The Organisation I’ve been working with for many years with, has always been divided between the Mystics and the Mechanics. I will not go on explaining the concept, as we could spend a week and still argue about it, but, using lay-man talk let me simplify it as: the dualism between doers and thinkers (or vice-versa).
I’m a dropout by vocation as I’ve never completed my Uni career, however, at different stages of my education I tackled technical subjects as well as humanities. So, an employee offering jobs for mystics and mechanics in the art of peacefully protesting sounded like a dream back in the day, so I jumped at the opportunity!
Moving away from philosophical dissertations, let’s talk some shop! shall we?
There are a number of good reasons for loving the sport of cycling, but there are two aspects of it that really stand out for me: I can explore places where I’ve never been and I can tinker with mechanical parts!
I absolutely love to pull my bike apart and make it buttery smooth. It’s a once per week routine, a sort of greasy meditation happening on Friday afternoon (yes, after 5 boss!).
Bearings, pedals, jokey wheels and a touch of oil on a squeaky clean chain makes the bike look great and feel even better. Before an event it’s a ritual where the machine becomes invincible, and its rider remains the weak link of the chain.
I love Criterium racing (or Crit if you are a Brit). It is fun and much expectation is built in the lead to the event. My bike is always one notch better than I am and after every lost sprint, seems to remind me that I should go home and reflect over Velominati rule #5, once again.
Jokes apart, it’s awesome to go fast and chase other riders, all in the lead to that painful final lap. My golden rule is: if you are in the top 5 at the last corner, give it a GO! if not, the crash is an option,
This is what I do, religiously every time I race, and a win has yet to come. This year I’ve trained hard for the #TCRNo6 (ultra endurance), which kind of ruled out my capacity of competing during fast paced events. Next year I will focus on road racing and who knows…it’s always fun to have a goal.
Velominati Rule # 42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run. If it’s preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run, it is not called a bike race, it is called duathlon or a triathlon. Neither of which is a bike race. Also keep in mind that one should only swim in order to prevent drowning, and should only run if being chased. And even then, one should only run fast enough to prevent capture.
And, by the way, I am and always will be a Mechanic!!
The Friday routine (the recipe of uncle Gionny)
It all starts with a gentle soapy wash of the steed. I do not use a pressure washer, as it might damage the celeste paint job.
A good degrease of the drivetrain, with particular attention to the chain and the cassette. All the muck is removed using a degreaser I usually buy at the hardware store. Next step is to rinse the bike and let it dry…go and get yourself a cold one.
Once the steed is dry, it’s time to remove the jocky wheels and clean them thoroughly, then grease the bearings and put them back in place. Next are the pedal spindles, a nice touch of grease and they spin like a charm.
Finally the drivetrain, shiny and dry, after it’s been fully degreased. Time to apply a drop of oil each link and wipe away the excess lube. Up and down the cassette, fine tuning the gear indexing, et voila’, the steed is ready to bite the tarmac!