rather delightfully, i have a brand spankng new bicycle occupying space in thewashingmachinepost bike shed at present, even if that makes it even more awkward to reach the spanners at the furthest point on the tool board. and, as we all know, new bicycles are a huge pleasure to ride, particularly for the length of time they tend to remain on holiday on islay. it's simply a matter of clambering aboard and rolling down the path in front of the croft to head off into the wide blue/grey yonder.
yes indeed, new bicycles are almost always totally silent, gliding through the principality with only the heartwarming sound of rubber on disintegrating tarmac. granted, the front gear mech had not been precisely set and there was an annoying rubbing noise to be heard in the big ring, but that was a simple matter to correct without needing to reach for any of the more obsucre tools on the board. the one i mentioned earlier.
it's a well-known fact that bicycles of a certain age become villifyingly crafty, bringing rise to hitherto unrealised squeaks and groans that certainly weren't there yesterday. if the bicycle was a company car, it would be a simple matter of turning the volume up on the radio, or if i might paraphrase from lennard zinn's 'book of road maintenance' 'i couldn't fix the squeak, so i made your horn louder'
when such an irritating situation as this appears, there will usually follow hours, days, weeks, even months of trying vainly to track down the source of the insurgent sound. occasionally luck is on our side and it's a simple matter of tightening a pedal, a quick-release lever or a saddle bolt, but more often than not, it's a lot harder than that. and supposing the source is eventually found, what are you going to do about it?
i did enquire thus of a colleague who had suffered the above iniquity over an extended period of time, tracking the errant noise to the headset crown race. almost predictably, he averred that this would be simply cured with a quick squirt of wd40, a rather superficial and ultimately unsatisfactory solution to a problem that had cause endless anguish and irritation to him and anyone within earshot. i advised that a smidgeon of grease would be a more effective remedy; that proved to be the case.
there is a veritable panoply of suitable greases on the market, several well qualified for velocipedinal use. i have a large tub of white grease that i've had since eddy merckx was a wee boy; a bit like the magic porridge pot, no matter how much i use, the quantity never seems to diminish. but at the risk of repeating myself, it's big tub of white grease, so applying it to almost any part of the bicycle necessitates scooping out a fingerful and smearing it where it needs to be smeared.
far better, you would think, to use a grease gun nozzle. and even better if the grease in question were a bit kinder to fair skin than the majority of greases. the solution to both problems is undoubtedly green oil's plant-based eco grease, a product now available in a grease gun friendly, 200ml tube.
naturally enough, my passing reference to the number of bicycles blocking access to my impressive collection of redundant cycle-specific tools was not the innocent remark it may at first have appeared to be. for yes, you have correctly guessed that one of those efficacious doohickies is my grease gun. this, if you are predisposed to look favourably upon, is the very reason why my application of eco grease to a couple of quick-release skewers was by forefinger rather than grease gun.
its constitution, however, removed any concerns that i might contract some grease inflicted skin condition. and despite the old-skool means of application, both q/r skewers are working well, thank you for asking. as indeed are the hinges on the sitting room and the kitchen door. i'm well aware that the latter two are distinctly non-velocipedinal in nature, but if you don't tell, i won't either.
eco grease in a 200ml tube will be available at the end of this month from stockists at a cost of £8.99
wednesday 20 april 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................