2009 Retrospective: March and April

Women in cycling, the helmets debate and a cycle parking lottery for London's cyclists
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Women in cycling was the talk of the trade in March. Not only did BikeBiz research confirm that women were in the minority in the trade, Sustrans launched female-specific website Bikebelles and Cyclodelic revealed details that its lady-loving cycle chic had entered the UK’s biggest fashion store at TopShop, Oxford Street.

Elsewhere, the helmets debate continued to hot up with the CTC warning that helmets are being made ‘compulsory by the back door’. Hot Wheels delivered cycling to Center Parcs, Saddleback snapped up the Vredestein brand and the London Cycling Campaign scored a victory by helping to block a ‘lock it and lose it’ measure that would have made parking a ‘lottery’ for the capital’s cyclists.

The industry also took the time to celebrate its up-and-coming rising stars in the BikeBiz ‘30 Under 30’ list.

The traditional start, and end, of the financial year in April turned up a slew of good news stories for the bike trade, from Saddleback announcing 44 per cent growth, Halfords selling one million bikes a year and Giant predicting ten per cent growth in 2009.

And while the Chancellor raised petrol duties in the budget, Sustrans felt Alistair Darling had missed the opportunity to back green initiatives like cycling and slammed his car scrappage scheme for encouraging the car dependence culture.

In other news, Halfords ditched the Cycle Republic brand, BikeBiz’s web traffic hit a new high and the news broke that the UK was set to get ‘Cycle Point’ Dutch-style shops. April also saw the industry debate the future of singlespeed, and it turned out in force for the Taipei Cycle Show – topping previous records for visitors.

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