The Great Big Desperately Seeking Good News Bike Blog Roundup

What a week - one where Spokes in Edinburgh wondered if this was the worst week ever for cycling - where the People's Cycling Front issued something of a call to revolution - where there seems to be little national political will, with the exception of a few glimmers of hope in London. No wonder even Bike Snob NYC was getting angry - could it be that Jan Gehl got it right, that in most cities, talk about cycling is no more than sweet talk?

So what brought about this outpouring of angst? The release of rising casualty figures for cyclists - first in Scotland, where Magnatom regretted having written something even vaguely positive and Dead Dog Blog looked at missed and missing targets. Then for the rest of the UK where the figures are also spiralling out of control (and they aren't great for pedestians either), combined with the death of another cyclist in Lewisham - on a stretch of road that was to have been a superhighway but got scrapped. Tejvan considers the statistics while icycleliverpool finds some discrepancies and RoSPA called for a coherent, safe network for cyclists. Countercyclical argued that it's safer cars that have made for more dangerous roads while it was a timely moment for Dave Horton to summarise his thinking on fear of cycling.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the spending review and the much trailed 'Investing in Britain's Future' announcement included nothing at all for wallking and cycling - Sustrans is disappointed as are the CTC, and the Reeves Hall family are cross. RDRF diagnoses Mad Car disease, it's as bad as the Campaign for Better Transport had feared - and even the Highway engineers are unimpressed. The Transport Planner digs into the details - but perhaps we should just all move to New Zealand; there it's cycling projects that are coming back from the dead.

And the bad news didn't stop there, with non-car accessibility generally being dropped from the agenda - and an attempt at a 20mph zone in Scotland scuppered by the council. Further afield, Pennyslvania is considering eliminating dedicated bike funding altogether, pedestrians are losing out in the battle between the pro and anti bike lane factions, LA cyclists lose their biggest ally on the city council and even Copenhagen is ignoring the bull over air pollution - although Amsterdam's problem of 'too many bikes' is more of a nice problem to have.

Perhaps part of the problem is the media - although on the plus side the Scottish Herald have started a cycling blog (not 100% sure about the name...), Cambridge Cyclist wonders whether it's time to boycott the local paper again - and sloppy journalism isn't confined to this side of the Atlantic either with the boilerplate anti bike lane rant taking hold - at least until the journalists discover the joys of cycling for themselves.

So where was the good news? Well, recent cycling counts have revealed the extent of central London's cycling revolution with bikes now 24% of traffic - although it's still got a long way to go to usurp Amsterdam - and the City of London is looking to move to 20mph across the board. In Scotland, Magnatom is startled to find himself agreeing with a Scottish politician as Glasgow's cyclign czar comes back from the Netherlands with a real vision - and Edinburgh's bike breakfast goes from strength to strength. Newcastle will be hosting the next Love Cycling, Go Dutch conference - and sees some improvement in cycling numbers. In London, Lambeth proposes and ambitious local cycling strategy - while there may be plans to remove the notorious Elephant and Castle roundabout. And the Institute of Civil Engineers seems to be getting on board with active travel. Elsewhere, in the US, where revolts are growing against big new roads, a disastrous boondoggle of a highway project gets cancelled (although one ambitious plan to tear down an urban motorway has been kicked into the long grass) and the new head of transport makes positive but vague noises about cycling. It turns out too that the truckers and the cyclists can be friends, New Yorkers actually quite like their new bike share scheme - and two quick thinking bike shop employees reunite a couple with their stolen bikes.

As ever, much of the good news for cycling is economic - with plans to bring Britain and France together through cycle tourism and the 'Tour de Manche'. Businesses in Bristol see the benefit of parking restrictions - while a coffee shop in Seattle that wasn't getting enough foot traffic launched a bike delivery service - while another shop is offering its own free bikeshare scheme. Chicago businesses lobby for more bike infrastructure to attract talent - while MEPs are calling on the EU to invest more in cycling.

As one cycling mum makes the leap beyond Center Parcs and discovers the school run is faster by bike than by car, Japanese mamacharis will bring affordable family bikes to London. ModalMom confuses her son by buying a Brompton to get round a train ban ("where does the kid go?") and Emily Finch becomes a national phenomenon. StCleve looks back at 50 years of cycling and wishes 11-year-olds today had the same freedom - but at least some Edinburgh kids will get the chance thanks to some free bikes - while Canadian volunteers would really like to reunite a child's bicycle with its owner. And as one woman whose grandmother always made sure she got the bike of her dreams returns the favour we wonder whether this grandmother oughtn't to be the next to benefit.

