Too Loose, La Trek

It's slowly coming on Spring.  Actually, it seems to me like the Greater Chicagoland Area is actually having a REAL Spring, this year, as opposed to those countless years we went right from Winter to Summer with a one or two day stopover at Spring - so short you forgot it was there. 


The weather will soon support outdoor activities, especially bike riding, which means that many bikes which have spent the Winter in garages and sheds will soon and suddenly see the light of day.  However, just because they can live in the light doesn't mean they're ready, willing and able to go.

Check the tires.   Most people will do this as a matter of course.  Air pressure keeps the metal rims off the ground and makes the bike ride better.  But before you do the pressure, turn the bike over and set it down on the handlebars and seat.  Spin the wheels by hand and watch.  See if there's any side-to-side wobble in the tire or rim.  See if the tire or rim seems to waver up and down.  The spin should be true - if it isn't, there's a problem and you should probably have the tires trued at a bike shop.

Check the axles.  Axles?  We don' need no stinkin' axles!!  In fact, you do.  While the bike is still upside down, lay the flat of your hand on the tire and try to move the tire (gently) side to side.  If you feel a little "cluck" under your hand, the axles need to be tightened.  (Thus the title of this post.  heh, heh.) Back to the bike shop.

Lube the chain.  Chain?  We ... nevermind.  Go to Walmart and by their little $2.50 bottle of waxy chain lube, crank the bike by hand and lube the chain like the instructions on the bottle tell you to do.  A well lubed and clean chain will last a long time - a dirty or rusty chain will break.  Yeah.  You need a chain.

No matter who you are, riding a bike should be among your options for gaining and maintaining your health.

Besides, it's fun.