Boom time for bikes as virus changes lifestyles

        1588865628-112172312-mango-bikes-edit.jpeg

The schemes saw a 200% increase in bicycle orders from people working for emergency services.

Demand for more mobility and exercise amid lifestyle changes imposed by the lockdown has also boosted bike sales across the UK.

"Very strong" bicycle sales at bike and car parts chain Halfords this week saw its shares soar by 23%.

Some bike stores are battling to meet demand. Broadribb Cycles in Bicester normally despatches 20-30 bikes a week, but manager Stuart Taylor says the shop is currently selling 50 bikes every day - and seeing a commensurate rise in demand for servicing.

"It's just gone crazy," he told the BBC. "People are dragging bikes out of sheds and garages and finding they need new tyres and cables.

"We normally take in bikes for repair and servicing and deal with them for next day [pick-up]. Now we're booking services for two weeks [ahead]."

  • How will you commute to work after lockdown?
  • Tube numbers to be 'severely restricted'

At Lunar Cycles repair shop in north London, the mechanic says trade was booming, then ended the call to avoid upsetting the socially-distanced queue outside.

Andrew Hassard from Mango Bikes in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, said: "The bicycle industry is having a boom. People are saying 'I'm getting back on a bike after 15-20 years - I'm going to use it during lockdown - then commute on it as well,' to avoid public transport."

A recent poll for the consultants SYSTRA suggested 61% of Britons are nervous of taking public transport post-lockdown.

Adrian Warren who runs an alliance of cycle schemes, told the BBC: "This past six weeks, we have seen the biggest experiment in transport policy this country has even known. It's clear the default option is cycling."

More cycling infrastructure

Cycle schemes allow employees to claim a tax credit on bikes they buy at work.

But rusty cyclists may be nervous on busy roads, so the pressure group Cycling UK has commissioned research showing how 100 "pop-up" lanes in 10 English cities could make cycling and walking easier.

 

It maps UK cities which have created extra cycle lines during the crisis, in many cases taking over one car lane on a dual carriageway.

The Cycling UK research from Leeds looks at English cities with a high cycling potential and has identified 99.2 miles of streets and roads in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Leicester, Sheffield, Newcastle and Cambridge which could benefit from temporary walking and cycling infrastructure.

Cities round the world have been freeing space for people on foot and bikes, in response to the coronavirus lockdown.

In Germany, expanded cycle lanes have been marked by removable tape and mobile signs.

Paris is rolling out 650 kilometres of cycleways, including a number of pop-up "corona cycleways".

Some cities, like Milan, are making the changes permanent.

The Scottish government has announced £10m of funding for councils to provide temporary space on the roads this way, and Cycling UK is urging ministers in Westminster to follow suit.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Comments
Ahmed ulusow - Jul 5, 2020, 11:08 PM - Add Reply

Good

You must be logged in to post a comment.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Related Articles
About Author