Bike stores already know how people want to keep themselves busy - InfoNews

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Bike stores already know how people want to keep themselves busy

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March 19, 2020 - 7:30 AM

While it's not quite business as usual, a couple of bike stores in the region are still seeing a steady stream of traffic come through their doors.

"Spring breakers who aren't going anywhere are trying to find ways to entertain themselves at home," Sun Country Cycle manager Todd Byle told "Taking the family for a bike ride is a great way to do that."

As businesses close their doors or hunker down for a quiet time, the Vernon bike store is still seeing a steady stream of customers.

"(Cycling is) not necessarily a group activity and people want to keep riding bicycles and being outdoors where it's safe and we're not in groups," Byle said.

The manager said people are buying bikes as families look for ways to keep their kids entertained.

The first few weeks of sunshine and warmer weather is always a busy time for the bike store, Byle said, and not much has changed even in the current situation.

With so many activities and events cancelled and closed, taking the family for a bike ride appears to be seen as a good alternative. It's unclear from the B.C. government's health officials how this fits in with the advice of social distancing but appears to fit the bill.

"(Customers) are happy we are open because they're excited to get out of the house and they don't want to go stir crazy," Byle said. "It's important to keep our sanity in times like this."

The Vernon bike store's experience is echoed by Cyclepath Kelowna where they're also still seeing a steady stream of customers and has a one-week waitlist for those wanting repairs done.

"Since the ski hills are closed, all the skiers are wondering what to do, so everyone's coming back to town to go biking," Cyclepath staffer Bryce Rochette said. "People still want to get outside and not be stuck at home."

Rochette said everything coming in and out of the store is wiped down with isopropyl alcohol and in Vernon, Byle said staff and customers are keeping well back from one another.

While both stores say it's difficult to compare with other years, the number of customers is keeping the stores open their regular hours and with the usual number of staff.

"We're not necessarily selling what people need," Byle said. "We're selling what people need to stay sane."

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