* Italian bicycle sales surpass auto sales. The BBC reports that in 2011, Italian bought more bicycles than cars, a first time in decades. Last year, some 1.75 million bicycles were sold in Italy, while car sales slumped to a level last registered in 1964.
* Biking her way out of unemployment: After getting laid off, single mom opens bike shop for women. CNN shared this inspiring story about Robin Bylenga, a single mom of three kids who opened a cycling shop in South Carolina that caters specifically to women.
* A 12-year-old boy in the UK has gathered over 700 signatures in an effort to have bike lanes installed. Fed up with cars and trucks speeding by him – even knocking him off his bike twice – on his way to school, 12-year-old Jack Barker started a campaign for safer bicycling options. “I would just like safer roads so I can get on my bike and ride to school with my friends without being scared of being knocked off,” he explains.
* King County removes Vashon rumble strips. Opponents argued that the strips would make roads more dangerous and less comfortable for cycling.
* Toronto’s The Grid reports that tricycles could soon become extinct thanks to the introduction of the balance bike.
*Latest efforts to save bike lanes in Toronto falls flat. The Globe and Mail reports that Toronto’s City Council voted to remove the bike lanes along Toronto’s Jarvis Street despite a last-ditch effort to save them. The good news is that Jarvis bike lanes will not be removed until a separated cycle track is completed on Sherbourne Street, a major arterial road parallel to Jarvis.
* Need more reasons to ride your bike? From losing weight to saving the environment to building community, Bikeminded has listed 15 reasons why you and everyone you know should ride a bike.
* Cyclists and pedestrians spend more money in local economies, reports Tree Hugger. In a tale of two cities – Portland, Oregon and New York City – studies find a similarity among the cities’ cyclists and pedestrians – they tend to spend a bit more money in local economies. “Streets that promote bicycling and walking mean more business for local shops and restaurants,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “When it comes to the impact bike lanes have on local businesses, it’s a case of ‘if you build it, they will come’.”
* Women in New York are flocking to women-only bike club. DNAinfo reports that the popularity of a newly-founded city-wide women’s bike club mirrors a nationwide demand for a gender-based communities of bikers to get more women out riding.
*Seattle among selected cities for the 2013 Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN) dealer tour. BRAIN staff will visit retailers in San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle next year as part of the magazine’s popular Dealer Tour, now entering its fifth year. Riding from shop to shop in each city, editors and Dealer Tour sponsors meet with retailers, conduct interviews and gather best business practices from owners and managers. The editors post daily reports of each visit online with photos in a gallery.
* On Wired magazine’s Observation Deck, Adam Roger’s contemplates the car-free metropolises of the future.
* Don’t text and ride! Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine learned last week that texting while riding a bicycle is not a good idea. Valentine suffered minor injuries to his knees and hips after he crashed his bicycle while riding in Central Park. An avid bicyclist, Valentine admitted that he had been reading a text and his distraction caused him to skid and slide down a hill.
* The Carmichael Collective surprised several bicyclists in Minneapolis while filming this little video, which features a fully dressed matador squaring off with cyclists on some of Minneapolis’ many bike paths.
* StarCrossed, one of Seattle’s most popular cyclocross races, happened on Saturday afternoon/evening. Here’s a glimpse of what you missed during the Eliminator Shootout race. (Note: that’s local favorite Steve Fisher flipping his bike.)