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  #1  
Old September 5th 03, 10:52 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

Here is an attempt at a slimmed-down FAQ. Feedback please. I'm sure
it has a fair way to go - either much less or much more (or both ;-P)

Guy



uk.rec.cycling
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List
Last updated: [x]

This FAQ is edited and maintained by [x]
Updates and additions should be sent to [x]


1. General information
2. Technical questions
3. UK Cyclcing Organsiations
4. Where do I get...
5. How do I get my bike insured?
6. Safety
7. Jargon and in-jokes
8. Bike adjustment


1. General information
======================
uk.rec.cycling is a USENET group for the discussion of topics relating
to cycling in the UK and (to a lesser extent) Ireland. Discussion of
all aspects of cycling and human-powered transport is welcome.

The scope of the group (and this FAQ) is purposely restricted to
issues relevant to cyclists in the UK and Ireland. For more general
discussion you might prefer rec.bicycles.misc.

uk.rec.cycling may contain traces of irony.


But first, some housekeeping.


Etiquette and style
-------------------
This is a text-only newsgroup: please do not post HTML, MIME or
binaries to this group. Most servers won't carry binary content
anyway. If you use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express be aware that
by default it does or encourages three things which seriously irritate
many people:

- html / MIME posting
- top posting
- untrimmed quoting

In general when you are replying you should trim from the quoted text
anything which is irrlevant to the point you are making, and any
signatures. You should reply below the text to which you are
replying, using a standard quote delimiter ( is the most common).

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/writing-style/part1/ is worth a read.

Test messages (to see if your newsreader / server are working) should
go to uk.test or your ISP's tech support group.


Advertising and personal messages
---------------------------------
If you are selling or auctioning a bike or related item *in the UK* a
single post with the subject starting "FS: " (for sale) or "FA: " (for
auction) is generally acceptable. Occasionally. From people who also
contribute in other ways.

Occasional brief personal messages are also generally tolerated.

If you are trying to carve out a career as an eBay bike tycoon, please
take it to rec.bicycles.marketplace. Or somewhere. Anywhere.
Commercial `spam,' `Make Money Fast' and pyramid schemes (illegal in
the UK) are as welcome as a fart in a space suit.

Crossposting and trolling
-------------------------
Crossposting is posting the same message to multiple newsgroups
simultaneously. Crosspoting to non-cycling newsgroups is rarely a
service to humanity. In particular, cross-posting to uk.tosspot
(sorry, uk.transport) will normally degenerate into a slanging match
almost immediately.

Trolling is posting deliberately controversial statements in the hope
of provoking an argument. A prolific offender in the past has been
the resident troll, Paul Smith, a.k.a. Mohammed Saeed Al-Smith ("There
are no speeding related deaths! Never!"). He runs a speeding
apologist website and thinks that speed cameras kill more people than
speeding does. His finest hour was probably the attempt to prove that
we could have a rigidly enforced 12mph speed limit and still have as
many deaths on the roads, although his thread claiming that motorists
are vulnerable road users because more car drivers manage to kill
themselves on the roads came a close second.

Flaming is posting bad-tempered, rude or offensive messages, generally
personally attacking the orginal poster. We strongly discourage it.
High quality invective is of course welcome ;-)

Bad language is generally unnecessary and unwelcome. The standard of
debate on uk.rec.cycling is generally high for Usenet, and when we
hurl insults we try at least to be creative.

Helmets
-------
IMPORTANT: Read the section on helmets below before making any comment
regarding helmets on uk.rec.cycling. Don't say you haven't been
warned.


The public service announcement having been dealt with, we move on to
the real information.


2. Technical questions
======================
The regulars on uk.rec.cycling are a right bunch of know-it-alls who
love to parade their superior cycling knowledge. To save your blushes
you might want to start by visiting this site:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com

What Sheldon Brown doesn't know about bikes is probably not worth
knowing.

For more specific queries regarding individual components and
techniques, Googling rec.bicycles.tech can provide satisfaction.


3. UK Cycling Organisations
===========================
The following organsiations are active in promotion of cycling. Some
provide, as part of theiur membership package, insurance and legal
services. This list is not exhaustive.

* Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) http://www.ctc.org.uk/

Brtain's oldest and largest cycling organsiation, with over
80,000 members and a local and regional structure which means
there is probably a District Association (DA) near you.
Membership benefits include insurance, technical information and
an excellent magazine.

* London Cycling Campaign http://www.lcc.org.uk/
* AUDAX UK http://www.audax.uk.com/
* British Cycling Federation (BCF) http://www.bcf.uk.com/
* British Cyclo-Cross Association (BCCA) http://www.cyclo-cross.com/
* Trail Cyclists Association http://www.trailquest.co.uk/
* British Mountain Biking http://www.bmb.org
* Road Time Trails Council (RTTC) http://www.rttc.org.uk/
* British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) http://www.bsca.org.uk/
* Tandem Club http://www.tandem-club.org.uk
* British Human Power Club (BHPC) http://www.ihpva.com/
* The Rough Stuff Fellowship http://www.rsf.org.uk


4. Where do I get...
=====================
Bikes can often be upgraded and kept going indefinitely., On the
other hand, buying a new bike is a great buzz. Britain has no
large-scale cycle manufacturing, though a few big names still assemble
bikes here. We do have a thriving craft bicycle building industry,
and some of the best-known are listed below. Many of these will also
recondition, repaint, rebuild and upgrade frames, prolonging the
useful life of your comfortable old bike. Good quality steel frames
can often be adjusted to fit modern 8- and 9-speed gearing.

