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Pedaling Forward

As the summer months continue, one industry that is exploding in popularity is cycling.

Bicycle sales nationwide shifted into a higher gear in March, surging by 50%, according to market research company NPD Group.

It reported a 121% increase in adult leisure bike sales and a 59% rise in children’s bike sales compared to last year. As the summer months continue, it is not surprising people have begun seeking alternative ways to stay in shape and get some much-needed vitamin D. One industry that is exploding in popularity is cycling.

Why cycling? Biking can be done independently without close contact to others and is accessible to most. According to a recent survey of 1,004 American adults, roughly 21% of respondents who own a bike have been riding more during the pandemic. Most of those surveyed (63%) said riding helps relieve stress and anxiety.

In Michigan, bike shops were deemed essential businesses and allowed to reopen in May.

“Business came quickly, and we started running out of stock. The team has worked hard to take orders and serve our customers despite having less staff on hand,” said Dave Vandecar, manager of Denny’s Central Park Bicycles in Okemos. “If you take the two-month span from March 15 to May 15 when we were closed — once we reopened in this new normal, we made up for and did more than what we did last year in that time”

Vandecar is optimistic that this will be one of the positives from this crisis — that more people turn to cycling as a form of exercise.

“We’re hoping it will bring an awareness to people who may not have been exposed to cycling before of how fun and healthy it is,” said Vandecar. “I think it’s a combination of people wanting to get out and exercise and maybe not knowing if and when they can get back into gyms.”

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