Ah, Easter, beloved by cyclists everywhere as a chocolate fest, not to mention the whole miraculous rising from the dead thing. And let's start with the resurrection side of things, with Beauty and the Bike to rise again, and Darlovelo given a new lease of life, courtesy of Darlo Bike Girl's resurrected biking mojo. Down in Bristol, the Bristol Bike project has achieved a renewal of a different kind - do take a moment to hear Dean's story.
Still on the miracles, as the bible tells us, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repenteth and the Vole o'Speed rejoices over something pleasant for cyclists in Barnet. And talking of sinners that repenteth ... (and yes, we've checked the date. Twice). In Manchester, a planned talk on 'going Dutch' has proved so popular it's had to be rescheduled (perhaps good news for this Dane) while six lucky cities are to be given fast-track protected bike lanes (the only catch is, they're in the States). Closer to home there are signs of change at Blackfriars Bridge - although at Bow it would appear that the roundabout is inherently unsafe. And celebrating any progress however minor: a bridge opens on the Two Tunnels route while Chester Cycling finds that the Chester Greenway is very nice, if a little pointless. The cycling Jim, on the other hand, is seeing things... well, Dutch people.
Less miraculous - indeed all too sad - was the need for another bereaved parent to start another campaign for safer cycling, on the A50 this time, while police name the latest casualty, Stephen Warrington, who was killed on the A1. The death of a pedestrian - at the hands of an HGV driver who'd already killed a cyclist brings the problem into sharp relief for As Easy as Riding a Bike. As British Airways launches its three-hanky weepy Boy, Kim Harding wonders why British athletes should have to take their lives into their hands to train for their sport (and presumably Levi Leipheimer and Shane Perkins would agree). Suddenly that £15 million in extra funding that was announced with so much fanfare seems very thinly spread. No wonder the British Cyclist - endangered and with a diminishing habitat - is such an embattled creature.
This time of year, of course, is also the season of local elections and hence campaigning. ibikelondon rounds up the month's events. Starting in London, the Greens unveil their road safety policies, including a cycling rep on the Transport for London Board (and what do you mean, why isn't there one already?), as Green Jenny Jones continues to press Boris on the issue of Bow Roundabout. London Mayoral candidates talk cycle safety and a joint Sustrans/Times debate is planned. Cyclists in the city compares attitudes in London to those in New York while the London Cycle Campaign compares the various manifestos, as does Dave Hill for the Guardian and Kennington People on Bikes reminds us not to overlook the importance of training. The Bike Show reckons one picture sums up the sorry state of cycling in London while the Vole o'Speed wonders simply why we aren't more shocked.
Other local elections are, of course, available. In Manchester, Naturally Cycling thinks the Greater Manchester Cycling manifesto is a little Easter present for local cyclists while Bournemouth is planning to spend 16% of its transport budget on cycling. Less cheerfully, As Easy as Riding a Bike looks at at local responses to the Times's campaign in Horsham. In Wales, Sustrans suggests three questions voters should ask their local candidates.
North of the border, (or 'here' for readers in Scotland) Edinburgh council candidates also had a hustings Kim Harding was there. In Dumfries, local candidates have been challenged to get on their bikes (while even the route recce showed what some cyclists have to put up with. Dave Brennan tries to recruit a fellow cyclist to pedal on Parliament while the Horns of Wilmington's cow couldn't wait and pedalled on parliament early. Whatever your cause, Liberal Sellout calls for a vote for mavericks.
Looking nationally, Lovelo bicycles unpicks just how much that 'road tax' really pays for while this clear (if a bit morbid!) infographic compares trips, fatalities and spending levels in the US. and the Independent wonders if we need more corporate lobbying - from bike shops at least. As Easy as Riding a Bike points out that car dependency turns parking charges into a tax while Atlantic Cities looks at the other, expanding, cost of building walkability out of the US's streets. Auckland cycling asks how best to handle a tiny cycling budget - 'make it bigger' doesn't seem to be on the menu. No wonder the city's making the cycling headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Are there such things as reverse miracles? Like a cycle lane and a bus lane being scrapped 'to relieve congestion'? Or is that just plain old common-or-garden council cockup? Meanwhile, Karl on Sea discovers that not only can you not take a bike on the Tyne and Wear metro, you can't take a bike-shaped object on it either. Sometimes it's salutory to discover outside our nice little bike blog bubble, what people really think. And that's on Pinterest, possibly the fluffiest space on the interwebs...
Even in the Netherlands, it seems, there are problems: pointless bike parking restrictions for example, and other bike bug bears, although we'd chalk up most of those under 'nice problem to have' in the UK. The Urban Country has a rosier view. A View from the Cycle path looks at what segregation means (it's not always obvious) - a good counterpoint to the new mantra of mixing where possible.
But it's Easter, so lets look on the bright side - like the fact that young people everywhere are driving less, a fact that seems to have passed the National Traffic Model by completely. Or the kindness of strangers: like this quick-thinking bus driver or this good deed mapped, although not everyone is as quick to stop and help. And good deeds aren't confined to the US, as Karl on Sea makes sure a badly locked bike is made a little securer. Clearly the cars haven't turned all of us into machines. In fact, the real downside of cycling? Suddenly you find you live too close to work.
Guys - look away now, there's nothing to see here (although, really, 10 miles a week makes you a 'hardcore' cyclist?), nothing at all. Look at this nice Evans Catalogue instead - you won't be seeing any of those distressing woman things there. Or, indeed, hardly anything female at all.
See you all next week.