Online bike shops are often cheaper than your local bike shop (LBS).
But take ca if you don't lose it you'll lose it, so make sure you
give your LBS the opportunity to sell you that bike, and don't forget
to include VAT and shipping when comparing prices. If you buy a bike
from Bikes R Us via the web, don't be enormously surprised if your LBS
doesn't want to deal with any warranty issues. Bike shops also
generally provide a free tune-up after the first few weeks.

No warranty is impled or given in these listings: they may be good or
bad. Shop around and caveat emptor.

Framebuilders
-------------

* Argos Cycles http://www.argoscycles.com/
* Paul Donohue http://www.donohuecycles.co.uk
* Bob Jackson http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk
* George Longstaff http://www.longstaffcycles.co.uk
* Mercian Cycles http://www.merciancycles.com
* Chas Roberts Cycles http://www.robertscycles.com
* Brian Rourke Cycles http://www.brianrourke.co.uk
* M. Steel Cycles http://www.msteelcycles.co.uk
* Thorn http://www.sjscycles.co.uk
* Joe Waugh - see M Steel
* Graham Weigh at http://www.deesidecycles.com
* Dave Yates - see M Steel

Online bike shops
-----------------

* Bonthrone Bikes
* CTC Shop
* St John Street Cycles
* Sdeals
* Spa Cycles
* Wiggle


5. How do I get my bike insured?
================================
As with any insurance, it pays to shop around. You can generally get
cover for bicycles on your house contents policy for a reasonable
price, but watch out for small print and in particular restrictions or
exclusions based on:
* lists of approved locks
* overnight storage requirements
* foreign touring
* component only theft or damage
* damage only
* wear and tear deductions

The CTC have a bike insurance partner, as do some of the other cycling
organisations, which can be a better option particularly for exotic
bikes. Racing and courier work are generally excluded from cycle
policies.

Third-party cover is free with the membership of some cycling
organisations (again, notably the CTC). Do consider this. Cyclists
can injure and kill, and you don't want to be left out of pocket.

Many insurers will try to supply you with a notionally equivalent bike
from their nominated bike shop. Beware! Horror stories abound of
lower quality bikes shoddily assembled. If you have a friendly bike
shop, talk to them about your insurance replacement and get the
insurers to send a cheque direct to them.


6. Safety
=========
Cycling is a very safe and healthy activity, provided you do it right.
The BMA says regular cyclists live a decade longer than the average,
counting mortality from all causes. Traffic is more scary than
dangerous. So you'll want to make sure you are fully trained and
properly equipped. which is a bit of a problem...

These are the things which you should know about in order to ride
safely on the road.

6.1 Skills & Training
---------------------
The National Cycling Proficiency scheme has been replaced in most
areas by locally controlled schemes. Adult cycle training could most
charitably be described as "patchy" ("shambolic" is altogether closer
to the mark, though). There are some commercial cycle training
schemes in London and elsewhere.

The best way to learn good cycling skills is to read Cyclecraft, by
John Franklin (http://www.lesberries.co.uk/ccraft/ccraft.htm). This
book is a mine of useful information.

You should also read, learn and inwardly digest the Highway Code
(http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk).

And you could do worse than meet up with your local cycling club to
learn from the hoary old-timers who have managed half a century of
road riding and lived to tell the tale.

6.2 Maintenance
---------------
Before riding make sure your brakes, steering, tyres, pedals, gears
and such are in proper working order. Never ride a bike with
defective brakes or steering. Learn to maintain your bike, it will
save you money and it's great fun!

6.3 Conspicuity and lights
--------------------------
When riding on the road, especially after dusk and in the winter, it
makes good sense to be as conspicuous as possible. Reflective
jackets, arm and leg bands ("Scotchlite" brand and others) increase
your visibility, as do fluorescent clothing.

Always use lights at night or in poor visibility. Audax riders often
ride all night so if you want to know what's good in the lighting
market a visit to http://www.audax.uk.net/lights/ can get you started.

Flashing LEDs permanently fitted to the bike are currently illegal.
They are also four times more visible than steady lights of equivalent
brightness. Received wisdom is that one of each, steady for legality
and flashing for conspicuity, is the way to go. Still illegal, but we
don't know of anyone who's been prosecuted, and a revision of the Road
Vehicles Lighting Regulations (RVLR) is in process.

RVLR: http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1989/Uksi_19891796_en_1.htm

Important notice: LAWYERS ARE WEASELS. If you are hit by a car at
night and you and your bike do not conform to the letter of the law,
the weasels will try to make out that it's your fault (contributory
negligence). It is best not to give them the option.

6.4 Helmets
-----------
Probably the single most contentious topic among cyclists. There are
two entrenched groups: one says helmets should be made compulsory
because some studies show that they reduce the probability of head
injury or death following a crash; the other says that helmets should
be a matter of individual choice because in no country in the world
has promotion or compulsion of helmets ever delivered a measurable
reduction in cyclist injuries.

