More and more people are taking advantage of walking and biking to get out of the house and safely enjoy some fresh air and for many people, biking is here to stay. Bike shops across the UK can’t stock up as fast as they’re selling out and demand for repairs has skyrocketed.
Bike shops have stayed open as essential businesses and Andy Rackstraw, owner of Saddle Safari in south Buckinghamshire says it’s the busiest he has been in the shop’s 27 years. He has a waitlist of 300 repair jobs and his team has been working through the night to fill orders.
According to a Bicycle Association survey, demand for bikes increased by 50 percent in April. New bike sales on eBay also tripled last month. Overall bike sales in the UK have increased by 192 percent since the start of lockdown. This includes more bike purchases from individuals outside traditional buyers such as women and families.
For bike shops, the trend is a financial gift. Weldtite, the Lincolnshire-based maker of cycle repair kits has increased its staff by 30 percent and part producers are ramping up production. Bicycle part supplier Hykeham Wholesaleinner feared they may not be able to keep up with demand after inner tube sales soared 600 percent last month.
The combination of warmer weather, quieter streets, and extra free time has more people dusting off their helmets and appreciating this calmer, greener mode of transportation. At a time when public transportation can potentially be a health risk, cycling offers an affordable alternative for many people. Cities are also responding positively to the trend by accommodating citizens with expanded bike paths and car-free zones.