It seems to have been a contrarian week in bike blog land (so what's new you ask?). Carlton Reid kicked it off by asking why there wasn't more cycling in Stevenage - with the ECF suggesting that it offered a cautionary tale of why you have to restrict car usage too, while it triggered the Cambridge cyclist to call for an end to the phoney war among cyclists. Manc Bike Mummy unleashed the sarcasm to suggest Chris Boardman might want to go back to cycling school to learn to take the lane (while clarifying that she wasn't against vehicular cycling per se) - while Deceased Canine finds herself damned whatever she does. A fancy new bridge in the Netherlands seems to trigger complaints that it's 'just getting the bikes out of the way of cars' (and while we're misunderstanding Dutch cycle infrastructure let's knock the Dutch cities use shared space and Dutch bike paths hold you up arguments on the head too). As a report from the IEA gets Chester Cycling musing on the benefits of a privatised road network, Atlantic Cities wonders if a bicycle tax makes sense. The Ranty Highwayman considers the pros and cons of electric vehicles while Psychobikeology considers the importance of language in shaping debate, whilt that old perennial the helmet debate reaches the pages of Surgeon's News.
Of course, if you think cyclists argue amongst themselves, then try cyclists and motorists with Flying Pigeon LA providing a typical sample of arguments about bike lanes while Two Wheels and a Lady tries to call a truce - good luck with that one. Human Cyclist attempts to shortcut the 'cyclists should be licensed' debate with a simple question while Uberuce tackles the 'cyclists are all numpties argument' with another. We'll let you know if and when peace breaks out on any of these burning questions, but don't hold your breath.
After all that argumentativeness we thought a few positive bike stories wouldn't go amiss - with a New Zealand cyclist discovering the kindness of motorists, while an award winning smile demonstrates what 'cycling for all' is really about, something some visually impaired cyclists will have the chance to discover for themselves in Bournemouth. Meanwhile bikes attract people to a location, help poor farmers in India, provide cheap advertising for small Nairobi firms - and even enable you to escape an awkward date (and if you'd like to share the love here's one N+1 that won't clutter up your shed - perhaps a solution to this possible nice problem to have).
With Scottish tourism chiefs wanting to see Scotland become a cycling destination, Dave Horton wonders how the Tour will impact on cycling in the Yorkshire Dales and decides it won't do much - perhaps because of a lack of ambition for rural cycling in the UK (not that it's much better in the cities). Fortunately elsewhere in the world, people aren't so short sighted, although cycling is still the only unsubsidised form of transport in New York. A stolen bike leads to another successful exporter for a UK business - while here's one enterprising cyclist in India who probably welcomes a headwind Continuing on the good news theme, Bath Council consults with cyclists over how to spend £500k on cycling, shock, while months of tweeting and emailing finally pays off in Edinburgh (hopefully Downfader will get some results eventually too). The Innertube catches up with Kim Harding over making Edinburgh a cycling city (probably not its 'Quality Bike Corridor') and his newly launched Festival of Cycling, while Bristol's festival enters its 4th year. Bikes are to be allowed on the prom in Bognor while the Ely Cycling Campaign is to launch its cycling strategy, and Lewisham would just like to know what's going on. Not more money, probably, with the vote to back more spending on cycling being nixed by the Tories while a key route for cycling in the city could be made more intimidating for cyclists, not less. Kennington People on Bikes had an instructive day at the Lambeth health and wellbeing event, while further out in London a school discovers that bike parking without bike lanes doesn't do much, and Richmond cycle campaign looks for support for 20s plenty. In Belfast the CTC have joined protests over taxis in the bus lanes while in Ipswich, toucan crossings get closed without any alternatives being provided - and in Coventry Manifiesto would just like to see some that let you cross in one go.
Despite Kats Dekker explaining that getting people cycling is really very simple, the Parliamentary inquiry rumbles on, with the Health minister admitting she wouldn't let her children cycle on the roads - betraying a total lack of vision on how things could be changed. Bad cycling boroughs were named and shamed (that must have taken a while) while the Cambridge cycling campaign gave evidence along with Dr Adrian Davis on the health benefits (and if you'd like to help provide even more evidence then you can take part in this survey) - don't forget to tune in on Monday for the final session.
In Belfast a survey of ASLs shows who the real scofflaws are (while the Leeds Cycling Campaign tries to get some action on badly parked taxis) - perhaps this handy guide for helmet cammers (from the police, no less) will help enforcement - or failing that, just take the law into your own hands. In London, cyclists arrested at the Olympics critical mass face trial - And Bike considers the lessons so far. In New Zealand a world cyclist encounters New Zealand's helmet laws - and magpies - for herself.
More seriously, a driver is freed despite killing a cyclist in a hit and run while a Kent driver is jailed - not for killing a child cyclist, but for lying about it afterwards - and a woman is charged with perverting the course of justice over the Bristol tandem deaths. In an ageing society, drivers are ever more reluctant to hang up their car keys. In New York a seven year old is crushed by a truck - and the police blame the crossing guard while others blame the kid's 9-year-old brother - anyone but the driver or the road design, basically - while in East Portland, plans to 'realign' money from creating sidewalks to resurfacing roads are put under pressure after another child is killed.
Cycling in Dublin asks if tackling a three-lane road is a problem of education - or of road design? If the latter, then Pedestrianise London's step by step guide to improving a typical urban grid might help - while this short field guide to the cycle paths of Britain mostly gives some ideas to avoid. Cycle Space offers some answers to the tough student questions he couldn't tackle on the spot - while pointing out that bikes make the architect's job easier, not harder
With the Cambridge Cycle Campaign gearing up to visit Germany, Kats Dekker is disappointed in her German counterparts. Magnatom reports back on his Amsterdam trip part one, while London Cyclists visits Vancouver and an island in Michigan offers a glimpse of a car-free America. That's probably a long way off, especially as the US's own National Transportation Safety Board doesn't seem to consider bikes to be transport, but a New York Greenway gets some better lighting, bikes are to be allowed on the San Francisco BART for a trial run, and Portland is to spend $6 million on safety improvements. Bike share trips get mapped in Boston and Minnesota, while people get involved planning routes in Nashville and a lack of consultation triggers tension in Brooklyn. Elsewhere the Danes win prizes for their postal bikes (Royal Mail take note) and Strasbourg plans several orbital routes for cyclists.
And finally, in a hotly contested battle for comedy politician of the year, a US legislator supports a tax on bikes because they are more polluting than driving - while a senior Eurocrat pledges to make a spectacle of himself in public if 1000 people pledge to give up driving for a week.
Go on, Nigel Farage, you know you want to...