Any comment about helmets based on "common sense" is *absolutely
guaranteed* to get you flamed. Here is the Received Wisdom:

* The likelihood of serious head injury when cycling is extremely
small, and hugely outweighed by the health benefits of cycling.
* If worn correctly, a cycle helmet may afford some protection
against minor injuries to the head.
* A helmet is unlikely to offer protection against more serious or
life-threatening injuries.
* You may be more likely to hit your head in a crash if you wear a
helmet.
* You may be more likely to crash in the first place, particularly if
a helmet makes you feel better protected.
* A helmet may increase the very small risk of the most serious brain
injuries that lead to death and chronic intellectual disability.
* Helmets are designed to protect at speeds up to around 12mph. Any
road traffic crash will be outside the design parameters of a
bicycle helmet.
* Children using their bicycles for play may benefit more from
helmets.

Whether you wear a helmet or not is entirely your own choice, but if
you do you should still ride as if it were made of meringue covered in
eggshell.

6.5 Cycle routes
----------------
Signed cycle routes are generally quiet routes, and they can be more
pleasant than riding on busier roads. They can also make your journey
slower and longer. All other things being equal, a cycle route is a
more pleasant place to be.

Sustrans http://www.sustrans.org.uk maintain a network of mainly
offroad cycle routes which are great for leisure cycling. They also
look after the National Cycle Network, which is a series of waymarked
low-traffic or traffic-free routes.

Cycle facilities are a mixed blessing. Shared use pavements are
between five and ten times less safe than the road, mainly due to
issues at junctions. Cycle lanes teke us out of the main sight-line
of drivers, and often run out at the point of greatest danger. The
best advice is to read Cyclecraft and ride as if the cycle lane were
not there. You are not compelled to use cycle lanes or tracks. A
"mandatory cycle lane" means one which cars may not use, not one which
cyclists must use.

People have been trying to get cyclists out of the way of cars for
about seventy years, usually citing safety concerns. This claim is
bogus as the same people seem quite happy to put us on pavements,
where cycles definitely should not be due to the disparity in speed
and manoeuvrability between pedestrians and cyclists. Remember this:
cyclists use the road by right of way, motorists use it under licence.


7. Jargon
=========
There is an unofficial FAQ with details of some of the jargon and
in-jokes at http://www.chapmancentral.com/urc

Some common terms you'll hear on uk.rec.cycling:

AASHTA: As Always, Sheldon Has The Answer
Brompton: A folding bike - http://www.bromptonbicycle.co.uk
C2C: Coast-to-coast (England) - http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/
Cheese: Material from which cheap bike components are made
Dark Side: Recumbent cycling - http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
End-to-End: Land's End to John O'Groats
LE-JOG: Land's End to John O'Groats
PSF: Paving Slab Fairy, aka Helen Simmons


8. Bike Adjustment
==================
Bike adjustment is the difference between a comfortable bike and an
uncomfortable one. If you are suffering sore knees, hand, elbows,
wrists, shoulders, back, neck... well, you obviously need to move to
the Dark Side, but you might put off the inevitable for a hwile longer
by fixing the fit of your bike.

At http://www.wrenchscience.com there is a very handy bike fit
measuring system.

Here are a few general pointers:

Sore knees
----------
Usually due to the saddle being too low. Try adjusting the saddle
height so that when you sit on the bike with your heel on the pedal
aty the bottom of its stroke, your leg is straight. You probably
won't be able to put your feet on the ground without moving forward
off the saddle. That's quite normal, and not dangerous - but do
practice starting and stopping.

If your hips rock when you ride, the saddle is too high. This is
ra most people have the saddle too low.

Sore hands / wrists
-------------------
Generally down to hand position. If you use flat bars, try bar ends.
If you have drop bars, check they are the right width (see the
wrenchscience site above) and experiment with the brake lever position
on the hooks.

Sore shoulders / neck
---------------------
Often a sign that your handlebars are the wrong distance from your
saddle. As a rule of thumb, with your elbow resting on the nose of
the saddle the tip of your fingertips should touch the handlebars

Saddle soreness
---------------
Saddle soreness is usually caused by soft saddles and exacerbated by
having the saddle at the wrong angle. Try tilting the nose of the
saddle down very slightly. The aim is to carry your weight on your
your ischeal tuberosities ("sit bones") not your perineum.

"Gentlemen's problems"
----------------------
You may have heard that cycling can cause impotence or penile
numbness. This is, for the most part, tosh. But there is, as ever, a
grain of truth in there.

A soft saddle is worse than a hard one. Soft saddles compress the
soft tissues of your perineum and restrict blood flow; hard saddles do
not. The more you ride, the more likely you are to benefit from a
good quality leather saddle like the Selle San Marco Rolls or the
Brooks B17. Not evryone takes to them, but audax riders (who know a
thing or two about saddle comfort) mostly seem to favour one or the
other.

Comfort cycling
---------------
If all else fails buy a recumbent and say goodby to sore arse misery
for ever.





