The Great Big Consultation Exercise Bike Blog Roundup

Readers? What were you planning this week? Well, drop everything because you've some consultations to be contributing to instead. Cycle in Edinburgh? Then have your say on the future of Leith Walk - and have a look what came out on top when Greener Leith asked 450 people what should be done there. And further south, the Elephant and Castle needs your input - as does Clapham old town where two designs are proposed, neither of which Lambeth Cyclists is very keen on. And more generally, there are plans afoot to make it easier for councils to set lower speed limits on rural roads - Cycling Info considers the issues.

It would appear to be consultation season, because the London Assembly had an open meeting on barriers to cycling - Richmond's Cycling Czar (Czarina, surely) manages to magnificently miss the point but the LCC was there and making more sense as were Cycling Embassy members Tim Lennon and David Arditti

One area where they might have consulted a tad more is the Olympics. Just too late for last week's roundup was the Lea Valley towpath demonstration (there was another today) - Diamond Geezer was there and points out the paucity of the alternative route while Dave Hill picks up the story for the Guardian and Vole O'speed wishes them luck. And don't think you might use the ZIL lanes either (or on the empty M4 however inviting it might look). You can still cycle to the Olympics - there are even some led rides but you might not be able to park when you get there. Want to let the train take the strain? For a while, that wasn't like much of an option either, with bikes banned from all SouthWest trains but then promptly unbanned again. Cyclist in the City wonders whether it wouldn't just be easier to ban bikes altogether - and one Paralympian might not be going to the Olympics on her bike either, after being knocked off her bike in a time trial. We wish Rachel Morris a speedy recovery.

Demos, consultations - perhaps what we need instead is a velorution - fortunately the Italians (who brought 50,000 cyclists onto Rome's streets on their big ride have written this handy blogger's guide. Or perhaps it takes an earthquake - literally. Certainly, Cycalogical doesn't think the Local Sustainable Transport Fund is going to cut the mustard and Fat Girl on a Bike doesn't seem to think that Sky Rides will either.

They say travel broadens the mind and Joe Dunckley is still musing over the issues raised by the Embassy safari in Bristol and its environs (along with a more scenic tour) while the People's Front of South Gloucestershire explains the origin of the Great Wall of Filton. Over in New York, the Invisible Visible man muses on whether infrastructure maketh the road culture. In France, Dave Horton discovers the French have much to teach us about celebrating cycling, although perhaps not normalising it. But maybe it's better just to be grateful for what you've got - after all, where would you rather ride, Amsterdam or Springfield, Missouri? No, we don't quite understand it, either.

But then again, all that lovely Dutch road engineering would never work here, where our roads are too narrow and cycle tracks have to give way to side streets. Or maybe we just need some bike lanes like this one? Either way it seems clear we can't be trusted with a simple traffic light installation - at least not if it's for bikes. Oh and pedestrian guard rails? they're not there for your safety after all ... yep, it's all about traffic flow.

It seems to have been a bad week for bike safety, with a cycle campaigner and bikeability instructor left fighting for his life after a crash - as points out, he's the second campaigner from the area to be injured in a year. And with the ninth cyclist this year dying on London's roads, 2012 is not shaping up well. Croyden Cyclist points out the issues with the road in question while Cyclists in the City notes he was cycling to his work at Oval tube station, where the Tour du Danger started this year. His was not the only death of a cyclist foretold by campaigners - Biking in LA wonders if a lack of lights (and hence of social safety) might have cost a 30-year-old her life. Fortunately less seriously, Middle-aged cyclist has an unfortunate encounter with elderly-driver.

It's not just anecdotal, sentences for careless and drunk drivers are getting lighter while those charged with enforcing our law seem intent on flouting it. Hopefully they'll be as lenient with Luv2cycle who cheerfully admits she breaks the law because it's safer that way - thank goodness there's some legal sense around, with Addison Lee still banned from bus lanes.

But by mentioning such things, are we just dangerising cycling? Vole O'Speed is unrepentant. And when it comes to the vexed issue of what will keep us safe, Lovely Bike wonders if we can separate the techniques from the politics of vehicular cycling while the Cycling Dutchman (a new blog to me!) - a Dutch national based in the UK - takes a sensible Dutch look at the position on helmets. Still at least our iPods aren't at fault as, armed with an artificial ear, Oz Magazine scotches the myth of the headphone-wearing Zombie Cyclist.

Coming to that other hardy perennial - how to get more women cycling (apart from spending serious amounts of money on infrastructure, that is), VeloJoy points out you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar while I wonder if they should have just let Marie Marvingt join the Tour du France in 1908 (she rode it anyway, and finished ... which is more than most of the men did). Less heroic, but probably more sociall useful, is the ten minute hike to the school gates which seems to be beyond many of Manc Bike Mummy's fellow parents. Could it be that kids on bikes are going mainstream in the US (well, Seattle)? No wonder young Americans are increasingly ditching the car - Bekka Wright - the face behind Bikeyface explains why she's one of them. But whether you're a kid or are ferrying them - a word to the wise: raise your handlebars, girls. You know it makes sense.

And with that word of advice we leave you - except for this final, inspiring story of the Dunwich Dynamo, "I can do anything..."