With the clocks going back and the darkness upon us, it's time to remind cyclists to leave their invisibility cloaks at home and turn up the hi-vis to the max (even though you can be lit up on a flourescent trike and dancing for charity from John O'Groats to Lands end and they still won't see you) (oh and don't forget your bell). And while UK cyclists wonder whether they'll ever see a gritted bike lane the Dutch prepare to gild the lily - although all is not entirely well in cycling paradise with scooters in bike lanes (though that's not unique to the Netherlands) - while Alaskan cyclists just man up and wrap up warm. At least the not at all ironic Drive to Work day is urging participants to remember their own personal protective equipment. Beter safe than sorry...
Elsewhere, the clocks were going back not just an hour but years, with the Alternative DfT doing some depressing time travel and War on the Motorist looking at what really went wrong in 1996 with the National Cycling Strategy and, more cheerfully, Mark of ibikelondon looking at how cycling campaigning has changed. In fact, with a study finally laying some vehicular cycling myths to rest, David Hembrow reminding us (yet again) that convenient, high quality paths encourage everyone to ride (and even existing cyclists go out of their way to use them) it seemed the thoughts of many a blogger was turned towards why cycle campaigners have tended to ask for second best - and why our design guidance continues to treat cycle tracks as a last resort. If we can't get decent facilities in Cambridge, where half the population cycles, then where will we? Do we need to get the vehiculars out of the planning department - or do we just need to drop our British politeness and negotiate better? Or will the whole 'infrastructure bunfight' approach just put new cycle campaigners off? Or is there simply no room for bikes to get proper provision - so we end up with a shared use path that's 18 inches wide. Meanwhile, we have to battle even for what we have: reclaiming our bike lanes from the parked cars and contractors' vehicles - or just generating our own. Some just prefer to concentrate on etiquette and parking (even shelling out £100 a year for something secure).
With consultation season in full swing, the ABD descends into truly bizarre self parody, Rachel Aldred considers (amongh other things) why it might be that traffic forecasts keep rising even as actual traffic numbers level off. In London two of the most dangerous junctions are open to consultation - and the roundabout at Lambeth Bridge's ears must be burning (if roundabouts have ears) as it is discussed by the LCC, Matthew Butt, As Easy as Riding a Bike and the CTC. Waterloo too attracted some attention, while there are questions to answer on the Vauxhall gyratory (where the cycling infrastructure is a complete joke). In Twickenham, 20mph limits will not be enough; fortunately Pedestrianise London is at hand to give it a full Sustainable Safety makeover. And it wasn't just London: the future of Bristol's old City is under debate, while the Lisburn masterplan masterfully ignores bikes altogether. And it wasn't all bad, either - Cyclists in the City urges your support for more contraflows in the city.
As our new chief whip reminds the Guardian how the Bicycling Baronet got MPs on their bikes, Bristol Mayoral candidates line up to debate cycling. One Hereford councillor shows a forward-thinking approach to traffic congestion while a South Derby councillor thinks recumbent riders would be better off going to Dignitas. Cargobike Dad would like to see more from Northern Ireland's politicians. Meanwhile the government's response to road safety meets with fairly universal disapproval - Freewheeler is a little more direct.
With this harrowing reminder of the human cost of a cycle death (though not generally to the driver), Thinking about Cycling looks into the aftermath of another fortunately less serious accident - while I Bike Liverpool anatomises a classic 'smidsy' and why junction design doesn't always help. Magnatom discovers Scotland's roads are getting safer - but only if you're in a car - and the Evening Standard points out that if Oxford Street was a mine its company directors would be in jail by now. Croydon Cyclist digs behind the scenes with Roadsafe, while Cycalogical wonders what happened to the government's better way to road safety. Bristol Traffic decides against Twitter (at least while driving)
In America (where the trees are made of old gloves and the roads are full of custard, apparently) US city transport chiefs are transforming their cities for themselves - which may explain the distribution of cycling commuters. Certainly the Mayor of New York seems to have the right idea - although someone might want to inform the NYPD. Certainly Bike Portland is impressed by the changes in the city's streets (while in DC the AAA is busy objecting to more bike lanes) In Chicago - where skateboarders may want to start campaigning for better facilities too - the city has a groundbreaking pedestrian plan - while San Francisco investigates a left turn pocket - an alternative to ASLs.
Further afield, Shanghai builds a spectacular circular pedestrian bridge, while Cycling Auckland wonders if New Zealand's cycling promoters are even awake. Canada gets ready to fight obesity through urban design. Kevin Mayne finds a mixed bag of infrastructure in Stockholm while Copenhagenize considers if you can improve a street for 'free'. In the Netherlands, where cyclists are not so much cycle chic as cycle normal, they can cycle past red lights with impunity (just not through them). And all around the world, one word sums up cycling for most.
As bikeshare schemes prove themselvesthe gateway drug to N+1 addiction, cyclists should consider whether they might need another bike - if only so you can stop and shop at the drop of a hat. No wonder bikes are better for business, solving the last mile and saving you money. But bikenomics doesn't only go one way: the Olympics effect is also attracting thieves, although at least some of them have got their comeuppance.