Just Spit on It

Eric pulling a tiny rock out of the disk brake pad near Lake Taupo, NZ.
Eric pulling a tiny rock out of the disk brake pad near Lake Taupo, NZ.

Eric is our bike mechanic. His performs routine maintenance fixing the things he can and deciding when we need to visit a bicycle shop for things he can’t. His attention to our bikes gives him something constructive to do during our free time. It gives me the freedom to pursue my interests: Skyping our kids, posting to FB, blogging, and reading. Here’s a shout out to having a husband/mechanic to keep our wheels spinning. Here are some of the things he does:

Cleans and oils the chains almost every day. I’m sure his fetish with clean chains keeps us rolling smoothly and increases the life of our chains and gears. And there’s nothing better than riding on a smooth, quiet chain. But I’ve lost years of my life waiting for the chains to be cleaned or for another visit to a cycle shop and discussion of “the best” cleaners and lubes.

Replacing the hydraulic brake fluid.
Replacing the hydraulic brake fluid.

Adjusts the brakes. Last week, I rolled into Auckland with brakes that sounded like a train squealing on a rusty track. They we so loud that I announced my arrival to EVERY kiwi (bird and human) that I was arriving. Thank goodness Eric took the time this morning before coffee and still wearing his nighttime boxer shorts to bleed the brakes, add new brake fluid, and replace the worn pads. I, on the other hand, sipped my coffee and chatted with our daughter for an hour.

Keeps the tire pressure at proper levels. Yesterday’s pump up made the ride so much easier. But pumping the tires with the little, lightweight, portable pumps is hard work. I can skim the morning headlines while Eric pumps and sweats.

Eric's baggies of tools and supplies.
Eric’s baggies of tools and supplies.

Fixes flat tires. Just so you know….I can fix a flat. But why should I bother when Eric is a master?! My method is to just replace the tube and toss the old one in the trash (kind of like throwing money down the toilet) Eric, on the other hand, is the master patch man. He can patch and patch and patch thus stretching our retirement dollars.

In spite of ALL that Eric fixes and maintains, he hasn’t remembered to put a drop of oil on my squeaky pedal.

Here’s today’s conversation:
Me: Did you put a drop on oil on my pedal?
Eric: Oops. I forgot. And, I’ve put all my tools away. Let’s get going.
Me: Do you know how annoying the squeak is all day? I just count squeaks rather than look for penguins or kiwis. It’s sooooo hard to get into my Zen.
Eric: Well then, just spit on it. Spit (water) is the best lubricant.

So I did. And, it worked.

Thanks, Eric.