There's nothing bike bloggers like so much as some nice juicy data to play with, so the release of the census data on commuting from England and Wales was fallen upon like the last flapjack in a cycling cafe with Countercyclical having a look at Gosport and Drawing Rings producing a colour map of London. While Cambridge tops the table nationally, Hackney took the honours in London - where bikes are overtaking cars, both literally and metaphorically, Buffalo Bill considered what was behind the surge and Cyclists in the City compares its bike-friendly policies with those of Westminster. Looking at the data for Belfast, NI Greenways considers the socio-economics of cycle commuting. Elsewhere, Nottinghamshire was standing out for all the wrong reasons - while Drawing Rings considers whether the roads are safer in summer or winter.
Something for the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group Inquiry to consider perhaps, as it was hearing evidence on cycling safety this week - and heard that the law is failing cyclists. The Cycling Silk was giving evidence while the Cycling Solicitor was excited to see it trending on twitter. Cyclists in the City had a long submission while As Easy as Riding a Bike pointed out they shouldn't (only) be talking to cyclists.
There's nothing like a bit of political pressure to make the government suddenly announce some extra funding - or in this case, all too predictably, re-announce some already announced funding. New or not, it wasn't greeted with massive enthusiasm, being variously 'nothing like enough', not addressing the fundamental safety issue, not consistent enough and not so much 'peanuts' as half a peanut. Meanwhile not only is the government also quietly cutting road safety money, but the Dutch announced almost the same amount to be spent in Amsterdam alone. At least in Edinburgh 5% of the transport budget (something the Ely Cycle campaign can only dream of, despite Cambridgeshire's high cycling rates) has resulted in gritted cycle paths, while Bicycle Dutch goes behind the scenes to see how his local authority keeps everything clear.
With one of our few export successes going from strength to strength, you'd think the business case for bikes would be clear - but we're a long way in the UK from hearing local businesses calling for better bike infrastructure. In Ireland, small shops and cyclists join forces to call for an out of town parking levy - for there's no such thing as free parking (but look what you free up when you get rid of it). Elsewhere, a business sets up its own bikeshare programme - while a planned new bridge increases bikeability in Australia. Even if their customers don't cycle, some businesses are paying their employees to do it - perhaps they just want them to be happy. Lovely Bike considers what makes a workplace bike friendly while, with Obama's new chief of staff reportedly banned from his bike the Bike League has some suggestions for the White House.
Of course, what a bike-friendly employer really needs is safe roads out there - which won't be helped by letting HGVs go faster - especially not if they're like London's lorry drivers - rather than letting them speed should we be banning them altogether? Or perhaps it's the driving test that should be changed - Chester Cyclist considers his experience learning to drive, while an errant taxi has Cyclestuff dreaming of retraining as an instructor. At least traffic speeds are coming down while the next time someone claims they didn't see you perhaps the police might take their licence away on the spot. The drivers seemed to be out to get us this week, with Cambridge Cyclist suffering a near death experience while Luv2Cycle found that the idiot was behind her - and even Greg Le Mond wasn't safe on icy roads. In a world where drivers aim for turtles, external air bags might be a sticking plaster solution, but perhaps it's the best we can do. And nor should we forget that pedestrians are vulnerable to speeding cyclists - especially when they've been forced to share space.
Which brings us back to design, with Cycalogical considering Merton's best cycle route (it's not very good) and I Hate Dundee is unimpressed by a poorly designed off road route - as is Cargobike Dad. Who is to blame for the Facility of the Month-type cycle lanes? Made Good has one (conspiracy) theory while the Ranty Highwayman goes into some detail into how these things get built. Either way without ambition from the top it's hard to make progress. Time for us to start pestering our politicians - sometimes it does mean plans get improved and sometimes councillors do take action - and sometimes mayors (no, not that one) can transform a city - and of all the cities to transform LA is probably the most important. Or failing that, you could remain 'just a blogger'...
Is the lack of political will and widespread cycling because of a language issue? Or cycling advocates themselves? Or the stories aboutsuperhuman commutes - or the concentration on sport? Will Apple's smart bike system make cycling mainstream? Sometimes it just takes a bike lane going in to prompt someone to take up cycling - or being overtaken. Meanwhile Cottenham Cyclist decides to boycott the haters while it turns out that US columnists can churn out anti-cycling rants with just as much ease and lack of originality as their UK counterparts
Meanwhile, the international cross-fertilisation continues: some bloggers get all the luck as Magnatom takes his helmet camera to Amsterdam for the BBC. Meanwhile the Belgians join the bicycle road bandwagon and the Dutch continue cooperating with US cities - no wonder Chicago keeps on rolling while Atlanta has some big ambitions and New Orleans isn't all that shabby either. New York has been including bikes in its transport policy for longer than you might think - though lest we get carried away with America's conversion to active travel, Streetsblog has a look at some of the worst intersections for pedestrians - including one that takes eight and a half minutes to legally cross. Velovogue visits Sao Paulo's bike party while Portland shows the world that it can party too at its wonk night. The Urban Country looks at cycling in India from a Canadian perspective, while Cycle Space invites the world to mock Australia lest its helmet laws spread abroad...
Come back next week for more inspiration, conspiration but only a gentle amount of perspiration (if you're cycle chic, that is...)