I think the thing that put me off riding today was a lack of mental preparation. My head is now all set to summer riding mode. As far as my riding brain is concerned, winter is over, and the foul weather is gone. It's now all about heat and sweat. Riding today would require the equivalent of a complete mental reboot. That was all too hard, so I sat down in a sheltered spot in the backyard and degreased the running gear.
That took three goes. You can get all sorts of very fancy and expensive lubricants for bike chains these days, and I have one variety for winter and another for summer. The winter variety is really sticky - it's designed to not wash off on wet days. Whilst that is a great attribute, it also collects grit and grime like old mental ladies collect newspapers, bric-a-brac and china dolls. And buckets. They always seem to have lots of buckets.
So I sit down with my degreasing brush, which is a very fancy $20 brush with three types of brush head for scrubbing different bits of the cogs and links, and within 30 seconds, my takeaway container full of orange degreaser has turned to black sludge. I scrub until all the degreaser has been dripped on the lawn, rinse the bike and wait for it to dry.
Half an hour later, I repeat the exercise. This time, it takes a minute for the takeaway container to be full of black sludge. Rinse and go inside to read a book.
Third time lucky - no sludge, but the degreaser ends up looking like the Exxon Valdeez had been in the vicinity. Rinse, and admire the gunmetal grey chain and groupset. Hmm, until today, I thought they were black.
Half an hour later, apply summer lube, and pack the bike away. Make mental note to degrease more often.