Seriously, my mountain bike needs a foster parent during the winter. I didn't ride much last year (because, hello, I was too busy trying to figure out how to farm), but I did ride every now and then so my bike stayed in relatively decent condition. But then winter set in. And I got a major running jones. And decided I needed to run a marathon in May - which isn't all that compatible with mountain biking (at least not if you're paranoid about ruining your marathon by wrecking your mountain bike), so the bike sat on our front porch. Which appears to be dry. Appears being the operative word. So then about a month ago I go to take the pedals off my mountain bike to put them on the new road bike (because I'm too cheap to buy new pedals, although now I may have to because I want to ride my mountain bike), and it turns out sitting on the porch all winter is a bad idea. Bad. Idea. Because the poor bike is a mess - the most obvious symptom being the chain which has rusted into a permanent oval. The oval it was in when I parked the bike last fall.
Oops. So major bike restoration project was undertaken this weekend - I got the chain off (which, even with a chain tool, which I own but had never previously operated, was a real pain in the backside because the whole thing was so rusty). I was determined to get the chain off so I could roll it over to our local bike store. I could've just taken it over and let them deal with getting it off, but it's embarassing enough to have to explain to them what happened - presenting actual evidence would've been too much. So I wrestled with the chain tool, finally swallowed my pride and got Clark to help wrestle with the chain tool, finally removed the chain, cleaned the whole thing up (citrus degreaser rocks), finally put on the new grips I bought last year (hairspray rocks), and now Big Bertha is ready to go get a new lease on life. Hooray.
What, you may ask, about my policy of not mountain biking while getting ready for a marathon? About that marathon - it's looking a bit iffy right now, considering that the very act of putting on my running shoe makes my right leg hurt. And I mean *hurt*. So I finally went to the doctor yesterday and he thinks it's bursitis - I'm thinking that's not as bad as, say, a big achilles problem, but it's still a "rest, ice, anti-inflammatory" situation. Not sounding all that marathonish to me.