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Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood – O’Neill, OLN and reader tips on grease stains

As former Euro peloton rider Nathan O’Neill continues his winning ways here in the States— so far undefeated in a time trial this year, proven again at the Tour of Georgia’s prologue — it’s only natural we would run a profile of the Aussie from Toowoomba, Queensland. Look for a two-page feature of the Saturn rider to land in mailboxes and bike shops next weekend, detailing his move from the D-2 Italian Panaria team to Saturn, the most dominant domestic team of 2003. In the mean time, we thought we’d offer up a few quick responses from his recent VeloNews interview… Five Questions with

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By Neal Rogers

As former Euro peloton rider Nathan O’Neill continues his winning ways here in the States— so far undefeated in a time trial this year, proven again at the Tour of Georgia’s prologue — it’s only natural we would run a profile of the Aussie from Toowoomba, Queensland. Look for a two-page feature of the Saturn rider to land in mailboxes and bike shops next weekend, detailing his move from the D-2 Italian Panaria team to Saturn, the most dominant domestic team of 2003.

In the mean time, we thought we’d offer up a few quick responses from his recent VeloNews interview…

Five Questions with Nathan O’Neill:

When was the last time you…
Met a hero? I chatted with Andy Hampsten at Sea Otter. That was cool.
Got your way? Do I ever?
Ate something raw? Friday night during Easter weekend, I had sushi.
Kissed someone’s ass? Every time a journalist calls me.
Had unclean thoughts? What time is it now?

Upcoming OLN Schedule
Outdoor Life Network announced on Tuesday that it will be adding Fleche Wallone, the Sea Otter Classic, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Romandie to its May schedule. Put that on top of the live daily coverage of the Giro d’Italia, and it’s shaping up to be a good month of televised bike racing.

(All times Eastern Standard unless otherwise indicated)

2003 Amstel Gold
Thursday, April 24
OLN, 7-8 p.m., 2-3 a.m.
Saturday, April 26
OLN, 3-4 p.m.

2003 Fleche Wallone
Thursday, May 1
OLN, 7-8 p.m., 2-3 a.m.

2003 Sea Otter Classic
Saturday, May 3
OLN, 3-4 p.m.

2003 Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Thursday, May 8
OLN, 7-8 p.m.

2003 Tour of Romandie
Thursday, May 15
OLN, 8-9 p.m., 11p.m.-12 a.m.

2003 Tour de France team announcements
Monday, May 19
OLN, 9-9:30 p.m. EST/PSTWatch as the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) announces the final four teams to be invited to compete at this year’s Tour.

Grease tips

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the recurring chain-ring grease stains that were saturating my life. Within the span of a few days, I had a jersey, pants and carpet all marked with the “rookie tattoo” that’s usually reserved for one’s right calf. (Okay, so I’m no whiz with a wrench, and I probably shouldn’t be working on my bike in street clothes or when dressed to ride, but still…)

Anyhow, more than a few readers mailed in with suggestions on how to remove the bothersome stains. I want to thank everyone who wrote in; I’m reprinting a few of those letters here:

“I have found that Simple Green is the best product for removing grease and oil stains from clothing. Use it full strength or diluted on any spots. I’ve used it on Nomex racing coveralls, silk shirts as well as bicycling togs with great success.”

“Try WD-40. It even removes grease from white t-shirts”

“Waterless hand cleaner like Goop, Gojo, whatever. Rub it into the mark then launder as usual. Best with cleaners that do not contain pumice (easier on the fabric finish), but both will work. There are lots of solutions to this problem, but I like this one because the chemicals are not harsh solvents or detergents like many solutions are, plus there is usually some around the house somewhere.”

“White Lightning’s Clean Streak Metal-Prep is the ticket. It dissolves all the bike lubricants I’ve tried it on and doesn’t affect clothing – but try it in an inconspicuous place first. I ended up with a grease stain on the back seat of my company car that is only used for company business – not sure how it got there – and it took it right out. A little squirt and blot with a rag and it was gone! I’ve used it to remove hamburger special sauce stains, too, but that’s another story…”

“Stop by your local auto parts store, they’ll have hand soap, what the mechanics use, and what I use (on my hands and my stained clothes) in tubs, about 5″ in diameter. Goop is a popular brand name, but every store will also have a “house brand” which is just the same, as long as it’s a white smooth liquid with the consistency of pudding. It wiggles. Stay away from the citrus or orange hand soaps, or anything with pumice in it. Before I throw my clothes in the laundry hamper, I just smear a light amount of the soap into the fabric right at the stain. Just enough to moisten the marked area is all you need. If it dries in before you get around to washing your clothes, no big deal. The water will bring it back to life. Check to make sure it all came out as you move your clothes from the dryer to the washer, and if it didn’t, repeat. This pre-treatment works best when the clothes are dry, before they go into the washer.” “After nearly 10 years of cycling and trying many household cleaners — and others that probably will glow in the dark — try Resolve carpet cleaner. My wife came up with the idea when I got bike grease on the carpet a few years ago. Spot spray Resolve on your clothes or whatever gets bike grease on it, scrub a little bit, then put them in the washer immediately. Basically just follow the directions on the bottle for carpet cleaning and you have your fix. I haven’t tried soaking something in Resolve to see if that works because I think Resolve has some chlorine in it (I don’t have a bottle in front of me). In my experiences it doesn’t hurt colors and can make white shirts white again with very little effort. I have used Resolve to get bike grease out of numerous shirts, car upholstery, carpet, jeans, and warm-up pants with no color fading or leftover marks after washing.

“Try soaking in cold water with dry Cascade dish detergent and a stain remover for a few hours. You can also try Didi-7, but you always have to get it in right away or nothing will work. (Beware of colorfastness, however).”

And the award for “Unhelpful-in-this-situation-but-simplistic-nevertheless” goes to…

“Dry lube man, dry lube.”