The Great Big Oscar-Winning Bike Blog Roundup

Oh all right, we don't have even the most tenuous connection to the Oscars this week - except to say that it's not the British but the women who are coming - at least to the US national Bike Summit, Elly Blue among them - where she'll be inviting others to the cycling party. Elsewhere, women-only bike repair classes are helping give some women more confidence to ride - while for one woman, actually learning to ride was the first step. Unfortunately, in some places cycling while female appears to be deadly, although it may just be a statistical quirk.

As Bristol Cars is delighted to note, one primary school in Surrey has banned kids from walking or cycling to school (at least in Japan the bans are more even handed, with both cycling and dropping kids off by car forbidden). Meanwhile Richmond Cycling Campaign will be targeting safe cycling for children and a badly targeted PR email gets one cycling mum listing reasons why kids SHOULD cycle - while, putting it into perspective, for some kids in Sierra Leone cycling is their only hope of getting to school at all.

The campaign issue of the week has probably been Belfast's plans to allow taxis into bus lanes - Wesley Johnston explains why he's opposed while Cargobike Dad suggests a sample letter if you want to protest (just don't swamp the entire email system as London cyclists did in support of more funding for cycling). Elsewhere, a Leeds contraflow lane improves things for both cyclists and the blind, New Cycling looks across the Tyne and doesn't like what it sees, and Cambridge Cycling campaign notes the guidelines for the Cycle City Ambition grants have been announced - though it doesn't look as if Lambeth will really be eligible for anything with 'ambition' in the title, if its plans for Brixton are anything to go by.

As an abandoned bike gets Sam Saunders thinking about what can and can't be left in the street, Pedestrial Liberation takes some simple direct action against illegal pavement blockages. The Ranty Highwayman considers the case for and against pavement parking while amazingly, a mainstream media item on pavement cyclists generates at least as much light as heat.

As ever this week, there was much cross border traffic of one kind or another. Back from living in the Netherlands, Cycling Without a Helmet finds even the traffic lights don't see you in California - while the Dutch consider taking a leaf out of Australia's book and imposing helmet compulsion to rid themselves of a two-wheeled menace and As Easy as Riding a Bike considers whether the Dutch do shared use pavements like we do. The Guardian enjoys Mexico City's car-free Sundays - and San Diego will soon be getting some of their own. As the Dutch 'Think Bike' Roadshow reaches Bulgaria, People for Bikes are seeing their investment in study tours paying off while London Cyclist offers us a UK perspective on cycling in Portland. Closer to home, Pennine Pedalling discovers the perils of planning a cycle route far from home - perhaps we need more video cycling guides like this one for Cambridge - just in time for the latest Cycling Embassy safari (and if you can't make that one, never fear, you're invited to a seaside one in May). Transcending borders more metaphorically, Magnatom tries cycling with the enemy and manages a partial meeting of the minds.

With the Active Travel Bill launched in Wales, it was interesting to see US Mayoral candidates actively campaigning as cyclists - and even fighting over other cities' cyclists - because it's cyclists that help make a city cool. In London, the LCC quizzes the transport chief on how that 'go Dutch' promise is going - while Harrow LCC is asking by-election candidates to sign up their support. In New York - where cyclists ought to be part of the solution boroughs vote for more protected bike lanes and better streets - something Fiera cycling would like to see in Edmonton. But, lest we get too carried away, American politicians are also proposing bike tolls and bike taxes, and American courts are no stranger to the derisory fine either.

With cycling getting more and more policy attention, Rachel Aldred considers modelling - why bikes aren't included in the models, why transport choices don't always seem rational, why our junctions prioritise throughput of cars above all - and calls for better modelling of cycling altogether - perhaps that will help us stay within our planetary boundaries. Kats Dekker takes a closer look at the evidence against cycle tracks while catches up with the Canadian study that suggests that they are safer. Transport Planning points out that it's important to ask the right question - like 'why do cyclists enrage drivers?' for instance (something Cambridge Cyclist knows all about)

Stop the presses: as Dr Hutch discovers the secret guidance all authorities use when designing cycle infrastructure, at last we have an explantion for these plans for the A57 - or this ugly hack of a bike bridge, or more pointless shared use in Ireland. Meanwhile Zen Biker Maniac plays spot the route sign on NCN1 and WillCycle points out that designing a good bike route is simple: just make sure it goes where people want to go...

Meanwhile on the safety front, Leith Walk is one of the more dangerous streets in Edinburgh for pedestrians and cyclists, while two British round-the-world cyclists are killed in Thailand by a distracted driver. With cycling deaths shooting up in Australia, the Urbanist considers whether coroners sometimes go too far with their recommendations. After all, as DFW point-to-point points out, drivers will basically crash in to anything - including each other. No wonder Chafe City isn't too keeing on taking the lane while one simple graphic is a neat example of how 'share the road' feels.

Follow the money, they say - which might explain one city rat run closure (or perhaps Goldman Sachs just wanted a handy shortcut) - for the rest of us perhaps we could just chip in a few quid to improve our local paths. Both Vole o'speed and Dave McCraw put in a plea for higher fuel prices while Milan's congestion charge proves a success. As New York insurers reward drivers for driving less, Montana offers the mother of all peverse incentives for dangerous driving by allowing drivers to eat what they kill (except for sheep and bears - and presumably cyclists...). Meanwhile bicycle tourism offers financial benefits to many communities - but probably not Westminster

Some bloggers took on a historical bent this week with Londonneur wishing a modern day Bazalgette would come and sort out today's 'Big Stink'. Cycleicious finds that little has changed in 30 years while Wash Cycle goes further back to a time when speeding drivers were chased down by cops ... on bikes.

This month's Errandonnee challenge has thrown up some interesting observations from cyclists not always used to using their bikes for running errands while a humdrum shopping trip gets Dave Horton thinking about making cycling boring. Bike Snob reminds us that shopping and cycling can quickly get out of hand - one minute you're picking up a bottle of wine, the next you're moving house - as in moving the entire house (well, some cyclists just can't resist a challenge).

And finally, never mind optimum cycle lane width and junction design - never say we don't tackle the really important questions here at the GB Cycle Embassy: like how will cycling improve your sex life?

We'll be back with more burning questions - and answers - next week