September 03, 2013

How to wash your bicycle if you live in an apartment.

Tokyo is one of biggest, most densely populated cities in the world, and as a result a large portion of the population, myself included, live in multi-story apartments. Without a driveway, garden, even a garden hose, it begs the question: How do you wash your bicycle if you live in an apartment?

Giant mcm one bicycle in a Tokyo Park
In my single days I'd been known to wash my bikes in the shower while drinking beer, but now I've been promoted to responsible adult, not to mention married, father of two, I don't believe I can get away with that any more.

For years now I've been washing my bicycle on the balcony with a bucket of hot water, a brush and rag.  If the bicycle was particularly dirty I'd cart buckets of water from my 4th floor apartment (no elevator!) to the courtyard downstairs and wash the bike there which gets all kinds of strange looks from building residents.

There must be a better way. So I threw the question out to twitter. "Apartment dwellers, how do you wash/clean your bicycle?"

I received a response immediately "In the shower while drinking beer!", from a female no less!

Interestingly the bulk of the responses were along the lines of "On the balcony with a bucket of hot water, a brush and rag.", just like I've been doing all these years while thinking there must be a better way. Apparently there isn't.

Of all the responses I received, one did stand out in that it would solve the problem of carting buckets of water from the kitchen to my bike. Wash your bicycle at a local playground. Most playgrounds in Japan have running water, so armed with some Finish Line Super Bike Wash, a bucket, brush, rag and my bike that is just what I did over the weekend.

In addition to getting my bicycles all clean my daughters enjoyed a couple of hours playing in the park while I got the job done. A win for everyone!

Apartment dwellers how do you wash your bikes?

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