august heat and bike maintenance.
saturday, august 12th, 2023.
It has been incredibly hot here in Georgia these last few weeks. Today, it got up to 99°F with a "feels like" temperature of 128°F thanks to the humidity. There've been plenty of pop-up thunderstorms, too. The bottom fell out so hard one evening that my partner had to come pick me up from work!
There've been a couple days where I've elected to drive. Any time the heat index is over 105°F or a high chance of thunderstorms, pretty much. Other than that I don't mind getting rained on, so I've managed to rack up over 300 miles of commuting since I started!
With all that mileage comes bicycle maintenance. Wednesday evening was my first flat tire of the year— a straightened staple pierced my tire and tube like an arrow. Flats are an expected occurrence, though, so I come prepared.
The fellow at the bike shop recommended using 24" tubes on my 26" tires, which works out pretty well! Not having the extra tube seems to reduce the likelihood of a pinch flat caused by having the tube sticking out of the rim ever so slightly. I've ridden on my new tube a couple days and it seems to be holding up just fine. I'm glad I was able to change it at home instead of on the side of the road, though!
Speaking of doing things at home, I spent the best $10 I've spent on bike maintenance to purchase a drop cloth. Now I'm able to clean, degrease, and lube my bike indoors in the air conditioning without worrying about things splattering all over!
Rest assured, the drop cloth no longer looks nearly as pristine— it's got a thorough coating of grease on it now that I've cleaned my chain. The Park Tool chain scrubber really gets that grime off the chain, but wow! does it splatter everywhere!
It looks rainy and very hot the next couple of days, so it looks like I'm driving until the weather breaks and it cools off. I'm really looking forward to fall coming so I can ride more often without the looming spectre of lightning and hail to put me off of things.
Until next time, be well! :)