The Great Big Playing Dead Bike Blog Roundup

After a torrid week, Friday saw thousands attend the die-in outside Transport for London's headquarters - with one of the organisers writing in the Guardian bike blog and Pedaller summing up what people were asking for in London - and indeed everywhere.

Meanwhile Boris was accused of playing a dead cat (we're not referring to his hair) by blaming cyclists wearing headphones - a distraction from the real issues which managed to unite the Guardian and the Telegraph in opposition - no mean feat. The Alternative Department for Transport compares rhetoric with reality in London - perhaps it's no wonder the whole debate has become a dialogue of the deaf. And one that's getting more and more shouty with Time Magazine blaming cyclists for their own deaths and local radio debates calling for use of cycle lanes to become compulsory so that Cambridge Cyclist is forced to add a new cyclist hater type, the 'cyclist myself' - often the loudest voice calling for cyclists to armour up for their own safety while Treehugger considers the issues of accidents versus collisions in media reports.

Meanwhile, the police in London had launched Operation Safeway to a less than enthusiastic reception with Beyond the Kerb suggesting the the police needed to be less visible not more, the Road Danger Reduction Forum wondering if there really was a crackdown on unsafe driving and making a few suggestions - perhaps they should be targetting politicians and engineers instead, or those young drivers whose phones are smarter than they are. Pretty soon it seemed the crackdown was targeting cyclists for fines - a move that was quickly retracted. And with taxi drivers claiming half of cyclists run red lights As Easy as Riding a Bike offered an alternative perspective while Totally Cranked is gathering data of their own. Just to clarify, for any confused police officers out there, it's perfectly legal to carry your kids in a bakfiets, even in London, although better not have them on your shoulders. And while charges have been dropped for the cyclist who overshot an ASL, a cereal offender gets a frostie reception while one persistent careless driver in Edinburgh gets an ASBO - although not the impatient drivers encountered by Wisob, while in New York, the police are beginning to feel the heat over road safety.

So if police crackdowns won't save us, what will? Velomondial considers the Dutch approach to HGV safety, while the CTC calls for redesigned junctions as well as better lorry cabs and more training. Treehugger asks if every lorry should be fitted with a detection system while Bikemapper asks if ASLs are as black as they're painted, although a seat in the cab of a cement truck is enough to persuade one cyclist to steer well clear (not an option offered to one Canadian mother and her child) while icycleliverpool feels we're asking the wrong questions. Beyond the Kerb is almost impressed by one road safety campaign (don't worry, it doesn't last) while the latest Manchester one seems to consider pedestrians and cyclists to be no more than road hazards. In the wake of a cyclist's death on a dangerous road in Gateshead New Cyclign want more thorough investigations. In New Zealand, a coroner's report recommends an expert panel - and was surprised that the transport authority took no part in the investigation - but at least they are learning from the Dutch, while in Australia the Queensland government proposes a safe passing law in response to a road safety report. Perhaps they're missing a trick not looking at road design, as the United States finds that measures to calm traffic reduce all crime not just traffic offences, offering a chance to kill two birds with one stone, as it were. And we should always remember that subjective safety isn't just important for cyclists but for everyone, as Diamond Geezer notes taht some of the options to improve cyclist safety might come at the expense of pedestrians on CS2.

The other big story this week was what the retail sector is hoping we'll learn to call Black Friday - perhaps we should make it green Friday instead or join Seattle cyclists in celebrating 'cranksgiving', riding to donate food to foodbanks via bikes. Bikes bring other kinds of business too, with businesses in Calgary hailing plans for new separated cycle lanes although Portland ones are split on the loss of parking and a Chicago restaurant blames bike lanes for their closure - perhaps they should have talked to Elly Blue. Even in New York, the mayor needs to learn that parking just generates traffic and is a massive waste of tarmac even at times of peak demand. Here in the UK, businesses see the marketing potential of bikes but Sainsbury's greenwash misses some practical things it could have done to be really green - and one big thing (oh and here's a little investment opportunity of your own). The US still has a lot to learn from Europe's booming cycling industry although one American nails the difference between utility and sports cycling.

