Sadly it couldn't have come at a more appropriate time, in a grim week for cycling, especially for London where the death toll has become intolerable. Reactions from the cycling blogs were many and mostly furious - Nutty Xander recaps a history of failed policies, Two Wheels Good points out that if these deaths had happened on the tube network it would have been shut down by now - and Ranty Highwayman points out there are things which could be done quickly if the will was there. Darkerside felt that this was more than just an unlucky week, while Guardian readers shared their near-death experiences and the head of the Met Police describes HGVs as killing machines. There was plenty of advice for the London Mayor too as he seemed to blame the victims and trot out his standard statistic about falling deaths year on year. Instead he should have the courage to stand up for his own vision, build infrastructure to encourage cycling not kamikazes and stop prioritising traffic flow over safety - something the councillors of Kensington and Chelsea should also take on board. And it wasn't just in London either with a 19-year-old killed in a Bath hit and run.
And nor was it just about cycling - Bow Roundabout is horrible for pedestrians too and we should all be getting angry, but where are the pedestrian protests? It's not as if they don't suffer from victim blaming, bizarre safety advice (nicely skewered by Bike Snob NYC - sometimes it's hard to tell satire from reality) or simply being ignored in discussions of safety. Cyclists and pedestrians need to form a united front and not let trollumnists pretend they're on the pedestrian's side - after all, if they really cared about pedestrian safety they'd all want fewer journeys taken by car. Fortunately Kennington People on Bikes are at hand with one radical change that might improve things whether you're on bike or on foot.
So with 1000 people turning up to protest, could this be Boris's 'Katrina' moment? The Alternative DfT is disappointed by a very British protest - this Birmingham protest took a more confrontational stance to blocking traffic while a die-in is planned at TfL (and you can also write to the Mayor too). Meanwhile, Mr Happy Cyclist recalls an unhappy collision on a way to an earlier Space 4 Cycling protest ride.
Nor was it just Boris blaming the victims, BBC Breakfast does it too while the Road Danger Reduction Forum considers whether cyclists riding without lights makes any difference to safety. A New Zealand coroner finds every cyclist's death since 1997 could have been prevented while Canadian ones complain that dooring fines are too low. Meanwhile with cyclist deaths up 6.5% in the US in 2012, Cycleicious looks into the figures for Califorinia while here in the UK the Guardian produces an interactive map of all cycling casualties. Brooklyn Spokes draws the real lessons of the 'invisible bike helmet', while the Economist explains strict liability slowly and clearly for the hard of thinking. And one poor bike share rider narrowly avoids becoming a statistic as she gets trapped on an urban expressway (I know exactly how she feels...)
Perhaps what's needed is a good old-fashioned bike crackdown to resolve all major world conflicts - just don't claim it's got anything to do with bike safety, especially if you're ticketing people for cycling on the bike path, illegally riding a tandem or eating a croissant without due care and attention. You can at least help shape police priorities in Edinburgh - where Wisob is pleasantly surprised after her complaint about a police driver is taken seriously. Dave McCraw asks if pavement cyclists have got it right while the Cambridge News seems more interested in excusing those who assault cyclists, although at least one New York magazine belatedly corrects itself over who really runs red lights.
The Londonist imagines what it would be like if we talked about all road users the way we talked about cyclists - while Bikes in Newcastle wonders if calling us 'people who cycle' instead is political correctness - or robbing cyclists of their identity. Kennington People on Bikes tries rebranding bike lanes 'child lanes' to see if that helps (whatever you use, it turns out 'cycle track' is just confusing). Isolate Cyclist wonders if a subtle behind-the-scenes 'bikelash' is beginning in the US as a US cardiologist wonders how America can NOT see the benefits of promoting cycling - perfectly easily, it turns out. All around the (English-speaking) world the same arguments have to keep being spelled out to drivers but when it comes to selling change, talking about safety is not the best argument despite its importance. Instead it's the underrated little things that persuade individuals. Even in the midst of horror, cycling in London remains the best way to get about in a big city that's full of short trips. And sometimes we need some good news stories like Wheels for Wellbeing providing cyclign for all and the US Ride 2 Recovery putting wounded veterans back in the saddle.
