I took my long-term Niken along some horrible dirt roads, and as a consequence, she was a very dirty girl when I brought her home. Oh well, I thought, and made it a problem for another day. You see, I hate washing bikes. My toxic masculinity is happy to pay girls in bikinis to wash it, but that stuff just doesn’t happen anymore. Even the bloody Scouts have stopped coming to people’s houses to do odd jobs for money in case some creep locks them in box and makes them fight rats.

But the day of Niken washing inevitably came. And my good mate Scott from Ficeda had sent me some Oxford Bike Wash, so it was like Kismet. A minty Kismet, as it turned out.

“Smell this!” I said to my wife as I sprayed the Niken with the foamy liquid in the bottle.

She sniffed at the bottle and made a face.

“It smells great, doesn’t it?” I insisted.

“Smells like a terrible party drug some idiot made in his bathtub once upon a time,” she observed.

“You know nothing!” I explained to her and went back to spraying the filthy Niken with foaming mint-scented chemicals. These chemicals are Dimethylimdazolidine, Hydroxymethyl, Dione, quantities of both ionic and non-ionic surfactants, and some perfume.

Interestingly, this wondrous cocktail is said to be safe on all surfaces, so I sprayed it on the seat, on the instruments, on the cables, and on myself. If it hurt the Niken, Yamaha could take it up with Scott.

I used about a third of a bottle. Then I waited the ten minutes the instructions told me to wait. It takes that long for the Hydroxymethyl to methyl, apparently. They also told me to give the really dirty bits a rub with a brush, but that seemed like an excess of labour, so I just used my hand instead.

Then I hosed it off.

Job done. It actually worked. I was very pleased and quite surprised.

On the rare occasions I have washed bikes I have mainly used laundry detergent. There’s always tonnes of that in the house. I wash bikes so irregularly any dedicated vehicle wash I acquire normally dries out in the container. Laundry detergent leaves awful streaks and is less than ideal for washing dirty bikes, but it is better than shampoo and dish-washing liquid. Trust me on this.

So the mint-scented glargh works exactly as it said it would on the bottle. And it made my beloved wife reminisce about happier and crazier times.

A man can ask no more than that.


Words by Boris Mihailovic

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