I went on a great, very early, spring ride yesterday that had my heart singing of the rides the new season will bring. More about that ride later. I will say that I ended up on dirt roads for a large percentage of the ride, and this early in the year at that elevation you can’t escape hitting snowpack, slush, mud and running water. All of which makes for a great ride. But the Appel was so sparkly clean before the ride I could see my soul in the iridescent paint, and I was spinning up hills like Lance if he doped due to the lack of dirt molecules creating friction. The bicycle was like a black hole in which dirt was unable to exist. The first few muddy spots were on a long uphill, and I was moving at a rate which did not allow for the slinging of muddy water droplets from the tires to the frame. I was hopeful, maybe we could make it through the ride with only a few specks of evil clinging on I thought to myself. It was not to be. Six more miles of the above described conditions and a few miles of wet highway meant the loss of innocence, but also increased the fun factor. Today, though, I will be cleaning off the crusty evil and restoring purity and goodness to the universe. I thought I would post a picture of my cleaning/maintenance supplies in case someone out there is interested in having the joy that is a clean bicycle. These tools make regular cleaning sessions quick, easy and rewarding, and for totally subjective reasons, are what I think of as the best for the job. Use the big yellow brush with dish-soapy water to wash down the frame. I just kind of lightly slop it on and the dirt and grease come off pretty easily. Towel dry. Spray a rag with Goof Off, hold it in your hand, run the chain through until no more blackness comes off. Goof Off is bad for you, but it works so well. Use a lot of it and make things easy for yourself. I let the chain air dry overnight before I apply the T9 chain lube. T9 works well, but it also creates the blackness. I apply liberally and clean the chain a lot. I prefer it to wax lubes which in my experience make the chain whistle quickly. This is not acceptable. Occasionally, I will unbolt some things (stem bolts, seatpost bolts, etc.) and apply grease to the bolt threads. The blue park tool brush is the magic wand. Knock big clumps of dried dirt off, brush grit out from between chain links, clean down between cassette cogs, scratch your balls, or scrape out that space between the fork stanchion and the brace. It does it all.