1 of 3
Now That's a Rusty ChainIt doesn't take a lot of salt and melted snow to rust up a chain.
2 of 3
DegreaserAfter lots of lube and steel wool scrubbing, we're ready for degreaser.
3 of 3
Voila!Clean, shiny and ready to ride.
Last weekend was the perfect change of season in Ottawa. Friday it snowed and we went cross-country skiing into a cabin for a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches, melted to perfection on the wood stove. The weather was still cool enough to ski again on Saturday, to the tune of chickadees in the woods.
Sunday morning we put away the skis. And by Sunday afternoon the snow was melting, the sun was shining and we had hauled out the bikes for a thorough spring tune-up. It's rare but glorious to have such a brief shoulder season!
The kids needed seats raised, tires pumped and brakes tightened (more about that in another post). But my poor bike -- especially my very rusty chain -- needed some serious loving.
Sometimes the kids help with rusty chains. But they were busy riding up and down the street on their own and weren't interested in bike repairs. Derek does an amazing job of repairing our large fleet of bikes, but he draws the line at the grunt work of rusty chains. So it was up to me to clean my own chain. It's actually a job I enjoy because the results are so dramatic, it's just not something I get around to all that often.
Rusty chains just take time. And elbow grease. It took over an hour of scrubbing the rust with steel wool, dripping lube into the chain to loosen up the caked on grime, bending each kink in the chain to scrape out the gunk with a flat headed screwdriver and degreasing the chain before the it was moving smoothly.
But it was a delightful hour of spring sunshine. And such a great feeling to have my bike back in good repair. There's something immensely satisfying about taking care of the bike that takes you wherever you need to go.