Oh okay, there's really nothing about tax dodging* this week but we like to be topical here in our secret tax* haven at the Cycling Embassy. So, having got you in here on false pretences, how about some interesting research instead, like the final report of the Cycling Cultures study of the least bad cycling areas in the UK? Or this rather lovely visualisation of Britain's journey into work? (the Newcastle picture is perhaps the reason why Kats Dekker's mental map is a bit mental) Or could you provide Cyclestuff with more data? Or would you like to meet Dr Ian 'blonde wig' Walker and other fine folks at the Bristol Cycle Fest? Or have you some bright - indeed award winning ideas of your own?
If we live in a low cycling culture now, how can we bring about a revolution? You could do worse than start with Bruce McVean's Liveable London presentation - or you could just ignore millennia of evolution and tell people to take the lane. As Easy as Riding a Bike finds that one visitor the the Netherlands has realised why we don't do it in the road - as does Bike Style Spokane - at least when we start to get on a bit. We could look at the pros and cons of a road diet (which doesn't mean eating tarmac after a minicab sends you flying). We could get thousands of cyclists out for one night only - or we could have so many cyclists out all the time that parking and congestion become a problem. We could turn UK road design on its head and consider the needs of children or we could just make polka dot helmets more widely available. Either way we should probably avoid selling it as green and we should definitely not put all our faith in shared space - but tell the London mayor where to go (Dutch, that is).
Perhaps if we're going to bring about a cycle revolution, we need to do it ourselves - whether we're parents or not - painting our own zebras, creating our own cycling centre or just buying some (perhaps unneccessary) signs. It might make more sense than leaving it all up to the local authorities - which would be better if they either knew or cared what they were doing.
Still, there's been some good things happening locally too, with some big roads defeated, and a brand new bit of cycle track that even David Hembrow can approve of. Or then again, it can all go horribly wrong, with width restrictions in Islington that make everyone feel less safe and a fight over an alleyway in Bath that might go all the way up to the minister.
Reminding us why all this matters hugely, was news that fifteen cyclist a weeke were injured in Scotland last year. And - despite Mark Cavendish's call for strict liability laws - a driver was let off because the cyclist he killed didn't have a bright enough light while another driver was cleared after killing two brothers because the light was too bright -an acquittal that the Cycling Silk found pretty odd. Bristol Cars was delighted to find that the moment of madness defence had spread to London but was distressed to find that the police were actually listening to cyclists on enforcement (although the Cycling Silk didn't have the same impression). Bicycling looks at why it's cyclists who kill who get all the attention. But at least in Sussex a bike was once more helping the police with their enquiries - and in the US, a man goes for the wierdest attack on a cyclist yet and wins hands down. And finally, we don't usually link to tweets, but this one on pavement cycling is practically a blog post in itself
Too much - or too little - light aside, what's really endangering cyclists? The Ontario Chief Coroner has been looking at four years' worth of cycling deaths and, while the helmet debate (as ever) garnered all the attention, primarily called for complete streets. While the Green Ideas Factory wondered if the ECF had sold out to "big helmet" the Alaska Dispatch was sure it was bike lanes not helmets that make cyclists safer and the New York mayor agrees (or perhaps they should just ban Strava?). Got an opinion, one way or another? Let the London Assembly know.
It's always salutary to see ourselves as others see us. Like the uncritical reception the gospel according to Boris got in Canada (along with admiration for our cycle training) - or this American eye view of cycling in London where 'Darwinism prevails'. At least some minicab drivers got to experience a bit of what a cyclist feels like, while David Hembrow gets some good feedback. In Helsinki they're about to start looking down on cyclists while in the US they find they may be the answer in a disaster (they may even have saved the economy). The Daily Cycle reminds us not to look down on each other while One Speed Go has a moment of connection on their commute home ... with a motorist.
In Scotland, Pedal on Parliament had a busy day and finally handed over their petition while Transport Scotland had been busy too. Magnatom takes issue with Councillor Coleman while over in Edinburgh the council says its extra cash will boost cycling - not unless the Quality Bike Corridor is improved Kim Harding counters
Across the Irish Sea, Northern Ireland Greenways discover why most Belfast bike lanes are redundant while a poorly signed contraflow leaves Belfast Bike Lanes wonder who designs these things. Further south, could Ireland be making the move to cycling?
There will be more of these in the coming weeks, but like single spies, the first Olympic blog posts have been spotted. Like this guide to cycling there. Or seeing Real Cycling grit his teeth, swallow his pride and don (but not fasten) his helmet to accompany the torch. And finally, we'd suggest they make commuter racing an Olympic sport but it wouldn't be fair because the bike *always* wins.
* The fact that there is no such thing as road tax notwithstanding