The Great Big April Fool! Blog Roundup

It was April Fool's Day this week, and that provided an opportunity for Maidstone On Bike to have some fun, at Transport for London's expense, with a parody version of cycling infrastructure for Parliament Square that unfortunately isn't actually all that different from what is often provided... There was another sadly familiar April Fool from People for Bikes, who argued that sidewalks are a terrible idea and should be abolished, because they reduce the visibility of pedestrians, who should be trained to walk in the centre of the lane instead. And Hailo Taxis got in on the fun too, with a tandem taxi idea, while the CTC announced that cycle-friendly areas of the UK were planning to officially join the Netherlands.

Switching Bikes for Cars

More fun was had with the ReplaceBikeWithCar hashtag, provoking many humorous tweets, collected by Cyclelicious. And Robert Prinz performed the switch for news articles about car crashes. Of course we actually want the real switch to go the other way. Switching to a car for some trips can provide a useful perspective, while Copenhagenize diagnoses some reasons for cycling going up, and down, over the last few years in Copenhagen. And good places to secure bikes are important too.

The environment matters

David Hembrow shows us how it's not all perfect in the Netherlands, and indeed how a small yellow doll demonstrates a lack of subjective safety. Magnatom argues that people riding on the pavement show precisely how the environment for cycling is not safe and inviting enough for the vast majority. Unfortunately Bikeability training doesn't seem to be designed for allowing children to cycle by themselves; no surprise when roads near schools look like this. The Guardian asked its readers what puts them off cycling, and there were predictable answers.

You must be choking

Many parts of England were choking this week on, erm, Saharan dust (or something else, maybe) - the problem serving to highlight the need for people-friendly streets. And - despite the pollution - you probably should continue riding anyway, not least because you won't be polluting. Indeed, Cambridge Cyclist suggests we should be paid to cycle to alleviate the problem.


It turns out that British people are actually better disposed to cycling than we might think, but merely feel unable to do so. Part of the solution must surely lie in making cycling a simple and normal transport choice. Cambridge Cyclist argues that will only be achieved by campaigning for what we really want. Things would certainly be a lot better if Bikeyface really owned the road… while for those who might be inclined to taking up cycling under current conditions, Cycling South Tyneside has some useful tips. But don't make the mistake of Stockton Borough Council and assume that cycling is just a 'man' thing.

Time to (get) cross

Nick Cohen had an excellent, angry piece in the Guardian, pondering why Britain's urban environment so often puts driving first - and Pedestrian Liberation had some vivid examples of when the law is optional. Safer Oxford Street is tackling the issue of Time to Cross at source. The Cycling Silk returned, expressing his bewilderment at two recent court cases, and Bob Davis forcibly explains that Road Safety is not the same as Road Danger Reduction. Suzanne Forup explains why she will be at Pedal on Parliament this year, as does Henry Whaley. Accidento Bizarro pondered the ways in which sexist harassment correspond to harassment while cycling, and discovers it's all about power.


London Cycling Campaign don't think Transport for London's plans for Elephant & Castle are any good, (and there are no plans at all for the awful Deptford Bridge junction), while Maidstone on Bike provides his own take on the sorts of things TfL should be providing at Parliament Square. Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester took a close look at a genuinely mad cycle lane, while Ranty Highwayman highlights how dealing with clutter is actually an important way of making streets better for cycling. And Copenhagenize finds out that cycling is quicker than the metro system.

Shifting cargo

Finally, cargo bikes featured this week, with Bicycle Dutch producing a compilation of bakfiets in the Netherlands, and next week Nijmegen will host the third international cargo bike festival (featuring Copenhagenize and Cycle Space, among others). There's a lovely cargo bike film that needs your support, showing how these bikes can give independence and mobility. But we end on a sad note - a special adapted trike has been stolen shortly after it was featured. Keep your eyes peeled...