A few months ago whilst recovering from a particularly painful episode of tendinitis after failing to learn for the umpteenth time something that my physiotherapist told me over 10 years ago, I should not under any circumstance insist on training to run a marathon or at least if I do to take it very carefully, I remembered that I own a mountain bike. It’s little and black and makes a Hardrock Specialized look like a £4000 custom in comparison. Needless to say that after I collected it from my home in Port Isaac, after years of laying out in the rain and being lugged around the country with little thought for when exactly I was ever going to use it, she was no longer in the best of conditions. I say ‘she’ because I feel that men must spend so long riding them that they have to address them with a feminine pronoun less they begin to feel uncomfortable.
So begins my little journey of restoration, with a little help from my friend of course for I had never changed a tire before, or fitted a bike chain… I was aware I have brake cables but replacing my gear cable was the least fiddly job presented to me.
A first timer’s guide to cleaning up a mountain bike (or any bike really, as long as it is human-powered, pedal-driven and single-track, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other.) … find your own manual.
Initially the idea was to find a way to ease a little bit of impact pressure off my legs in the hope that I don’t go lame in my old age, allowing me to continue stalking wildlife in the mountains but more importantly hitting me with that all important endorphin spike. Verdict? Amazing! Or at least I think so, I’ve been building up a lot on local trails but I can’t wait to get onto proper terrain and the downhill sections!