The following people have contributed useful information to this FAQ
(in alphabetical order):

* James D. Annan )
* Bryan Attewell )
* Peter Crighton )
* Paul Crook )
* Phil Cunningham )
* Chris Hayes )
* Robert Hague )
* Andrew Henry )
* Michael Hoath )
* Gary Marland )
* Neil Marshall )
* David Nulty )
* Alan Paxton )
* Stewart Russell )
* Ian Snowdon )
* John Swindells )
* Rik Wade )
* Simon Ward )
* Matt Wenham )
* John B. Wilkinson )


Ads
  #2  
Old September 5th 03, 11:20 PM
Jon Rogers
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

In article , Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
Here is an attempt at a slimmed-down FAQ. Feedback please. I'm sure
it has a fair way to go - either much less or much more (or both ;-P)

Guy

As a long time lurker, and very rarely a poster, I liked it.

Not only an FAQ, it's a damn good read too.

Thanks for your effort.
--
Jon
____________________________________________
jondotrogersatntlworlddotcom
============================================
  #3  
Old September 5th 03, 11:34 PM
Doesnotcompute
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
Here is an attempt at a slimmed-down FAQ. Feedback please. I'm sure
it has a fair way to go - either much less or much more (or both ;-P)



s'good - don't make it tooo much longer, as it'll become fa too cumbersome.

Would you like me to create an HTML version once you have completed the
plain text? It is essential to offer both standards.

--
Dnc

  #4  
Old September 5th 03, 11:59 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 23:34:04 +0100, Doesnotcompute
wrote:

Would you like me to create an HTML version once you have completed the
plain text? It is essential to offer both standards.


No, I can handle all that thanks - I need someone to tell me how to
post it using cron and PERL ('cos I'm a Linux newbie) or mail-to-news,
and I need to refine and improve it a bit with the help of all
concerned - more shops, for example.

I think, according to the definitoin of FAQ, I have answered the most
frequent questions, but even there I might well be missing some.

Guy
===
** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony.
http://www.chapmancentral.com
New! Improved!! Now with added extra Demon!
  #5  
Old September 6th 03, 12:01 AM
Garry B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?


Feedback please.


First..I'd say it's al;ways a good idea for a ng to have a FAQ...and,
ideally, one that is posted to the ng frequently.

But, with this one, I do think there are inherent problems about what
to include and exclude. I'd say that a faq on this newsgroup need only
really concern itself with uk online resources, relevant links to
other global cycling sites, various uk community cycling
projects...etc

When subjects relating to bike maintenance occur, a bottomless pit
opens up, what's the point? and a site like Sheldon Browns comes into
it's own.

Which is what you've just done I guess....slimmed it down.

It can only be a good thing.

Garryb


I'm sure
it has a fair way to go - either much less or much more (or both ;-P)

Guy



uk.rec.cycling
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List
Last updated: [x]

This FAQ is edited and maintained by [x]
Updates and additions should be sent to [x]


1. General information
2. Technical questions
3. UK Cyclcing Organsiations
4. Where do I get...
5. How do I get my bike insured?
6. Safety
7. Jargon and in-jokes
8. Bike adjustment


1. General information
======================
uk.rec.cycling is a USENET group for the discussion of topics relating
to cycling in the UK and (to a lesser extent) Ireland. Discussion of
all aspects of cycling and human-powered transport is welcome.

The scope of the group (and this FAQ) is purposely restricted to
issues relevant to cyclists in the UK and Ireland. For more general
discussion you might prefer rec.bicycles.misc.

uk.rec.cycling may contain traces of irony.


But first, some housekeeping.


Etiquette and style
-------------------
This is a text-only newsgroup: please do not post HTML, MIME or
binaries to this group. Most servers won't carry binary content
anyway. If you use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express be aware that
by default it does or encourages three things which seriously irritate
many people:

- html / MIME posting
- top posting
- untrimmed quoting

In general when you are replying you should trim from the quoted text
anything which is irrlevant to the point you are making, and any
signatures. You should reply below the text to which you are
replying, using a standard quote delimiter ( is the most common).

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/writing-style/part1/ is worth a read.

Test messages (to see if your newsreader / server are working) should
go to uk.test or your ISP's tech support group.


Advertising and personal messages
---------------------------------
If you are selling or auctioning a bike or related item *in the UK* a
single post with the subject starting "FS: " (for sale) or "FA: " (for
auction) is generally acceptable. Occasionally. From people who also
contribute in other ways.

Occasional brief personal messages are also generally tolerated.

If you are trying to carve out a career as an eBay bike tycoon, please
take it to rec.bicycles.marketplace. Or somewhere. Anywhere.
Commercial `spam,' `Make Money Fast' and pyramid schemes (illegal in
the UK) are as welcome as a fart in a space suit.

Crossposting and trolling
-------------------------
Crossposting is posting the same message to multiple newsgroups
simultaneously. Crosspoting to non-cycling newsgroups is rarely a
service to humanity. In particular, cross-posting to uk.tosspot
(sorry, uk.transport) will normally degenerate into a slanging match
almost immediately.

Trolling is posting deliberately controversial statements in the hope
of provoking an argument. A prolific offender in the past has been
the resident troll, Paul Smith, a.k.a. Mohammed Saeed Al-Smith ("There
are no speeding related deaths! Never!"). He runs a speeding
apologist website and thinks that speed cameras kill more people than
speeding does. His finest hour was probably the attempt to prove that
we could have a rigidly enforced 12mph speed limit and still have as
many deaths on the roads, although his thread claiming that motorists
are vulnerable road users because more car drivers manage to kill
themselves on the roads came a close second.

