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Business is booming at bike shops deemed essential

The need to stay inside, giving many a new urge to get outside.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It is an unprecedented time to work in retail or own a business. Some shops have been forced to close while others can stay open. The economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are definitely having an effect on spending habits.

But certain businesses in the Carolinas are considered essential, including bike shops. People so desperate to have something to do outside, business at many is booming.

The world has gone virtual, entertainment, social gatherings and work have all been taken online. But, there’s only so much screen time we can handle.

“We're having a collision of stir crazy in the house and antsy with spring fever. The weather is great, and everybody wants to get outside, but we're all told we have to stay home,” said Ben Cooley, owner of Bicycle Sport.

Keeping a safe distance is necessary outside, but trails and parks have been full of people. Bike shops are seeing the need for fresh air in their bottom lines.

“It’s definitely shocking. We really weren't sure what was going to happen, so it's been pretty interesting,” said Cooley. He says a lot of shops are running out of product with so many people buying bikes for the whole family.

He's hired new employees to keep up with the demand and the way they do business has had to change.

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“We have perimeters set up outside. No one has been in the store for a month or so. We have people come up one at a time so a line forms and at times the line is all the way to road or down the road a little bit,” he said.

The need to stay inside, giving many a new urge to get outside.

“The big hope is a lot of this will stick, after all of this, people will continue to be outside,” said Cooley.

It's still important to keep that social distance outside. If a trail or park that seems too crowded, find another, there are plenty to choose from in the Queen City.

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