Jedi Journey

Washing a bike is a very therapeutic process. There is a method, I have developed, to achieve the best results possible. Maybe you can offer some improvements but basically it goes like this: Top to bottom, front to back, front wheel, engine, back wheel, oily bits.

Don’t use a pressure washer, just trust me. Use a bucket of your favorite soapy water and a hose to rinse, and never let the rag touch the floor. This preserves your wash rag as long as possible. Starting from a new one so you don’t scratch the paintwork, to an oily ripped one you are better off discarding by the end. If your bike is new, you could chamy it dry for best effect, but realistically if you have done any miles, this will just show up on the chamy where you can’t get to by washing. Best left to air dry preferably not in direct sunlight for a few hours. And usually only by running the engine will it be properly dried. Now invariably you’ll have got some grease transfer to the brake disks so use a degreasing spray and fresh rag to finish the job.

Its laborious but has stood me and my bike in the UK well for many years. Washing a bike is more than about making it clean for aesthetics, or for sale as in this case. It’s how you regularly inspect your bike, minutely, in absolute detail. This is the best way I have found to spot problems before they happen. A loose bolt or a missing spring, the reason the back brake doesn’t light up until the second jab on the pedal. These are what you will find and then be able to solve before they cause you disastrous issue.

And the reward for spotting any issues and taking the time to do this? A beautifully clean bike, ready for the showroom. I really don’t want to sell this bike, it’s been an amazing steed but she needs a new home. Somone local who will enjoy riding and looking after her as needed. I briefly debated bringing her to the UK but all the bikes there would laugh at her Kiwi-Italian accent.

I decided to pop into town on her one last time, show her off at her best. A friend from the UK has been travelling for a few years now and is currently mooching around Auckland. A perfectly good reason for a ride and a catch up. It was great to catch up with Yerby again. He’s doing something incredible and travelling and working day to day. Taking pleasure in the little successes, he’s content. It was causally inspiring to talk with him about it because while everyone is chasing progress, really should we not be looking for contentment? Isn’t that the goal, to find where and with whom you are most at peace and happy? While I’m looking to better my position financially, I think it’s important not to loose sight of this more personal goal in life.

Maybe it was the Jedi talk of balance and truth, life and death, that set my mind thinking of this all? I went directly from Yerby to the cinema with the Minors to view the latest Star Wars film. It’s gotten a bit Disney commercialised with cute fluffy squeaking penguine/parrots. They are only there to help sell lunch boxes which is a bit annoying, but some of the gags are funny. The ending is also frustrating setting up for the last movie (it had better be the last) I think some things should be left alone, and Star wars is definatly getting to that point.

Back in Florence I had some time to myself. Packing is good fun and since I’ve lost a few things, even easier now! I can feel the anticipation rising for the next adventure as the bag fills and I prep my documents. It’s tricky getting to sleep, even though I know I’ll need my rest tomorrow. I’m feeling excited and nervous about leaving NZ and starting Thailand. New Zealand is definatly somewhere I can see myself living, but I should probably come back in the winter to make sure.