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Washing your bike

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 08/08/18 18:00

Washing your bike

Most of the blogs this week are about the Outlaw Triathlon, or at least the preparation for it because it was such a big thing on my horizon again and I spent so long getting ready.

On Thursday afternoon coach Simon came over to have a look at my bike and make sure it was in shape for the ride. So he put it on the bike stand, took both wheels off, looked at it and said “get me a bucket, I need to wash it” (embarrassed!!)

Don’t think too bad of me. Simon is retired, and a retired Marine and Police Officer at that. Everything has to be just so.

I offered to wash it myself while he sat down and had a coffee but he was quite happy to get on with it so I watched him wash my bike.

Years ago I remember reading a blog where someone suggested that the best way to learn how to do something is to hire an expert and watch them work.

Simon knows how to wash a bike.

He’s a brilliant bike mechanic and brilliant bike mechanics know how to clean bikes.

He’s developed and honed the technique for doing this over years and he has all the equipment required to do it properly. It took about 25 minutes and was the cleanest it’s been since I bought it.

I have been washing my bike for years (not often enough apparently) but never in the way Simon did and never using the tricks and techniques he did.

The funny thing is though, I’m loads better at it now after watching him for 25 minutes.

I wonder how that reflects across everything we do?

Many a time I’ll speak in front of people and offer them the chance to come to the practice to watch what we do. Very rarely do people ask to come or take us up in that offer. It seems insane to me.

I’ve been round and round and round the country watching people work in different places and have never stood in someone else’s surgery, either as an observer or a mentor, and not learned something.

I would never have discovered the specific bike washing sponge that Simon used on my chain the other day or how he cleans the back cassette with the end of a towel.

Watch an expert. It’s worth it.


Blog Post Number: 1728

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Colin Campbell
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