Washington DC's Bike Boom Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down Amid The Pandemic

WAMU: Local News


Geneva Sharma ordered his first bike just weeks into the pandemic. He lives in a small downtown DC condo with his girlfriend just trying to get out in a safe manner. I figured a bike is the best way only one problem I just. Didn't think about that everyone else was going to be buying bites at this time and I googled IMOs like Lo and behold there's a bike shortage in in America Sharma's bike was back ordered. So it took a while to arrive since he got it Sharma's been exploring all over riding up to twenty five miles at a time for many in the city outdoor space has become a premium cycling, his boomed as it's one of the safer socially distance ways to exercise. During the pandemic, some local trail sensors of shown twenty five or fifty percent increases in traffic over the same time last year if you want a new bike, it could take a few months waits for repairs, stretch three weeks or more at some shops demand his far outweighed supply that's been tightened. Thanks to the pandemic and shortage of parts from China. The US market is competitive. Two things have been terribly busy. That's Keith Jackson who runs operations for gearing up bicycles. A used shopping eggington I've been in a bicycle business since nineteen, ninety, five and everybody would tell you they've never seen anything like this between the desirability of bicycles. All of a sudden people stuck at home and people no longer doing comfortable mass transit Jackson found a line of people outside shop when he arrived for work the first weekend after DC, shut down in March, I sold everybody that Saturday all fifteen used bikes gone in an hour and a half. Wayne Sousa co-owner of Conte's bike shops has also seen unprecedented demand for new bikes. He sees a lot of first time cyclists and families who are looking for group activities outside the House. His biggest suggestion for those who may be looking to get into cycling. You don't need to necessarily buy a bicycle that's the most expensive one that they have or the fanciest gadgetry that they had of just get a bicycle that you feel comfortable on and start writing but getting comfortable running bike in the city doesn't come naturally for all the Washington Area Bicyclist Association has had record demand for their learn to ride and riding in the city classes. Wobble plans to restart in person classes. Later, this fall was social distancing, but for now. Everybody. Thank you so much for tuning in to today's women are rubbing. Short has been teaching cycling skills for more than three years. But now she's sharing knowledge online. Wada has created online spaces for beginners to ask questions and learn more about how to get into cycling. Short shared her favourite safe trails in Prince George's county during a recent Webinar but she also had a call for action. We need you out there a lot of us live in the county or little frustrated about the lack of bicycling infrastructure. But a lot of times that stuff is based on the demand sold more bikes mainstream more infrastructure more trails more all of that cities across the world or adapting to how people are moving around during the pandemic Peres is adding four hundred miles of bike lanes. Austin Texas voted to spend one hundred, twenty million dollars on new bike infrastructure. DC and other surrounding areas haven't committed like those cities. The district is staying with its plans to add twenty more miles of bike lanes by twenty, twenty, two, the Bike Association says, that's too slow. Officials have created some temporary space for walking and biking, and DC, in Montgomery County but it's not clear. These changes will last Sharma's he hopes those kind of spaces stick around because he'll be biking even after the pandemic is over climate change and his own health are among the reasons I think I'm GONNA keep to it I whenever we get back to the office I. Think I'm GonNa Start Cycling to work once I forgot how to make sure I'm not sweaty when I got to the office. He's not sure when he'll go back but until then you can catch him in tons of other new cyclists out on the trails for WMU Jordan Paschal

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