BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thinking of buying a bicycle? It’ll likely be more difficult than you realize, especially for those shopping for entry-level and kids bikes.
It’s a hobby, form of exercise and healthy outdoor activity for people staying socially distant amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But the sale of bikes in many U.S. cities has come to a halt.
- TIMELINE: Coronavirus In Maryland, Tracking The Spread
- Latest coronavirus stories from WJZ
- Latest CDC Guidelines
Joe Traill, the owner of Joe’s Bike Shop, said since the pandemic began, they can’t keep bikes on their proverbial shelves
“It’s painful for us,” Traill said. “I mean, our life‘s work has been putting people on bikes and now we are not able to do that.”
“The first wave was every kid’s bike we had just disappeared,” he added.
And it didn’t stop there-for people like Corinne Milligan who just got into mountain biking, the main apparatus she needs is in short supply.
“I wanted to get with a starter bike or just a regular bike but you go to any of the bike stores and they’re all sold out or they’re like, ‘Oh, well if you order it you can get it sometime next year,'” Milligan said.
Traill said he has a lot of bikes in his shop, but they’re very high-end and therefore very expensive.
“We still have some supply on what we consider mid-price or higher-end bicycles in the $3,000 range, but there’s only so far people budgets can stretch,” Traill said.
The New York Times reports nationwide sales of bikes has doubled. Bikes used for fitness and transportation have increased 66%, leisure bikes jumped 121% and the sale of kids bikes is up 59%.
For cyclist Anthony Reedy, the influx of bikers is noticeable
“We just see so many people out on their bikes,” Reedy said. “People are just like, ‘Well, there’s not a whole lot we can do, so I might as well go outside, get some exercise and biking is a lot of fun.'”
Traill said bike sales have increased 33% from the same time period last year. He said suppliers were canceling orders in January and February, so now inventory has been running behind, especially with more people buying bikes.
“I’ll be chasing bikes until next spring,” he said.