Blog Roundup 7/2012

This was the week of the Flash ride on Westminster and the MPs debate - and I'll get to that inabit - but first we must mark the passing of a really great blog, A View from the Cycle Path. David Hembrow has inspired a whole generation of cycle campaigners in the UK, and provided an absolute gold mine of facts, photos, analysis, comment and video over the years. He formed part of the inspiration behind the Embassy and his presence shall be missed. He explains here why he has taken the blog down (although he will continue to blog about bike bits and of course the study tours will continue). His recent collaborator, Mark Wagenbuur has taken up the baton with his own blog hosting his excellent videos, but this still leaves an enormous gap to fill.

Onwards, then, to Westminster and the MP's cycling debate. In the run up, Bristol Traffic was pleased to learn that their MP and the BBC were both on their side and Pineapple bikes also got a letter from her MP. Cyclists in the City took a look at the issues while Cameron himself got the whole thing off to a great start by admitting on Prime Minister's Questions that you took your life into your own hands cycling on the roads. That was enough to persuade South London Cyclist to go on the Flash Ride beforehand.

And what a ride it was. For The Year Zero it was their first ever demonstration - along with up to 2000 others according to (and at least one glamorous granny - and no, we don't mean Mark). The next day, more than 70 mps gathered to debate, with - among other suggestions -Yorkshire MPs urging discounts on the rates forbusinesses who sponsor bike lanes. Vole o'Speed wonders why it's a party political issue while the Road Danger Reduction forum wonders whether it will make any difference and the Guardian wonders if this means cycling is now mainstream (albeit a bit suicidal). Sustrans reminds us that cycling needs to be backed up by funding, not just warm words. ibikelondon thinks it's the start of something, anyway, while Chester cycling has some ideas of where it should go next and Highbury on Foot reminds us it's as much an issue for pedestrians (which is all of us, after all) as cyclists.

If you missed the ride, never fear for the big one is already planned for April 28th. And for those north of the border plans are already afoot for a ride to Holyrood as well. Our very own Chairman Jim has already made the trip north, and not just for the beer.

Meanwhile, we'll just keep on designing our own infrastructure with As Easy as Riding a Bike looking at all-way green junctions and Paul James tackling big urban crossroads, inspiring Traffikin Tooting. Karl McCracken looks at how the proper grown up engineers do it. Somebody must be listening somewhere because - stop the presses - a bike lane is created in London that acknowledges the problem of the door zone (perhaps the whole hog club could help - by getting cars right off the road and onto the pavement - or perhaps Downfader has the answer). But do bike paths actually promote bike riding? Depends on the path. Or perhaps they cause pollution? More from the US of eh... 

Meanwhile, back in the real world, no timetable has been announced for TfL's much vaunted review of dangerous junctions and the roundabout is to remain at the Elephant. Another dangerous junction is planned in Oxford and the People's Front of Richmond just finds this whole infrastructure thing confusing. As Vole O'Speed points out, it's the 'roast beef' of infrastructure design we need, not its confectionary. After all, as Kats Dekker points out, a little clarity helps everyone.

Are we - and the Times - 'dangerising' cycling? Chester Cycling looks at the issues while the ETA calls for an end to complacency. Karl McCracken points out that statistically cycling is safe - but it's still amazing we don't all get killed. Eleanor Beasley finds pregnancy changes her perceptions of what's safe and Own the Road tackles London's doughnut of inaccessibility. Lowering the tone, The Cycling Front of South Gloucester has a few suggestions for a local version of the campaign logo (which they then go on to improve still further).

Are ghost bikes an eyesore or just another way of remembering that someone has died? A nice rejoinder to an ill-tempered article - and a slightly sarkier one from Chester Cycling.

It's better to be alive than right - as an Indiana cyclist is proved right in court and then killed by a car - but sometimes a little cosmic justice does prevail - and on this side of the pond too, as helmet cams secure convictions in some recent cases.

Up in Scotland the Highlands gets its first cycle-friendly school (they don't appear to have flattened the mountains though). Best to start them young, though maybe not with a 24-mile road ride - at the age of seven.

What really gets people's goat? Pavement cycling, as we all know - or is it? Place & Space discovers dangerously parked cars are the real bother. That and dangerous roads - 56% of Brits feel cycling is unsafe in built up areas - Sam Saunders looks at the figures in more detail.

In Southhampton, the results of their cycling survey is online - Downfader considers what a national audit might look like

Are bicycle cultures born or made? Amsterdamize puts his ambassadorial hat on for the ECF.

It's the house prices, stupid an opportunity for Albert Square (not that Albert Square) - and how much more house could you buy if you got rid of your car? Could this be how we get the Daily Mail behind a cycling campaign?

And finally, in the 'answers to unanswerable questions' section of the blog roundup: Ever wondered why women don't go on more group rides? Brown Girl in the Lane is here to help (hint: try talking to the few who do show up). Want to cycling in your work clothes? Still want to wear hi vis? get a job in construction biking in High Heels advises. And what's worse than not consulting cyclists? consulting them, according to Kats Dekker. That's all folks - but be back next week, and keep on blogging because we can't do this without you...