Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Recreation/Cycling

General Conference
See also Cycling - Advanced
Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 1933

1. Know the name and explain the purpose of the various parts of a bicycle.



  • Bottom bracket- Attachment of crankset to body of bike
  • Brake cable- Cable connecting the brake lever to the brake mechanism
  • Brake lever- Lever on handlebar to activate brake. Left side is front brake, right is rear brake
  • Cassette- There are up to 10 sprockets of increasing size attached to a hub housing making up a modular cassette. This housing is slipped over an outward extending splined part of the hub. The rear hub is a "freewheel" (ratcheted so the wheel is pulled around when pedaling, but allowing the wheel to spin freely while you coast). The chain is shifted from one sprocket to another by moving the right shifter lever to activate the rear derailleur.
  • Chain- Circular set of links to transfer power from chain ring to cogs of freewheel
  • Chainring- Toothed rings attached to crank that hold chain
  • Chainstay- Lower bar on portion of frame that attaches rear wheel. If there's no second tube on dual suspension bike, it is referred to as a swing arm.
  • Crank- Lever extending from bottom bracket to pedal, transfers power to chain rings
  • Derailleur- Mechanism for moving chain from one cog to another
  • Down tube- Section of frame extending downward from stem to bottom bracket
  • Dropout- Cut slot at bottom of front fork or chain stay, designed to accept axle of wheel
  • Freewheel- Set of rear cogs and idling mechanism
  • Front brake- Brake on front fork of bike
  • Front shock- Shock absorber on front fork
  • Handlebar- Horizontal bar attached to the stem with handgrips at the end, to which attach brake levers and shifters
  • Headset- Mechanism in front of frame that connects front fork to stem and handlebars
  • Head tube (steering tube) - Section of frame extending downward from top tube to down tube
  • Hub- Center portion of the wheel, to which the spokes attach
  • Idler pulley- Bottom pulley of the rear derailleur, with spring tension to keep chain tight
  • Nipple- Threaded receptacle that holds the end of the spoke into the rim
  • Pedal- Platform for the foot to press on, attached to crank
  • Rear brake- Brake on the rear wheel, usually attached to seat stay
  • Rear shock- Shock absorber for rear tire on dual-suspension bikes
  • Rim- Metal ring with U-shaped cross section, holds spokes on the inside and tire on the outside
  • Saddle (Seat) - What you sit on
  • Seat post- Support post for saddle, fits into seat tube with mechanism for changing height
  • Seat stay- Upper support arm for the rear wheel, not present on dual-suspension bikes with simple swingarm
  • Seat tube- Section of frame extending downward from top tube to bottom bracket
  • Shifter, front- Shifting mechanism for the front derailleur, mounted on the left side of the handlebar
  • Shifter, rear- Shifting mechanism for the rear derailleur, mounted on the right side of the handlebar
  • Skewer- Metal rod that goes through the hub, attaching the wheel to the dropouts of the frame
  • Spindle- Freely rotating "axle" to which the crank arms attach, part of the bottom bracket
  • Spokes- Thick wires joining the hub to the rim, with tension adjusted via a nipple on the rim side
  • Stem- Piece that attaches the handlebar to the steering tube (headset)
  • Swingarm- Lower bar on portion of frame that attaches rear wheel with some form of spring, on full suspension bikes
  • Tire- Where the rubber meets the road
  • Top tube- Top bar of the bicycle frame
  • Valve stem- Stem poking out of rim to inflate tire
  • Wheel hub- Center of the wheel, to which the spokes attach

2. Repair a punctured bicycle tire.


Tools needed: tire patch kit (patch, cement, sandpaper/roughening tool) pen (ballpoint or marker) tire-iron

Remove wheel with flat tire


It is assumed you have the skills and tools necessary to do this. I will not describe this process here. (A flat tire can be repaired without removing the wheel. However that is an Advanced Procedure, and is not covered here.)

Identify where the hole/leak is


NOTE: If you can do this BEFORE removing the tire from the rim you can save yourself much effort and time later.

Holding wheel with flat tire (& tube) closely examine exterior of tire to find what has punctured it. Include a tactile examination—run your fingers over the tire surface. 97% of the time you will find something, a small piece of (metal) wire, a small piece of glass (oftentimes glass is below the surface of the tire, in which case you are looking for glints of light reflecting off one surface of a shard of glass in your tire), or a biological object (splinter of wood or thorn), or a screw or a nail.

