Badly needed maintenance

I know I have mentioned my car is previous posts here.  It’s a 1997 Ford Escort Station Wagon.

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I bought it brand new and it now has 304.000 (no typo) miles on it.  This thing has taken me to the mountains, the ocean and everywhere in between.  Only 3 windows work, the rear defroster is shot, and I need a flashlight to see how fast I am going at night.

I keep it for a few reasons.  The most important is that its paid for.  I haven’t had a car payment since 2001, nor do I want one!  Add to it that it gets 30+ miles to the gallon, handles well in all weather, and can carry my bike anywhere I need to go, there is no reason not to keep it.  The kids say it smells bad inside, but I call it 304,000 miles of man musk!

I mention the car to let you know its amazing how long it’s lived given the lack of maintenance I give it.  I know NOTHING about cars.  Rarely has this thing gotten more than 2 oil changes in a year (lately its been 1) I get the brakes done every 100,000 miles and it had the original clutch until the Math Major learned to drive  a stick 2 years ago, using it.  (Still has the original engine as well.)  I also feed it a steady diet of ARCO gas, which some people think will kill any car.  Guess I’ve proved not so much, huh?

I am one of those whose bike is worth much more than the car when driving down the road.

Given this, I try to maintain the bike a LOT more than I have ever done my car.  (its been years since the car got near a car wash, I am worried it would fall apart if I washed off all the lichen and moss).

With me gone in Spokane, I have been lax on the maintenance of the bike as well as the riding.  Today it was time to take care of that task.

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With the weather lately, the chain and cassette had gotten grimier than you could imagine.

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Yep stuff was caked on.  It was time to break out the spray degrimer!  This stuff is magic, spray it on and the gunk just melts away.  Well, most of it does anyway.  I had some very recalcitrant chunks that would not let go.  However, busting out the brushes, and an old t-shirt, plus a bit of elbow grease, and the job was a success!

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Add to it a liberal dose of chain lubricant, and I am ready to go for a ride tomorrow.

I know, you gotta be wondering, “Tony, you are the guy who doesn’t make the bed because you are just going to crawl in later that night!  Why clean the chain when it’s just going to get dirty again?”

Easy, unlike the car, the bike gets pampered.  A full tune up each spring before the big rides and as much as I can do myself to keep it moving.  I need the bike to stay in shape, and it has carried me (with its predecessor)

Chinook Pass Summit

Chinook Pass Summit

to some amazing places.  I am not sure the bike would be able to keep doing that for me.  Add to it, I own only one bike, so it rides win wind, rain, sun or snow.  A little prevention will help ensure I get where I am going!

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5 Responses to Badly needed maintenance

  1. “the chain and cassette had gotten grimier than you could imagine”….sorry, I can imagine – and have seen – far worse grime than that 🙂

  2. sarburch says:

    I LOVE that your bike costs more than your car, and I LOVE that you maintain your bike more often than your car. You definitely have your priorities in the right place!

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