Many bike shops out of stock as cycling business booms

Many Montreal businesses still haven't reopened but the bike shop industry is booming.

Rossi Bike owner Owen Eastman said he couldn't remember the last time his Lachine store was so busy and he's struggling to keep up with demand for repairs.

“I hear this every day. 'I have this old bike in my garage that I haven't used in 10 years and I decided I'm going to use it now,'” he said. “Then they take it out and they realize the bike is not in good enough shape.”

In March, the provincial government mandated many businesses – including bike shops – close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eastman laid off staff members but two weeks later he reopened after the government deemed bike shops an essential service.

“I was kind of skeptical about reopening,” he said. “I was like, is it going to be worth it? But once they gave us the authorization, people started coming more and more. Then it got very busy.”

Eastman said bike sales are up 30 per cent. Shaden Attila is one of the people who recently bought a bicycle.

“I kept using my brother's bike so I wanted to have that independence and to have something long-lasting,” she said.

Some bike store staff said they're so busy that they're out of stock and won't have any more bicycles until July or August.

Hatef Mottahi said he was never an avid cyclist until the pandemic.

“I used to go to the gym and do a lot of indoor activities but now that everything's closed, I'm doing it more often,” he said.  

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