Of course, as we learned at the Go Dutch conference (and if you missed it, the presentations are now all online as videos), cycling's about more than just cycling - it's about transforming our cities as Indianapolis has with its cultural trail - although we do need to be careful that in transforming our cities we're not driving people out. In Long Island unwalkable streets breed congestion while in Sweden, Volvo might be to blame for the fact that Stockholm is not as people friendly as Copenhagen. A New Zealand academic explains how uni-directional protected cycle tracks are the safest option - while Triple Pundit provides a handy photo guide to some of the innovations that help. The transformation of Bilbao has lessons for New Zealand (indeed, for us all) - and sometimes even without spending a huge amount, a little paint (and a LOT of road space reallocation) can make all the difference. Closer to home, the Alternative DfT wonders if the CS2 extension is really up to scratch while further north Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester documents the steps, barriers, cobbles and obstacles that make up a 'national cycle route' in the UK.
Meanwhile, in economic news Dave McCraw explains how you can ride a bike and win a house (well, sort of) while American firms find that the benefits of running an employee bike pool outweigh the risks. It turns out that American drivers don't pay for the roads either - perhaps it's time to adjust the tax system so everyone pays their fair share. Toronto swaps its toilet money to keep its Bixi bike hire scheme alive and finally starts seeing it as public transport while US bike share commuters are set to get a tax break - with bike share bike numbers set to quadruple over two years. They probably still won't reach anything like the numbers of bikes the Dutch own though...
On the political front, the Cycling Scotland conference encourages Magnatom to annoy Keith Brown a little more in future - after all, Scottish cycling provision remains decades behind. As Manchester council workers fail to take advantage of the cycle to work scheme, the council appears to blame its own infrastructure for missing the target. Meanwhile US politicians introduce a bike and pedestrian safety bill into congress, which will encourage states to set their own safety targets while a cycling bill is also under discussion in Italy. As the 30 km/h (20mph) petition fails to hit its target for signatures in the EU, transport and cycling are on the agenda at the climate summit (but only at a side meeting). And with Copenhagenize keeping a close eye on candidates in the city's municipal elections - and busting a few myths - it's still worth People for Bikes sending US city officials there to see how it can be done.
Looking forward a couple of decades, Cambridge Cyclist wonders if the city is already at 'peak bike while Leeds Cycling Campaign has a more optimistic vision - and bikes are up and cars down again in Edinburgh. Lovely Bike finds a little patch of the Netherlands in Northern Ireland but it's not all a cycling paradise, particularly in Belfast. In Bristol Clifon would like to stay 'special', where by 'special' they appear to mean 'car clogged' - but at least in London some short lived bike barriers have vanished as quickly as they appeared while there are plans for changes to Upper Thames Street in Soutwark.
In Australia, Bicycle Dutch gets a note from his Mum and is allowed to cycle bareheaded in Brisbane while in Egypt, women are determined to ride their bikes despite harassment. In New Zealand Christchurch's ambitious cycling plan continues to take shape, while in Auckland plans move ahead for Copenhagen-style tracks and consultation starts on some new bike ways. As the Urbanist asks why young Americans aren't getting their drivers' licences the Bike League announces the latest bike-friendly universities and Davis, California demonstrates why it tops the leagues. Seattle proposes spending $1m to speed protected bike path development in the city centre - and Toronto is following suit - but Chicago is spending its air quality funds ... on roads. After the highlights of the California bike summit, submissions are wanted for the US Bike Summit in 2014 - and Pittsburgh hosts an exhibition on the science of bikes. In Ireland, landowners force diversions on a planned Greenway, while Dublin refuses to tackle rat-running because drivers aren't actually speeding. And as Utrecht opens its fifth cycle street, Kevin Mayne stumbles across Warsaw's segregated bike network ... partly disguised by all the police vans parking on it. And in Japan, Tokyo By Bike recalls some of the good things about Japanese cyclists as well as all the annoyances.
And finally, after one of the grimmest blog roundups to date, we leave you with something to put on your (or perhaps your council's) Christmas wishlist: some instant 'lego' bike lanes. I know we'd all love to have a play with those...