OK, OK, we'll come to the big Boris announcement in a minute but a week is a long time in bike blog land and it's worth remembering just how downbeat we all felt at the beginning of the week with the Police chiefs telling incredulous MPs that they only enforce the laws they like (and then hastily clarifying matters, rather in the manner of an American politician clarifying his postion on bikes causing pollution). Naturally this triggered a fairly robust response from the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire and As Easy as Riding a Bike while the Ranty Highwayman looked in more detail into the design and enforcement of 20mph limits and zones. The rest of the inquiry evidence was somewhat overshadowed but Jon Snow spoke his usual good sense and the CTC covered it in full and the Inclusive Cycling Forum noted what was missed out. All in all, despite an incremental rise in commuting rates it seemed as if cycling was going to be put firmly back on the back burner with Peter Walker summing it up: "We could start tomorrow. But it seems like we won't". No wonder we remain so far behind the Netherlands, even if we could catch up - if we wanted to.
But then came the Boris announcement - a 'Crossrail for cycling', that was greeted to near unanimous acclaim: it could bring about mass cycling, rated 9 out of 10 from Cyclists in the City, at last a politician who can think big from the Guardian, a true cycling revolution, a tipping point, transformative, all the right noises, bringing about the normalisation of cycling, defusing tension between bikes and cars and - proof if proof were needed that this was a good thing - 'bonkers' according to the Association of British Drivers.
The LCC pronounced it ground breaking while questioning if it went far enough, while noted sceptics such as the Vole O'Speed was pleased to have been proved wrong about the mayor's commitment to cycling. Even David Hembrow was cautiously welcoming while noting that it was still underfunded (Darren Johnson would agree) while Urban Movement will be following the details of implementation closely.
London's announcement made headlines everywhere with both the San Francisco and New York Streets Blog networks hoping their own mayors raise their game. Sustainable Witney hopes to catch the wave, Great Gas Beetle would like some of the same vision in Sheffield, Dead Dog Blog considers the differences between London and Edinburgh while Spokes crunches the numbers and Cycling Dumfries notes that Scotland is falling ever further behind.
As the dust settled and it seems as if the plan was hitting the first bumps in the road the Alternative DfT wonders if we need a whip round to send TfL's project manager to Assen. The Evening Standard meets up with Boris's new Cycling Czar while Croyden Cyclists urges Croydonites to start lobbying make Croydon into one of the planned 'mini Hollands'. Meanwhile, anyone wondering what Boris's 'Quietways' might look like could do worse than to look at Hackney's parking restrictions and filtered permeability and other low-cost approaches.
Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, Dave McCraw considers what's wrong with Leith Walk - complete with a video tour - while Greener Leith discovers that improvements might be on their way (but only if external funding can be found) and then finds the council's latest plans leaked in its inbox (other methods of transparency and openness are available). Dead Dog Blog wants to see an end to the lowest common denominator approach - such as the 'Quality Bike Corridor', while farther north the Highland Cycling Campaign would like to know who's really in charge of cycling in Transport Scotland.
Elsewhere in the UK, Belfast's cycle network - or 'car park' - proves worse than useless while a rare example of a UK town taking the opportunity of a bypass to create more sustainable transport within the town is under risk. In the UK's top cycling city it's business as usual with a junction design that doesn't go far enough (perhaps something for the next Cycling Embassy Infrastructure Safari to have a look at?) - but at least the police have promised to crack down on bike theft. Leeds Cycling Campaign wonders if Leeds really has cycling ambitions - while the whole world wonders if the Spanish road authorities have gone out of their tiny minds. And even in London it was business as usual with more pointless provision in Morden, vulnerable cyclists left to fend for themselves in King's Cross (and at risk elsewhere too) and work starting on a major junction without any consultation. Local residents block a bike docking station because space for three cars is more important than space for 35 bikes.
While on this side of the Atlantic we were hanging on Boris's announcement, over the pond the Second National Women's Bike Forum was under way prompting lots of posts about getting more women on wheels: it's not just about safety, although getting rid of creeps like this might help. Glitter Gravel has some sound and trenchant advice, others suggest more babies in bike shops while Bikeyface points out just giving us some service might help too. Meanwhile a new magazine is coming out for cycling women.
What happens when those babies in bike shops grow up and want to cycle to school? Seattle Bike Blog looks back at almost a decade's change in attitudes - and walkbikeschools looks at setting up a bike train while weans on wheels has some resources for schools here. Damian Lewis supports the tour du Tufnell Park to highlight demand for safer cycling while in Sierra Leone just getting hold of a bike is transformative for some kids. And when it comes to safety, it's collisions, not headgear that pose the biggest risk for child cyclists in Calgary.
The London announcement whether it was all down to the bloggers or proof that advocacy generally works, put the spotlight on how we campaign. Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester asks if campaign meetings tend to put new folk off, while a communications expert warns American campaigners to tone down the evangelism - stop talking about cycling and start talking about business and don't even mention being anti-car - even if to deny it. As Moscow gets its first tweed ride, Magnatom reckons the last thing cycling needs is more marketing while Kim Harding wonders if we need our own conference. Pedal on Parliament, meanwhile, will be pedalling on a Sunday this year. Back at the coalface, a nasty bollard vanishes in San Jose, while a dangerous pinchpoint is going the same way in Newcastle - and the Alternative Department for Transport certainly won't be campaigning for better enforcement of ASLs. Meanwhile, Bike Portland offers a handy visual guide to what $30 million will buy you.
With transport poverty (not to be confused with actual poverty) on the agenda, perhaps we should be doing more to promote bike tourism: Thinking about Cycling considers some of the lessons from Morecambe Prom while Yorkshire does everything it can to keep the impending cycling hordes and their nasty cash at bay. Retailers in Portland are flocking to shops on bike lanes - perhaps they want to pick up the errandonneering dollar. They'd do well not to annoy their potential customers by taking up all the parking spots, although at least they aren't all hidden down a 'no cycling' underpass
When it comes to safety it seems LaHood gets it - perhaps by giving everyone a new Volvo (although that's not much use if they don't use their indicators). If you have been knocked off your bike by a Volvo driver or anyone else, act now if you want to sue - but be prepared for the medical excuse
Elsewhere, Bicycle Dutch reminds us that summer will be coming soon while Copenhagenize is pleasantly surprised by a cycle track in 'Winterpeg'. A kick-bike hybrid might offer a model for bike shares in crowded cities while in San Diego bikes mean freedom and independence for refugees.
And finally, on the planning front, it seems that the latest Sim City is stuck in the car-centric Fifties so if you want to try your hand at playing city planner you might have to use the medium of cheese instead.
We'll be back, with more fun and games next week