Bike shop closes to recoup

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign Cycle is shutting its doors temporarily, but it is not for anyone testing positive for COVID-19.

Instead the shop says they need a week to reset because of the strain the pandemic has had on their supply and their workers. During last year’s tariff war with China, the bike industry suffered a 30 percent decline in orders for new parts. That depleted their stockpile, with many bike shops offering fewer parts in store. Then, the pandemic closed factories and halted production. Now, with more people itching to get outdoors, the demand for bikes is through the roof.

“More people want to go ride,” says Service Manager Drew Hagen. “The CDC esentially said, ‘Gym’s closed, go ride your bike.’ That has increased demand. So it’s really a perfect storm. You have less being manufactured, increased fulfillment, and more people wanting to ride.”

Champaign Cycle says sales and repairs are up 40 percent from their five-year average. With parts dwindling, they are taking a break to help manufacturers keep up with the demand.

“With the opprotunity to shutdown, hopefully the supply chain can catch up a little bit,” says Hagen. “We’re looking at some of the fulfillment dates and we’re going to be getting some things closer to the end of the month.”

Another aspect of the increased demand is all the work needed to fulfill it. The break will also serve as much needed mental health recovery for the shops workers.

“It’s difficult to pour water from an empty vessel, and we’re absolutely tapped out,” says Hagen. “We just need to recover, and we need to be able to help people the best we can. A quick break is going to help our mental health and well being. That’s important.”

The shops break started Sunday, but they will be back open Aug. 18 with hopefully more supplies to keep people riding.

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