CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stay at home orders have forced millions of Americans to pick up new hobbies and find ways to get outside for some fresh air, which has led to booming business for bike shops.
But local shops in the Charlotte area are now facing a shortage of bikes because coronavirus has interrupted the global supply chain.
“Business has been at least double what it was normally for this time of year,” said Ben Cooley, owner of Bicycle Sport.
Last April, Bicycle Sport in Myers Park sold 40 bikes. This April, they sold 277. The line has been down the street many days since the pandemic started but now, they're running out of product to sell.
“That’s the talk of all the industry right now, yeah sales are great, but what does this mean for June, July, August which is normally a large selling season,” he said. “All of our manufacturers have run out of bikes. We have been constantly ordering and trying to stay ahead of it. It’s kind of come to a head recently where a majority of the manufacturers have been out for a week or so.”
At Bicycle Sport, they've been ordering different brands so they can still fill some orders but wait times may be a little longer. So many people picking up this new hobby, cycling enthusiasts are hoping there are some long-term effects if people stick with it.
“I think you're going to see a lot more people riding bikes which will in turn hopefully lead to more infrastructure and more places for them to go and ride safely,” said Cooley.
Cooley expects the supply will be back by the end of the summer or early fall.