With even Private Eye noticing that the government's own cycling forecasts predicts a fall - so much for joined up government - although apparently generation Y will save us all. Although how they've learned to ride a bike at all might be a bit of a mystery, especially if you compare the UK school run with the Dutch one, where 60% of kids play outside every day, even if some Danish kids aren't all that impressed. And while the downside of cargo bikes might be kids that don't want to pedal at all there's at least one 5-year-old who's up for a 'hot-chocolateering challenge' with her dad - something for these Seattle researchers to get their teeth into.

Meanwhile, back in the (allegedly) grown up world of politics, our new Minister for cycling sets off to tour London's blackspots on his Brompton and comes back claiming he never felt in any danger, although he is pro light segregation, and rejects calls to make cycle safety features compulsory (while there are some glaring omissions in the government's own advice on saving money on travel). On the other side of the divide, Labour's Mary Creagh claims cycling would rise faster under Labour although as Labour already controls many local authorities there's lots it could be doing now. Meanwhile the ECF explains the impact of the EU budget on cycling - no wait, come back, it's important - and Kevin Mayne reflecs on the Transport Day at the climate change talks.

Spokes considers what an independent Scotland might look like from a cycling point of view in light of the white paper and finds little encouraging beyond business as usual suh as ad-hoc and short sighted shared use schemes in Edinburgh although the city is getting some Danish-style cycle counters so that's all right then (perhaps if they copy Seattle's policies, they might get Seattle's rising numbers on it). Then there's the start of a conversation in Glasgow - and a useful examination of the difference between what the council's cycling czar says and what the council does. Perhaps the city needs to look at Lambeth's plans for Nine Elms - which have been widely welcomed - or a vision for a cycle-friendly Leeds - or even Pennsylvania.

Indeed liveable cities are an issue everywhere, with a new book looking at cyclists and cycling around the world, and Dave Horton and Dave Dansky debating the issues around urban cycling (while T.H. White, the author of Charlotte's Web, was a bit of an urbanist himself. Bicycle Dutch considered how car-free Sundays were put to good use - and it looks like Penang is following suit - perhaps we could free our own motorists from the 84 hours a year they spend stuck in traffic? Or use a bridge refurbishment as a chance to put it on a road diet permanently? As Tom Payne asks why London has found it so hard to follow in Copenhagen's footsteps, New Zealand compares Houten and Stevenage and cycle space visualises a city purpose-built for bikes. At least Cambridge and Bristol are looking at a network of paths, although they do need to make sure they don't put posts in the middle of them, forget to think about how people will get on and off them, or just put them in 'by mistake' and then take them out again. Ranty Highwayman gets another visit to the Transport Research Lab and finds a forest of poles.

On the campaigning side, people need to know how to get their voices heard - and even find out what's going on although that's not much good if those making the decision appear to have already made up their minds (and use bike racks as a metaphor for kicking something into the long grass). A new tool allows people to virtually stroll down a redesigned street. In London, volunteers are already in place for the Space for Cycling election campaign while it was the death of a friend that encouraged one trustee to get on board. In Bristol the People's Parking Rebellion grows - while People for Bikes asks if pavement cyclists are just voting with their wheels for better infrastructure.

Elsewhere in the UK, Lambeth respond to a complaint about a blocked cycle contraflow lane ... with a cyclists dismount sign while in Southwark, two years on some sort of southbound provision might be appearing near London Bridge station, although there's still no real answer on why CS5 is being diverted. In Manchester, the responses to the Oxford Road consultation are released while Leicester considers the lessons of the London lorry deaths. In Newcastle, Northumbia University students are working on cycle-related design projects, while the report from the Go Dutch conference is out. And in Edinburgh, there are some improvements planned for the path between Portobello and Leith.

New Cycling considers the lessons from Amsterdam - while NI Greenways considers those from Denver and south of the border a new greenway in Ireland is set to open in spring. Kevin Mayne considers the ten best things about being a cyclist in Belgium, where at least the cycle lanes don't disappear for the winter.

And finally, we've seen bear v. bike and cougar v. bike on these pages before - but we leave you with a video that's nothing at all to do with popping down to the shops in our ordinary clothes, and yet is still way cool: the world's fastest creature v. a bike. For once, we weren't rooting for the bike.