If you’re looking to take up cycling now that summer-like weather is hitting the city, you may be out of luck, says one Winnipeg bike shop owner.
Phil Roadley, owner of Bikes and Beyond on Henderson Highway, told 680 CJOB that bikes sales are up significantly this year — so much so that you’d be hard-pressed to find an available bicycle if you set out to buy one today.
“The shortage of bikes is quite obvious — it looks like my store is going out of business.
“My floor has about 60 per cent of the bikes that it should have, and my basement is almost empty of bikes,” he said.
Roadley said sales first began to skyrocket around Easter this year, and a slow trickle of new bikes coming from Asia means there’s no imminent supply on its way.
“Asia slowed down their production and manufacturing so there’s sort of a two-month supply that hasn’t arrived in North America — so my well’s dry for getting more bikes,” he said.
“Probably by the end of this week, I’ll have no bikes under $3,000 in my store.”
Despite the lack of new bikes on store shelves, cycling is a good option to get around if you’re wary of taking public transit, said Canada Bikes chair Anders Swanson.
“Do you want to see more cars in front of you? Do you want to ride that bus that’s packed with people? Or do you want a reliable way to get to work that gets you healthy?” Swanson said.
Swanson told 680 CJOB that Winnipeg’s closure of some roads to offer space to pedestrians and cyclists is a nice step in the right direction, but it’s not a viable long-term option to boost cycling in the city.
“They open at 8 a.m. and they close again at 8 p.m. What kind of transportation system opens at 8 a.m.? I’m already at work by then,” he said.
“A(n active) transportation system is something that’s open full time, that connects and goes everywhere, that’s completely safe.”
Winnipeggers, he said, need to stop using our winter weather as an excuse not to install permanent cycling infrastructure.
Other Canadian cities like Montreal have been quick to put in more bike infrastructure since the COVID-19 pandemic began — and, Swanson said, they experience cold, snowy winters as well.
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