With summer approaching, it seems like half the bike bloggers were visiting somewhere else and reporting on what they had found. From a UK perspective, the most important of these was the Scottish politicians' visit to Amsterdam complete with daily reports from Edinburgh councillor Jim Orr - as well as London Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan. Scotland's transport minister briefly joined them but if his dodging of any real questions is anything to go by, didn't have much of an Amsterdamascene conversion (did you see what we did there?). Other visitors were more impressed, with Portland's Jonathan Maus taking a closer look at a busy shopping street and finding that Copenhagen revived his faith in low car streets - something Brooklyn Spokes can only agree with. Meanwhile NewCycling reports on a visit to Seville - where they don't muck about once they've decided to put some cycling infrastructure in - and Vienna, home this week to the Velo-city conference - which I'm sure will be driving the bike blogs next week, but meanwhile here are the ECF's daily roundups - including the news that Europe wants to double cycling but is not sure how. I wonder, have they asked any bike bloggers?
They could start, of course, by going Dutch (if only for the health budget's sake) - but what does going Dutch mean? Bicycle Dutch considers a rather outdated bicycle bridge that still looks pretty good to UK eyes while As Easy as Riding a Bike clears up some confusion about the Dutch bicycle street and David Hembrow gives the Ontario Bicycle Manual a thorough fisking. Rachel Aldred considers how much - and what sort - of motor traffic requires protected space for cyclists while the Ranty Highwayman looks at the costs of locking in civilised streets from the start and Cyclespace argues that for some 'destination' places it's good to share with pedestrians, as long as people have a little manners. Bike San Diego wonders how to make local avenue look more like one in the Netherlands, whil Chester Cycling considers a familiar straw man argument over whether Dutch-style infrstructure is all we need. While we're at it, the Urbanist looks at the detail of strict liability in the Netherlands, while Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester urges everyone to respond to the 'Dutch-style' revamp of Manchester's Oxford Road.
It seems to have been a disappointing week for some campaigners, with Danny Williams askign why the bike industry has been silent on campaigns for more infrastructure, and both Downfader and Buffalo Bill disappointed in the response to the Times's Cycle Safe petition (among other things). Perhaps they're all exhausted by the effort of battling for small victories. Despite American drivers wanting more bike lanes, bike lane opponents have been cherry picking numbers and even just lying - while the pesky cyclists of LA keep on putting money into local businesses (and the pesky cyclists of Sheffield ride to celebrate them) - perhaps we need to think more like sales people and less like campaigners. In Austria, CROWize Vienna wonders whether campaigning for the right to cycle on the roads is really going to help much while Urban Commuter encourages a fledgeling advocacy campaign in a small town in Canada. As Portland decides to ask women what they want (now there's a novel idea), speed dating on two wheels kicks off in Seattle. And with Bike Week approaching, remember to enjoy it and don't let the killjoys tell you you're doing it wrong...
Of course, if you are doing it wrong, that may be the fault of the environment - in Calgary, even a not very good bike lane sees cycling doubled and pavement cycling fall - while Luv2Cycle looks at the guidelines around pavement cycling here. And in Copenhagen, an in-depth look at one junction considers rule breaking and some possible fixes - you can read the full report here.
It's also the environment that affects whether kids ride - by which measure, Edinburgh has a long way to go. As Odense tries to tackle the stubborn 20% who are still driven to school (we'd file that one under 'nice problem to have'), one Edinburgh schoolgirl shows she's made of sterner stuff - forget two wheels, try one...
I wonder if you get more close passes on a unicycle? Cambridge Cyclist certainly finds the bike makes a difference while John Adams considers whether it's seatbelts that are to blame - or perhaps it's older drivers. And of course, seeing someone take up cycling can put a new perspective on what seemed like reasonable roads to cycle on. On the legal side, how much is down to what a 'significant majority' of drivers would consider reasonable driving? The Cycling Solicitor considers the legal position of cyclists injured while filtering - at least in this country they won't face this sort of injustice.
In Edinburgh, with the first Ediburgh Cycle Festival well underway (for viewers not in Scotland there's always the Bike Minded Film Festival instead), the battle continues for Princes street while the Innertube wants your blogs. In Manchester it takes more than a few barriers to close a cycle route while down in London, Charlie Holland seeks an enterprising scrap metal merchant with an angle grinder - and they might want to visit Leeds when they're done. In Cambridgeshire, a cycling summit is to be held somewhere that's easier to drive to - Ely Cycling Campaign won't be going as a result. As Sheffield gets a 'bike bus' service, Tejvan finds Oxford's rush hour traffic a bit of a shock to the system after a country ride. In Northern Ireland, NI Greenways wants to know where their missing bridge is while Fat Bloke on a Pushbike wants to know why the bike isn't suggested as a solution for G8-related gridlock. The RAC has been sticking up for the poor hard done by law-abiding motorist - perhaps they'd better rush to Bristol, Britain's new European Green Capital which aims to end car dependency. And in London, where there is some interesting lack of joined up thinking, both Two Wheels Good and Cycalogical have a good look at the CS5 plans and consultation responses.
In the US, this week's 'surprising cycling city' award goes to Indianapolis, which used philanthropic donations to help fund a network of segregated tracks - Streetfilms has the details while LGRAB wonders what local cyclists make of it. In Washington, some planned bike lanes go AWOL in favour of more turn lanes for cars while in Brooklyn a plan for safe pedestrian crossings gets tossed out for the same reason. But there are more protected bikeways planned in New York while Chicago gets wider lanes to allow bike overtaking and in Washington, bike lanes are to get protective 'zebras' (although strictly speaking they're armadillos). After all the fuss about New York's bike share, local politicians are pressing to get it extended to their area while Chicago also rolls out its scheme with rather less fuss. And elsewhere, Austria is suffering from overcrowded cycle ways, Munich follows Naples' lead and closes off a major street to traffic, Vancouver sees record turn out for its bike to work week and Belgium gets a new traffic sign (no really, it's exciting). Meanwhile in Australia, Queensland considers bicycle registration, presumably to mop up any remaining cyclists not discouraged by the country's helmet laws.
And finally with news that a 97-year-old cyclist has finally been defeated by Scotland's roads - we wonder if he should get a flying bike (although we'd prefer a picnic one ourselves) - or just move to the Netherlands... along with everybody else.