Flaming is posting bad-tempered, rude or offensive messages, generally
personally attacking the orginal poster. We strongly discourage it.
High quality invective is of course welcome ;-)

Bad language is generally unnecessary and unwelcome. The standard of
debate on uk.rec.cycling is generally high for Usenet, and when we
hurl insults we try at least to be creative.

Helmets
-------
IMPORTANT: Read the section on helmets below before making any comment
regarding helmets on uk.rec.cycling. Don't say you haven't been
warned.


The public service announcement having been dealt with, we move on to
the real information.


2. Technical questions
======================
The regulars on uk.rec.cycling are a right bunch of know-it-alls who
love to parade their superior cycling knowledge. To save your blushes
you might want to start by visiting this site:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com

What Sheldon Brown doesn't know about bikes is probably not worth
knowing.

For more specific queries regarding individual components and
techniques, Googling rec.bicycles.tech can provide satisfaction.


3. UK Cycling Organisations
===========================
The following organsiations are active in promotion of cycling. Some
provide, as part of theiur membership package, insurance and legal
services. This list is not exhaustive.

* Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) http://www.ctc.org.uk/

Brtain's oldest and largest cycling organsiation, with over
80,000 members and a local and regional structure which means
there is probably a District Association (DA) near you.
Membership benefits include insurance, technical information and
an excellent magazine.

* London Cycling Campaign http://www.lcc.org.uk/
* AUDAX UK http://www.audax.uk.com/
* British Cycling Federation (BCF) http://www.bcf.uk.com/
* British Cyclo-Cross Association (BCCA) http://www.cyclo-cross.com/
* Trail Cyclists Association http://www.trailquest.co.uk/
* British Mountain Biking http://www.bmb.org
* Road Time Trails Council (RTTC) http://www.rttc.org.uk/
* British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) http://www.bsca.org.uk/
* Tandem Club http://www.tandem-club.org.uk
* British Human Power Club (BHPC) http://www.ihpva.com/
* The Rough Stuff Fellowship http://www.rsf.org.uk


4. Where do I get...
=====================
Bikes can often be upgraded and kept going indefinitely., On the
other hand, buying a new bike is a great buzz. Britain has no
large-scale cycle manufacturing, though a few big names still assemble
bikes here. We do have a thriving craft bicycle building industry,
and some of the best-known are listed below. Many of these will also
recondition, repaint, rebuild and upgrade frames, prolonging the
useful life of your comfortable old bike. Good quality steel frames
can often be adjusted to fit modern 8- and 9-speed gearing.

Online bike shops are often cheaper than your local bike shop (LBS).
But take ca if you don't lose it you'll lose it, so make sure you
give your LBS the opportunity to sell you that bike, and don't forget
to include VAT and shipping when comparing prices. If you buy a bike
from Bikes R Us via the web, don't be enormously surprised if your LBS
doesn't want to deal with any warranty issues. Bike shops also
generally provide a free tune-up after the first few weeks.

No warranty is impled or given in these listings: they may be good or
bad. Shop around and caveat emptor.

Framebuilders
-------------

* Argos Cycles http://www.argoscycles.com/
* Paul Donohue http://www.donohuecycles.co.uk
* Bob Jackson http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk
* George Longstaff http://www.longstaffcycles.co.uk
* Mercian Cycles http://www.merciancycles.com
* Chas Roberts Cycles http://www.robertscycles.com
* Brian Rourke Cycles http://www.brianrourke.co.uk
* M. Steel Cycles http://www.msteelcycles.co.uk
* Thorn http://www.sjscycles.co.uk
* Joe Waugh - see M Steel
* Graham Weigh at http://www.deesidecycles.com
* Dave Yates - see M Steel

Online bike shops
-----------------

* Bonthrone Bikes
* CTC Shop
* St John Street Cycles
* Sdeals
* Spa Cycles
* Wiggle


5. How do I get my bike insured?
================================
As with any insurance, it pays to shop around. You can generally get
cover for bicycles on your house contents policy for a reasonable
price, but watch out for small print and in particular restrictions or
exclusions based on:
* lists of approved locks
* overnight storage requirements
* foreign touring
* component only theft or damage
* damage only
* wear and tear deductions

The CTC have a bike insurance partner, as do some of the other cycling
organisations, which can be a better option particularly for exotic
bikes. Racing and courier work are generally excluded from cycle
policies.

Third-party cover is free with the membership of some cycling
organisations (again, notably the CTC). Do consider this. Cyclists
can injure and kill, and you don't want to be left out of pocket.

Many insurers will try to supply you with a notionally equivalent bike
from their nominated bike shop. Beware! Horror stories abound of
lower quality bikes shoddily assembled. If you have a friendly bike
shop, talk to them about your insurance replacement and get the
insurers to send a cheque direct to them.


6. Safety
=========
Cycling is a very safe and healthy activity, provided you do it right.
The BMA says regular cyclists live a decade longer than the average,
counting mortality from all causes. Traffic is more scary than
dangerous. So you'll want to make sure you are fully trained and
properly equipped. which is a bit of a problem...

