Temperatures have gone up slightly (i. e. it's slightly above freezing and sunny), getting me motivated to work on Wolfgang a bit. Operation 1 was switching the front brake lever, operation 2 just maintenance.
Last October, after getting more and more annoyed by mediocre stopping power and horrible screeching, I had switched Wolfgang's stock Tektro Oryx cantis to Avid Single Digit 7 V-brakes. Because of the different mechanical advantage required by V-brakes, I installed a Problemsolvers travel agent, a small roll that gets installed in place of the brake noodle and that changes the amount of cable travel. This worked reasonably well (one issue: the holder for my headlight was in the way of the travel agent, probably reducing stopping power a little bit); but because it doesn't look as clean and I was in search of something to put on my Christmas wish list, I decided to switch from the Tektro R200 to the V-brake compatible RL520. Installation was pretty easy, I didn't even have to re-wrap the handlebars. Will they deliver more stopping power? -- We'll see. Probably not as much as replacing the pads with Kool Stops would, but I want to run down this set of pads first. With the current weather conditions this shouldn't take long anyway...
The other thing to do was some maintenance. I've complained about salt damage before, and thus I decided to give Wolfgang a little TLC and clean his drivetrain. The good news: all the rust and grime comes off no problem. It takes several rounds of cleaning with citrus degreaser and the Park Tool CM-5 chain scrubber (no, not the Performance/Spin Doctor lookalike), but after that treatment the chain and cogs look pretty neat again. Until the next ride, of course.
Other maintenance: re-adjust rear fender to avoid rubbing.
Odo Wolfgang: 3117 km