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April 10, 2020

Bicycle Shops See Quarantine Business Spike

The search for safe outdoor activities under statewide stay at home orders finds a healthy solution. Bicycle shops remain open across the state, making sales and repairs for those looking to hit the road without their cars.

In fact, as reported by Bakersfield.com, business booms for California bicycle shop owners. Thanks to vaguely worded language in the text of Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order, bicycle shop owners make the argument for their essential status.

Guidelines stipulate workers “supporting or enabling transportation functions, including … maintenance and repair technicians” continue to work. Since many rely on their bicycle to ride to and from other essential services, like grocery stores, the shops provide an essential service.

On Thursday, one Kern County health official challenged the argument. Inside Action Sports, owner Kerry Ryan engaged with the official when they visited to shut the store down. After about 10 minutes, Ryan tells Bakersfield.com, the official changed their mind. Given the servicing of wheelchairs and the reliance of some on their bicycles to get around, the official agreed.

Bicycle Shops See Uptick in Parts Sales, Repairs

The majority of new business centers largely around the sale of bike parts and bike repairs. Anecdotal evidence from bike technicians suggests people are pulling out old bikes to fix up and ride during quarantine. It allows people to maintain social distancing while getting some exercise, fresh air, and motion.

Furthermore, it appears to be a national trend, not just localized to California. Olivia Snider, owner of Snider’s Cyclery, told Bakersfield.com how fellow bicycle enthusiasts across the country tell of an uptick in business, as well. “Being on a bicycle is freedom, in a sense,” she said.

The economic downturn during the pandemic continues to rattle most industries, but some manage to benefit. Bike shops seem more than happy to provide respite from the indoor doldrums by helping folks peddle out their frustrations.

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