BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a lot of families are looking for something to do, and a way to get their kids to entertain themselves.
With so many people cooped up, the idea to go get a bike seemed to have hit everyone at the same time.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Joe Trail, of Joe’s Bike Shop in Mount Vernon, said.
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His phone is ringing off the hook, and he knows why.
“They’re calling asking if we have any bikes,” Trail said.
But his bike racks are empty. A couple of toddler bikes are all he has left that’s affordable.
“We do have some, but it’s not the bikes that people think of as entry-level,” Trail said.
Basically, if it’s a kids bike or under $1,000, Trail doesn’t have it. He said that he doesn’t know when he’ll get more, as such bikes are sold out nationwide.
Manufactures, fearful that no bikes would sell during the pandemic, stopped making bikes two months ago.
“A lot of them did what they thought was the prudent thing which was cancel orders from China, expecting a slowdown in the economy,” Trail said.
But all low-end to moderate bikes are made in China, and restarting the factories there and getting them here is taking time; months, in fact.
“We are all a little nervous about that,” Trail said. “But we’re hoping we’ll start seeing things come in maybe June, July, August. Some of the largest distributors are saying not until September.”
Trail has expensive bikes but is not taking orders on the less expensive ones because he doesn’t know when they’ll arrive.
Meantime, Trail’s parts and repairs business is keeping the lights on, and he hopes that once we’re through this, people will keep biking and a new generation of bikers will have emerged during a rough road in our history.