out comes the hairdryer. Repeat the whole cycle.

I'm getting quite adept with the hairdryer. Geez, I mean I use the thing on my head like twice a year. And now I'm fully utilizing it, twice 2 days in a roll on the bike. Oh man..... I'm dedicating that hairdryer to the precious. So I learnt I needed to buy cleaning solutions and cheem stuff that all the guys seem knowledgeable abt, but which are greek to women.... For which I had a hard time visualizing how to use them on the bike.

Today I rode to Tuas & Sentosa. By the time I got home it was 10pm. Time to groom the bike once more. With the correct tools this time. Thank goodness I had presence of mind to clean it in the corridor (uh, not a recommended place, but beats inside the house). Proudly, like what the shop owner demo, I aimed that degreaser spray straight at the cassettes & chain. The solvent smelt of orange citrus. My my, even bikes have perfume! Eau de-greaseur! Haha.... Must have done it right, cos black gooey stuff promptly sputtered out & dripped all over the place. It was both a sense of achievement, mixed with drats-i've-greased-the-corridor dread. Next to clean was the chain. 2x toothbrushes held bristles to bristles, and run the chain through them. Sounds simple. Wait til one of the brushes is from an SQ flight. Already cannot make it on my teeth, totally cannot make it on the chains. The brush broke!! After a couple of chain-spins, the bristles all became detached (think of an old broom that sheds 'hair' as you sweep), and the 1inch brush section split into two. And created more mess on the already dirty floor. Buy oral-B next time. The 2nd brush I used. It's tested even to withstand tough chains! So anyhow after that I had absolutely no idea if the chains were clean or not, they still left black marks on my fingers when I touched. But I know I've successfully ruined a nice clean bucket, cos it's now got a rim of grease where the dirty water level was. Plus 1x broken brush, 1x blackened Oral-B.

The precious temporarily (definition = my mum's tolerance) stays in the living room, away from the climate elements, until I get a giant groundsheet to cover it. Thought I'd lean the bike against something & put newspapers beneath the wheels to keep the floor clean. Um, I forgot about laws of friction. The papers kept sliding out against the floor, and the whole bike wouldn't lean upright. Darn. Forced to use the triangle stand. Wrestled with the thing for 7min before prying it open & attaching to bike. Sense of accomplishment #2. By which time it was 45min past, and in terrible need of a nice shower & food for myself. And haven't blow-dry yet!

I concluded that if each time I ride, I need 15min before the ride to pump tires, lubricate the chains, and 45min after to hose and clean the bike.... Whew! (I don't even take that long to clean up myself!)... The ride had better be much longer than 1hr to justify all that cleaning time!

- who now understands why men suffers from obsessive polishing & waxing of cars, but not their bods....

(pps: i don't even clean my climbing gear as thoroughly.....)