By Peter Doucet
Skater gold ... A box of clean bearings.
I hate cleaning bearings. It's a chore.
First, you remove the bearings from the wheels, then you take off the shields, soak them in industrial strength cleaners (Yuck!), dry them, and finally, put them back on your wheels.
I'd rather be skating.
But there's no way to avoid it — short of buying new bearings every time your skates develop "the crunchies." However, you can limit the frequency of this drudgery by doing what I do: batch-clean the suckers!
What this involves is buying multiple sets of bearings and subjecting them to communal bathing.
I wait until I've amassed a large pile of dirty bearings before I get out the solvent.
Of course, it takes a little longer to clean 64 bearings than 16. But the difference is not that great, and you save lots of time in the long run; because instead of having to clean bearings once a month, you only have to clean them one or two times a year.
Peter Doucet is a veteran speed skater and the webmaster of Speed Skate World. A resident of Mississauga, Ontario, he has represented Canada in seven World Championships and at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil. He founded the Toronto International Inline Race Weekend and the RSO Speed Points Series. He is also a coach of the Toronto Inline Skating Club. His hobbies include writing and performing music, cycling, watching movies, going out with friends, and cooking.
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