These are the things which you should know about in order to ride
safely on the road.

6.1 Skills & Training
---------------------
The National Cycling Proficiency scheme has been replaced in most
areas by locally controlled schemes. Adult cycle training could most
charitably be described as "patchy" ("shambolic" is altogether closer
to the mark, though). There are some commercial cycle training
schemes in London and elsewhere.

The best way to learn good cycling skills is to read Cyclecraft, by
John Franklin (http://www.lesberries.co.uk/ccraft/ccraft.htm). This
book is a mine of useful information.

You should also read, learn and inwardly digest the Highway Code
(http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk).

And you could do worse than meet up with your local cycling club to
learn from the hoary old-timers who have managed half a century of
road riding and lived to tell the tale.

6.2 Maintenance
---------------
Before riding make sure your brakes, steering, tyres, pedals, gears
and such are in proper working order. Never ride a bike with
defective brakes or steering. Learn to maintain your bike, it will
save you money and it's great fun!

6.3 Conspicuity and lights
--------------------------
When riding on the road, especially after dusk and in the winter, it
makes good sense to be as conspicuous as possible. Reflective
jackets, arm and leg bands ("Scotchlite" brand and others) increase
your visibility, as do fluorescent clothing.

Always use lights at night or in poor visibility. Audax riders often
ride all night so if you want to know what's good in the lighting
market a visit to http://www.audax.uk.net/lights/ can get you started.

Flashing LEDs permanently fitted to the bike are currently illegal.
They are also four times more visible than steady lights of equivalent
brightness. Received wisdom is that one of each, steady for legality
and flashing for conspicuity, is the way to go. Still illegal, but we
don't know of anyone who's been prosecuted, and a revision of the Road
Vehicles Lighting Regulations (RVLR) is in process.

RVLR: http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1989/Uksi_19891796_en_1.htm

Important notice: LAWYERS ARE WEASELS. If you are hit by a car at
night and you and your bike do not conform to the letter of the law,
the weasels will try to make out that it's your fault (contributory
negligence). It is best not to give them the option.

6.4 Helmets
-----------
Probably the single most contentious topic among cyclists. There are
two entrenched groups: one says helmets should be made compulsory
because some studies show that they reduce the probability of head
injury or death following a crash; the other says that helmets should
be a matter of individual choice because in no country in the world
has promotion or compulsion of helmets ever delivered a measurable
reduction in cyclist injuries.

Any comment about helmets based on "common sense" is *absolutely
guaranteed* to get you flamed. Here is the Received Wisdom:

* The likelihood of serious head injury when cycling is extremely
small, and hugely outweighed by the health benefits of cycling.
* If worn correctly, a cycle helmet may afford some protection
against minor injuries to the head.
* A helmet is unlikely to offer protection against more serious or
life-threatening injuries.
* You may be more likely to hit your head in a crash if you wear a
helmet.
* You may be more likely to crash in the first place, particularly if
a helmet makes you feel better protected.
* A helmet may increase the very small risk of the most serious brain
injuries that lead to death and chronic intellectual disability.
* Helmets are designed to protect at speeds up to around 12mph. Any
road traffic crash will be outside the design parameters of a
bicycle helmet.
* Children using their bicycles for play may benefit more from
helmets.

Whether you wear a helmet or not is entirely your own choice, but if
you do you should still ride as if it were made of meringue covered in
eggshell.

6.5 Cycle routes
----------------
Signed cycle routes are generally quiet routes, and they can be more
pleasant than riding on busier roads. They can also make your journey
slower and longer. All other things being equal, a cycle route is a
more pleasant place to be.

Sustrans http://www.sustrans.org.uk maintain a network of mainly
offroad cycle routes which are great for leisure cycling. They also
look after the National Cycle Network, which is a series of waymarked
low-traffic or traffic-free routes.

Cycle facilities are a mixed blessing. Shared use pavements are
between five and ten times less safe than the road, mainly due to
issues at junctions. Cycle lanes teke us out of the main sight-line
of drivers, and often run out at the point of greatest danger. The
best advice is to read Cyclecraft and ride as if the cycle lane were
not there. You are not compelled to use cycle lanes or tracks. A
"mandatory cycle lane" means one which cars may not use, not one which
cyclists must use.

People have been trying to get cyclists out of the way of cars for
about seventy years, usually citing safety concerns. This claim is
bogus as the same people seem quite happy to put us on pavements,
where cycles definitely should not be due to the disparity in speed
and manoeuvrability between pedestrians and cyclists. Remember this:
cyclists use the road by right of way, motorists use it under licence.


7. Jargon
=========
There is an unofficial FAQ with details of some of the jargon and
in-jokes at http://www.chapmancentral.com/urc

Some common terms you'll hear on uk.rec.cycling:

AASHTA: As Always, Sheldon Has The Answer
Brompton: A folding bike - http://www.bromptonbicycle.co.uk
C2C: Coast-to-coast (England) - http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/
Cheese: Material from which cheap bike components are made
Dark Side: Recumbent cycling - http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
End-to-End: Land's End to John O'Groats
LE-JOG: Land's End to John O'Groats
PSF: Paving Slab Fairy, aka Helen Simmons


8. Bike Adjustment
==================
Bike adjustment is the difference between a comfortable bike and an
uncomfortable one. If you are suffering sore knees, hand, elbows,
wrists, shoulders, back, neck... well, you obviously need to move to
the Dark Side, but you might put off the inevitable for a hwile longer
by fixing the fit of your bike.

