Most businesses around the country have been forced to close amid social distancing mandates. Those that have been deemed essential and allowed to stay open, like restaurants, have still had to stop some services. For example, restaurants have had to stop all dine-in services and just offer carry out or delivery to survive.
However, a few businesses are actually busier now than they’ve ever been. That includes businesses like grocery stores, but also some small businesses like bike shops.
“We’re lucky,” said Harley McClellan who is the co-owner of Base Camp Cyclery in Denver. “A lot of people are pulling bikes out of the garage they haven’t touched in five or 10 years.”
Base Camp Cyclery is one of the many bike shops that are reporting being busier now that many are forced to social distance.
“Everybody needs to get out of the house and destress a little bit,” said McClellan. “People want to get out and ride their bikes and we are encouraging them to do so as long as they do it responsibly.”
As long as people stay six feet apart, biking is one of the few allowed outdoor activities during social distancing, so most cities have included bike shops and sporting goods stores in their list of essential businesses.
However, smaller bike shops are particularly busy because many people are hesitant to go out and dish out hundreds of dollars to purchase a brand-new bike. Instead, they’re mostly opting to make more cost-effective repairs to their old one.
“Some interaction is a little more labor-intensive because of safety protocols as far as washing hands, putting on latex gloves, disinfecting bikes,” said McClellan. “From that perspective, it feels like each interaction is a little more intense but not a burden at all.”
McClellan is thankful to be open and hopeful that other businesses will reopen soon.
“In light of other businesses that cannot be open during this pandemic and stay-at-home mandates, I can’t even cover how thankful we are to get even any business,” said McClellan.