Well there was only one really big story in Bike Blog Land this week. With the deadline looming for the All-Party Parliamentary Cyclign Group, Rachel Aldred found herself running out of time and Drawing Rings was running out of tabs while New Cycling, Spokes Lothian and the Road Danger Reduction Forum got something togther. UK Cycle rules called for presumption of liability while the Cycling Silk felt segregation is not the answer - while the Alternative DfT decided to take a more pictoral approach. Whether you agree or not, there was plenty of meaty stuff written, so go ahead and read it all ... we'll wait.
Oh no hang on, were you thinking of the other big story this week? Cos there was apparently some documentary on (so controversial the Guardian was reduced to passing round its single bootleg copy) that caused a bit of a stir - from Dublin to Australia. Pedal on Parliament dubbed it a phoney war while Wheels Pedals Person agreed it wasn't a war - but might escalate the conflict. British Cycling rejected the artificial 'us and them' approach (someone might want to tell Cav), while Living Streets responded by proposing putting people first. The Cycling Silk felt the real battle is with the authorities - and Sustrans thought it was overlooked - while Cycling Weekly felt the only positive aspect covered was the work of RoadPeace. Perhaps if they'd used a few more women's perspectives it all might have been less testosterone charged. With the head of the AA branding drivers who won't share the road as idiots, the Autocar view was perhaps surprisingly balanced. At least - and there is more joy in heaven at one sinner that repenteth, and all that - Magnatom had one positive outcome from his involvement, while one cyclist found that the war was continuing on the pavement too.
Meanwhile on the political front, London Cyclist felt that as ever the real victor was the car as cycling got peanuts in the Autumn statement and walking did even worse (although as the People's Front points out, cycling funding isn't for cyclists, it's for the country - something Cycling Dutch might agree with). Eltis finds one unexpected bonus from the UK's economic downturn while Belfast considers a huge flyover - as if it weren't divided enough. With the Guardian wondering if Boris's latest transport plan was an attempt to turn back time, War on the Motorist considers he needs to do more than just apologise to London's cyclists - although at least London's funding levels put the rest of the country to shame). Meanwhile, Bristol Traffic warm to their new mayor (perhaps the brainwashing is working?)
Sometimes this week it felt as if the police were the real problem, basically blaming the victim after a 12 year old dies in a collision with a van, and forming the main obstacle to the wider provision of 20mph zones. In Cambridge they do at least crack down equally on unlit drivers and cyclists - but then go after pavement cyclists on a road where it's not at all clear where the shared use path ends. Still, at least we're not in LA where there's an epidemic of hit and runs - and the police themselves park in the bike lane. Sometimes it's not the cars but the neighbourhood that's the barrier to cycling.
Meanwhile, the campaigners keep on keeping on, with Great Gas Beetle plunging down the long and winding road that is local authority cycle design while Cycling Dumfries wonders why the council makes it so hard to cycle to the gym or to the shops. Ely Cycling finds that 20mph zones take more than signs on sticks while Sam Saunders finds himself shuffled sideways once again. For those living in a car-centric community, sometimes it's just about showing up (oh and looking happy) - while Drive to Work day is counting down the days. In Portland, a grassroots campaign gears up for a major bikeway - and even in Portland it seems the grass can be greener on the other side. Meanwhile back in London, as plans for Vauxhall's Cycle Superhighway are much improved (and Calgary gets one too - well, sort of) Lewisham finds out its link is being abandoned
The devil, of course, is in the details. Pedestrianise London fixed TfL's 'early start that isnt' for them while Greener Leith has some ideas to improve the council's Leith Walk plans. This bike box seems a better option than the standard UK ASL - while never mind three feet, how does twelve grab you? I Cycle Liverpool seeks advice on improving Woolton Road while Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester finds a road narrowing scheme has made Deansgate more dangerous, not less. KAts Dekker thinks she knows why we can't have continuity at bus stops (it's the flesh-eating vampire cyclists) while Bicycle Perth has no idea what is behind the crazy cycle path of Amberton. As we consider whether it was history or infrastructure that made the Dutch a cycling nation, the Cycling Dutchman illustrates segregation versus integration through his Dad's commute and Vole O'Speed compares a typical English village with a Dutch equivalent.
From livable villages to livable cities, they need to learn to walk before they can run - as Russia might do well to learn. As cities become more hostile to lorries, Muenchenierung considers the case for cargo bikes for the last mile, Aarhus considers the last few miles for commuters, and Copenhagenize considers the practicalities of the longer commute. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more would be saved if more city planning was done through the medium of gingerbread? At least it would make ploughing through all those consultation documents a little more palatable...
And a little gingerbread would be welcome with winter upon us - or failing that some grit (and if we keep on tweeting, they might even spread it around a bit. Or at least clear up the leaves). Time to break out the studded tyres? Even in the Netherlands a little more grip might help, although Angela's Bike Blog isn't sure what the point is. Either way Bologna tackles the dangers of cycling in the snow by ... simply banning cycling
All this makes the problems of cycling in the tropics seem very far away - or of cycling in Hawaii, even if you do have to share the bike lane with golf carts. We'd even contemplate getting up at 5 am to join this weekly bike pilgrimage in Indonesia. Elsewhere on their travels, Chester Cycling has been checking out the cycle parking in Japan, while Grid Chicago discovered how Copenhagen became bike friendly again - and Cambridge Cyclist journeyed a little less far afield to compare London and Cambridge. And whether you live in Mumbai, La Paz, Istanbul or Rome - or Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool London or Manchester - the Copenhagenize Index needs your help.
With Christmas looming, it's time to consider the children - from every cycling parent's worst nightmare to a little ditty that adults could do well to remember. Uberuce fails to wax nostalgic about the good old days while, more cheerfully, here are some more Kennington Kids on Bikes.
And while we're on the good news, there was some more - from the success of Stockholm's congestion charge to the sociable bike trains of New York. With an extra 200,000 people regularly cycling since the Olympics perhaps we'll see more schemes like the Two Tunnels route. Or at least get our bike paths re-opened a bit more quickly in the future.
With cyclists now the new rich who contribute to the local economy - indeed water the whole commercial garden, it's time to be drawing up your christmas list - from this little stocking filler to a whole Grand Depart. Cambridge Cyclist has already pimped his bike out with lasers - but there are more laser-driven safety lights in development.
Oh, and finally? You know how you're all cycling around in your ordinary clothes to make cycling seem normal? The drivers just think you've been caught drink driving