Don't have time to keep your eyes glued to the internet? Here's a compressed digest of the month's headlines

March – the month in five minutes

Here’s the top stories for the month:

Online giant Chain Reaction Cycles confirmed the rumours that it was opening a stand alone store in Northern Ireland, ending the month on a positive note for the retailer after its investigation into card fraud.

Canadian brand Race Face went into liquidation, so swiftly that the firm dropped out of the Taipei Cycle Show at the last minute. UK distributor Silverfish later released a statement on the future of the brand.

The tragic events in Japan dominated the thoughts of many this month. Shimano made a donation to the disaster fund, while at Taipei Cycle Show the industry considered the effect on the country’s thriving bike industry.

The Budget saw Cycle to Work stay intact, with the Government apparently heeding the recommendation of the Tax Simplification Office. The Budget also saw extra cash devoted to potholes and scrap the fuel duty increase. Trade reaction can be found here.

MP Norman Baker found an extra £836,000 in the Treasury coffers to dedicate to cycling, due to be spent by the cycle towns to boost cyclist numbers.

There was consolidation in the cycle media world when Factory Media snapped up BikeMagic and

The ‘Dangerous Cycling Bill‘ was proposed in Parliament, aiming to give harsher penalities to dangerous cyclists.

Bike imports jumped by almost a quarter in 2010, figures from HMRC revealed. Taiwan grew its exports to the UK by 15.14 per cent, but saw a drop from some Far East countries, possibly due to customs taking a hard line on tackling duty dodgers.

Bikeability Scotland launched north of the border, aiming to get as many children in Scotland as possible access to the cycle proficiency scheme.

Sustrans and Bike Hub’s The Big Pedal race, a three week project encouraging schools in the UK to race each other by getting as many pupils, parents and teachers to ride to and from school by bike, saw over a quarter of a million children take part and, incidentally, saving £250,000 of petrol.

London 2012
As the stories snowball in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics, the UCI revealed plans to get skateboarding into the Olympics. Tickets for the UK’s first Olympics since 1948 went on sale this month, while Hampton Court was revealed as the start and finish for the time trials next year.

Hot topics
What got you talking this month? Colin Rees’ opinion column on bike shop discounting sparked a long-running debate, while on the BikeBiz forum, the thread ‘electric bikes – what’s the IBDs view?‘ continued to rumble on, as did reaction to the Budget

And finally…
One story that raised a titter (and is currently the most read story on the site) came from Taipei Cycle Show. The Taiwanese company Ken Link Co Ltd launched a comfort saddle at the show, promising "less friction between buttocks and the seat" and "more free space for man’s testicles" (as opposed to the other type). 

The rest of the month’s stories can be found here.

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