I was pinned down in Orberlin, LA by thunderstorms on my recent Austin to New Orleans Tour. Luckily I had a nice dry and warm storage shed at the fire station in which to store my gear. (I ended up sleeping there too, but that’s for another story) So I took the opportunity to do a little preventive maintenance. It’s much easier to fix a loose bolt or other potential problem when you have the time and the the place than it is to repair a failed part along the road when it’s getting dark.
Removing all the luggage makes it easier to inspect bike and accessories. After checking the tightness of all the rack attachment bolts and fender mounts, I also go through the bike and tighten the stem bolts, seatpost bolt, brake lever and brake caliper bolts, derailleur attachment bolts and chainring bolts. Then I lube the chain. I turn the bike upside down and place it on the floor resting on the handlebars and saddle. Then I can visually inspect the tires for cuts or abrasions, and spin the wheels to check alignment. Like the man said,”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“.