BEFORE removing object from your tire MARK THE LOCATION of the puncture. Also mark the location on the tire that corresponds to where the valve of your innertube is located. (Note: I've just told you to mark two (2) locations on your tire. This will save you time. You don't have to do it, though.)

If you do NOT find the location of the puncture mark the location of the innertube valve.

Remove the tire


If possible do not use any tools. (This does require some muscling on your part.) If your tire is a very tight fit over your rim use a tire-iron carefully. (In an "extreme situation" a flat-bladed screwdriver can be used. It is WAY-EASY to pinch-flat an innertube using a screwdriver.) Do NOT pinch your innertube between your tire-removing tool and the rim, or the tire. (If you are new to fixing flats you will probably do this once. We all do. It's part of the learning curve involved in wrenching on your bike. Learning to not pinch an innertube is best done with a wheel and tool in hand. Take your time. Good luck.)

Inspect the inside of your tire for punctures


Yes, you've inspected the outside, and now you are inspecting the inside. This is NECESSARY if you did not find the puncture yet. It is VERY RECOMMENDED even if you have found something already. The idea is to leave your tire, after all this is done, with NOTHING that will put more punctures in your innertube. Include a tactile inspection. Mark the location of any (additional) punctures you find. REMOVE all foreign objects from your tire after marking their location.

Find holes in innertube


(This is why you marked all those puncture locations and the valve location on your tire.) Align the innertube valve with the valve-location mark you made earlier on the tire. Inspect the innertube in the vicinity of all the tire-puncture marks for innertube punctures. MARK all innertube punctures.

Maybe you were unable to find any punctures in your tire. So now you have nothing to help you find the punctures in your innertube. You may have a pinch-flat. These can be anywhere on the surface of your innertube. (Punctures from objects generally happen to the surface of the innertube that is on the outside of the "donut surface" that the innertube describes.)

Fill your innertube with air & listen/feel for escaping air. MARK location(s) of puncture(s). Maybe you haven't found anything yet. In this case get a container with water (bucket, washbasin, whatever) and run your innertube through the water completely submerging the innertube a section at a time. Hold each section stationary under water (fill the innertube with air just before putting innertube into water) looking for small bubbles escaping from the innertube. If you do not have a basin available, mix some soap with water and apply the solution to the tire. As the air escapes it will make bubbles in the soap. When pumping air in to the innertube for this test don't be afraid to pump lots of air in. (Stop pumping when innertube is twice original size. This does not mean you need to pump it up this much. I'm saying if you have no other way of determining when enough air is in the innertube, stop at twice the original size.)

Assuming you have located all the punctures in your innertube, you are ready to begin the repair.

Repair innertube punctures


Roughen/clean a patch on the innertube, centered around (each) puncture. The roughened area must be larger than the patch you are going to apply. (Examine patch from your patch kit to determine this size.) You will use whatever tool your patch kit provides you with—either a (small) piece of sandpaper or a metal grater.

Apply the patch cement. Apply a very thin coating to the entire area you roughened/cleaned. Allow the cement to get sticky. Test for stickiness by using a fingernail—lightly touch one fingernail surface to a surface on the area of cement you previously applied. If it doesn't stick yet, wait. If it sticks some it's about right. If you wait too long it won't stick at all, in which case you get to clean it off and re-apply.

Assuming the cement is just sticky peel off the backing from the underside of your patch and apply patch to the innertube puncture, centered on the puncture. Leave the backing that is on the top-side of your patch on. (I generally make my puncture-location marks so big that when I roughen/clean the innertube the marks are visible outside that roughened/cleaned area. This makes the centering of the patch here a lot easier.)

Press the patch onto the surface of the innertube. Use the broad part of your thumb. Use the broad part of you tire iron. You are assisting the cement to establish a complete bond between the innertube and the patch. Take a minute or two and press! You are also pressing all air out of the patch-innertube bond. (Yeah, this is the part of this process that is best taught by example/demonstration. Sorry)

As you are pressing the patch onto your innertube you may notice the top-side backing on the patch begin to come loose. This is a Good Thing. If it doesn't, you get to figure out how to remove the top-side backing without removing the patch. (The top-side and bottom-side backing are there to keep the patch clean. A clean patch adheres best! Clean is Good.) "Better quality" patches have this top-side backing pre-slit making it easier to remove the top-side backing from the patch. (Most patch kits I've found recently are not "better quality".) After pressing patch onto the innertube remove top-side backing.

Repeat for all punctures.

