So 2012 saw a few wild turns in the cycling world, Italy sold more bikes than cars last year (a first since WW2). Britain stomped on the road cycling world in both the olympics and the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong gave up his long fight against doping allegations and was stripped of his 7 Tour victories. Bradley Wiggins gave prompt and profanity laden press interviews on his way to winning the Tour. He also ended up being struck by a Vauxhall estate wagon while on a training ride. But by far the most interesting news came in the realm of citizen cycling (or as I like to call it: “normal cycling”).

Twice this year major national and regional transportation spends put cycling, if not first, then certainly much further up on the agenda than in the past.

UK Infrastructure Spend

On November 28th, UK Transport Minister Norman Baker announced £20 Million for cycling infrastructure.

This fall also saw the publication of the London Assembly Transportation Committee report Gearing Up, calling for a number of major changes to Britain’s cycling landscape. Among the changes called for:

  1. Transport For London is being encouraged to bring its per capitalcycling spend to £10, on par with the Netherlands and Copenhagen.
  2. More cycle space, especially Cycle Superhighways.
  3. Removal of traffic circles which are difficult for cyclists to navigate & introduce 20mph zones.
  4. Calls for new innovation & safety design for cycling infrastructure.

Other recommendations would bring the 10 percent modal share forward to 2026, and the appointment of a cycling commissioner.

EU Infrastructure Spend

The other major news came from the EU where the Tourism and Transportation Committee voted on guidelines for EU transport infrastructure. Specifically the inclusion of cycling in the Trans-European Transportation Network guidelines.

This opens the way to literally billions in EU cycling investments.

The European Cyclists’ Federation are intending to use some of that money to encourage the development of EuroVelo – a network of  high-quality cycling routes through the continent.

Either way this has a potentially huge transformative potential.

Meanwhile in Toronto …

Our sometimes Mayor Rob Ford stripped Jarvis of its recently painted bike lanes.

There have been promises about seperated bike lanes especially along routes like Harbord Street. Frankly I am shocked that some of the resistance is coming from bike shop owners. The idea that the shop would use the bike lane to park its delivery truck is unfathomable. I’ve shopped there once. It will be the last time I offer my support to that store.

Here’s hoping things in Toronto end up being brighter for 2013. As for the rest of the world