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Go bush

12 June, 2011

Apart from those in the west, Australians still have some more riding time this Queen’s birthday long weekend and the weather looks to be slightly improved too. It’s a great opportunity to get yourself outside among some trees – it lifts the soul (and you forget about your legs).

Every day in the natural environment is different and beautiful in its own way. The Japanese have a term ‘mono no aware’ for a feeling that experiencing the seasons can evoke. On a recent episode of Radio National’s Philosopher’s Zone program, US professor Thomas Kasulis explains this term to express “a kind of sad poignancy of the passing of things, that’s positive…seeing the cherry blossoms blow away in the wind is a sort of classic Japanese example…the reason why I appreciate the changing of the leaves is because it is impermanent, because it only lasts for a while.” This was part of a fascinating brief overview of Japanese philosophy.

Victoria’s National Parks authority, Parks Victoria, showed the world that Australians value their bush by initiating the International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress. The congress is based on ground-breaking findings by Parks Victoria in collaboration with Deakin Univeristy that “access to nature plays a vital role in human health, wellbeing and development.  The research indicated that humans are, among other things, dependent on nature for psychological, emotional and spiritual needs that are difficult to satisfy by any other means”. Read more at the Healthy Parks Healthy People Central website.

Tip – Clean bikes go faster

And lubricated ones almost pedal themselves! Well, almost.

You’ll be amazed how much gunk builds up on the chain and everything it passes over. This creates a whole lot of friction that you don’t need to be pushing against.

Grab some citrus degreaser and a toothbrush and a rag and give the whole drivetrain system a spruce up. A chain cleaning gadget is another option.

Once the clean chain is dry, you need to lube it again. Rather than squirting lube all over it, which leaves excess that dirt and road grit will stick to, put a drop of lube on each roller. Rotate the pedals backwards for at least 50 turns to work the lube in and then wipe off the excess.

This post is for day 13 of Ride On‘s June riding challenge.

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