While COVID-19 has played havoc with the Texas economy, one industry is booming. Bikes are surging in popularity. Two locally owned and operated bicycle stores have had to bring on more employees to keep up with the demand for new bikes and repairs of older models.
Beth Farrell, owner of B&B Bicycles in Cedar Hill, said “Since March, beginning in April, sales have grown through the roof. Customers are definitely driving the distance to buy bikes wherever they can find them. We’ve had people come from Oklahoma, Tyler, Houston Denton, Waco’, Abilene, Frisco, McKinney, and many other places. But, by far most customers are pretty local.”
Popularity of Bikes Surging With New Riders
“Also, we have a whole new group of customers who are getting on a bike for the first time in years and loving it! Once the gyms closed and the lockdown got in full swing, people needed to find a release and bikes are the one thing that you can do and still maintain social distance.”
Farrell acknowledged there had been some issues in getting bikes and products to keep up with the increased demand. She said that factories were closed for several months, and shipping was also a problem. Companies that didn’t back order bikes and parts early enough would have difficulty getting product shipments on a timely basis.
“We back-ordered in early April, and are getting product weekly, thank goodness,” Farrell said. One interesting thing, she said, was “when the bikes ran out, we started getting an overabundance of repairs in, so our repair shop has been overloaded as well. We are now using a waiting list for both repairs and bikes. If you need either one of these, I highly suggest you go ahead and put your name on the list!”
B&B Bicycles have been “very fortunate that the quarantine did not really affect our staff as much as a lot of places. We have managed to hire extra summer help,” Farrell added. “We feel very fortunate that things have worked out this way for the bike shops. I know that there are plenty of people who were very negatively affected and pray that things will turn around and get as close to normal for them as soon as possible. I think it is going to take extra patience for us to all get through this together!”
B&B Bicycles is located at 223 FM 1382 in Cedar Hill. For information visit bbbicycles.com or call phone 972-293-3100.
Hilltop Bicycle Center
Hilltop Bicycle Center is another busy, family-owned bike store located at 130 N. Main Street in historic downtown Mansfield. Owner/manager Jeff DeLaVega has been riding BMX since he was 12 years old.
Hilltop offers sales and service, custom bike builds, parts, accessories, and repairs for most bicycles. They also repair other items like wheelchairs, joggers, and walkers as well, and supply sports nutrition products. For information, visit hilltop.bike, or call 817-225-6275.