A Web-site for Everyday Bicyclists.
Bicycling Life Web Site
The purpose of Bicycling Life is to promote bicycling by demonstrating that legal cycling on streets, roads, and highways is safe, clean, healthy, enjoyable, economical, and beneficial to society, and to provide bike riders with the information and encouragement they need to become vehicular cyclists.
Toward these ends, this site will provide news, information, analysis, safety advice, advocacy advice, feature articles, and links to useful information elsewhere.
Policy towards editors, web masters, writers, and other contributors:
People are happiest when they "get to do their thing" with the least amount of restrictions. Therefore, as much as humanly possible, restrictions should be in the form of policies that are outlined ahead of time. Those policies should be logical and limited and serve specific purposes.
The purpose of this site is to advocate a point of view. Therefore, arguments advocating opposite points of view will be published only for the purpose of showing their weaknesses.
At all times, the information must be truthful to the best of our ability. Advocacy must never lead to suppressing or distorting contrary information.
It is our belief that each person has the right to chose to wear or not wear a helmet. Mild statements for and against helmet use (such as "could help prevent injury" or "hot and uncomfortable") will be tolerated, but no strong statements either towards helmets or the people who wear (or don't wear) them will be allowed.
Profanity and offensive statements are not to be allowed, but strong disagreement is fine, as long as the statements are directed towards the facts or the argument and not the person.
Effective language use policy:
Poor use of the English language will hurt us more in our readers' eyes than any other fault. For this reason, all material must be checked for spelling, grammar, punctuation, sloppy language, incorrect word use, and other such faults. However, spelling and some other language features should conform to usage in the writer's country and not necessarily to usage in the US.
All persuasive statements should be rational and supported by evidence or reason.
All text should be written in a clean and clear fashion to make it easy to read and understandable by the average person.
Everything published on this site must be reviewed or at least checked by more than one person. Articles need a panel of reviewers. A recommendation is that in addition to accepting and rejecting articles, the reviewers suggest changes be made to improve or make acceptable submissions that are desirable or nearly desirable.
Articles will be solicited or written by the editors, but unsolicited articles may also be accepted. Articles will be submitted (or forwarded) in electronic form to the appointed editor and may be accompanied by electronic images. No image scanning services are available. Electronic documents will be in WordPerfect, MS-Word, Plain Text, Windows Write, or RTF format. Other formats, including HTML may be acceptable only on prior arrangement.
Authors retain copyright, with the clear understanding that Bicycling Life will be granted a non-revokable right to publish these articles over the internet on our website. Once so published, there is nothing we can do to prevent misuse-use, other than including the author's copyright statement and a general copyright notice.
POLICIES WHICH GOVERN SEPARATE SECTIONS
News section policy:
News items should at least loosely pertain to the purpose of this web site. News does not have to be favorable to be reported. News items should include the source or URL. Research findings and other opinionated news should not be reported as fact. Announcements should not be considered news and should be reported only when we want to report them. News items should remain available at the same URL (the date might be a good name, such as apr99news.htm) to keep links from other web sites working.
Information section policy:
Statistics and other useful data shall be accumulated for use by cyclists. Separate items shall be placed on separate pages, and the links to those pages shall explain what is on them. Data should only be evaluated according to its accuracy.
Analysis, research, and argument section policy:
Articles appearing in this section of the web site will have to be carefully examined by a panel of qualified reviewers. All statements must be logical, supported by evidence, and the sources noted, preferably with a URL. The articles accepted should fit within the general guidelines for this site. Authors will be expected to make corrections (if errors are detected) or to better explain their points (if arguments are unclear). Suggestions will always be phrased in helpful ways with the sole purpose of making the document more effective.
Feature article section policy:
These articles will also be examined by more than one person and have to fit within the general guidelines for this site. However, the evidence provided can be of a personal nature, and it should be judged according to its ability to be effective; however, false logic should not be tolerated. If a piece of writing is submitted to this section, the author will be assigned one editor to deal with. That editor will see to it that all necessary reviews are performed before rejection or acceptance.
Safety article section policy:
These articles will advocate vehicular cycling and will show how to ride safely in clear language. All safety articles will be reviewed by a panel especially to look for flaws in the advice or in the explanation of any advice that could be dangerous to the cyclist.
Links section policy:
These links must be checked frequently to make sure they work. Links should be provided with clear information about the material they are linking to. Links should be organized topically. The standards for links is lower than any other part of the site; however, we don't want links to commercial sites (except commercial sites with much useful information, such as Sheldon Brown's site), to sites which provide false information, to sites which are poor in quality, or to sites which have little relationship to this site.
WEB DESIGN POLICY
General design policy: All parts of the web site should have the same or similar look and feel. Variations should be for specific reasons. As much as possible, design should be kept both simple and compatible with all web browsers. Frames and any other constructs which make browsing, bookmarking, and printing difficult will be avoided unless they are essential to the presentation.
Graphics allow the reader to see the point rather quickly, and they can also help break up large blocks of text; however, they also increase bandwidth and loading time. Large graphics should be used sparingly, for specific reasons, and should be reduced in file size as much as is reasonable. Smaller graphics should be standardized to some extent to help reduce bandwidth.
Plug-ins should be used sparingly, as many readers will not have them already downloaded and may not have the ability to use them. When a plug-in is necessary, a download link will be supplied, and the reader will be given a clear option of using it or not.
Logo, back-link, and mailto policy:
Every page will have our logo at the top with links to the major divisions of the site and mailto and information links at the bottom. Mailtos should allow the reader to send comments to the webmaster, editor, and author whenever possible.
Website Integrity policy:
Once a web page is created and added to the site, it should not be destroyed or received a different URL as someone somewhere may be linked to that page. In the event that removing a page is unavoidable an ",htaccess" file automatically redirecting to the new location, or a page explaining the removal and linking back to the site shall be maintained for six months (date this page).
General links policy (governing all links):
All links that take the reader off site will open another browser window. It is our policy to retain our reader as long as possible so as to get our message across. All links should be checked periodically, perhaps using software to do so, to make sure they work.
Final layout and image use policy:
Page layout and image use will be strictly up to the Editor. This is necessary since the site must have one style.