At http://www.wrenchscience.com there is a very handy bike fit
measuring system.

Here are a few general pointers:

Sore knees
----------
Usually due to the saddle being too low. Try adjusting the saddle
height so that when you sit on the bike with your heel on the pedal
aty the bottom of its stroke, your leg is straight. You probably
won't be able to put your feet on the ground without moving forward
off the saddle. That's quite normal, and not dangerous - but do
practice starting and stopping.

If your hips rock when you ride, the saddle is too high. This is
ra most people have the saddle too low.

Sore hands / wrists
-------------------
Generally down to hand position. If you use flat bars, try bar ends.
If you have drop bars, check they are the right width (see the
wrenchscience site above) and experiment with the brake lever position
on the hooks.

Sore shoulders / neck
---------------------
Often a sign that your handlebars are the wrong distance from your
saddle. As a rule of thumb, with your elbow resting on the nose of
the saddle the tip of your fingertips should touch the handlebars

Saddle soreness
---------------
Saddle soreness is usually caused by soft saddles and exacerbated by
having the saddle at the wrong angle. Try tilting the nose of the
saddle down very slightly. The aim is to carry your weight on your
your ischeal tuberosities ("sit bones") not your perineum.

"Gentlemen's problems"
----------------------
You may have heard that cycling can cause impotence or penile
numbness. This is, for the most part, tosh. But there is, as ever, a
grain of truth in there.

A soft saddle is worse than a hard one. Soft saddles compress the
soft tissues of your perineum and restrict blood flow; hard saddles do
not. The more you ride, the more likely you are to benefit from a
good quality leather saddle like the Selle San Marco Rolls or the
Brooks B17. Not evryone takes to them, but audax riders (who know a
thing or two about saddle comfort) mostly seem to favour one or the
other.

Comfort cycling
---------------
If all else fails buy a recumbent and say goodby to sore arse misery
for ever.





The following people have contributed useful information to this FAQ
(in alphabetical order):

* James D. Annan )
* Bryan Attewell )
* Peter Crighton )
* Paul Crook )
* Phil Cunningham )
* Chris Hayes )
* Robert Hague )
* Andrew Henry )
* Michael Hoath )
* Gary Marland )
* Neil Marshall )
* David Nulty )
* Alan Paxton )
* Stewart Russell )
* Ian Snowdon )
* John Swindells )
* Rik Wade )
* Simon Ward )
* Matt Wenham )
* John B. Wilkinson )


  #6  
Old September 6th 03, 01:22 AM
chris French
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

In message , "Just zis Guy,
you know?" writes
On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 23:34:04 +0100, Doesnotcompute
wrote:

Would you like me to create an HTML version once you have completed the
plain text? It is essential to offer both standards.


snip

I think, according to the definitoin of FAQ, I have answered the most
frequent questions, but even there I might well be missing some.

'What's the best lights?'...?

I missed out on the first FAQ thread so I'll post my tuppence worth here
now.

Firstly yes I think it's worth having FAQ, in response to those who
suggested that having a FAQ means that you get less discussion on the
group. IME that isn't the case, I participate in other groups, a few
that spring to mind all have FAQs with a fair amount of stuff in them,
it certainly does not reduce the group down to a lot of read the FAQ
responses - there are those, and I think if the stuff is in FAQ and
well written then that's correct, but the nature of discussions is that
often the FAQ is just a starting point for someone who then comes back
to the group.

Secondly - format.

I'm not really in favour of long single FAQ documents posted to groups -
for one I don't think anyone actually really reads them , and sooner or
later they get unwieldy as people find things to add.

Personally I prefer a shorter ' Welcome' type posting posted regularly,
with maybe a bit of blurb about the group, some posting guidelines
whatever. with FAQ's themselves on the web and pointed to from the
posting.

I know that historically there was a good reason for FAQ's to be posted
to a group, but nowadays I can't imagine that there are many people
reading urc who don't have web access as well.

The FAQ itself might be a 'centrally' maintained more coherent sort of
document (the uk.d-i-y FAq is a good example) or it might be a more ad
hoc collection of FAQs produced separately, but then brought together
under a general umbrella (either hosted on the same site or on other
sites as is appropriate)
--
Chris French, Leeds
  #7  
Old September 6th 03, 02:36 AM
Pete Biggs
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
Here is an attempt at a slimmed-down FAQ. Feedback please. I'm sure
it has a fair way to go - either much less or much more (or both ;-P)


Here are my suggestions for text to add and change. Comments in square
brackets are just to explain my thinking:


Etiquette and style
-------------------

...........
In general when you are replying you should trim from the quoted text
anything which is irrlevant to the point you are making, and any
signatures. You should reply below the text to which you are
replying, using a standard quote delimiter ( is the most common).


OE Quote Fix is a free utility which helps Outlook Express format quoted
text properly by fixing some of Bill's bugs.

