When I first started cycling I would spend lots of time futsing-around doing all sorts of sensible things, like washing my bike after muddy rides, checking the tyre pressure regularly and replacing parts before they had completely worn out. But over time I’ve started to develop a more blasé attitude towards bicycle maintenance which can be evidenced by the current appearance of my faithful commuter bike.
This low-maintenance mentality has allowed me to use (and abuse) the bike as a useful form of transport without too much worrying. I’ve started to realise that a bike is a hardy piece of equipment that doesn’t really need to be pampered.Today I needed to travel 50 miles (25 each way) to do a job so I just loaded up the panniers with tools and clothes and headed off. Admittedly it would have been slightly quicker to have driven, but I enjoyed the ride and still made it in good time.
However on the way home one of my feet popped out of the clipless pedal a couple of times. On getting home I took a look at the cleat and noticed that the front part had almost worn away to nothing. One side effect of a low maintenance mentality would seem to be component failure! Fortunately, in a former and more sensible life I had replaced a pair of cleats before they had worn out. So I dug around in the man-cave and found them. They looked good as new – what was I thinking?!
In hindsight I probably should have bought mountain bike shoes rather than shoes with racing cleats as most of my cycling is commuting. But replacing cleats every year is now cheaper than buying a completely new set of shoes and pedals so I’ll stick with what I’ve got. Maybe one day soon I’ll even give the bike a wash – just to make sure it’s actually my bike underneath all that mud!