If a group of bees is a swarm, a group of whales is a pack, a group of crows is a murder, and a group of geese is a gaggle, what do you call a large group of bicycles? We don’t know either, but we bet you’ve seen plenty of them since the pandemic hit in March of this year. You may have even pulled your bicycle out of storage, gave it a tune-up, and hit the road. Or maybe you are one of many who purchased a new bicycle. Whatever the case, there is a bomb wave of bicycle purchases and riders and we’re inviting you along for the ride.
2020: A Record-Breaking Year
You’ve seen all the memes about Covid-19, murder hornets, riots, and the year of craziness that is 2020. But with any negative, there is often a corresponding positive, and the bicycle industry seems to be experiencing a boom as a result. The pandemic-induced quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing requirements have left people with limited options to get out of the house, exercise, engage in family activities, and find healthy outlets to relieve stress and anxiety. Bicycling seems to address all these needs and the numbers prove it.
Manufacturers, retailers, and organizations all report a major uptick in bicycle sales, parts sales, and tune-ups. If you have purchased a bike in 2020, you may very well have had to order one as inventories are running thin. It started with the big box retailers and trickled down. Now mom-and-pop shops are experiencing reduced inventories and longer wait times while bicycle repair and maintenance for existing bikes have also skyrocketed. Even a search on sites like eBay and Craigs List don’t yield much unless you’re looking to spend in excess of $2,000.
Some manufacturers had to close down along with the rest of the country, which slowed down production. In addition, the U.S. trade challenged with China could play a role in parts needed for manufacturing. Still, sales have steeply increased across the board from 2019 proving that interest in the activity has also increased. In fact, sales are higher than they have been in the past 50 years!
The Benefits of Bicycling in the Pandemic and Beyond
Bicycling is a great activity for people of all ages. It builds muscle, improves endurance, and it’s low impact. Here are more benefits to bicycling:
- It’s a great family activity and a way to engage with limited options outside the home
- It’s a healthy outlet for kids especially since many sports, school, and extracurricular activities have been canceled
- It’s good for mental health, including stress and anxiety
- It gets you outside in the fresh air and exposed to vitamin D
- It’s WAY better for the environment than cars
- It’s better than having that Netflix pop-up asking if you’re still watching after many hours
California has even designated $7 million to create more bike infrastructure so if the traffic and busy roads make you nervous, then the improvements from this investment should help!
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