The Great Big Trying To Be Festive Blog Roundup

The big news this week was the reaction to the near-simultaneous verdicts in two separate court cases, one relating to the death of Sam Harding in Holloway, the other to the serious injuries suffered by the Times' Mary Bowers. Several bloggers tackled the issue of sentencing in the wake of the verdicts on Friday. Martin Porter provided a summary of the legal issues, while Cyclists in the City and British Cycling argued that justice has failed the two young Londoners in question. Stewart Pratt gave a more forceful appraisal of the state of road justice, as did the Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire (with characteristically strong language). Kennington People on Bikes got to grips with the psychology of juries, arguing that they are failing to consider how much that lorry weighs.

Elsewhere, the fallout from that documentary (fortuitously, for the producers, aired last week, rather than this one) continued. Cycalogical argued, to his own surprise, that the BBC should take a few lessons in journalistic ethics from News International, and Two Wheels Good provided a detailed explanation of why it was rubbish. Peter Walker of the Guardian felt that the programme was more fake than we had even thought, while Buffalo Bill revealed some background to the footage used. Karl McCracken identified the source of the 'war' on the roads, showing us graphically how it is much smaller than the BBC would have us believe, and Eric Ludlow asked whoever heard of a motorist being hurt in a collision with a bicycle?

If the programme was still getting you hot under the collar, the Alternative Department for Transport had some more relaxing photographs from the Netherlands, and the Embassy's Chester Cycling experienced some quiet permeability and calm shared pavements in Japan. Cycling in the snow in the Netherlands also looks rather stress-free, as Bicycle Dutch demonstrated. They've even got tailwinds in Copenhagen, and sunny Naples has found a way to make the temporary permanent. To really get away from it all, you might even try cycling underwater.

Back in the UK, Richmond Cycling took a critical look at two consultations in their borough, neither of which do much for making cycling a subjectively safe experience, and elsewhere in London,  Kennington People on Bikes asks you to comment on Transport for London's plans for Cycle Superhighway 5. Cambridge Cyclist thinks that one pavement that hit the headlines last week is actually a booby trap for cyclists, while a cycle lane in Sheffield continues to be blocked, even by the police. Cycle Dumfries also point out that cycle paths aren't much use if they're not cleared. And in Oxford, it was voles (no, not that one) that have put paid to improvements to a towpath. Bristol cars, however, find much to admire in Brent.

Dave Horton's brilliant and thought-provoking series of cycling struggles continues, tackling attitudes and barriers to cycling in an urban South Asian community. Kats Dekker asked if we're MAMILed out, and, in a similar vein, Downfader looks at what's needed to get 'normals' onto bikes. Meanwhile, while we shouldn't judge all cyclists by the behaviour of some individualsChristian Wolmar argues that some cyclists - perhaps some of those MAMILS - are indeed a problem. There is hope though - even Top Gear presenters understand how brilliantly simple and necessary bicycles are, something we can thank JK Starley for. The 'success' of Drive to Work Day in creating extra congestion showed just why bicycles are so important; we just need to persuade the Daily Mail that it's in its own interests to get more people cycling.

Depressingly, however, the EU seems to be ignoring the bike when it comes to funding, and even Copenhagen seems to be downgrading cycling as a mode of transport. Pedestrians and cyclists are also being ignored at a more local level, although cyclists are coming in for some undue attention in Cambridge. Kim Harding gives detailed advice on how you should overtake bicycles, Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester takes a close look at where all the money went, while the single-minded Tufton or Death finds that things might be looking up. Maybe.  

Statistics fans had plenty to chew over this week with the release of both Census data and the National Travel Survey. Living Streets did some maths on the latter, while Cyclists in the City focused on how the Census revealed just how many London households are going car-free. A similar picture emerged in Sheffield, prompting calls for a transport revolution in this city, just as in London.

Finally, London Cyclists has some tips on how to keep warm while cycling over Christmas and throughout the winter, the Embassy's own guest blog from Access Legal has some tips for those considering being tipsy on a bicycle, and there's a Christmas bicycle song to cheer you into next week.