Bike businesses booming during COVID-19 crisis

Owners cite increase in outdoor recreation, public support

Casey Van Divier
cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/1/20

Every year, March marks the month when business picks up for Nate Glore, owner of Colorado Cycle Dynamics in Arvada. And in the midst of this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, he was relieved when sales …

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Bike businesses booming during COVID-19 crisis

Owners cite increase in outdoor recreation, public support

Posted

Every year, March marks the month when business picks up for Nate Glore, owner of Colorado Cycle Dynamics in Arvada. And in the midst of this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, he was relieved when sales not only increased as usual — they also climbed higher than expected.

For March 2020, the shop at 5545 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. was on track to make at least 1.5 times as many sales, and potentially double the sales, that it made in March 2019.

Across town, The Bicycle Shack, 16255 W. 64th Ave., has seen a similar amount of growth in the past month. Where the shop typically has about 10-15 customers a day, since the pandemic started sparking shutdowns of schools and businesses across the state, anywhere from 30 to 50 customers have been visiting the store each day, said co-owner Paul Rodriguez.

“People have great support for small businesses here,” he said. “And everybody loves the outdoors. Nobody wants to be stuck inside, especially with this beautiful weather.”

As workout options have continued to become limited and more residents have turned to outdoor recreation, the bike shops, which are considered essential under current stay-at-home orders, represent two local businesses that have seen a rare increase in business over the past few weeks.

“I’d say across the board, everybody’s coming in, whether that’s our mountain bike customers or a mom or dad,” Glore said. “We’re seeing people get the bikes out of the shed that they haven’t ridden in years and dust them off.”

The uptick in bicyclists can be seen across local trails, where regular cyclists like Ed Rothschild, a member of local group Bike Friendly Arvada, says he has noticed a significant change in the number of people out enjoying a bike ride each day.

“There are a lot of bikes out there. I rode to work yesterday and the trails were so busy on my ride home, I went back to the streets,” Rothschild said. “I think it is a function of more people home, more people needing to get out and exercise and some, like my business — where we are opening later and closing earlier — making it easier to bike.”

Rothschild said he expects a good turnout at the group’s first scheduled community bike ride of the year, which will take place April 18.

In the meantime, as Glore and Rodriguez continue to make sales, they’re also prepared to make adjustments if the public health crisis grows worse, such as by relying more on pickup or by-appointment services.

For now, the shops are focusing on smaller adjustments, like frequently disinfecting surfaces and ensuring customers practice social distancing, as residents continue to show up in support of the local businesses.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our customers,” Rodriguez said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to stay open for them.”

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