blog roundup 4/2012

There was only one big story on the bike blogs this week, and that was the Cycling Embassy's own Policy Bash as reported by two of its participants...

No? Oh, all right then, maybe it was the launch of a number of linked cycling safety campaigns: first one from the father of Jayne Helliwell, killed on her bike in 2010, to put cycle safety on the mayoral election agenda, then the See Me Save Me campaign to eliminate blind spots in lorries, and culminating in the Times's Cities Fit for Cycling campaign. It's fair to say that the latter probably got the most attention and was broadly welcomed by the CTC, ibikelondon, Vole o'Speed (who then unpicks the manifesto a little further), Cyclists in the City, Londonist, Cycling Intelligence, who wonders if this is our stop de kindermord moment, Green Jenny Jones writing in the Guardian, and many many others - including Karl on Sea who wonders if the Daily Mail will be next, the Environmental Transport Association who point out it's about people, not just cyclists, and Carlton Reid who discovers there's nothing new under the sun.

Pretty soon the Telegraph weighed in and in the Independent, James Moore sends the minister for Road Safety an open letter although one of his colleagues seems to be of the opinion that friends don't let friends ride bikes in London. Only the Manchester Evening News missed the memo altogether - maybe that's why Manchester Cycling had such a hard time getting non-cycling friends to sign up.

Sadly the Times campaign was too late for one cyclist in london and one in Lincolnshire (and the other nine who've died already this year on the UK's roads) while a Boris bike rider has a narrow escape in Clerkenwell. Bicycle Base Camp queries how dangerous cycling really is in London, while Cyclists in the City contrasts London with the situation in Paris where not one person was killed on their bike last year - perhaps the Guardian's data blog can shed some light?

As the campaign wore on, particularly as it got on to training and equipment, the initial excitement began to wear off for some. The Urbane Professr starts to feel the FEAR, but Jon Snow's contribution is pretty much spot on (though I'm not so sure about this licensing idea) while Chris Boardman also speaks much sense. Perhaps he should run for mayor

As the London Mayor elections hot up (other local elections are also available), Vole O'speed has look at the cycling parts of Ken Livingstone's interview in the Guardian,  Londoners on Bikes explains what they're all about and ibikelondon gets all excited. Remember, anyone can make promises before an election - Gateshead cycling forum is keeping track though...In Lancashire it seems the council finds it 'easier to rhapsodise about the joys of being a cyclist in Lancashire than to actually talk to them'.

I speak Bike finds Eilidh Cairns' ghost bike becomes more poignant every day while, As Easy as Riding a Bike discovers TfL can reallocate space when it chooses to. Kennington People on Bikes begins to wonder if TfL represents cockup or a conspiracy while in the City of London, a new bike lane appears that's actually better than nothing.

Perhaps they're just getting the wrong people to design them: in a week of policy bashing, it wasn't just us getting the coloured pens out. Kennington People on Bikes has a crack at Elephant and Castle while Cyclists in the City finds that a bunch of people on bikes are offering a better design for Tottenham Court Road and London Cyclist prefers Camden Cyclist's version of Euston Circus. Further north, Karl on Sea and Magnatom take a closer look at Advanced Stop Lines (I don't think Magnatom's a fan, somehow) while the Magnificent Octopus sums up the situation in both Edinburgh and London. In short, if you want something done, perhaps you need 'just a bunch of bloggers' to do it?

A watchdog warns the Scottish Government about emissions. Joe Dunckley explains why the Scottish budget matters, even if you live south of the border. Keeping up the pressure, Spokes meets the transport minister.

Thinking About Cycling asks who is cycling for? Kim Harding looks at the emotional marketing of cycling - making it ordinary again (although ordinary is as ordinary does, as the awesome Bikeyface discovers.) Perhaps we should take a leaf from the car adverts books and completely ignore reality.

Closing the stable door after the horse has gone department: road cc reports how a schoolboy was blinded after slipping from a shared use path while a coroner calls for side guards on all lorries.

Over the pond, Biking in LA (who's been doing bike blog roundups since before this one was a twinkle in its parents' eyes) survives a dooring while in New York you can get anything delivered by bike (and we mean anything). San Diego gets some buffered bike lanes despite the fact that bike lanes 'just put more bicyclists on the streets' (NB this is a BAD thing). And, even in America, cyclists in Holland get all the luck.

Further afield, Melbourne gets more Copenhagen-style bike lanes while the French announce a cycling incentive programme - ambitious or lacklustre, the ECF asks?

'All cyclists run red lights' so this must be them in their cars then. One who does is Wheels, Pedals, Person, who explains why she does.

Downfader is beginning to wonder whether his hi-vis jacket is actually making him less visible - or if he's just been reading the wrong Highway Code.

Help my Chain Came off examines her own somewhat paradoxical approach to wearing a helmet while the Road Danger Reduction forum looks at the Department for Transport's own research.

An opportunity for the cycling undertaker: a bicycle hearse (this is totally what I want for my funeral, family take note).

The eternal question - Drawing Rings asks what women want (and probably many of the men who don't ride too).

'You're here about the cyclist I nearly knocked over, aren't you?' Magnatom gets a little justice.

And finally, funny and a bit silly and nothing to do with infrastructure or safety or policy at all: the man who lived on his bike.