The great thing about the bicycle is its simplicity. If something stops working it is usually straightforward to identify the source of the problem and fix it. Babies are not simple. If something stops working you are quickly exhausted trying to fix it. Sometimes you can’t fix it.
After several weeks (possibly months) of zero bike maintenance I decided to clean off the thick layers of ingrained grime and attend to a few glitches. Maybe I am just comparing bike maintenance to the impossibility of making a screaming baby go to sleep, but tightening gear cables and adjusting derailleurs to achieve smooth gear changes is a fairly straightforward process. Repairing things does however take time, but the sense of satisfaction upon completion makes it worthwhile.
While cleaning the bike I found a few chips and scuffs to the paintwork. Despite the bike being relatively new I wasn’t bothered by these scars. They are an inevitability to a machine in regular use and add to its character. My favourite wear and tear marks to my old bike were the rubbed-away paintwork on the cranks and head tube.
This weekend we headed out to Brean Down for a wintry walk. Brean Down is a sprawling sea-side resort on the windswept coast of the Somerset Levels. At this time of the year the beach is deserted and the cliff-top walks offer spectacular views. And if there’s one sure-fire way to make our grumpy baby sleep, it’s by strapping her to my chest and going hiking. This made our walk even more enjoyable.