Today will mark the seventh consecutive commute that has included rain at some point or another. I have ceased to care. Part of this new-found carefree attitude is my discovery of White Lightning chain lube. I had, for as long as I could remember, used the standard Cross Country lube, a viscous synthetic blend that can handle the wettest condition. It’s only drawback? It’s ability to stick to chain also meant it was a magnet for road grit. After just a single ride in the rain, my drivetrain sounded like it was lubricated with sand. Cleaning the chain was a messy process, one that required removing it from bike and dousing it with Simple Green, which only remove some of the grit and lube. I hated the process, but I hated the drivetrain noise even more.

Enter White Lightning.

It’s a parrafin-based lube, and it’s been around forever. I don’t why I’ve ignored it (probably because I’ve been too cheap to buy it since I’ve got a perfectly good bottle of Cross Country at home), but last week, after the multi-flat disaster, I picked up a bottle at the shop. I was instantly impressed. It goes on easily, and cleans up with nothing more than a wipe of a rag. And while most folks say it’s not the best choice for wet conditions, it has performed admirably this week, keeping my drivetrain clean and quiet. Yes, I wipe down the chain every night and apply a new coat, but I was doing that anyway, without the same effect.

But this post isn’t about chain lube.

My bag has been wet for days. It’s not that the cargo has gotten wet, but the exterior has been damp, never really drying out from the day’s commutes. My shoes are the same. The bike has performed well, given the abuse. I removed the bottom bracket and cranks on Monday evening and applied a fresh coat of grease to all the threads, and that seemed to quiet the little creaks. I’m beginning to think I should sell the winter beater, as the Steamroller has proved its mettle in nasty conditions–perhaps just build up a set of “beater” wheels and call it good. Who needs two bikes anyway?

I thought perhaps I’d have a dry road home, but dark, dark clouds have been hanging just over the tree-tops all day. The roads are still dry, and that means there is still hope.