Needed a bit of maintenance today. Not me, I just needed more rest, but the bike.
Saturday after my long ride I tossed the bike in the back of the car and didn't look at it again until midday Sunday. When I did, well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it hadn't somehow cleaned itself. So I spent about an hour removing the worst of the mud and grime and gunk, feeling quite pleased with myself. The only hiccup was I also found that the rear tire was flat. Well, not totally flat, but getting there. The same tire that flatted a couple of weeks ago, that I'd fixed, that I'd ridden on several times, and that, obviously, I'd been out for 10 hours on the day before.
Seems like I finished yesterday's ride none too soon.
So I finished cleaning the bike, best as I could, and adjusted the gears a little, and then pumped the rear tire back up, thought what the hell, and went out for my corn ride. Tire seemed OK. But this morning it was definitely flattish, maybe even more so.
So off to the bike shop after lunch. Sprung for two new tires, figured 6,700 miles was enough for them to be retired. Plus a new tube. Plus, it turned out, the brake pads were just about at the end of their useful life, so new sets of them both front and rear. All fixed quite quickly while I watched how things were done.
And also with me feeling glad that I had cleaned the bike enough to be presentable enough to take it in for repairs, sort of the way I gather some folks who have someone clean their living quarters feel the need to do a bit of pre-cleaning, just so things don't look too bad.
That done, back home, still time for a ride so why not. Flat (the route, not the tire) again, easy pace again. Will keep that up until some life returns to this old body.
Spent a good bit of the morning out with my binoculars (which have gotten almost no use this summer except for the week we went to Costa Rica). Wasn't expecting much, always the best way to start out, so quite surprised to see a good assortment of winged creatures, including a collection of young Wood Ducks, a Northern Harrier, a Green Heron, and a group of Solitary Sandpipers. Nothing rare, but all a pleasure, especially when they pose well for the camera.