It's May and, allegedly, spring and the time when bike events of all kinds start to hot up. Starting this weekend with Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh which will gather cyclists from across Scotland and should be bigger and better this year. For those further south, there's the latest seaside safari while the A10 Corridor ride will be highlighting how poor current provision is for those outside central Cambridge. Looking to the future, As Easy as Riding a Bike will be going to the Cycling Embassy AGM, civic movements will be reclaiming the streets of Europe's most congested city, and Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester needs your help to create giant cyclist. As you do. Meanwhile The Road Danger Reduction Forum reminds us not to forget Spain while Budapest celebrated its last Critical Mass - with its biggest ride ever.
May is also America's Bike month, now massively improved by having its own beer. You can debate the pros and cons of these sorts of campaigns, but they may help to encourage the 'ah buts' - who don't even think of cycling, get local politicians onto bikes, if only for a day, help build a cycling habit perhaps through group commutes (as long as you don't break the commuter code and, you know, talk to someone) and generally act as a gateway into subversiveness. Seattle Bike Blog is encouraged by the kindness of strangers and the incidental cyclist by all the other cool cyclists while icycleliverpool would just like to know where their free coffee and donuts are. Similarly with Bike to School day spreading across America, with impressive results, Chicargo wishes some of the effort went into making it a year round proposition. People for bikes learns some important lessons from riding with a four-year-old, while Streetfilms charts how American children have lost their freedom to roam.
With summer approaching and holidays being planned, bloggers were off on their travels with the Vole o'Speed discovering much has changed in Cambridge and Magic Roundabouts taking a tour of Swindon's cycle paths. Further north, Instography explores bike lanes of Dalgety Bay while other paths in Fife are almost unusable on a road bike which must surely count as a bit of a major flaw. The Cambridge Cycling Campaign will be touring Oldenburg and Bremen while a NewCycling member reports from Berlin, one of Europe's fast rising cycling cities, and K. Visitors to Amsterdam doen't let an injured foot stop them enjoying cycling while Bicycle Dutch offers us a bit of poetry in motion in the form of an Amsterdam roundabout and cyclists in Utrecht are to be lured onto less busy routes by better signage (and, mysteriously, actors). Further afield, the Brompton Diaries take to the wondrous Greenway in New York, London Cyclist discovers a cyclign paradise in Belize, Tokyo by Bike discovers Kanazawa, a city that just 'gets' cycling and Richard Branson discovers that Australia has helmet laws the hard way.
This was also the week that Ellie Blue declared the debate over: bike infrastructure benefits everyone, they're safer and they're good for business and what's more businesses support them although the news doesn't seem to have reached LA yet. The Guardian asks if it's time we moved beyond pilot studies and started just implementing what we know works but Buffalo Bill feels we should look to Hackney, not abroad, and Scotland's government is still looking to the sixties. But the bike is now the only means of transport for the man about town, not to mention the key 'twee millenial' demographic. Certainly Dutch bike companies are eyeing up the British market (they've got one convert already), while a British bike company attempts to crack America.
Coming back down to earth, an appeal is being considered in the Audrey Fyfe case, which has triggered Dead Dog Blog to go bareheaded on principle while Tom Allan forgets you mustn't read the comments. A doored cyclist is attempting to get strict liability established in the UK while the new victims of crime code misses out most victims of road crimes. In America, the pedestrian death toll is disproportionately, poor, old and black although Maryland's police are at least beginning to enforce the law and finds it like 'shooting fish in a barrel' - perhaps they could come to Edinburgh. In Australia, Queensland cyclists would like a safe passing distance law in the wake of another death - perhaps they need to give them the look while, despite the headlines, it's still drink driving not texting that's causing serious casualties. The ECF unpicks the complicated world of casualty statistics while Emily Chappell considers the unseen and unregarded of cities that bear the brunt. Americans consider five suggestions for increasing safety for cyclists (we know which one we choose) - strangely none of them includes 'don't allow cyclists to be served at drive thrus, although surely it's just a matter of time.
New word of the week for us was 'Nonsultation', or the consultation exercise where any inconvenient results are just ignored - Andrew Burns, leader of Edinburgh City Council, puts his side of the issue to Greener Leith. Elsewhere Great Gas Beetle isn't happy to see bike improvements consigned to the details while as the 'big dig' in Lancaster fails to make space for the bike any objections fall on deaf ears. Tufton or Death wants to know locals' voices can be heard as Living Streets urges councils to give local people a voice - and the Bristol Cycle Campaign just goes ahead and launches its own manifesto.
As Boris goes cycling in the Telegraph, and Ed Miliband rescues a cyclist in distress, the London Cycling Campaign interviews Andrew Gilligan about his new role as Cycling Commissioner of London. Dave Horton points out it's a sad state of affairs that we have to petition our government even to get cycling debated, while Magnatom points out that when you're dealing with politicians mere logic won't get you very far - and Pedal on Parliament reminds them that cyclists aren't just a tiny minority but their voters. In Westminster, councillors also seem to view cycling as something 'others' do while the Alternative DfT wonders who actually needs to own or drive a car in Soho - Simon Cowell, apparently. Rachel Aldred considers what a cycling strategy would need to do while As Easy as Riding a Bike considers how the Portas Review missed a trick - and Andrew Lainton uncovers that Pickles Parking Policy in full.
Elsewhere, the Tyne cycling tunnel is to be closed for 12 months, the Wandle trail is to be upgraded and plans for an old railway line are debated in Edinburgh. Croydon is to bid to become one of Boris's 'mini-Hollands' and record numbers applied for cycling cash in Scotland - although it still pales into insignificance when you look at what's being spent on roads although car journeys continue to fall across the UK. Leicester Cycling Campaing looks at some options for segregation as Bike Biz considers whether Birmingham New Street's demand for prettier bikes is a hoax or just a bit of back pedalling.
In the US, cyclists (at least the slenderer ones) are counting down the days till New York's bike share opens and responding to the scheme's critics - and Dublin's bike share is expanding too. with communities across America embracing complete streets, Connecticut is to get its first ever cycle track while Boston plans a greenway network, Washington expands its cycle tracks and Chicago plans to remove parking to make space for proteced lanes, but places like Missoula - a city locked down by the motorcar - still have a long way to go. Even in Italy and Tokyo bike lanes are going in.
On the engineering side, Ranty Highwayman says we should learn from the Romans and follow desire lines - while SimCity discovers the impact of car parking ruins the game as well as cities. Designers could try including a few bikes if they want us to take their claims seriously - while engineers need to wake up to active travel. Bike Portland discovers how streets being remade to be about more than just moving people around. As the Bike League considers what makes a bicycle friendly community, Atlantic Cities considers how Washington could be connected to its waterfront, currently severed by a huge highway.
And finally, if any of you need reminding of the many marvels wrought by bikes, we see how they are helping wounded veterans in America, transforming lives in Africa and just generally keeping us awesome into our eighties