The effects of COVID-19 are far-reaching, including how we travel around town. While most areas have implemented stay-at-home orders, people still need to travel to essential jobs, grocery stores and for exercise. With public transportation discouraged due to the virus’s highly transmissible nature, many people have been turning to bicycles as their main mode of transportation. In Naples, FL and across the country, bike sales during the pandemic are ever growing, and people are enjoying the cleaner air. Can we expect the surge in popularity to continue?
A bicycle shortage
For the first time in decades, there are no low- to mid-range consumer bikes to be found anywhere. In March 2020, bike sales increased during the pandemic in Naples, FL and beyond. According to the New York Times, “Sales of commuter and fitness bikes in the same month increased 66 percent, leisure bikes jumped 121 percent, children’s bikes went up 59 percent and electric bikes rose 85 percent.” Experts account for this increase by pointing out that many adults buying bikes also have children, whose normal outdoor activities have been suspended indefinitely. (There’s simply no way to keep a playground disinfected during a pandemic, for example. Furthermore, while gyms are reopening with increased sanitation measures, many prefer to stay away until there is a reliable vaccine.)
The downside to the increase in bike sales in Naples, FL and beyond is that the pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain, making it difficult to import bicycles and parts to the United States. Manufacturers are unable to keep up with the demand, and bike stores are having difficulty stocking anything but the most high-end bikes.
Keeping bikes on the road
With the surge in popularity comes the hope of lasting change. Some cities, such as Oakland, San Francisco and New York, are closing streets to vehicle traffic in an effort to encourage outdoor recreation and biking as a mode of transportation. The California Department of Transportation recently dedicated $7 million to quickly address local bicycle infrastructure, in an effort to make it easier and safer for people to ride.
Will biking take over America the way it has in other countries and cities, such as Amsterdam? It’s possible, but it will require a massive overhaul to our basic infrastructure. Most of America’s cities and counties were built with motor vehicles in mind, and as states reopen, we’re already seeing a surge in car traffic and pollution. Some people are hopeful that this pandemic will spur changes to the way we travel, especially with the looming threat of climate change. Others worry that it may be too late to keep bikes on the road permanently.
Although bike sales in Naples, FL may not increase as steadily as they have over the past six months, it’s a safe bet that people will still continue to use bicycles for travel and recreation in the coming months and years. Will you be one of them? Big Momma’s Bicycles offers bike sales and rentals. Let us help you find a safe, fun and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation!
Categorised in: Bike Sales