Invest now

Cycling could be worth as much as £17 billion to the NHS – it's worth the investment:

The bottom line is that exercise is good and reduces the risk of developing a number of major of health conditions. Cycling and walking are excellent ways to encourage a healthier lifestyle – and particularly because they can be linked to a daily commute. The big "but" though, is that the government has to get on board and commit to infrastructure to facilitate this lifestyle change.

[For bonus points, without looking guess what irrelevant points the very first commenter makes.]

For no particular reason, I'm reminded that The Washington Post reported last year that fatter crash test dummies are now being made:

Crash test dummies have long helped auto manufacturers keep cars as safe as possible, but the slim plastic mannequins are increasingly poor mirrors of the modern American man and woman.

So the world's leading producer is making a fatter version.

On the downside, more cycling brings greater risk of bicycle face a 19th-century health problem made up to scare women away from biking.

Induced demand

Do more roads really mean less congestion for commuters? Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies here: No.

In the same vein, @Lost1nSpace observes that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results:

Meanwhile over in The Mandarin:

"The promise to ease congestion is illusory," [Dr John Stone] said. "You've got to use congestion as a means to get people to use alternatives you're proposing," such as public transport, cycling or walking.

Infrastructure demand

While we're on the subject, let's consider the complete business case for converting street parking into bike lanes.

When it comes to bike infrastructure, there is this (all-too-common) approach noted by @magnatom:

Eek. Glasgow council officer I'm at a table with is frustrated that us 'cyclists' don't like the infrastructure we are given #facepalm

Or your could try what Alan Latham and Peter Wood did—observation:

A great deal of the debate on cycling in the UK has focused on the provision and use of road infrastructure for cyclists. Campaigners have repeatedly highlighted how poor and inconsistent that provision is. Many commentators have suggested that cyclists fail to use the road infrastructure properly. Amidst all this debate it is surprising how little is known – whether by transport engineers, social scientists or cycling activists – about how cyclists 'in the wild' actually use roads. This is what our research set out to understand.

Advocacy 101

Cycling advocates, you've been doing it all wrong. Take a tip from Perth's Gary Wright a long-time cycling advocate:

"The road rules are so much more important on a bike because if you get hit, the airbag's not going to go off — you're going to get ripped to shreds."

Of course, the road rules are completely unimportant when you're piloting a motor vehicle.

Read the whole mess for a masterclass in sticking your head up your own rectum.

Hacking forensic

Hats off to Bez for his extensive forensic analysis of a cyclist fatality: Something's Seriously Wrong Here. One wonders if the prosecution in the case had done anything like this much analysis.

Virtual vs actual

This virtual reality system takes your cycling workouts to the streets. Impressive but I'd still prefer to just go for a ride.

The registration zombie

@MichaelOReilly_ offers a strong list of 18 reasons why registering bicycles is a bad idea.

But then again bicycle registration has been a huge success in Canada. Not:

The City of Regina is preparing to scrap its bicycle licensing program, saying it isn't working and hardly anybody is buying them, anyway…Meanwhile, the Regina police service hasn't ticketed anybody for an unlicensed bike in five years.

See also my rant on this topic.

Get smart

7 Tips For Smart Urban Cyclists:

  1. Make yourself known at night: If you're planning on biking somewhere at night, it's always a good idea to announce yourself to drivers by shooting off a quick email to the group approximately 10 minutes before you leave the house.

…and so on.

Roll me over

The Babel is the safest bike the world has ever seen, apparently. Which is all fine and dandy, except:

We are the world's safest bike and as yet no safety standards exists - anywhere in the world - for our bikes to be tested to! So we are working with leading UK safety authorities to literally 'set the standards' to which our bikes - and any that follow us - must comply.

Some clever design ideas here but I'm not convinced it's the optimal solution for the problem it's trying to fix. I'm not really falling over myself to have one and for some reason I've reminded of this:

Possibly all the C5 needed for it to succeed was a roll cage.

Life Paint

OK, we're going to go there: the Volvo Cars Life Paint publicity stunt:

Bike Snob NYC smells a big dead and stinky rat in Volvo's own promotional video:

"Putting something on that will make you scream out to drivers like me is a fantastic thing."

What? How oblivious are you? Nobody should have to "scream out" to you to get your attention while you're driving a car. You should already be giving it, and undividedly so.

@MichaelOReilly_ summarises the LifePaint 'controversy'

And @fig4all suggests an alternative product:

#LifePaint Opaque by @KrylonBrand. Apply to phone screens. Prevents #DistractedDriving day AND night.

Take home message: always be very wary when a car company releases a "bicycle safety" product.

Think of the children!

The WHO's ten strategies for keeping children safe on the road summarised:

  1. slow the f—k down
  2. don't drink and drive
  3. put helmets on kids
  4. seatbelt kids in cars
  5. put high viz on kids
  6. build safer roads
  7. build safer cars
  8. make younger drivers safer
  9. give better care to injured kids [not sure how this counts as a safety measure, but there it is]
  10. supervise kids around roads

While we're on the subject Lenore Skenazy asks: you know what's really dangerous for kids?


A safety campaign blames pedestrians for getting hit by cars. This response is perfect:


How much do we love Adelaide?

On just one evening, Channel Nine in Adelaide gave us these two earth-shattering stories:

Woman cycles through Adelaide with child in backpack. Hold the front page.

And a baby on a bike is "shocking vision", apparently.

I'm not naturally inclined to dump on Adelaide [lovely place to visit but, well, y'know…], but sometimes you guys just make it wa-ay too easy.