Is your u-lock as secure as it could be?

28th September: If your u-lock uses a flat key, rest easy. If your u-lock uses a round key, your locked bicycle may not be as secure as you think. Some u-locks, even very expensive ones, can be opened in seconds with…wait for it…Bic pen barrels. This has led one u-lock manufacturer to launch a multi-million dollar recall. Other manufacturers are doing nothing, leaving your bike at risk. There’s a full index of stories on this emotive topic at trade news site,

School supplies company produces waterproof blazer

27th September: A Yorkshire company that has been producing school uniforms since the 19th century has launched what it claims is the world’s first waterproof blazer. The Ducksback blazer, a boon for those children who cycle to school, costs £38 and has a patent pending.

Minister cuts digital ribbon, turning on

23rd September 2004: Charlotte Atkins MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, today pressed the big green button that launched The official turning-on ceremony took place at the trade and press preview day at the Cycle 2004 show in London. Ms Atkins, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands since 1997, was appointed the minister responsible for all matters cycling on 9th September. She lists cycling as one of her favourite leisure pursuits.

Bluejacking dons use bikes to monitor smog hotspots

22nd September: The Urban Pollution Project, a collaboration between several English universities, is using bicycle-mounted pollution sensors to measure street-by-street carbon monoxide levels. Static pollution sensors can be foxed by tall buildings, wind and other factors. it’s been found that some streets have higher CO1 levels than other streets, even though they have similar traffic levels. Academics text the street pollution levels to members of the public with Bluetooth-enabled phones. Bluetooth is a wireless technology used by phones, PCs and PDAs. This ‘bluejacking’ is to promote a CO1-awareness website and to enlist more volunteers for the project.

Bike Rail guidance launched

A new publication to help promote combined cycling and rail schemes throughout the country has been jointly produced by the Department for Transport and the Countryside Agency. It provides advice and guidance for those promoting Bike and Rail schemes, highlighting a number of case studies where such initiatives have been successfully set up. Transport Minister, Charlotte Atkins, said: “I am delighted that guidance about combining cycling and rail journeys is being made available. Sixty per cent of the UK’s population live within a 15-minute cycle ride of a railway station so there is a huge potential for such journeys which has not yet been fully tapped. I am hopeful that the new guidance will help maximise this potential.”