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Aaron D
by on May 25, 2020

SOURCE - Meredith Spelbring and Miriam Marini @ The Detroit Free Press, photos Kelly Jordan, Detroit Free Press

Quarantine fatigue is setting in and local bike shops are feeling the impact. 

As many small businesses struggle nationwide, bike shops in #MetroDetroit are finding themselves on the flip side of the coin. Under Govenor Gretchen Whitmer's adjusted stay-at-home order, certain businesses were allowed to reopen, bicycle repair shops included. 

Warming weather and people growing weary of walking laps around their neighborhood have led many to turn to their bikes. While many bicycle repair shops see peaks in the spring and early summer months, nothing could prepare them for the pandemic-induced bike enthusiasts. 

Bicyclists were out in force at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on May 2, 2020. Warm temperatures and bright sunshine brought people outside in large numbers.

Jon Hughes, owner of Detroit Bike Shop and Ferndale Bike Shop, said his business is at least double what it normally would be at this point in the year. For Detroit Bikes, sales are up 650% over where they were at the same point in time last year, owner Zak Pashak said.

"It is basically everyone that hasn't rode a bike in the last 20 years is bringing them out because they've got nothing to do," Hughes said.

Even without police monitoring, cyclists taking advantage of the sun at popular Detroit spots Saturday were maintaining a polite distance from one another, but not quite adhering to #SocialDistancing guidelines of 6 feet. 

Michigan State Police Ft./Lt. Mike Shaw said officers were out patrolling as normal, but had yet to see any major issues with people not adhering to proper social distancing protocols. 

After being shut down since the original stay home order took effect, a wave of people anxious to get outside has come looking for bike repairs or shopping for a new bike altogether. A normal bike repair turnaround for Hughes' shop is a few days, but right now it could be a few weeks. Throw in social distancing accommodations and there is more than enough to keep busy, Hughes said. 

On top of struggling to keep up with repairs, bikes are going out of stock at a rapid pace — and may not be in stock again for months thanks to delays in shipments from China. 

Bicyclists were out in force near the riverwalk in Detroit on May 2, 2020. Warm temperatures and bright sunshine brought people outside in large numbers.

“We both needed to work out because we are going to feel it once we start conditioning,” Adams said. “Being outside is always good for your health, my family is big on biking but I’m personally not so much, and especially being active and productive.”

Wainwright had been awake since 5am working out at home. She said she has been doing what she can to stay in shape while gyms and courts stay closed, but she has been feeling holed up in the house. Biking has given her a reason to leave the house and get some fresh air.

“It gives us a chance to get out of the house, especially with the weather being nice,” Wainwright said.

It is a trend that will hopefully stick around, Pashak said.

"I think that is great that people are embracing cycling," Pashak said. "We see municipalities across the country trying to make cities more bike-friendly and encourage people to get around their cities (with something) other than cars, so I hope that this trend continues."

See full article @ freep.com

Posted in: Business, Community
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