My life as an Urban Cyclista AKA How to clean your bicycle in a shower

Bicycle Shower, originally uploaded by Platform 3.

Being an Urban Hipster® and living close to bars, restaurants, pubs, the canal, an arthouse cinema and the town centre has its advantages. However, residing in a block of flats/an apartment block does pose some challenges for the urban cyclista. For example, where to put your numerous bicyles to protect them from the elements?

Well in my flat, the entrance vestibule has been rechristened “The Bike Shed”. At any one time there is at least one bike in there and most often two. One of them does usually stay in the outside, covered bike rack, but sometimes all three are inside. Repairs are often done in the living room, using a collapsible repair stand.

Another challenge is what to do when your trusty steed gets mucky. Our flats used to have a firehose in the courtyard but since they renovated the exterior of the block, the hose is no more. It’s a shame, since after a rainy, muddy ride it was handy to be able to give the treadly a quick spray.

Gerard and I are trying to get our bike fitness back after a quite slack winter. We went out for a ride on Sunday and got rained on. As a result, Edward II my Avanti Corsa needed a wash. So, I resorted to a trick i’ve used before…Taking his front wheel off and putting him in the bath.

British showers are quite often “power showers”. They give a boost to crappy water pressure and also guarantee that the water stays hot even in the face of crappy Economy 7 hot water heating.

From the Ed’s Bicycle Beauty Salon brochure…”The shower head on our power shower provides a luxurious bike wash for any self-respecting bicycle. A bit of a spray, an old rag and if you’re feeling really decadent, some soap will leave your paintwork and shiny bits looking and feeling like new”

Remove bike from the shower, give it a wipe down, making sure your give the chain a good dry. Then use your favourite chain lube to ward off the Evil Rust.

After you’re done pampering your pride and joy, jump in the shower yourself with some Cif. You’ll need it to clean the bath. Even though the mud and grit washes away readily, the grease and brake pad gunk do have a habit of sticking to the enamel.

Happy clean cycling.

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