When rain stops play

Ah, the fabulous British Summer. I’ve been on holiday at home the last few weeks and it’s just so marvellous to get out and play on the dusty trails, with bike components working as contentedly as they were intended to...

Ah, the fabulous British Summer.  I’ve been on holiday at home the last few weeks and it’s just so marvellous to get out and play on the dusty trails, with bike components working as contentedly as they were intended to...

I, beg your pardon?! Yeah, I know, I was just dreaming, as it’s been the wettest August on record, yet again.  The epitome of which was the other day, when, after a few days of doing household and garden chores, I was looking forward to taking the Yeti out for some moorland and forest fun.  But just as we edged out of the yard, we were greeted by the most almighty downpour, dampening not just me and the Yeti, but our spirits, too.  We retreated to the safety of the garage and waited, and waited, and waited some more, then, with a heavy sigh, resigned ourselves to staying in instead. 

Equally at home seated on the sofa as on the bike, it would have been easy to settle in front of more Olympics, but in a Eureka moment (we had jumped out of the water, or at least stumbled out of it, after all!) the idea came to me that we could still have fun, even if we were confined to the garage:

I could give the Yeti a thoroughly good wash, clean, de-grease, lube, polish etc. to remove all the grit and mud and detritus that has been getting in those awkward places right through summer, like the winter had never ended. 

These cleaning moments are great for spotting wear and tear as well.  As John Stevenson writes in this month’s mag, ignoring essential repairs can lead to disastrous effects.  And, lo and behold, a thorough degrease of the chainset revealed a line of broken teeth in the middle chain ring (the probable cause of that snapped chain, a couple of blogs back, then). 

There’s nowt as satisfying as restoring a machine to its intended working order.  And, after an hour or so of stripping the Yeti down and giving it a thoroughly good going over with a soapy sponge, elbow grease and polish, I had managed to get rid of all those annoying squeaks and groans that so often plague the dirty and unclean. 

So, don’t be downhearted when rain stops play.  You can still mess around with your bike, just in a different, yet equally satisfying, way.   

The only downside? The Yeti looks far too nice now to take it out and play in the dirt!

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