Bike shops doing big business during this pandemic

CKTB News- Women cycling

Whether you're nervous about riding public transit, or you're just looking to safely get out of the house, the number of people riding bikes is up in Toronto.

And that means bike shops in the city are  doing big business.

"I haven't had a day off in about six weeks," says Pete Lilly, owner of Sweet Pete's Bike Shop in Toronto. "We had to turn off our phones, which sounds kind of silly, but directed them to email so that we can take care of them as they come in."

He says they normally see an uptick in business at this time of year, but this year, that's been compounded by the pandemic, and the number of people rediscovering their love of cycling.

"Cycling is one of the few things you can do right now, and it's just multiplied that problem," says Lilly.

But he's not complaining, and they have managed to pivot their business model, to be mostly online, with the number of online sales going from 15% to about 95%, during the pandemic.

And Lilly says he hopes the city maintains this momentum, and keeps pedalling, rather than jumping back into their cars when they go back to work.

"Hopefully people will want to resume and keep their car parked at home, and ride their bike."