The Great Big Think Cyclist! Bike Blog Roundup

Hello and welcome to the week when the Government's latest £80,000 cycling safety campaign - 'people should be nice to each other' met with more or less universal derision - it was nice to see the CTC in full agreement with the Vole O'Speed and other bloggers for once. The Guardian, ever the contrarian welcomed some aspects - such as the acknowledgement that cyclists were also drivers - while Cycling Info thought of a few things to add and Kats Dekker improved the logo somewhat. And if the DfT were feeling a little bruised by the reaction, they're not alone - As Easy as Riding a Bike was unimpressed by a Birmingham hospital's campaign while New York launches a similar effort to urge pedestrians to Look! - drivers, presumably, can just go ahead and keep their eyes on their smart phones.

One group of people who maybe could do more to Think Cyclist! are our dear planners - with cyclists forgotten in a station revamp, while in Birmingham there's room for four lanes, 15m of pavements but nowhere for bikes. In London a key cycle route might end up closed for a year while in Rochdale another path remains closed (while the one that's open does its best to discourage actual cycling). It's odd, really, considering how much space cyclists save.

Still, there are signs of hope too - with Norman Baker arguing for a virtuous circle for cycling (even as police remove bikes in advance of his party's conference) and, after much prodding, a meeting is arranged between the Barnet LCC and the Deputy Mayor of Transport while Croydon Cyclists meed with council officers to find a solution for Mitcham Road (or at least one which doesn't involve losing any parking). In Scotland, a proposed extra £6 million leaves both Spokes and Pedal on Parliament underwhelmed (although at least it's better than the Copenhagen city budget - yes, *that* Copenhagen). Meanwhile money is being thrown at wealthy second car owners instead. In Newcastle, New Cycling takes a councillor for a ride while Drawing Rings takes a look at Transport for London's road safety plan and wonders why their targets are so unchallenging. In Bristol, campaigners find the council's cycling policies are inadequate including our own Cycling Jim, no less - bringing even some anti-pavement cyclist sceptics on board.

Indeed, it was also the week when it seemed as if cyclists were going to have to behave if they wanted any more cycle paths (no such bargain for the cars of course in a post that went a bit viral). There were villagers objecting to one project that would put bikes and pedestrians too close together, police in Manchester cracking down on the real menace of society and bailiffs seizing bikes from one stubborn delinquent, albeit on the other side of the planet. What better time for a Tory Minister to put the tin lid on cyclists' reputation for good manners and restraint? The (possibly defunct) Cycling Lawyer dubbed the whole affair Mitchellgate (although surely it should be DowningStreetGateGate) while Freewheeler rushes to the minister's defence. Drivers, of course, continue to behave as they always have prompting Fat Girl on a Bike to ask the philosophical question that's on everyone's lips while Bikeyface has given up trying to engage them in discussion (top tip - making eye contact with them may not always be a good thing).

Another question raise this month was whether there were any bike bloggers who haven't been to the Netherlands, with Fi Wilson, love thy bike and I cycle Liverpool joining the throng, and As Easy as Riding a Bike still going through his holiday snaps to look at side roads (we don't count Bicycle Dutch because he lives there). It's still not enough argues the Vole...

... and maybe more MPs will make the trek with the Times funding an inquiry into what will get more people cycling - Freewheeler attempts to save them their £10k, as the is cycling dangerous debate rages endlessly on (consider this - if someone finds a simple right turn daunting what does it matter what the statistics say?). In a very different world, Cycle Space contemplates a change of emphasis in bike advocacy while an American car nut based in Strasbourg explains why he uses a bike.

He's not alone - with the Economist asking if we're seeing the back of the car, cycle commuting rising and 59% of Americans wanting to drive less, Lovely Bike finds a lovely bike made in ... Mowtown. Even in Madrid, where there's no cycle map because nobody cycles, Real Cycling finds a few thousand who do. The Cycling Front considers whether cars are becoming tools rather than status symbols. And meanwhile there are people who persist on trying to cycle anyway, against the odds. Like Luv2Cycle, getting back on the trike after a heart attack (not sure a woodland burial site was *quite* the right venue) and those who persist in attempting the school run in somewhere that patently isn't cycletopia.

The good news continues, at least in Kiev, or Ireland or even parts of London. But paths on their own are not enough - as Downfader considers looking at why cyclists ignore perfectly good cycling paths that turn out to be nothing of the sort. Perhaps that's why, in a farewell to London, the Invisible Visible man reflects on how much has changed in 15 years - and how little.

Is it something in the air? It seemed the cargo bike was everywhere this week - the more frankenbikish the better (while Karl on Sea attempts a century on his. Be warned though - if you do get one, and want to use it on our finest infrastructure, you may need to practice some of these skills.

And finally, Sheffield Cycle Chic, who seems to be back in blogging form, discovers a salutory warning of what happens to cyclists who don't eat enough cake.

Not a mistake we're planning on making any time soon.