I recently asked my friend Doug, who runs Autobahn wheels, “How do you clean bearings?”
“The easiest way to clean bearings,” he said, “is to call me up and say, ‘Hey, send me some bearings.’”
Oh. Yeah. Right.
But, in all the years I’ve been skating, cleaning bearings has been a bit of a mystery to me. Gasoline, W40, soak them? I’ve heard it all. So I asked Doug to humor me and tell me how I would go about cleaning my bearings if, for some odd reason, I didn’t have a free bearing hook up. Inquiring minds want to know.
Doug said you have to have bearings with removable shields. “You can pop every shield off,” he explained, “that’s not the problem. Problem is putting it back on.” So if you can pop the shield off fairly easily, you have removable shields. Pop your shields off and set them aside.
“Next, get some hi-test liquid,” he said, “like nail polish remover, gasoline, Everclear, rubbing alcohol, even vodka would work.”
“JRRRRRRT!” [That’s the record scratching sound.]
“Vodka?” I said.
I didn’t realize that cleaning my bearings was going to turn into a party. So I actually decided to clean my bearings. And make a little cocktail at the same time: a martini! That I hoped would help me lose my bearings.
The Lose Your Bearings Martini!
2 oz. vodka
1 tsp vermouth
2 oz. vodka
1 tsp vermouth
Fill a martini glass with ice. Set aside.
Put some more ice in a shaker. You can either be like Winston Churchill and look at the bottle of vermouth on the other side of the room, or you can pour a dash of Vermouth into the shaker over the ice.
After you’ve removed the shields, place the bearings in a cup of vodka. “Swish ‘em around, poke ‘em, etc, and try to get the grime out of there,” Doug said. “The liquid will get pretty dirty pretty quickly.” Oh! A dirty martini!
After the bearings are clean, dry them, and set them aside.
Take the dirty bearing vodka, and pour it into the shaker.
They say the proper way to mix a martini is to stir it because shaking it makes the drink cloudy. Since that’s not really an issue here, feel free to stir or shake.
Discard the ice in the martini glass, and strain the vodka into the glass.
Garnish with one peperoncini.
As for the bearings, Doug says, “If you have any kind of oil (not saying olive oil would work, but I heard it does) like machine oil, put a couple of drops in there.”
Olive oil? Next issue you’ll read about my salad dressing bearing olive oil.
In the meantime, put your bearings back together and enjoy your “Lose Your Bearings Martini.” Now you’re ready to rip, ripped.