Monday, January 29, 2007

Johnny Oilcan

You've heard the legend of Johnny Appleseed, right? He was a mythical character in America Lore, who left civilization behind to travel the vast frontier. Everywhere he went, he planted apple seeds, benefiting those who followed behind with both fruit and shade. (Much of the story is true. He was born John Chapman, and was a missionary in both religion and conservation. Read more on the Wikipedia.)

Sometimes I think I'd like to be Johnny Oilcan... a generous and compassionate mythical bike rider who shares a shot of chain-lube with the needful masses.

What's with bike riders? There are MANY of them - granted, usually on their disposable $79 department store bikes, but not always - whose riding could be made SO MUCH more enjoyable with a 5-cent squirt of oil. (Even WD-40 in a pinch... but it evaporates too fast, so is NOT the ideal lubricant.) Sometimes they are beyond squeaking, and are almost making a chattering sound, they've become so dry and rusty over years of zero-maintenance.

Can't they hear it?!!? Maybe not - due to their iPods and that boom-de-boom that the kids all like to listen to. (Deafness might be a blessing... squeaky chains are akin to fingernails-on-the-chalkboard, for me.)

Maybe I oughtta get me an oilcan - fill it with 2/3 cheap motor oil and 1/3 thinner/solvent (WAY cheaper than the dedicated stuff that's $9 for a few CCs, and seems just as effective to me.) I could ride around with oilcan in tow, and when I hear somebody's squeaky chain as they approach, I could chase 'em down, brandishing my oilcan menacingly, and applying as needed.

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