31 May Airo AV Convey: Bike stores see sales boom as pandemic changes travel, tran
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) — If you’ve considered getting out on a bike recently, you’re not the only one. Bike shops across the country are seeing a sales boom. Bike sales are up more than 120%, according to research by NPD .
Many new riders have come into Trek Wausau looking for a bike (WSAW Photo).
Wausau is no exception.
Saturday, customers poured into the Trek store before it was scheduled to open. Some are finding bikes appealing in the age of social distancing.
“They don’t want to be right next to somebody they don’t know, shoulder-to-shoulder, on top of, today is a nice day, you want to get out, you want to enjoy yourself,” said David Rietz, who was shopping with a friend at Trek.
He was checking out electric bikes, or “e-bikes,” good for commuting to work or riding longer distances.
“In a lot of the new e-bikes, the range is, you know, 40 miles, sometimes more. And on top of them being fun, I feel like a kid again,” he said, explaining how the bike guides the rider without a throttle, making a sweat-free commute.
Rietz is not the only one checking out bikes recently. Trek’s manager, John Nowaczyk, says he’s working hard to keep the showroom stocked and keep up with demand, all while wearing masks and social distancing within the store.
“Almost 20 years in the industry, and I’ve never seen a spike in bike sales like this, this is incredible,” Nowaczyk said. “It’s the riding season on top of it. You can ride social distanced, people are opting for transportation by bike to avoid public transportation. We’re seeing commuters, we’re seeing first time, we’re seeing people that have never shopped in bike shops before.”
Some are trading travel for the trails, opting to stay closer to home this season. Nowaczyk says Wausau has a great biking infrastructure.
“We’re seeing people who are cancelling their vacation, and the money they have set aside for that, they’re buying bikes for their family,” he said, adding he thinks the CARES Act stimulus checks helped some make the investment.
Others are dusting off the old bike in the garage.
“If there’s no bike availbale, they might refurbish their bike, they’re willing to spend 2, $300 to fix their current bike,” he said.
Some say the bike boom could ride out long after the pandemic is over.
“Even here, if you don’t want to get on the bus with people with everything going on, it’s a safe way to get where you need to go,” said Rietz.
For more information about the Trek store, click here .