Highway maintenance is partially underway, the potholes temporarily filled with clay. In the dry they are dusty, in the wet they instantly turn to a skid pan. I try to avoid a series of these by way of the hard, now very soft, shoulder. Mistake, a very big mistake, as I accumulate a ballast of gloop. The sun comes out and as everybody knew, it dries as quickly as it got wet. Which is what I tell my bike, the trick is knowing when to start cleaning. Too soon, and it smears every surface, working it’s way into the chain and the bearings, forming an efficient grinding paste; too late, and you might as well build a house with the bricks of baked clay that cling to the stays the frame and my panniers. Cars and the motos have the same problem: their solution is to run their wheels along the flooded gutters. Which has the interesting consequences of various transports competing for space, and my rear wheel covering The Navigator in a warm wash of tan enhancing fluids. A bad case of fake bake.