COLORADO SPRINGS — With so many of us staying home more in 2020, local bicycle stores saw record demand, which has brought about its own conundrum for bike stores.
Randall Smits followed his passion.
“Myself… I’ve loved bikes all my life,” Smits said. “I’ve been riding as long as I can remember.”
He’s been in the bike business for eight years, managing the pro cycling bike shop off Powers Blvd. in Colorado Springs.
“My favorite part is getting people on bikes,” Smits said. “Facilitating that for people, making it a better experience.”
In a normal year, bikes are big business in the Springs.
“Colorado Springs is a destination for mountain biking and cycling in general,” he said.
But he’s hoping 2021 will usher in something else with it.
“Stability,” he said.
That’s because 2020 was no normal year.
“Volume is up a lot,” Smits said.
The pandemic brought some of the biggest business he’e ever seen.
“Gyms being closed have had to have been a huge factor,” he said.
That doesn’t mean things have been smooth sailing.
“Inventory has been our big challenge,” he said.
Pauses in manufacturing brought a ripple effect.
“We sold out of anything that was affordable,” Smits said.
It could be a while.
“We’re looking at a full year of deficits in inventory,” he said.
But he’ll take having too much demand, over having none at all.
“It feels pretty good when they come back and they’re excited about the ride they just had and all the fun they’re having… looking for all the things they can do with their bike in the future.” he said.
Smits said overall he feels very fortunate this industry was not hit hard like some others, and says he’s just glad to see people getting outdoors and getting active.