2. Technical questions
======================
The regulars on uk.rec.cycling are a right bunch of know-it-alls who
love to parade their superior cycling knowledge. To save your blushes
you might want to start by visiting this site:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com

What Sheldon Brown doesn't know about bikes is probably not worth
knowing.


....But he doesn't quite fit it all on his website so visit the following
as well for further and alternative tech instructions and articles:

http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQindex.shtml

http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/index.html

Also have a butcher's at uk.rec.cycling contributer Myra.VanInwegen's
excellent pages which include some tips for beginners:

http://www.myra-simon.com/bike

For more specific queries regarding individual components and
techniques, Googling rec.bicycles.tech can provide satisfaction.


.....Googling rec.bicycles.tech via http://groups.google.com and checking
manufacturer websites can provide satisfaction.

[Not everyone will think to use Google Groups and may try to use the main
search engine instead]

4. Where do I get...

........
Online bike shops

[Presumably this includes suppliers of components and accessories?]

-----------------
* Bonthrone Bikes
* CTC Shop
* St John Street Cycles
* Sdeals
* Spa Cycles
* Wiggle


* Parker International
* Settle Cycles
* Chain Reaction
* Mike Dyason

[I plan to put up a site with a big links page with all known online cycle
dealers later this year - but I think the above well deserve inclusion in
the FAQ now because they each stock a particularly wide range of goods
and/or have exceptional prices (with good service, of course).]

8. Bike Adjustment
==================


Sore hands / wrists
-------------------
Generally down to hand position.


Generally down to hand and handlebar position.

[Bar height is a main factor as it affects the amount of weight on the
hands]

Experiment with bar tilt and height if you can.

If you use flat bars, try bar ends.
If you have drop bars, check they are the right width (see the
wrenchscience site above) and experiment with the brake lever position
on the hooks.


Padded gloves and bar tape can also help make long rides more comfortable.

Saddle soreness
---------------
Saddle soreness is usually caused by soft saddles and exacerbated by
having the saddle at the wrong angle. Try tilting the nose of the
saddle down very slightly. The aim is to carry your weight on your
your ischeal tuberosities ("sit bones") not your perineum.


Also try different fore and aft positions, and even height if desparate.

Be warned that asking "What is a good saddle?" on the newsgroup will
result in a hundred passionate recommendations for saddles of all sorts of
shapes, sizes and textures. Of all the personal preferences there are
with bicycle components, this one is the most personal!

"Gentlemen's problems"
----------------------

.........
A soft saddle is worse than a hard one. Soft saddles compress the


^ can
soft tissues of your perineum and restrict blood flow; hard saddles do
not.


....hard saddles are less likely to.

[Hard saddles certainly can sometimes press on the perineum, badly, if
enough weight is forward enough. Tilting saddle down will not always cure
this and can make it worse sometimes. I think we should be careful with
absolute statements when it comes to difficult and debatable subjects like
this].

~PB


  #8  
Old September 6th 03, 08:39 AM
Tony W
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?


"Just zis Guy, you know?" wrote in message
...
Here is an attempt at a slimmed-down FAQ. Feedback please. I'm sure
it has a fair way to go - either much less or much more (or both ;-P)


snip see -- I read the bit on Netiquette.

I think the Irish should be allowed in as a matter of right. Others (we
have regulars from most of the civilised world and even some from America so
lets not get too exclusive.

Given recent threads maybe the Welsh should be excluded as not being British
:-) (Resident sheep would feel safer).

Regarding LBS -- lose it or lose it should read 'use it or lose it'.

While the prat P**l Sm*th has a special place in the hearts of many here I
doubt he warrants much consideration.

Providing spammers with a complete set of e-mail addresses is nice of you.

Good effort.

T


  #9  
Old September 6th 03, 09:05 AM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 08:39:01 +0100, "Tony W"
wrote:

Providing spammers with a complete set of e-mail addresses is nice of you.


That was in the original, I didn't think to remove it (but I would
have done before it got as far as a website, for obvious reasons).

Guy
===
** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony.
http://www.chapmancentral.com
New! Improved!! Now with added extra Demon!
  #10  
Old September 6th 03, 11:43 AM
Tony Raven
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ?

Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 09:52:33 +0100, "Tony W"


"I was musing on this email which was delivered to my bitbucket:
"TARGET VARIOUS INTEREST GROUPS -535 MILLION EMAIL ADDRESSES!" - an
email so accurately targeted that (a) it went to an address starting
"spamdump" and (b) it came to me, someone who would not send spam if
it were the only alternative to prostitution. Who out there is
actually stupid enough to buy this crap? Beats me."


Yet there must be enough people that do to make it financially worthwhile
doing. You would think nobody would be fooled by the Nigerian scam e-mails
but I read recently Interpol were dealing with 300 Europeans alone who had
lost significant sums of money and were convinced that if they could just
get past that next hurdle the money was actually really there to be
collected. Some had mortgaged houses and everything to raise the money for
the next payment their Nigerian counterpart needed to "pay off another
awkward official in the way".

As Mr Bush said, you can fool some of the people all of the time and those
are the one's we're after.

Tony

--
"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."
Mark Twain


 




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