I started by sorting out the front gear mechanism, which governs which chain ring is used. It seized up enitrely at the start of the week, caked in grit and muck. It's a bad time of year for bicycle maintenance.
I attacked it with WD40 which soon shifted the crud; and slowly I managed to coax the machanism back to life. After that I fitted the new brake blocks for the rear wheel; and readjusted the front brakes to put right a cack handed job I'd done on on Xmas day.
Fairly soon I'm going to have to replace the chain and block. It feels a bit rough right now, but nothing I can't deal with. There's two reasons for waiting. the first is financial. I'm due a fair amount of back pay from work. A union dispute over pay has given TfL every excuse they need to hold back our 2009 pay rise, but we should be getting it all in March. Then I'll get the bike sorted. The other reason is that if I get the work done now it's likely to have to endure the current harsh conditions for another month or two, so I think I'll get better value for money if the bike is made as new just as we head into spring.
Hopefully, after that, my monthly mileage will leap from the current 4-500 up to 7-800.