We all knew cycle safety would be on the front pages this week - with the Times's #cyclesafe campaign being given renewed impetus - making the Guardian jealous and impressing Cyclists in the City. British Cycling was fully in support of the related Parliamentary inquiry which began its call for evidence.
But then, with Wiggo's crash - in an all too classic collision, followed shortly afterwards by Shane Sutton's, cycle safety really hit the headlines, and of course the bike blogs. For Keme Nzeram it was there but for the grace of God go all cyclists, while Gnomicide wants to see an end to the mutual respect rubbish. IAM's duff stats got wheeled out, inevitably by the BBC (the Director General has at least done the decent thing and resigned) while the accident got Cargobike Dad thinking about his own crashes. For Matthew Butt, it casts doubt on the provision of different infrastructure for different cyclists, while Dead Dog Blog pointed out we need to be clear about what we want - which for one Glasgow based cyclist is simple - and Cycling Info didn't have anything to add, so gave us some nice photos of commuters in Oxford instead.
It wasn't just Wiggins, of course, in a week when the death toll for cyclists reached 105 this year, including one 94 year-old. One of the most recent had his own Olympic connection - and his friends and family put up a bilingual blog to bring us the person behind the latest sad statistic. With some cycle campaigners horrified by the renewed focus on danger - a particular fascination of the media, it did seem a fearful week. Thinking About Cycling brought us one case study of someone who simply won't cycle while Magnatom got an email from someone who's just given up and even Rouleur magazine finds London commuting is getting worse. While Rob Penn claims it's still worth the effort and Ellen McAteer refuses to be frightened off her bike, Sustrans hopes that 2013 will be the year for safer cycling (not a moment too late for Scottish cyclists if so). If you're wondering about the numbers, Cycling Info has all the stats in one place - and should you decide to take to two legs instead, it may not be much safer as long as our cities continue to be built around the needs of cars. And even if you avoid the car itself, watch out for passengers flinging things.
Meanwhile, in what we might call the 'other Wiggins effect', his accident did seem to bring out the hater, including 'type 4' - the codger (who does occasionally have a bit of a point). Even in Amsterdam, cycling can be seen as a problem - although New Zealand's haters really take the biscuit. Stepping back a little, Mark of ibikeLondon's Street Talk gets Rachel Aldred thinking about cycling and identity.
The other big news this week was the American election, with both Grid Chicago and Transitized looking forward to what a second Obama term might mean, and one president's grandson losing it completely and driving into a cyclist. Meanwhile Streetsblog wonders if how your streets look predicts how you'll vote and Copenhagenize writes a letter to all politicians - let's hope he gets a better answer than Renee Van Bar did from one of ours. Closer to home a petition is launched for safer streets around Elephant and Castle, while Lancaster Dynamo keeps up the pressure for a safer A6. The Alternative Department for Transport would just like to see an end to propaganda while the Scottish Greens would like the government to fix the roads they have instead of building new ones. Living Streets doesn't get much response from our Police Commissioner candidates - while the ECF makes the European Budget row suddenly more relevant to cyclists by wondering if there will be funding to finish the EuroVelo network.
Meanwhile the consultation season grinds on with Dr Aldred responding on the A24 just as Croydon starts consulting on improvements to its town centre, although Croydon Cyclists experienced just how powerless its cycle forum is. Non-cyclists aren't too happy about shared use in Shepherd's Bush either. A huge urban motorway in Liverpool gets little for cyclists except maybe some bike washing while in Newcastle, the new 20mph zone is still surrounded by too many fast roads. In Ireland, a greenway proposal looks flawed while Greener Leith brings out its own vision for Leith Walk. Meanwhile, Singapore is about to get its cycling completely reimagined
Perhaps what's needed is some novel ideas to put the needs of the 'interested but concerned' rather than the 'combat cyclist' at the heart of policy. Like making children transport planners, joining with the wider 'livable agenda', asking for less cars, more dancing or just making drivers wear 'idiot' signs. Planners could try listening to what cycling campaigners have to say (which they actually are in Oxford) - or consider scrapping rule 64 of the Highway Code.
Anyone paying attention last week might have thought bikes saved New York, post Hurricane Sandy - except in the New York Post where they brought chaos. Yet somehow NewYorkers were still being advised to get about by bike, deliveries of supplies were still on two wheels, and a doctor was even spotted doing house calls. Even more amazingly than that, the bike paths were being cleared of the first snow as the Invisible Visible Man finds that there's just a whole lot more weather in New York than in London. Still, at least nobody would be mad enough to cycle during a hurricane, would they?
Back on the family front, Dead Dog Blog wonders why it's so hard to put lights on a child seat (it couldn't be that family bikes are just for Saturday rides in the park, could it?) - no wonder Mum and Dad are urged to drive their little darlings down to the Excel Centre - but Hum of the City finds the only real problem with a Bullit is all the attention. A Grim North relives his own childhood with a trip down memory canal - while an army of kids waiting for a bus reward cyclists with high fives all round (that's one more reason to put the bike lane *behind* the bus stop, not into the side of it, UK planners take note).
Further afield, in New Zealand Sexify Bikes has been busy sexifying a road, in photoshop anyway, while Tokyo by Bike wishes Tokyo's bike commuters could be a little less anarchic and Cycle Space is still having a conversation with his imaginary Dutchman. In the US, Biking in LA attempts to clarify the law on cycling in crosswalks and fails while one Florida neighbourhood is severed by a six-lane highway without even a crossing. Meanwhile nothing says Copenhagen like a bike pump at an airport (or a parking lot, apparently) - but (part of) Copenhagenize questions whether it needs a bike share programme (as will many Londoners as Boris Bike costs double).
It's been a depressing week, frankly, so we're ending with the good news. Like the chance of a a free (recycled) bike for instance. Mr Happy Cyclist finds himself pleasantly surprised on a visit to the First Bus depot - AND he got to drive a bus. Crossrail at least knows how to put cycling first during construction projects, while Chicago is racing to complete 30 miles of buffered and protected bike lanes by the end of the year. Cycleicious salutes an inspiring campaigner while Bikes in motion reminds us we should remember to say thanks. Cycling Dutch hits a blog milestone and celebrates with more happy cyclists - while over here, well, it's deeply unfair of course, but I defy any cyclist not to enjoy this cautionary tale.
Just don't try and trigger any speed cameras yourself, ride safe, and come back next week...