YOUR PLAYA BIKE: WE CAN REBUILD IT
Thanks to the crack team of Da Rat and Shanan Carney for these
"Post-Playa Rehab for Bikes" tips!
So you're back from the playa, bike in tow, and thanks to an
excellent Esplanade adventure or two as well as a few memorable dust
storms, your wheels may not be turning the way nature intended (we
speak of the ones on your bike). Well, good news: If you're willing
to admit your bike has a problem (after all, it was powerless over
the playa), your favorite bicycle cronies are back with a few tips on
After-Burn Bike Care, a.k.a. Post-Playa Bike Rehab.
Heed this advice sooner rather than later, however, as the
alkaline-intense playa dust is NOT kind on metal parts, and is
particularly BRUTAL when it comes to the very lifeblood of your bike
- the CHAIN. Fortunately, for us, playa dust is water-soluble, so
here are the simple steps to ensure your loved one is on the road to
full recovery-and in plenty of time to return next year!
---> Bare Minimum Care: Hose your bike off, both upside down and
upright (a bit of acid helps dissolve playa dust quickly; vinegar is
an excellent choice because it's mild and evaporates quickly/easily).
Use a wire brush to clean the chain and gear teeth. Lightly oil chain
(WD-40 will do) and wipe off excess.
---> More Extensive Care: See "Bare Minimum Care"; then remove both
wheels, clean axles with small wire brush, clean fork with soft rag,
including wheel mount area (you'll notice a lot of grit is hidden by
axles), clean brake mechanism with small wire brush then soft rag.
---> Total Lovin' Care: See "Bare Minimum Care"; then check wheel
axles, front fork and crank for lube, clean and relube. Deflate
tires, remove from rims, wipe inside of rims (LOTS of playa comes
home in there!) with oily rag, wipe down spokes to remove
rust-forming playa dust. Spray WD-40 or similar lubrication into
brake and gear housing cables, work controls to spread the lube
through-out the housing. reassemble, wipe with soft rag, inflate to
proper psi; test ride.
Hope to hear you toot your favorite bike horn at Decompression!
lebenskunstler - noun, German - someone for whom life is an art form.