Even the good news stories can be depressing when you think how little freedom UK kids have, as Seven League Boots reports. In one school the children at least have the joy of telling the adults off for bad parking, and here's the reality of even a 'quiet' suburban route to school, when you're accompanying a five year-old - Magnatom certainly found it depressing, and others found it horrifying. Maybe it can all be blamed on 1970s squirrels. But it could be worse -if you're picking up your kids on foot in the US, you might get arrested for failing to take your place in a queue of vehicles (it's not all bad in the US though, thankfully). And who could resist an 11-year-old girl asking you just to yield to her?
What can cyclists do to keep themselves safe in London? Both London Cyclist and I Bike London investigate, with hints and tips, and Jon Snow examined the issues by bike. Cottenham Cyclist helpfully gave an outsider's perspective on cycling in London. Chris Boardman wants to see lorries banned from cities in rush hour, while Rachel Aldred examines the grim statistics and fails to see any real 'safety in numbers'. Mayor Boris Johnson came in for attention too, with Beyond the Kerb writing an open letter, Cycling Front urging us to mail Boris the Blamer, and London Cycling Campaign condemning victim-blaming. Two Wheels Good thinks Boris has a leadership crisis, and the CTC ask him not to duck responsibility - but his Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan advises us not to panic.
It could be that there is a problem with TfL buses, as Safer Oxford Street investigated, in a series of posts - and this isn't a problem limited to London. Enough is enough, argues Manc Bike Mummy, and Bicycle Dutch shows us that there are ways to keep bikes and large vehicles apart. Certainly debate about cycling helmets is a red herring, but that fits into a pattern of odd media debate which doesn't reflect reality - and NI Greenways has the stats to prove it. The Grumpy Cyclist got the heart of why we appear to be on our high saddle. Sometimes the Police say things that are inadvertently revealing, in more ways than one - although Bristol's police chief is happy to declare himself a cyclist.
There are obviously still design flaws with newly-built infrastructure in the UK, be it in Leicester, or on London's newest 'Superhighway', or just where there are very odd signs. Mysterious bollards also make an appearance in Edinburgh, and there's plenty of poor infrastructure on the way in the same city - the problems listed in detail. Edinburgh also 'infrastructure' on Princes Street that will put people walking and cycling in conflict. Will 'cycle proofing' the road network help? There might be positive change on the way in Nine Elms, while Manchester tries to go Dutch (sort of), and Herbert Tiemens provides some interesting context to what the Dutch would do at a roundabout like Bow. Assen has - of course - made a great deal of progress over the last six years.
What can be done to make cycling in winter more attractive, when the nights are getting darker, and when water starts to flow uphill? In California the weather probably isn't a problem, although many other things are, with 80 cycling deaths already this year in south California alone, and some of the carnage documented by Cyclelicious. Women on Bikes California have been set up to make things better. Certainly we shouldn't underestimate the potential of cycling in cities (and Dave Horton has a thoughtful review of a book about city cycling potential) although in New York it seems the police are doing their best to suppress it. The Bicycle League have new statistics on cycling levels in American cities, and there are plenty of reasons why you should support cycling infrastructure, even if you don't ride a bike. Just make sure that it is inclusive, for all. With UK drivers stuck for 84 hours a year, on average, in traffic, there's probably not much persuading needed.
We already know that dangerous roads are not inevitable, and why cycling is not always hazardous, it can and should be much safer. ASLs probably aren't the solution, according to Magnatom, although if you have a 177mph bike you might be able to make something of a headstart. Some roadworks provoke Wisob into thinking about interactions at lights, and how motorists and cyclists behave. Perhaps you need to get away from it all - really get away from it all, as the Great Gas Beetle is doing You might be minded to, if you live near one of these car-dominated utopian visions, that turn out to be dystopias. And speaking of dystopian visions, Crap Waltham Forest may be no more, but Grumpy Cyclist has taken his place, with maximum scepticism about the borough's Mini Holland bid.
Mitcham Lane might be getting just a little bit better for all, thanks to Traffik in Tooting, and the 'bridge to nowhere' in Glasgow has finally been completed. Even some of Liverpool's flyovers could be converted into bike-friendly promenades in the sky. Bikeable Jo pleads for understanding with Edinburgh's taxi drivers, and Andrea Casalotti comes up with a bold proposal for safe cycling route into central London.
Finally, A Tory peer thinks, for some strange reason, that London cyclists are longing to be run down by drivers - perhaps it's just a deliberate ploy to ensure that uninsured drivers have their expensive cars seized.