Bicycle store focused on repairs; Looking ahead as nationwide bicycle shortage continues

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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (KALB) – When COVID-19 closed gyms and schools and left most of us with little entertainment in early spring, many across the country, and here in Cenla, rediscovered biking.

“There were sales like we had never seen before. I have been here for 27 years and have never seen anything like it, ”said Mike Hopkins, owner of Red River Cyclery.

Sales were so strong they doubled the industry’s business as people flocked to local chains and stores to buy bikes

“It didn’t last very long,” Hopkins said. “We’re always busy, but it’s quite different from what we saw when it all started.”

Right now, Hopkins has a specialty bike for sale in the store, and he’s not the only one. There is a shortage of bicycles in stores across the country.

“We get calls everyday from places that are just looking for bikes and they all expect to hear a no when they call,” Hopkins said.

He said national chains sold out first, followed by stores like his. After that, the bicycle parts also started to run dry. “Tires, tubes, saddles, grips and that sort of thing that was always there and isn’t here anymore. “

The store remains busy with repairs, but it’s not as easy as it used to be as not all parts are readily available. “It was bad timing obviously for everyone in the world, but it was bad timing for us as the cycling industry as well.”

Hopkins expects the supply of bikes to start increasing towards the end of the year, as new bikes are produced and shipped from overseas. He said they’ll likely be shipped to big box stores first and then to local guys, which could lead to an even bigger year in 2021. People will still want to buy and buy even more next year.

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