Bike sales surge during pandemic

WASHINGTON — If you are looking to buy a bike right now, you may end up paying more or waiting longer. Bike stores across the country have seen a surge in sales during the pandemic.

“The demand we’re seeing now and the increase in business is unlike anything we have seen in our history of the company. I mean, April and May have been busier than any month than we’ve had in our ten years we’ve been a bike shop,” said Bill Brown, Ride Bicycles Bike Shop Sales Manager.

Seattle’s Ride Bicycles Bike Shop has sold nearly all their entry-level inventory, which typically lasts through the end of the summer. The shop’s sales manager, Bill Brown, says 75% of their recent customers are first-time bike owners.

“The ability to just go outside is the number one driver for selling a bike, you know, to get outside and not interact with a large group of people,” said Brown.

According to the market research company NPD, nationwide bike sales spiked 121% in March, around the time stay-at-home orders went into effect.

“Bikes are a great tool for fitness and transportation, and Seattle has a very active and engaged cycling community,” said Paul Tolmé, Cascade Bicycle Club spokesperson.

Paul Tolmé, the spokesperson for Cascade Bicycle Club, said biking allows people to stay physically distant while exercising, and offers an inexpensive way to travel around town instead of driving or using public transit.

“A lot of bike shops are selling out of certain styles of bikes, especially children’s bikes and affordable commuter and recreational bikes, said Tolmé.

The pandemic also disrupted the inventory overseas, making it a challenge to order parts. Brown doesn’t expect new shipments until at least July or August.

As states start to reopen and ease restrictions, Brown hopes the biking movement will continue, even after the pandemic.

“The air has cleared up and everything is looking a little greener, and I think if people can understand and keep the momentum rolling and staying on that sort of healthy cycling trend, then we really can make a more positive impact on our community,” said Brown.

Seattle recently designated 20 miles of “Stay Healthy Streets” which are closed to thru-traffic. This gives people a safe place to bike, in addition to the city’s nearly 200 miles of bike lanes and trails.

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