If you go into a bike shop today,
you're in for a big surprise.
If you go into a shop today,
you might not believe your eyes.
For every bike that ever there was,
has disappeared: been sold and bought,
For this year has seen a biking boom thanks to COVID!
Yes, if you have been planning to wrap up a new kids, road, mountain, gravel or ebike for your loved one this Christmas and you haven't found one yet, sadly, you're not likely to get one until early 2021.
Some of our stores in Bendigo are carrying waiting lists of between 400 to 600 people who are keen to know when the next delivery of bikes arrives - and that's before many people have even thought about Christmas gifts.
Bendigo-based Bicycle Industries Australia general manager Peter Bourke said the shortage was affecting all bike retailers, from boutique bicycle shops to department stores, not just in Bendigo but across Australia.
"There will be people who will not be able to get a bike at Christmas," Mr Bourke said.
"Usually you can go into Kmart or Big W the night before Christmas and get a bike, but that's certainly not the case this year."
So, why the hold up?
With gyms and pools closed and no community sport on offer through winter, it seems the the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions inspired people back onto bikes to keep fit.
Plus, is there really anything better than having a good 'zoom' on your bike in the fresh air after your sixth Zoom video meeting for the day?
While the coronavirus related lockdowns have devastated the tourism and hospitality industries and gyms and hairdressers of Bendigo, our six local bike shops have been enjoying an unprecedented boom in bikes and accessories since autumn.
For some, they've seen double the usual level of demand and ended up selling their Christmas stock in September!
There's also been a noticeable increase on our many Bendigo bike paths and trails of parents wanting to break-up the days of remote-learning and working from home with an afternoon bike ride with their kids (which is awesome to see).
So, if you were planning on a bike for Christmas, what can you do?
Give a gift voucher from a local shop.
Surely, we've all learnt the value of patience in 2020, right?
Y(our) local shops will really appreciate you buying a gift voucher for your loved one - they really are doing everything they can to get new models in as soon as practical.
Repair and service what you've already got.
You might actually already have a great bike in your shed that just needs some TLC.
My own trusty Cannondale mountain bike from Moroni's is still going strong from 1996 (after a number of serious services!).
I encourage you to get in touch with one of our awesome bike local bike shops and find out when they can service your humble steed. It's better for the planet, too.
Sell that bike that's in the back of your shed.
Perhaps you'd rather make someone else's Christmas special and sell that bike that isn't for you?
My wife bought her mountain bike second hand online via a local page last year and she loves it.
She soon sold her flat bar road bike and is riding confidently with our kids and I.
Don't worry, there's still time to save your bike-related Christmas plans and ride into 2021.
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