In holding with the recent thread of posts I've had going on, well, disorders I guess, here's another of my favorites. I'm pretty "fussy" when it comes to bike maintenance. I like to say that "a clean bike is a happy bike" and a happy bike makes for a happy rider. I do my best to keep all of our bikes as clean as possible.
To that end I've setup multiple conveniences to make the process of cleaning the bikes as simple and efficient as possible. We've got an outdoor bike stand at the back faucet, the one that has hot water plumbed into it. This is for the fine detail work. At the front faucet I have a hanging rack with two bike hooks. This is the area used for either pre-cleaning the really filthy bikes, such as after a muddy cyclocross race, or for a light rinse if that is all that is needed after a mildly messy ride.
In general, the bikes get cleaned to some degree after every ride unless of course there was no need. I find very few things in life more offensive that a truly grimy drivetrain. Inevitably you come into contact with it and you come away from the encounter nasty. There is only one way to fix that and unfortunately it is labor intensive and needs to be done on a regular basis.
Last week I took advantage of my new hot water faucet and went to ton on the road bike drivetrains. Each of them are multiple years old and have countless miles on them. However, with some hot water, light degreaser and elbow grease they really do come pretty darn clean. The transformation is almost amazing. Dry them off and add fresh, light lube and you are right back in business.
The bikes are happy, and so am I.