Set innertube aside when all punctures have been patched to allow a few minutes for the cement to set and your patch to adhere.


Start cleaning up your work area. (You're almost done!)

Reassemble tire & innertube onto rim


Put just enough air into your innertube so it's barely round. Put innertube into tire. Fit one edge of tire over one side of wheel rim starting with the valve area. With your thumbs (and your tire iron IF NECESSARY) get all of one edge of tire over one rim. Starting at valve location push second edge of tire over wheel rim. Now you probably will have to use your tire irons. (This is why they come in sets.) If you have burley thumbs you may not need to use tire irons. (Yay!) Do everything you can to AVOID giving your (newly patched) innertube a pinch-flat. Take your time, working the tire over your wheel rim while keeping the innertube away from the rim edge. (This is why there is some air in the innertube. To avoid getting the innertube stuck between the tire and the rim edge.)

With tire completely mounted into wheel, between rims, adjust position of tire and innertube with respect to the rim so the innertube valve is sticking straight out of the valve hole. This is VERY IMPORTANT! A maladjusted innertube can put a lot of stress on one side of the innertube at the valve and rip the innertube away from the valve. Which will necessitate you replacing the innertube. (Holes at the innertube-valve junction are almost impossible to repair—I've never been able to repair 'em anyway.)

Put 10-20 lbs of air into tire/innertube. Check valve for proper innertube-rim orientation. If the valve is sticking out of the valve hole at any angle (other than straight) let some air out and re-adjust innertube/tire and rim orientation. The rim and innertube are made to fit together so the valve sticks straight out. Any other angle on the valve indicates the need for readjustment.

When the valve has the correct angle (straight out) inspect rim-tire orientation. You are looking to make sure the tire bead is completely seated all around the rim. Look at where the tire goes into the rim. The tire should appear about "even" all the way around the edge of the rim. Tires usually have several concentric "rings" cast into the surface of the tire near the bead just to make this check easy. If you see the tire bead coming out of the rim in any one location do NOT put any more air into the tire. Seat the tire bead. You may have to let some air out of the tire.

When the tire bead is uniformly seated inflate the tire to full pressure. This is nearly always defined on a place on the tire. "Max pressure = ## lbs." should appear somewhere on the outside of your tire.

Hey! You're done! Clean up your work area. Put your wheel back onto your cycle. Go for a ride!

Check your tire the next day! If you had a patch that did not completely adhere you may have a slow leak. If this happens :-(( you get to find it (step 5) above) and repair it (step 6) above.) Remember to COMPLETELY remove the leaking patch before applying the new one. (Again, if you're new to this, you MAY have this happen once. It is frustrating. Somehow your patch did not completely adhere to the innertube. Dirty patch? Dirty innertube? Cement too dry? Patch not completely pressed on? These, and more, can result in a patch that does not completely adhere. I hope this does NOT happen to you.)

Happy riding! Gerhardt in Portland Apr '07

3. Take apart, clean, and properly reassemble a bicycle.


At first glance this appears to be a big task with bits left over after the reassembly. For this requirement all that is intended is the ability to remove both wheels to aid giving the bike a good clean. A more detailed disassembly is required in the advanced honor (cleaning bearings & regreasing). Even in the advanced honor taking apart a bike completely is not intended.

4. Adjust the brakes and front and rear derailleur properly.


WikiBooks Derailleur Adjustment

Rim Brakes

Most bicycle brakes use a lever on the handlebars to pull a cable: that cable draws together a pair of brake arms, pressing the brake blocks (aka pads or shoes) against the rim of the wheel. Friction between the blocks and the rim is what slows the bike down.

First, check that your tires are inflated to their correct state, since any faulty pressures will confuse your efforts.

Check that you have good brake blocks and rims. Rims should be free of corrosion and dirt, and the brake blocks should be appropriate for the rim. Replace worn blocks in pairs.

