Too busy to keep your eyes glued to the internet? Here’s a compressed digest of the month’s headlines...

April – the month in five minutes

Helmets and cyclist safety headed back into the headlines when Transport Minister Norman Baker refused to wear a helmet while cycling. Despite pressure from road safety groups, Baker refused to back down from his stance on head protective gear.

Bike brand Kona slammed ‘grey market suppliers’ – and one online retailer in particular – warning its partners about the ‘unauthorised’ practice.

Cycle sales seemed to recover after a tough winter, with Halfords’ bike sales returning to growth in the first quarter of 2011. Sales also rose for Shimano Europe, but independent bike dealer sales at the start of the year were more of a mixed bag.

Members of the UK cycle industry pledged their support to 29ers and revealed that the sector has grown significantly on these shores over the last two years.

Back to the cyclist safety themed month: the AA staged a helmet and high vis vest giveaway in London, unwittingly sparking further debate on cyclist safety. The motoring organisation was criticised for putting the emphasis on cyclist safety solely with cyclists themselves, leading the CTC to stage a giveaway of copies of the highway code to drivers.

Swiss clothing brand Assos ordered UK-based fashion and beauty retailer ASOS to stop using its trademark.

Trek announced it was to recycle all scrap carbon in its domestic manufacturing, making it ‘the first bicycle company to begin recycling carbon fibre’.

National newspaper The Independent launched its own cyclist safety campaign, dedicating a front page and plenty of column inches to highlight the plight of cyclists on UK roads. 

After some hard campaigning to preserve the historic site, British Cycling stepped in to save Herne Hill Velodrome, footing the bill for the revamp of the plot.

Demand for London 2012 tickets crashed the ticketing website, while Sustrans urged for the Olympic legacy to get more people active and on their bikes.

Hot topics
What got you talking this month? The news that Sustrans CEO Malcolm Shepherd had been knocked off his bike caused an unexpected debate over cyclist helmets. Tesco doubling clubcard points for bikes bought in the supermarket giant also caused a stir.

And finally…
April Fools Day served up its usual hoaxes, including the ‘news’ that Britain’s potholes were to be speed-filled by special AA patrols working with the CTC. Creating a chuckle of his own, Norman Baker tried to arrange a meeting with Cycling England, months after he’d axed the quango…

You can find all the April news stories here.

You can read the March news round-up here.

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