Waxing My Chain Line
Wife likes candles.
As a bloke, I think that they’re one of the few light sources that emit even more heat than light than do old-fashioned incandescent electric light bulbs. Though under the right conditions, they do also light the bubbles in a glass of Fizzy French Wine, my beloved’s soft skin, her silky hair and her beautiful eyes in a most agreeable way*.
Anyway, the problem with candles is that they’re not efficient enough to burn all their fuel (wax), and you end up with bits left over. In fact, over a few years, Wife had collected quite a stack of candle stubs, and she recently bought a silicone mould to turn these back into usable candles. So today, I got the fun of melting down the wax, pouring it through a piece of old silk to filter out the impurities, and re-casting a new candle.
While I was melting wax, I also got to do some bike fettling, cleaning Byron’s chain . . .
. . . and then removing it, cleaning it some more, drying it and dropping it into an old saucepan full of "seconds quality" (not good enough for candles, though now sieved) molten wax:
That’s two old saucepans - the big one filled with boiling water, and the smaller one with wax and my chain. (The process I was following was basically that explained over on Ecovelo in their article, "Chain Maintenance For Clean Freaks a while ago.)
As a process, I found the whole thing oddly relaxing. I know that it’s vastly more of a faff than a quick scrub over followed by a dribble of some teflon-based synthetic lube. But taking time over something like this feels the same as making your own bread by hand. Or something remarkably similar to the joy of cycling to somewhere rather than just arriving by car. The journey is just as important - if not more so - than the destination itself.
I’ll be riding about 50 miles or so tomorrow, so I’ll let you know if there are any particular problems with that journey!