(WYTV) – With gyms closed and people staying at home, many are looking for different ways to stay active and get fit. Some businesses are struggling during this pandemic, but not bike shops.
“This is the beginning of all the bike sales, start at the end of March. But with this year, people being all cooped up, they want to get out,” said Anthony Ricchuiti, who owns Outdoor Recreational Equipment in Boardman.
Ricchuiti said bike sales have nearly doubled this year. He’s also noticed a slight increase in kayaks and freeze-dried food.
“The three things that we’ve been seeing mostly, it’s definitely bicycles,” he said. “People want out. They want to do their exercise. They’re using them for transportation.”
Ricchuiti said he’s seen an increase in bike repairs, too, as has Frankford Bicycle Incorporated in Girard.
“People bringing bikes out of the garage that have been there for 10 to 15 years. They come in with cobwebs, tires rotted and they want to get them ready to go and hit the bike trails,” Paul Frankford said.
Frankford has also seen more people interested in bikes right now.
Although a boost in interest has been good for both shops, they said manufacturers are running low on inventory.
“Whether it’s coming from overseas, whether they’re short, late getting them in or it’s the pandemic, we’re not sure,” Frankford said. “But we’re getting roughly 25% of our orders. That’s the best we can do right now.”
“It’s just a matter of us getting the bicycles because Trek bicycles right now are experiencing 200% to 300% of normal,” Ricchuiti said.
If you add the weather warming up and kids out of school early, they expect there could be even more interest in the near future.
“We hope people get more into cycling,” Frankford said. “It’s a great sport and with all the facilities and bike trails being around now, we think it’s going to increase.”