After a few weeks of snow and heavy rain here in the Seattle area, we're back to normal - in the 40s and wet - although the past few days have been cold and dry. I'm still in my holiday/winter slump and have only ridden one or two days a week. This is my usual routine and I don't swing into riding a lot until February or March. Then I crank it up to commuting 3 - 5 days a week, 34 mile round trip each day, plus some weekend riding with my son Ian.
With the recent weather and lack of riding, I haven't cleaned my commute bike in months - rare for me. I usually keep all my bikes pretty clean and ready to roll. The drive train is completely filthy, stuff crammed under the fenders should be examined by the EPA, and the crud attached to the underside of the frame looks like it could support life. To get back at me, I had to fix a flat the one day I rode to work last week. My hands were black with road filth when done. Sweet.
There's something super nasty about wet road grit - the way it dries into a black sludge, or works into your shorts riding in the rain without fenders. It's almost like toxic waste - or maybe even it is. I'll gladly splash around in the mud on my mountain bike. At least that seems to be composed of real dirt. Road grit however, is something all its own.
I'll attempt to clean my bike tomorrow.