ANDERSON — Bicycle shoppers are finding a lot of empty shelves these days as sales of bikes have skyrocketed during the pandemic.
“Within the industry, they’re saying this is basically the biggest month in the last 30 years,” said Buckskin Bikes owner Ben Orcutt.
“The inventory that we’re normally selling, $300 to $700, it’s zero in every category, every brand, I have nothing available, it’s really intense.”
You can find some higher-end bikes with larger price tags, including ebikes, available, Orcutt said.
He noticed the surge in sales start with the stay-at-home order and thinks a lot of the demand was people looking for alternative ways to exercise.
“Cycling is a fantastic solo fitness activity. It’s really easy to stay socially distanced,” Orcutt said.
Along with sales, bike service is in high demand. While there’s not a lot of bikes for sale at Buckskin, the floor is full of bikes awaiting service.
Closed except by appointment, the shop is accepting service appointments through their website.
Bikes that have sat in the garage are being pulled and put back to use.
“We’ve had families bring four bikes to us at once to get all tuned up,” Orcutt said.
“People are debating between is it worth putting this much money into my old bike or should I just buy a new one, and this year the answer to that question is invest in your old one because I can’t get you a new one.”
Another area seeing strong sales is the RV industry.
As the pandemic hit in March, business slowed down for Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales in New Castle, and then took off at the end of April.
“This whole month has just been, it’s been crazy, we’ll obviously have a record May,” said Nathan Hart, general manager and partner at Walnut Ridge.
While they have seen customers who would have in the past flown to a destination or taken a cruise buying RVs instead, he thinks most of the demand can be attributed to nostalgia.
People who camped with their parents or grandparents while growing up are wanting to share the same experience with their kids.
The increased demand hasn’t hit supply chains for RVs as hard as it has hit bicycles, but it is still a concern, said Hart, since factories, open now, were shut down for five to six weeks.
“Everything was shut down, so suppliers had to start back up, manufacturers, frame builders, everything. That’s really the only downside, but, hey, that’s a problem that we’re very pleased that we get to deal with versus what we were dealing with six weeks ago,” said Hart.