The Great Big Lest We Forget Bike Blog Roundup

It is fitting to start this roundup (on the 11th day of the 11th month) by remembering the war dead - which, as the Guardian reminds us, included some cycling soldiers too.

But looking forward as well as back, as Dave Horton cogently argues, if we want a world organised around the bicycle and not the car, we need to develop a really compelling vision (or just get our point across with a bit of humour - or a gif). Using the language of civil rights for cycling advocacy risks trivialising both issues but one really compelling argument we can make is about our children's freedom - as Jonathan Maus is reduced to stalking his own daughter to see if Portland passes the 'unaccompanied child' test. And while starting the school run gets Modal Mom thinking about expectations, particularly from car drivers, one non-driving mother has her main means of transport stolen, presumably by a thief with quads of steel.

How much closer are we to passing the unaccompanied child test here in the UK? Well, with another death on the CS2, probably not very. The London Assembly tells Boris to sort it out and while the latest extension has been hailed as a victory for 'Go Dutch' campaigners along with the latest upgrade to the network, Dave Warnock still finds that London's best is still worse than anything the Netherlands has to offer while the planned CS5 has been diverted (and seriously watered down) from its original main-road route. No wonder David Hembrow questions whether the UK has made any progress at all in the last six years.

Meanwhile, for one day in Newcastle, it did seem as if some politicians had 'got' it - you can see the presentations and some excited tweets as well as fuller report. Later in the week, the Cycling Scotland conference was a more measured affair, livened somewhat by Andrew Gilligan's remarks, while the Times reports that Scotland is likely to miss its target without a step change in funding. For that, it's back to the politicians with the LCC's Space for Cycling Campaign for next year's local election set to be the biggest ever - something that's already spreading to other cities such as Manchester.

Meanwhile in the US, mayoral elections were drawing attention, with mixed results - Seattle's defeated mayor increased cycling by 50% while in Chicago it's the transport commissioner who will be missed, and in New York, Bill de Blasio finds himself buttonholed by an angry Glaswegian over road safety - and elections aren't much different in Copenhagen either.

One mayoral project that won't be unwound is bike share - Chicago is expanding its scheme, while Dublin is expanding too - and doubling its charges. The New York press seem suprised that nobody's died although they shouldn't be (though just how safe Boris bikes are is still open to question) - and it has also helped rehabilitate a bank which some may count as a worse crime. Los Angeles' scheme is dead in the water, possibly to be replaced regional one. One more city you'd be able to travel to with ease - and not have to worry about locking up your bike.

With the UK government happy to plug Bromptons - not to mention bikes propping up Halfords, is it time to get your local chamber of commerce to support bikes? A canny business can use bike parking to promote its brand while a canny town can attract touring cyclists by offering rest stops on long distance routes. After all, bikes are outselling cars even in the US, if only to languish in garages, although e-bikes might actually get used. Mark Ames has a go on the SMART bike while in the US assissted cargo trailers might be the thing to make cycling practical

Of course, for bikenomics to work, you need to get people on bikes - and even though some visions of the future suggest it's driving that will decline, our own government is predicting cycling will fall - it would help if it hadn't scrapped its own quango that was successfully getting people onto bikes. Change will be coming - the question is what kind of change - perhaps we need to learn from the past so even rural arease aren't dependent on the car. A study looking at selling cycling to North Americans shows that the biggest barrier is still perceived danger while cyclists and non-cyclists prefer a clear demarcation of where bikes belong - rather than widely misunderstood share the road signs - although some exhortation and bike loans does get some people cycling in Southwark. Meanwhile US cities rank themselves on their cycle commuting rates - you know cycling has arrived in New York when you have to pay to park your bike, and it's not even valet parking...

As Bicycle Dutch visits what is arguably the best underpass in the world (oh, and the Dutch will see Cambridge's glowing bike path and raise them a sparkly one), while a US pro cyclist reports back on riding in the Netherlands from her perspective. Back in the UK, Cycle Sheffield gets the tape measure out to measure the latest cycle lane, Ranty Highwayman asks what bollards are good for and a close encounter with a bus demonstrates the limitations of bus lanes as bike infrastructure. Transport for London needs the courage to step away from their traffic models and get imaginative with a paint brush, while 1000 friends looks at how much space cities devote to people - Dublin will soon be doing better on that score although it's already doing better than Newcastle. Transitized visualises just how much money is really spent on cycling and walking in context. With even two way tracks safer than cycling on the road, lack of expertise in designing for cycling means states like California risk falling behind.

Looking on the positive side, there were plenty of good news stories, from bikes fighting poverty around the world to the joy of playing postie, rescuing dogs, admiring the 'view', and simply having space to think on your bike. We mention these because there were also the usual haters around - Magnatom tries to keep it simple, Kim Harding reads the Herald's letters page so you don't have to and Accidento Bizarro delivers the definitive trollumnist smackdown (for those who wish to get depressed and wondering what that was all about, here's a little more detail and here is an exceptionally dim chicken by way of contrast)

With news of cycling casualties rising and the Cambridge PCC calling for compulsory helmets - the debate that never dies - yet another safety campaign puts nearly all the onus on cyclists to keep themselves safe. Lovely Bike witnesses the psychological aftermath of a horrific accident. Cottenham Cyclist considers how dangerous cycling at night really is, Movementsci looks at what people can do to protect themselves, others are protecting themselves with cameras, while Lewisham council signs up to the LCC's safer lorry campaign - and in Auckland it's bus bike racks that are suspended due to safety fears.

While the difference in reporting bike and car crackdowns is instructive, Mad cycle lanes of Manchester wonders what the point is of putting in Dutch-style infra if pavement parking is not enforced (perhaps they should let the police keep all the money). Brooklyn Spoke finds that the New York police are not policing the really dangerous infringements, while in Dublin slower speed limits haven't slowed traffic - but at least in California police mount a sting to catch motorists not yielding to pedestrians - but what happens when they're all in driverless cars? Zebras (or armadillos) don't completely stop illegal u-turns - and nor do bollards stop encroachement on cycle lanes but perhaps the power of twitter will? And with news that one in ten cyclists jump red lights, Bikeable Jo just wants to know what the etiquette is among the other nine.

Elsewhere in the UK, Cycling Weekly reveals the gap between perception and reality in Southampton while Edinburgh is reported to be prioritising cycle paths over potholes - but didn't take the real opportunity the trams offered to reshape its streets while further south Dumfries's council could do better In Newcastle, balancing for 'all road users' is no balance at all while Bristol's cycling manifesto makes the national press and Bath Council reconsiders its plans for pinch points along the A4 - and the GMCC at least gets a nice lunch out of the Tories. In London Traffik in Tooting makes steady progress with some local petitions while Hammersmith and Fulham's transport plan is a bit of a mixed bag. Despite talking the talk, Lambeth seems determined to put cyclists and pedestrians into conflict despite protests and cycling continues to be squeezed out in Westminster.

Further afield, the US Green Lane project is open to new cities, while DC's lates transport plans look like 'bicycle heaven', apparently. Massachusetts adopts a potentially game changing Healthy Transport Policy Directive while in Seattle a street makeover offers an opportunity for safe direct cycling routes - as could a bike boulevard in Auckland - where cycling is key to increasing the reach of public transport. In India, the bike culture is changing while a Flying Pigeon reminds Kevin Mayne of China's cycling past.

And finally, we can't let the week go by without highlighting this story of how a closed road let a four-year-old fly free in New York.