After the ride last Sunday I rolled my bike into the garage and parked it. I didn't have the energy or time to clean it on Sunday afternoon. Anyone that knows me, knows I'm a member of the Clean Bike Club. I like my bikes clean. It doesn't always happen, but I do like a clean bike.
Yesterday was my first ride since the epic adventure. Before I could ride, however, I had to clean my bike. I was not looking forward to the work because each time I went into the garage I took a closer look at the ugly black/gray stuff that coated my brakes and I was sure it was on my frame in greater quantities than met by the naked eye.
This black/gray stuff was the fine combination of oil from the new patches and pavement on Trail Ridge Road and the normal road gunk that all the cars and trucks drop. Yech.
My brother works in the paving industry and told me that fresh pavement does seep oil for some period of time. More oil than an old road for sure. He said he wasn't surprised I lost braking ability during the rain storm on Sunday, particularly given we were in the first few minutes of the start of the storm. He said my brakes were likely bathed in oil.
This explains why I've never lost my brakes before. I've been in plenty of storms, but I don't think I've been in a downhill situation on pavement that is one day to two months young in a driving rain storm.
That young oil, and all of the junk it attracted, was caked on my brakes. I'm not kidding. I should have taken a photo. It was gross.
The drive train got a good dose of White Lightening Clean Streak. This stuff is amazing. It easily cleans the grime off of the drive train. I've used it all summer and even with the nasty paving oil, it did a fantastic job.
For the frame and all the rest, it took warm dish soap, a set of bike cleaning brushes and elbow grease. It took me 1:30 to get that bike cleaned up back to my standards.
Then, and only then, could I take it out for a ride.