  • To clean steel rims of rust, use wire wool.
  • Avoid getting harsh cleaning products on the tires. Degreasers may corrode rubber.
  • Leather-faced blocks are best for steel rims.
  • Do not get oil, grease or wax on the rims or blocks.
  • Excess dirt on rims and blocks will make them wear out faster.
  • The rubber brake blocks need to be aligned with the metal rims, but the leading edge of each block should be slightly closer to the rim than the trailing edge. This prevents brake squealing and is called "toeing-in". Use a coin or piece of thin cardboard under the back end of the block as a spacer when adjusting. Some suggest tying an elastic band temporarily to the trailing end of the block instead of a spacer.
  • To make the adjustment, slacken the screw holding the block then swing the brake arm in so that the block is pressed squarely against the metal rim, then retighten it with your "toeing-in" device in place. Do one block at a time.
  • When both blocks are aligned correctly, decide whether the distance of the blocks from the rims is correct by trying the feel of the brake lever, or by reference to your handbook. V-brakes might need only a 1mm gap, while others will have different settings. If a significant adjustment is needed, it should be done by resetting the cable length, but if a small change will do then use the handlebar barrel adjusters, installed near the brake levers.
  • To reset the cable length slacken the brake cable clamp and let the brake side arms relax. Adjust the position of the blocks by moving in both of the side arms until the blocks nearly touch the rims. Retighten the cable in the clamp. This may take a couple of tries to get the blocks close to, but not touching, the rim.
  • A fine adjustment may be made with the barrel adjuster. If not on the handlebars it may be near the brake blocks. A locknut keeps the adjustment in place. If the brakes just need a small adjustment, this fine adjustment may be all you need. Screwing the barrel adjusters all the way in before making brake adjustments will allow the widest range of outward adjustments at a later date, though leaving a couple of threads showing on the adjuster will allow a slight inward adjustment of the blocks if it is needed.
  • Rotate the wheel to check brake clearance. If it slows too soon then some thing is rubbing. A regular, periodic rubbing when the wheel is spun indicates that the wheel is out of true and needs to be trued. (See: Truing a bicycle wheel.). Sometimes the blocks just need moved out minutely.
  • The brake should be centered so that both blocks apply equal pressure to the rim. The method varies:
  • For side-pull and centre-pull brakes, slacken the central retaining bolt and correct the position of the whole brake assembly.
  • For cantilever and V-brake systems, there is a spring-tension adjusting screw on one or both of the arms. Adjust these to bring both arms into balance. Screw it in to move the block further out.

5. Know and practice courtesy and safety rules in bicycling.


Wear a Helmet Bicyclists and bicycle passengers under 18 years old are required to wear helmets.

Always carry identification. Especially when riding alone, carry identification with your name, address and an emergency phone number.

Always ride with traffic. This is the law. Motorists are not looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road.

Observe stop signs, signals and basic right-of-way-rules. Bicycle riders on public streets have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers. Cyclists are part of the normal traffic flow and are entitled to share the road with other drivers. Like drivers, bicyclists must yield to pedestrians.

Keep clear of the door zone. Try to ride a door’s width away from parked cars. If you have to ride in the door zone, ride very slowly. You have the right to ride in a traffic lane if it is too narrow to share with a car.

Use hand signals. Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do. Signalling is a matter of law, of courtesy, and of self-protection.

Keep both hands ready to brake. You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain and heavy fog, since brakes are less efficient when wet.

Ride a well equipped bike. Be sure your bike is adjusted to fit you properly. For safety and efficiency, outfit it with a bell, rear-view mirror, rack or basket, lights and reflector. Carry a water bottle, bike pump and patch kit. Wear a helmet. Keep your bike in good working order.

Don’t weave between parked cars. Don’t ride out to the curb between parked cars, unless they are far apart. Motorists may not see you when you try to move back into traffic.

Follow lane markings. Make left and right turns in the same way that cars do, using the same turn lanes.

DON'T wear headphones.

DO pull over if you need to use your cellphone.

6. What is the advantage of wearing a cycling helmet?


A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head. Traditionally, helmets have been made of metal. In recent decades helmets made from resin or plastic and typically reinforced with Aramid fiber (e.g. Twaron or Kevlar) have become preferred for most applications. Designed for protection of the head in combat, or in civilian life, from sports injuries, falling objects or high-speed collisions.

Helmets are common in the military, construction, mining, and some sports, including American football, baseball,, ski, snowboarding, ice hockey, equestrian sports, motorsports, and rock climbing. Motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets are compulsory headgear in some jurisdictions; in the United Kingdom only Sikhs are allowed to ride motorcycles without wearing motorcycle helmets. Bicycle helmet compulsion and even strong promotion has been a heated subject of debate amongst cyclists and scientists since at least the 1990s, lately focusing on alleged net protective effect at the population level.

7. Have the following riding record

  • a. Take three separate 10-mile (16.1 km) rides in different locations.
  • b. Take a 50-mile (80.6 km) ride in ten hours or less.

8. Know how to read a road map by routing out your 50-mile (80.6 km) course and following it accurately on an actual ride.