COLORADO SPRINGS — "I got a new bike yesterday, but I've been looking for probably about three weeks now and haven't been able to find one.” a Colorado Springs resident named Kristi is part of the growing number of people out riding bikes for a break from the COVID-19 Closer to Home orders. Finding a bike proved difficult. "Happened to be at Dick's sporting goods yesterday and there was one in the box. The guy put it together for me just kind of last minute, So I guess I got lucky."
The bike business is seeing substantial impact from the COVID-19 response. "Now there's no bikes in the pipeline that normally would be there at this time in the year." Nic Ponsor owns Criterium Bike Shop in Colorado Springs. He confirms the dwindling bike supply. A lot of bike manufacturing happens in Asia and COVID-19 shut factories down for months.
It happens at the start of what is traditionally bike buying season. "June, July and August are generally our three biggest months of the year and so, to be going into June knowing that I'm not going to get more bikes for the whole of that month is a problem,” said Ponsor. Because his shop is larger, he still has bikes in stock. The selection, however, is starting to thin. It is bikes at the entry level and mid-level price points running short.
What is not short, is the number of people pulling out bikes at their homes and wanting tune-ups or repairs. "We are dealing with 300 bikes at any given time that we are having to service," said Ponsor. To comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, he is only bringing in half his staff per shift. More repairs and less staff, results in a longer wait time for work to be completed. Ponsor hopes customers understand this about keeping everyone safe.
" Like everyone we're scrambling to figure this out," said Ponsor. A bike shortage is something he never expected. More people dusting off bikes and getting them ready to ride is welcome.
Reflecting on the situation, there is also hope of the expanded interest in cycling lasting beyond the COVID-19 crisis.