The Great Big Red-Light Jumping (not really) Bike Blog Roundup

Before we start - and we've got a bit of a bumper issue for you, so I hope you're sitting comfortably - could I remind you about the Cycling Embassy AGM - although 'AGM' doesn't really do it justice, it will be a bit of a weekend cycling extravaganza. And your chance to shape the future of the Embassy, which (apart from anything else) brings you these fine bike blog roundups every week. That alone has got to be worth a little of your time, no?

Anyway, with that short message from our sponsors over, there's another tedious matter to get out of the way before exploring the outer reaches of bike blog land. Yes, the infamous IAM poll on red-light jumping cyclists, as exposed by Bike Biz and the Guardian who jumped the light on the press release and got it modified somewhat as a result. Even so, the Cambridge News reckoned it only told half the story while Kats Dekker announced she was a jay cyclist and proud of it. More seriously, Philip Darnton responded and a real pollster felt betrayed. Showing that every cloud has a silver lining, Ian Walker brought his long dormant blog out of hibernation to ask whether the whole thing was just a meme - while, writing earlier, but presciently, Sam Saunders pointed out that never mind the stats, it's how people feel that's important.

The IAM quickly hit back but by then the story had moved on with bloggers gathering statistics of their own - some thoughtful, like the observation that there's a 'lemming effect' at work, some elaborate and some just downright silly. Which, to be honest, is about the level of attention it deserves.

Pursuing a much more interesting question, the Embassy's own Cycling Jim continues to consider why people don't cycle - as Brake finds that a third of people would, but only if (stop us if you've heard this one before) the roads were safer. Or perhaps it's because as 'grown ups' we're not mature enough to share the road? In the US, some wonder where all the women are, while in Canada it's not because of distance, anyway. War on the Motorist considers that when people do, in London anyway, it's more about push than pull (perhaps bribing people isn't such a bad idea after all) while in Boston it's still the fastest way to get around in rush hour at least. And if there are cycle paths why don't people use them more? Radwagon and Downfader have a go at explaining why.

After red-light jumping, the pavement cyclist looms largest in the public panoply of evil - and you're never too young to be done for it, either. In Tokyo, the city is trying to move its cyclists back onto the roads by taking away their crossings. Kats Dekker, once more, springs to the villains' defence while Brooklyn Spoke reckons even bike parking belongs on the road.

The week after ther Welsh government proposed making safe bike routes compulsory for local authorities, Carmarthen Baywatch looks at what it might mean as does Bike Radar. If that makes you feel a little envious of the Welsh, even though Cycle stuff would still rather be Ambling in Amsterdam than Cowering in Cardiff, you wouldn't be alone. This week the grass seemed greener on the other side of an awful lot of fences: Cyclists in the City wonders how different Blackfriars might have looked if Danish approaches to modelling were adopted, and As Easy as Riding a Bike thinks some of the 'Go Dutch' models are copying the wrong city. Real Cycling casts some envious glances at Barcelona and we'd all like our cities to follow Chicago's lead and go for zero traffic fatalities by 2022 (although Portland, of course, is not at all threatened by upstart bike cities like Minneapolis). And while not all of Continental Europe is a bike paradise, the green-eyed monster gets a workout when you see what the Dutch do with their redundant roads (a phrase that has practically no meaning over here...) and certainly looking at the latest David Hembrow study tour makes me wish I was on the ferry again. Sometimes the comparisons can fall closer to home: like two suburban North London town centres only a couple of miles apart.

But Envy is a sin so let's accentuate the positive, as Downfader would like us to. Lovely Bike - on holiday in Ireland, in the hail - puts a brave face on the weather, while Bikeyface puts her acting lessons to good use and stays positive on the road. You could, after all, discover that just by cycling you have become a role model. Or find that cycling prevents cancer (that distant sound you heard was the Daily Mail imploding), or that you really, really, never forget how to ride a bike even if you've forgotten that you could. You could find that a rant against cyclists isn't what it seems. Or you find that your city being consumed by a football match is the perfect time to go exploring by bike - and in Edinburgh, increasingly, you won't be alone.

Three months on from the Times's Cycle Safe campaign launch (which is in danger of being eclipsed by its Italian cousin), they look back at what they've learned. Meanwhile the day in, day out of cycle campaigning continues - joining rail/cycle forums, and looking at local election results, celebrating a new cycling and walking bridge, helping spread 20 mph zones or - in the US - raising money for bike routes themselves. If we keep chipping away, maybe our politicians will take cycling seriously as the US Secretary of Transportation at least says he does on his official blog.

Perhaps that's because this week it was, apparently bike to work day and bike week (indeed bike month) in the US (oh and next week is the NorthWest Velo Fest, Manchester people). Better Cities explains why it's important while Biking in Heels almost misses out on her free breakfast for not looking enough like a cyclist. That's the downside of going cycle chic - but on the upside is all the fabulousness - oh and not having to deal with washing nasty sweaty kit (in a view from the other side of the handlebars). Even A View from the Cycle Path's been going cycle chic while Cardiff Cycle Chic found themselves blown away by this shot from the Sartorialist. And along with your clothes, Cycle Stuff investigates whether the bike you ride influences the way drivers behave. More research needed, we think. I wonder if we could get funding for a new bike?

Failing that, you can always hack the one you have, prompting the question, are zip ties the new duct tape? Think your bike has everything? We ask you, can it open beer? If you fancy tweaking your bike, you might find the Bike-Owner's Handbook the thing for you (but good news if you're mechanically declined: it doesn't make you a bad bike owner). And once your bike is all tricked out, how about making a little cash out of it as peer-to-peer rental comes to the bike world.

We leave you with a salutary reminder courtesy of the Highway code, and a visual demonstration of what the stuff that comes out of exhaust pipes does to daffodils if not to your lungs. Which is why - perhaps - the War on the Motorist is escalating, in Tyneside at least...

Come back next week when, for two weeks only, Chester Cycling will be holding the fort here at bike blog roundup towers. A treat in store...