The Great Mid-April Bike Blog Roundup

Right, before you get too comfy and settle down to read this, some dates for your diary, with Climate Rush's Spring Clean on Thursday and, of course, the 28th April, whether you're in London, Edinburgh or Rome.

But now, let's talk legal stuff this week because that's what seems to be on people's minds both here and across the Atlantic. As Cycalogical points out, every year a Titantic's worth of people die on Britain's roads - but what are the consequences for the drivers? In the week that a court heard that the lorry driver who put Times journalist Mary Bowers in a comas was distracted by his phone, the Cycling Silk looked at the sentencing for causing death by careless driving. He had barely pressed 'publish' when yet another driver escaped prison (in what was actually a relatively severe sentence by current standards) - and yet another cyclist was killed by yet another lorry, in Bexhill this time. Meanwhile a cyclist appeals for witnesses after a hit and run in East London and a road raging driver was found to already have a conviction for causing death by dangerous driving.

And sometimes it genuinely isn't the driver's fault - just whoever didn't fix the potholes (something even Graeme Obree can't fly over). Or else the bollard did it. Or Bristol Cars' old friend, the moment of madness. Do cities need bike lawyers? If this week is anything to go by, you bet they do.

Compare and contrast to the situation in the Netherlands where speeding fines are higher in built up areas - and lest a pothole cause a problem - every last bump is to be mapped on the cycle paths of Drenthe.

Over in the US, the same debate rages where 21 fatal cycling crashes resulted in just two arrests. Meanwhile in LA, a cyclist is found injured after a road rage incident in a story that gets murkier and murkier and murkier the more the LA police get involved. Dave Moulton asks when we got to vote on the decision not to criminalise every 'little mistake' that has a dramatic consequence just because you are driving a car.

If the law is not your thing, perhaps the numbers are. Last week we wondered if people were driving less - Geography Jim looks at the evidence in more detail, while Full Fact does the same thing for those contested cycling safety figures. And are we cycling more? In places like Huddersfield, people might be as fuel prices rise, and in London they definitely are but those figures have to be put in perspective. There's more training going on (although not as much as there could be) but London children are cycling to school less; the real exponential increase has been in press releases.

One reason why kids don't cycle to school could be that it takes SIX YEARS of campaigning (or, more usually, someone to be killed) to get a simple pedestrian crossing. So if you want safer walking or cycling to your school before you actually graduate from it you'd better get your skates on. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands (*sigh*) when it comes to crossing a road cycling is never an 'afterthought'.

Fired up by all that? Want to change things? You're not alone. I bike london calls for a last push for Go Dutch while at the Scottish Bike show hundreds pledge support for Pedal on Parliament. If you missed the Mayoral candidate's cycle debate never fearit's here in full - and Lambeth cyclists will also be questioning their assembly candidates while Dumfries's will be getting on two wheels to see the problems for themselves. In Edinburgh, Spokes has read the council candidates' election manifestos so you don't have to. If you thinkg pedestrians and cyclists shoud be at the heart of the UK's transport policy tell the Campaign for Better Transport why. After all, it is in the end a political decision to take space away from cars.

Not into law, maths, or politics? Let's try economics, with Karl on Sea's handy create your own infographic generator for how much your car is costing you to drive. If you count how long you have to work to pay for it, how fast does it really go? And what are the wider costs? Sometimes, they're just crushed seedlings - and a world made a little sadder as a result. Anyway, if you're still arguing the toss about whether drivers pay enough or too little, Downfader has marshalled the facts in one handy video.

With Jeremy Clarkson outing himself as a Copenhagen cycle chic fan, the world of cycling bloggers struggled to get their jaws off the floor - leaving Cyclists in the City to ask why Boris remains so far behind the curve. Fortunately, the BBC promptly provided us with a new villain.

As ever, if you really want to learn something, the blogs are where to go. In Thinking about cycling, Dave Horton examines the arguments for segregation versus integration while War on the Motorist delves into the history of shared use, shared paths and shared space and Pedestrianise London continues to work his way through the Embassy's copy of the CROW manual. But bloggers aren't the only ones learning from elsewhere - in Calgary they've borrowed an urban planner from Copenhagen while Gil Penalosa tells Dallas that paint on the road is not enough. We wonder whether anyone will ever want to invite UK road planners to tell the world how its done: causing congestion by building more roads, closing some roads only to push rat-runners elsewhere, and, of course, the South Gloucestershire hierarchy of provision where shrubbery is ranked above pedestrians. No wonder cycling is a marginal activity - something that walking is becoming in the US - and for reasons which sound familiar.

Where do bikes go when they die? The Guardian Bike blog investigates, while Cardiff gets a bike recycling scheme of its own.

Can't quite master cycling with an umbrella, Dutch style? The Japanese are here to help.

A man's gotta do what a MAMIL's gotta do - cycling's big business for the blokes, while for women just getting the shops to listen to what they want would be a start.

It seems there are no longer nine million bicycles in Beijing.

But were they delivered by cargo bike eh?

And finally, after we've all observed a moment's silence, someone had to do it: in defence of the smug cyclist.

We'll be back for another exciting and no smugger than it ought to be blog round up next week...