Did March pass you by in a blur? Catch up with our most read stories here, including shop openings, Jeremy Clarkson and more

Top stories of March

This month has been all about bike shops, media launches and closures, plus some top name appointments…

Top shop search
Our search for the UK’s top independent bike dealers once again proved to be hugely popular. Backed by specialist cycle insurer Cycleguard, we’ve been inundated with entries and recommendations. It’s too late to get involved now, however – the trade’s top 20 will be revealed in our April mag, launching this week.

Factory Media to close print titles
The news has only just broken, but Factory Media’s move to go online only – meaning Dirt and Ride UK magazines are closing in their print form – is the latest seismic shift for the cycle media world.

Factory Jackson relaunches with Dodd at the helm
…Speaking of the cycle media world, we went in-depth on Factory Jackson’s recent revamp with new recruit Andrew Dodd.

Scott Sports announces new UK director of operations
Two appointments at the head of Scott Sports’ UK branch saw new principal Dave Rainsford become UK Director of Operations and Keith Murray become new UK Bike Sales Manager.

Bill Nichols passes away
The sad news that trade stalwart Bill Nichols had passed away shocked us all. A friend of BikeBiz and much of the industry, our thoughts are with his family.

Fisher boss: ‘Distributors are going to have to do more’
Proof that people like a straight talking interview, this one with Fisher CEO James Browning saw him talk about tackling the company’s balance sheet, culling brands and doing more to help IBDs.

Halfords appoints Jill McDonald
Jill McDonald became one of the most powerful people in the UK cycle trade this month (or she will when she officially starts on May 11th).

Staff pick: 
Re~Cycle delivers 60,000th bike to Stephen of Kenya
We felt the excellent news that the UK charity Re~Cycle had delivered 60k unwanted bikes for use in Africa was worth giving a shout out again here.

Jeremy bleedin’ Clarkson
Typical. We resisted our worst impulses and refused to shoehorn a Jeremy Clarkson story onto the site in order to score some easy hits, but it turns out some of you found this old story anyway, no doubt because much of the UK’s media was fighting to cover the saint/sinner (depending on your viewpoint) with as many stories as humanly possible.

Was it just us?
Or were there quite a few stories about bike shops opening this month? Either way we saw a lot of bike shop opening news on the site, including The Bike Rooms, the first Cycle Republic outside London, Rapha’s first Archive Outlet store and 365 4 Bikes in Rotherham, among others.

Lesson of the month:
It’s an old one, but financials from two of the industry’s bigger players – Accell and Dorel – once again spelled out that good weather means good times for the bike trade, with both pointing to 2014’s decent weather as a key reason for strong financial results.

In other news...

Leatt appoints Bastian Dietz and Dain Zaffke to focus on MTB market

Leatt, the head-to-toe protective gear brand, has announced that it is reinforcing its team with …