I was riding with Nate McArthur and James Hoffman about a year ago when I ended up in a bad spot. It was an early spring ride and we were riding in snow and mud. It got so muddy I couldn’t shift, and I eventually broke my derailleur for the first time in my riding life. I had to walk out a few miles until James was able to get back to his truck and come rescue me. The Fezzari bike shop was able to later hook me up with a used derailleur for $25 and I was back at it. I’ve been in muddy areas like that before on my Trek, but got out without any damage. I won’t ride in areas like that again. Muddy conditions can cause problems long before it is severe enough to break parts. A dirty bike won’t shift properly and can cause braking issues. It’s important to keep your bike clean so it will perform properly when you depend on it. Our minds, bodies and spirits get muddy and must be cleaned from time to time. There have been times when I depended on caffeinated soda to function. It’s a horrible feeling and I stopped drinking soda on December 29, 2012, with no plans to go back. I eat more fruits and vegetables and have cut back dramatically on junk food and dessert. I think clearer and feel better. We have to cleanse our spirits by spending time in nature, connecting with family and friends, meditating and expecting God, the universe or karma to interact with us. Things can’t function properly when they are dirty, whether it is a bike or a person.
Mountain bike lesson #5- a clean bike