Blog Roundup 9/2012

This week, we celebrated International Women's Day (the chaps get the other 364, apparently) and so we kick off with the news that 2012 could be a good year for women on bikes although, of course, even better would be if every year was. Any male readers out there shouldn't feel too bad though - as cyclists we all get to be an oppressed minority - or at least a loathed one. And as David Hembrow reminds us, we're campaigning for everybody.

'Eight to eighty' has become a bit of a rhetorical trope in the world of cycle campaigning, but last week there was a stark reminder that our roads aren't safe for eight-year-olds with the death of Ali Nasrulla in Kingston, while coroners have been calling for road redesigns in two separate cases. The death of a road safety campaigner walking home from his own village pub reminds us it's not just about cycling. Meanwhile, the death of a second cyclist in Edinburgh - the fourth to die in the city in 12 months - prompted calls for a safety summit - and makes the proposed Pedal on Parliament even more timely. As is the original London ride - making London safer for pedestrians, cyclists and donkeys too. (You have all marked 28th April in your diary, haven't you?). And - by way of a warmup - Londonneur will be riding Barnet's Great Divide" on March 25th.

Our politicians, meanwhile, continue with business as usual - passing the buck and doling out a few million quid here and there (peanuts, says Cyclists in the City). Or, just occasionally putting cycling at the heart of transport policy and even performing a deft u-turn and starting to take cyclists seriously. If they really do want to take cycling seriously, Urban Country has some numbers for them Perhaps, as Katsdekker says, we've reached a crossroads.

I don't know if it was just us - or too much celebrating IWD - but blogging seemed a little thin on the ground this week. Perhaps it was a general outbreak of spring fever meaning everyone was just too busy cycling? Even the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire takes a break from slagging off the council cycling team and turns its guns on the planners for a change. Fortunately the serious bike bloggers don't let a little spring sunshine keep them from their keyboards. War on the Motorist continues to fisk the UK's cycle design guidelines while as Easy as Riding a Bike tackles that perennial favourite canard that our roads are too narrow for bike lanes. Kings Cross Environment asks if cyclists were ignored when the Kings Cross junction was designed. Kennington People on Bikes considers the devil in the detail (aka more bike parking designed by people who have never seen a bike but have read about them on the internet) and wonders whether TfL might be getting its toucans deliberately confused with its pelicans. Estudio 27 asks who's easier to convince: engineers or politicians? Further north thhe Middle-aged cyclist considers segregation and compares it to the current reality.

Some of us got out and about at least. Pie Powered found the bike lane had gone from Blackfriars while Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester found that as one path opens another one closes. Down in Bristol, Sam Saunders goes looking for the flagship Bristol-Bath Railway path and finds it less than well signposted - still it will be a handy guide for th forthcoming Cycling Embassy AGM...

We all know that your sofa is more deadly than your bike, of course, which is why Horsham faces calls to make it easier to drive to the gym. That said, this study on cycling trauma makes for some uneasy reading.

Looking beyond our shores, it seems they get it in America (although maybe not everywhere - an image UK cyclists might find looks rather familiar). And it looks like they get it in Sydney too with 200km of bike way - 55km segregated - in the works. And the Dutch? well the Dutch got it a long time ago. Even in LA they're putting in a pedestrian plaza where cars once ruled (in a rather eyewatering design). All ways of breaking the transportation-landuse cycle. Or perhaps we could just trust in a magic kilt to save us from pollution instead.

Travelling with kids? it's better by bike. In fact you can start them young with the buggy bike.

Stepping into the murky waters of helmet laws Erik Sandblom offers a few facts (good luck with that one) while a New Zealand newspaper finds the only place in the Netherlands where a helmet is compulsory

On, on to the answers to unanswerable questions - some more unanswerable than others - like why do cyclists ride two abreast? Why allow coaches to park in a bus and bike lane? What else are you going to Raleigh shopper for if not taking home the shopping? Should cyclists pay for parking? And do you remember your first time?

Top tip for bike thieves: put out that cigarette first - although we reckon nobody will be attempting to steal this one (we also suggest not tackling them if they do).

Throw away those energy gels, folks, celery is what you need

Here's a nice idea - and a job for any adventurous bike mechanic.

And finally - we were going to end on this note but instead we came across this properly heart warming tale. All together now: awwwww....