This week, with the inaugural Bicycle Urbanism Symposium kicking off in Seattle, and VeloCity just over, there seems to have been a number of thoughtful articles and pieces. Such as this examination about how the car lobby fights back against any alternatives - and why we might sometimes want to look beyond the Dutch experience and beware of survivor bias - don't just look at the successful places. Cycling South Tyne considers cycling's image problem while Psychobikeology considers why sometimes it's easier just to walk. NI Greenways looks at the need for a culture shift in Belfast, while Transitized examines just what fuel taxes are for in America. Sometimes, simply cycling is not enough - you have sign up to become an advocate too.

In the US, the Kickstand Sessions explain the importance of creating a network, while in Norway researchers find that cyclists like contraflows (although drivers aren't so keen). The Wash Cycle defends sharrows from attack by the Dutch, while the Green Lane project considers the engineering justification for using planters to protect bike lanes. A road resurfacing project prompts Karl to wonder where all the cars go (and can they stay there) while the Cottenham cyclist explores Cambridge's dual use paths and finds it's almost impossible to use them legally. In Santa Monica, they're exploring options to fix a dangerous bikeway junction - while with an ageing population, cities everywhere will need to age-proof their streets.

UK surprise story of the week was the birth of Leicester as a livable streets leader in the US - while the local cycle campaign group finally gets to meet the mayor. Countercyclical explores Portsmouth, the UK's first 20mph city, and finds it cycle friendly by UK standards. In Devon WillCycle is faced by the usual choice of homicidal drivers on the road or a cycle path with the usual inconveniences. With cyclists' needs still being ignored in Westminster one cyclist is determined not to be forced off London's roads and CycleStuff enjoys the stories of a London rickshaw driver. Cycling Dutchie will be cycling home (not permanently, we hope!). In Scotland, Spokes needs your help to improve the proposed national planning framework while if you live in Bristol then pleas sign the petition in support of the Bristol cycling manifesto - and if you live in London and would like secure cycle parking let the LCC know. Leeds Cycle people wonder if the council is actively discouraging cycling. As one London Mayoral candidate urges Edinburgh to model itself on Copenhagen, Greenwich council refuses to deal with the current mayor's cycling tsar due to 'conflict of interest'. And in Cambridge there are two nice short films about cycling in the city, and a chance to discuss them.

Further afield, Atlantic Cities looks at 10 of the best pieces of bike infrastructure from around the world - while this street in Portland is never going to feature on the list. A new bike lane has plenty of room but still has to go around the parked cars while in New York one mayoral candidate thinks losing parking for bike tracks is worth it. America is being 'Bicyclized' - and had its first bicycle master plan 110 years ago - but a visit to Boston puts recent progress into perspective - and in Florida you're still not safe from cars even on the beach. Chicago's bike share Divvy Bikes get off the ground - while San Jose gets its first green lanes and Seattle gets its first protected track. LA cyclists are urged to support a trial road diet and bike lanes while bikes have become part of the protest scene in New York - perhaps that's why a cross border bike ride got cancelled 'due to security concerns'. San Diego learns what Tactical Urbanism is all about. As flooding devastates some of Calgary's bike network, flood tourism meets cycle tourism down by the Danumbe. While funding is approved for Christchurch's planned cycle tracks, a cynical Londoner discovers that Copenhagen is everything it's cracked up to be.

In light of this week's casualty figures it's good to know the police have their priorities straight - cracking down on pavement cyclists of course. Brooklyn Spoke considers why cyclists might risk a ticket while in Portland it turns out they barely run red lights at all. Meanwhile when it comes to road raging drivers they barely act at all - or assume the cyclist was at fault when knocked off their bike. Still, in London at least you can report inconsiderate and dangerous driving - Albert McWilliams sums up why it's important (and for the driver too). Cycling Dumfries would just like to see a little professional courtesy from bus and taxi drivers - while it's the same story in San Diego too. Two years on a dangerous cycle lane is little improved in Richmond. In Canada helmet legislation has had no significant effect on head injuries - although if you're going to T-bone a bear you might want to be wearing all the safety equipment you can muster - or be riding this.

And finally, although we're tempted by Karl On Sea's proposed Strava for slow bicycles - we're wondering whether the time is actually right for a Skateboarding Embassy of Great Britain. After all, it's not like our politicians are taking the cyclists very seriously, is it?