If it's good enough for Chicago it's good enough for us. [See What happened to bikereader.com? at the end of this FAQ.]
it one word or two?
can I expect to find here?
Smart humour. Thoughtful essays. Attractive photography. We're tempted to say, a promising date.
Advice on touring, maintenance, health, etc. isn't our raison d'être (French for 'thing'); we'll link to sites more conventionally helpful. Bear in mind that not everything will have BICYCLE written in large letters all over it, but a bike will always be propped up against the story line.
BR was conceived as an online resource of previously offline material: a reprinter of magazine articles. However, content will also include stories available elsewhere on the web, as we aim to be a one-stop shop for our particular speciality.
do you choose the stories?
We used to burn them and see what colour smoke they made. These days the selection process is reassuringly scientific. We now rely on a formula, BR = lm [literary merit] + ev [entertainment value] + ew [editorial whimsy]. Obviously, the weighting of these variables is a complex business. So we feed our notes into a computer then take it apart and read its entrails.
about copyright? Do you have permission to use this material?
Typically the author controls the right to copy his or her work, though depending on the arrangements made with a publisher, he or she may not be free to allow reprinting elsewhere. Policing this is another matter, especially on the www. It usually comes down to money: the bottom line is, no one should make any unless the author does, too.
BR make money from this?
why are you doing it?
Why does anyone do anything on the web? Remove money from the equation, and you're left with... well, let's not make this any more complicated than it has to be. We're doing it for the fun of it. Also to create a reading room where you can browse without fear of dead links, and to help ensure that out-of-print doesn't mean out-of-reach.
never answered the question about whether you have permission
Sorry about that. Yes, we ask first. Exceptions are duly noted. Everything herein is © its respective author, and if it isn't otherwise credited (in the alt text, in the case of photos) chances are we wrote it or tripped the shutter ourselves.
is the site organised?
We're glad you asked, because it's not as obvious as it might first appear. Our categories are self-explanatory,* but not everything is listed therein. Many other stories can be found on contributor's pages. For example, John Stuart Clark's 'Saharan Margins' is in Travel. Click on his name and you'll be transferred to a page which has links to his other work on site. Newer stories are generally placed at the bottom of each category (Humour, Essays & Travel). If you don't care for scrolling, click on the picture for a shortcut down.
The Chronological and Categorical indexes list just about everything, as does the Random index, in its way.
* More or less. Just because something hasn't been placed in Humour doesn't mean it isn't funny.
Couldn't be easier. BR is a large site but you'll never get lost. Most pages sport a menu on top, and a link at the bottom sending you to the top. Not every feature is labelled, though. We've engineered a little serendipity as well. It's like a medieval church with filigree high in the rafters.
Note that links in blue are home games, links in black, away - unless we forgot a few when we implemented the change. (This holds true site-wide except for the links page itself, where the situation is reversifisized, as George W. Bush might say. Confused yet?)
aren't there more pictures?
We don't get many complaints, but when we do it's usually this one. Fortunately it's offset by the frequent compliment "You have great pictures."* Although we would like every story to be illustrated, very few are. It's much easier extracting text from a writer than it is a photograph. In some cases we've used images from our own library.
drew the cyclist on the home page?
Paul Davies. More of his work can be found here.
it true that the BR Dictionary is now a standard reference work in newsrooms,
like The Chicago Manual of Style, and 101 Creative Ways to Rewrite a Press Release?
This is merely a rumour, although it's true that we have established a beachhead in the broadsheets: The Guardian logged on and found our Dictionary "very pleasing".
awards, honorary degrees, etc?
A quotation mark which hasn't been properly formatted. This question is purely for the detail-oriented, and won't mean anything to you unless you see one of these in a story. We fix 'em as we see 'em.
is everything too far over to the right?
Beats us! That must be the way the electorate wants it. Oh. You mean why is all the text too far over. Can't answer that one. It isn't that way on our Mac.
on the magisterial 'We'
'We' is just me, but we felt it was necessary to set the proper tone. As an American living in England, we take our cue from the Queen. While we're on the subject of grammar, please also note that some spellings and conventions are British, while others are homegrown. We choose as it amuses us.
an apology for the barrage of American/British cultural references in BR,
seeing as this is the WORLD wide web and all, and cycling has universal appeal. We can only hope that some of the humour translates. If it doesn't, blame your browser. Actually, we wouldn't feel so bad about this, except for the Dutch. Cycling all over the planet, then putting up websites left and right; and invariably multilingual, in that pesky European way of theirs. It's enough to make a site feel distinctly parochial. If anyone wants to translate BR into, say, one of the Balto-Slavic family of languages (Byelorussian would be nice), get in touch. We've already got a volunteer for Anatolian, though his Hittite seems a bit rusty.
don't you have a hit counter?
Because then everyone would know how many hits we get.
don't you have a guestbook?
Because the temptation to assume multiple identities and fabricate pleasantly bizarre entries would be too great.
do I find what's new?
Go to the Chronological Index. You'll find that after the spring of '04 there hasn't been much added to BR, a situation which is temporarily permanent (but not permanently temporary, to our way of thinking). Take heart: there's still a veritable feast awaiting you.
happened to bikereader.com?
In 2017, at the grand old age of 17, the domain was relinquished* and the site retired gracefully into notanothercyclingforum.net.
*or will be, if you're reading this in 2016. If it gets a reprieve, perhaps someone from maintenance** will kindly update this.
**Maintenance is on strike.
Meanwhile we have taken note that somebody called hotels-in-netherlands seems
overly fond of our content. Some links may inadvertently link to them.
This website was in between crashes.
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