Washerman’s blues

6th February 2019 by  in The Dex Files

One thing I will say about riding at this time of year: it does mean a lot of washing.

Frankly, I’m getting a bit fed up of it.

I like to look after my bikes properly and though it’s the work bike, rather than the pleasure bike, that comes out when the salt has been spread, sometimes I look at the poor machine and wonder if I shouldn’t just get a cheap car instead. (Don’t worry: that passes, as soon as I filter past a queue at a roundabout).

I rinse the bike every night when I get in and reapply a quick squirt of Scotoiller FS365. Doesn’t take much. It seems to keep the corrosion at bay.

At the weekend, I give the bike a proper wash. I start with another sluice with the hose, then squirt it with whichever all-in-one I’ve got in stock (currently using one that was recommended in RiDE, called M16 Extreme Bike Clean – it’s very good). Let that sit for a few minutes, then rub it up with the sponge, leave it for a few minutes, then hose it down – now with the pressure washer.  Then I get out the double buckets: one of suds, one of clean water. This is when I really get up-close-and-personal with the bike (once I year, I even take the fairing off for this stage, to really clean around the engine). That’s brushes, sponges and a soft mitt. Then get it all off with a gentle jet wash. After that I reapply the FS365, dry and polish the plastics and put the bike away again. I’ve got the system down so it takes me less than 45 minutes most days.

I have to say, I think I keep the bike looking good. The trade-ins I get suggest I don’t do a bad job. But there are some days when I really resent it, especially when I have a bit of a cold and my nose is running and my fingers are blue with cold.

And when I looked at the bike when I pushed it out this morning, even after having sluiced the worst of the filth off last night, I did wonder if it was all worth it. The poor thing was so filthy… But that’s just silly talk. Of course it’s worth looking after the bike – because it’s still worth riding the bike. Even at this time of year.


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