Blog Roundup 11/2012

Well, it's Mother's Day - and while I'd love to be putting together a grand mother-themed blog roundup this week, unfortunately mother-and-cycling blog posts were a little thin on the ground, possibly because mothers don't cycle much here because cycling in the UK is still something fit men with no dependents mainly do or, more likely, because mums are mostly too busy to blog. Are you a cycling mum? Did we miss you and your fantastic blog? Let us know in the comments

So what was happening this week in bike-blog land? An accidental revolution, it turns out. Just as Magnatom was wondering if it was all worth it a group of talented bloggers and cyclists - and your own correspondent - were putting together a plan to pedal on parliament (that's the Scottish parliament, for those wondering 'didn't that happen already?'). Launched with the obligatory cheesy local paper shot - it has already put a smile on someone's face. More details from and Bike Biz too. Taking one step in the right direction, Lothian Buses release a training video that's actually pretty amazing - if you think bus drivers have it easy, then think again. That aside, until the revolution comes, if you're cycle commuting in Edinburgh you'll still need your suit, helmet, toe clips and thousand yard stare.

Where next for the 28th April ride-on-parliament idea? It looks Northern Ireland could do with a cycling revolution to tackle its obesity epidemic...

Meanwhile, down south where the big bike ride idea began, Bike Radar wonders if London's cyclists could decide the next London mayor. London Assembly members seem to think so and are signing up to the Love London, Go Dutch petition in their droves, and Londoners on Bikes are leaving nothing to chance and complete their first tour des bikeshops. Despite having no road safety plan yet, Boris claims to have spent £200m making cycling safer in London, prompting Cycalogical to ask where the diamond-studded bike lane paved with gold can be found. Perhaps they should book a spot on the Living Streets transport hustings to find out?

Wherever it is, Estudio27 still found the London bike hire scheme too scary to try out (while the Cardiff one has been quietly dismantled). Could this be because cyclist are being ignored in junction designs like King's Cross, or at Vauxhall gyratory? Amazingly, neither made it onto Sustrans list of the top ten worst roads to cycle in the UK - but admittedly there was stiff competition. Unimpressed, cyclists stage a die in at City Hall. Meanwhile, reminding us why this is all so important, the parents of Ali Nasralla, killed while cycling home from school, call for more 20mph zones.

As Bicycle Dutch gets all nostalgic about 80s cycling promotion campaigns, the Road Danger Reduction Forum wonders what's really changed since 1985 (not much, it would appear, with job seekers being told to get on their bikes). Bike Biz wonders when the joy of cycling part of the Times's campaign will start. Perhaps the Summer of Cycling launch is more their sort of thing? Norman Baker phones his speech in (but hang on till the end through all the promotional guff for Kats Dekker and Karl on Sea).

Moving away from politicians and capital cities, Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester wonders where all the bike bloggers have gone - apart from Chester (and Wrexham) of course. In Bristol, one correspondent wonders if they should have a 'cycle free' day - and if that was satire, Bristol Traffic thinks they should try a little harder. Still, at least some places are seeing the extra money announced last week, with Calderdale getting a Dutch-style bike hire scheme.

In the 'you couldn't make it up' department, a convicted drunk driver is appointed head of transport and environment which may explain the steady stream of 'Friday Facilities' from As Easy as Riding a Bike. And remember that safer, traffic-free route to the Olympics? Guess when it's going to be closed ... no, go on, guess. (And if you do manage to cycle up the Lea Valley it won't be as idyllic as its name suggests.) 

It's funny, we look across the Atlantic & see what's going on in New York and Chicago & feel envious while they look back at what's going on in Westminster and feel the same while a road narrowing, traffic calming scheme in Brooklyn is turned down - with the suggested alternative being UK style railings and staggered pedestrian crossings. Sorry about that, guys. Bike Snob takes on the vehicularists and generates a lot of sustainable energy, if nothing else. Meanwhile, as the UK and US argue about whether to build bike paths at all, the Dutch are busy making theirs more environmentally friendly.

Help my Chain came off may still be looking back to winter but it's spring and apparently that means it's time to go visiting to see if the grass - or bike lanes - are greener somewhere else. Naturally Cycling went to Copenhagen, lucky girl. Mike Rubbo went to Sydney and finds them making progress, the Urban Country visited Brussels and found road warriors and hi-vis, and Kevin Mayne visted Taipei and found hardly any cyclists at all. Closer to home, Real Cycling visited some Gormleys while some cycling Rabbis plan to visit the length of Britain.

Moving on to the odds and sods department, Thinking about Cycling asks if we need to move towards a bicycle system. The uncategorisable Graeme Obree muses on compulsory meccano and other brilliant ideas (and we can't decide if external airbags come under this category or not. Fine if you only make a habit of being hit by Volvos, I suppose). And speaking of brilliant, if somewhat left field, ideas: who's up for national 'Ride like your Gran' day? There's no question that this is a properly brilliant idea though: the buffalo, a bike for Africa (though isn't there already an Africa bike? Still, it's a big continent, it can have more than one).

Want better bike parking? How about asking for it?. The worst thing that can happen is you get turned down for a job you never applied for...

And finally, for that cheerful little sign-off link at the end ... though I was tempted by the Wile E. Coyote bike lane (only don't tell UK roads departments, it will give them ideas), in the end, the slot could only go to the fantastic Dick Bruna and his creation Miffy ... prepare to have the cockles of your heart most thoroughly warmed.


Thanks, there is some wonderful stuff this week!! :-)

thought you'd like it

AKA TownMouse

yours is the first link already Kats!

AKA TownMouse

A mother's day related one from mum to be (at that time :-) Sarah sharing her experiences of cycling while pregnant:

Will have to add that to the next one...

AKA TownMouse