Canberra cycle shops have reported a surge in bike sales in recent weeks as people try to keep up fitness in the age of coronavirus, lockdowns and social distancing.
Managing director of Pushys in Fyshwick, Shane Wolki, said after a quiet start to the year following smoke haze and bushfires, interest in cycling had shot up.
“There’s been a lot of kids bikes and recreational bikes being sold, and people just want to get out in the fresh air,” Mr Wolki said.
“Electric bikes have also proved to be popular and we’ve had a huge surge in static trainers, where you can get a standard bike and use it like an exercise bike at the gym.”
Mr Wolki said he’s been enthused by the throngs of people who have been getting into cycling for the first time as a result of coronavirus, along with those who have used the lockdown period to dust off their old bikes.
The number of bikes being taken to workshops attached to stores has also been on the rise. Mr Wolki said there had been a range of demographics that had come through to buy new bikes.
“There’s been a lot of families who are home schooling, and they can take their kids out for a bike ride,” he said. “There’s been a big resurgence in kids bikes.”
A similar trend has been seen by Trek Bikes Australian retail manager George Bunt.
With gyms across the country closed and sport suspended, he said cycling had filled the exercise void for many.
“There’s limited options available to people to exercise now, and cycling is one of a few that you can still do it in a safe way,” Mr Bunt said.
“In Canberra there has been strong growth in bike sales, which is particularly driven by the great local infrastructure that we have, and there’s a natural tendency to ride at this time of year.”
“Cycling can take you a lot further afield,” he said. “The surge has been for the last three weeks, after there was talk of a potential lockdown,” he said.
Pedal Power ACT chief executive Ian Ross said a large reduction in the number of cars on the road had made it significantly safe for cyclists since social distancing measures began.
“Canberrans are now discovering how beautiful a cycling city we have,” he said.
This article was first published in The Canberra Times on 16th April.