Although this post is not based on a cycling excuse, it is based on preventing one – a broken, rusty chain.
This winter I have noticed more cyclists out and about than previous in years – even with single digit temperatures. It’s encouraging to see so many folks braving the cold and snow to bike – and not just bundled up hard core cyclists. I’ve been seeing all ages biking around on snow covered streets. If you’re not winter biking yet, I highly recommend it – because it makes for some good pictures (like this one of my Boda Boda).
During my first winter of biking I learned many lessons but one particularly important one. Curt Warner over at Bike Fix pointed out the importance of rinsing off my bike each day. Even if the snow is gone and you’re just biking through wet slush, you’re kicking salty water up onto your gears and chain. Salt left on your chain can rust over faster than you might think. This means you’ll need to replace these parts sooner/more often and puts you at risk for your chain snapping as you go.
So what to do?
Once you get home from your ride, take a spray bottle or water bottle of clean water and rinse off your bike, especially your chain and gears. Grab an old towel and wipe it down as you go. Keep in mind you may need to regrease your chain after wiping it down. (Not sure how much grease you need? Check this page on how to grease your chain.)
The bike room at my place has a drain in the middle of the floor. I keep a big bottle of clean water in the bike room and rinse off my bike at the end of each day of winter bike riding.
Remember, if you’re seeing a video at the bottom of this post, it was not put there by me as part of this post. This is an advertisement that WordPress puts there so I can keep blogging for free!