Bikes sales flourished during nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns, as people were confined to their homes and local communities for several months under government-enforced public health orders to flatten the pandemic curve.
During this time, tens of millions of folks were laid off and filed for initial claims, and the lucky ones were able to work at home, which resulted in an unprecedented collapse in fuel consumption as automobiles were not needed. Employed or unemployed, millions flocked to local parks and trails, as they reconnected with nature as a stress reliever.
Walking and jogging wasn't enough for some, many ordered outdoor and stationary bikes online, and depending on local government restrictions, they were able to purchase ones at local retail shops.
Google search trend "bike shop near me" erupted to new decade highs during lockdowns.
Research firm The NPD Group found that US bike sales in March soared 50% YoY. They said stationary exercise bikes also saw increased sales. Overall, bike sales saw a 31% YoY jump over 1Q20.
Bike shop owners reported a surge in sales over the last several months, Morgan Lommele, PeopleForBikes director of state and local policy, told NPR News.
"We're seeing families, individuals riding bikes in droves, more than we've seen over the last 20 years," said Lommele
She said the best selling bikes were in a price range of $600 to $1,500.
Lommele said many bike shops experienced "record-level sales, record-level demand for service" in March and over the first quarter. With such an influx in demand, she said some shops experienced labor shortages as workers stayed home due to virus fears.
League of American Bicyclists said some state governments labeled bike shops as "essential" and were allowed to stay open during lockdowns.
With depleted supply, bike shops are now complaining about restocking, plus a massive cloud of uncertainty remains due to President Trump's bicycle and bicycle parts 25% tariffs.
Lommele said tariffs "really harm our ability to provide a safe, low-cost product to Americans who want to ride bikes."
In Springfield, Missouri, A & B Cycle's Assistant Sales Manager Bryant Johnson said sales continued to spike through spring.
"It's been completely bonkers," Johnson told KY3 News. "It's kind of unprecedented to be this low on stock of bikes."
Johnson said people want to stay active during the stay-at-home-orders.
"People just sat around for so long, they're getting bored," he said.
Johnson said the backlog is so severe, bikes ordered today won't arrive in the shop until fall.
We noted in late April that Peloton sales are booming, and their at-home classes experienced a record number of riders.
It only a took a pandemic to get America fit again.