Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Streak Day 267 (Tues Sept 27th): Maintenance

2011 Streak Day 267 (Tues Sept 27th): Walk 2 miles time 40 min, Weather - mizzly in the morning but it lifted and the afternoon  was wonderfully warm and sunny.

Maintenance is either the great joy or great pain of cycling. It has to be done to make sure everything is running well and to keep the bike looking nice but my attitude to it is extremely variable. Some days, especially when it cold and bleak, I don't want to do it. When my fingers are icy everything is fiddly and hard,. I tend to drop the tiny components and curse a lot. However on days like this I find tremendous contentment.

The sun is out, the air is warm, and I quietly and calmly take the pieces apart, clean them and put them back, adjusting tensions and checking things are running true. There is something satisfying about working with your hands and when I am in this mood it feels almost meditative.

I claim no great knowledge or skill. I just do the simple things but mostly that is all you need to do.

Cleaning the chain is probably the main bit of bicycle maintenance but I don't think cleaning features in any book of running maintenance. For running maintenance the emphasis is on tension i.e. stretching. In the past this is something I have neglected and it has built up problems. I regret I was not assiduous enough.

As part of my new beginning I have decided to take stretching more seriously and uncouple it from running (i.e. only do it after a run). I am now doing a few stretches every morning. Only for 10 minutes but the principle is, once more, that if you do something regularly you will gradually see improvements.

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