We saw a film recently where the protagonist gets knocked over and killed while riding a bike. I won't say any more, as I hate spoilers to films & TV programmes, however, as the film finished, R turned to me and said "I don't ever want the girls to ride bikes on the road." It wasn't a conversational opener, it was a statement of fact. It wasn't going to happen. Ever.
In other words, not matter how environmentally responsible I may think it is, riding bikes on the road is not going to become one of those "things we do". Riding in the cemetary, OK, riding on roads, not OK.
Regular cyclists will no doubt disagree, but there is a perception that riding bikes on main roads is a dangerous thing to do. While writing the School Run piece on Thursday, I saw a great cartoon where the mum puts the kids in the car, saying "it's too dangerous to walk to school, too many cars". This is the nub of the issue - people think it's too dangerous to walk or cycle, so make it so by driving their cars.
We need a critical mass of people to walk or cycle, especially during rush-hour, to encourage traditionally non-cyclists and non-walkers to dip their toe into the water. Until that happens, the roads will stay clogged during the school run and rush-hour times.
On a positive note, the Tour of Britain is in Norfolk today; according to the EDP's website, "participation cycling" has grown by 100,000 people in two years. Maybe if those 100,000 and more would cycle to work, it might become more appealing for everyone else!