Bike sales and repair businesses are on a roll while bicycle lanes are being added to prevent injuries and accidents.
Bicycling has surged in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, with its associated shutdowns of playgrounds, schools, sporting events, and social gatherings. As social distancing remains the suggested norm, bicycling is an outdoor activity that can still be enjoyed — even with a mask on — along the scenic roadways throughout Colorado.
The city of Denver anticipates adding more bike lanes in 2020 to keep up with the biking boost. Tyler Pilger, co-owner of Elevation Cycles, said this in a recent 9NEWS report:
“All of the shops that are open are up more than 100 percent on kids and family bikes. We’ve been seeing so many bikes that haven’t been touched for three, five or 10 years; we’ve been doing essential repairs to get everybody out, get them on the road.”
Bicycle sales are exploding across the U.S. A study conducted by the global market research firm N.P.D. Group found that U.S. sales of adult leisure bikes rose 75 percent in April. “For far too long, the cycling industry has been solely focused on the pinnacle athlete, but these results show that a broader, family and beginner focus can reap gains,” said Matt Powell, NPD’s sports industry adviser. “This is a silver lining, and one of the important sports retail lessons to come out of the pandemic.” The Denver Post recently reported that children’s/BMX bicycle sales have shot up 56 percent.
Demand for Bicycles High While Supply Remains Low
All this renewed interest in cycling has resulted in a shortage of new bicycles. According to Lee Newhard, owner of The Great Divide bike shop in Pueblo, since his shop opened back up in May, his stockroom has been empty. He is worried that due to the coronavirus, he won’t have any mountain bikes available for sale until 2021.
“China shut down for a while, and that’s where some of the products were made. A lot of things were shut down, so things didn’t get made up, the new stuff didn’t get made up and the old stuff had run out and the demand of bikes was just enormous,” he said. Fortunately, Newhard has been able to keep his shop open because people are repairing the bicycles they already own.
Denver to Add More Bike Lanes This Fall
Space previously reserved for motor vehicles is currently being reclaimed for bicyclists. As biking soars in popularity in Denver, the city hopes to add eight more protected bike lanes this fall, due in part to safety concerns and also because cycling is a socially distant alternative for essential workers and a temporary release from a life of lockdown. The use of bike lanes can potentially prevent bicycle accidents when compared to bikes sharing the roads with vehicles.
When Colorado’s stay-at-home order was in effect this past spring, people were unable to partake in recreational sports or work out in gyms, recreation centers, or parks, so biking became one of the few ways that active families could get some exercise. What remains to be seen is whether people will continue their newfound or renewed enthusiasm for biking once the pandemic is part of the past.