by Shelby Brooks
STUCK at home with nothing to do, many locals are dusting off their old bike and going for a ride.
Bike riding is on the list of approved fitness activities for people wanting to get out of the house with their family.
John Kennedy of The Bicycle Fitting Store in Korumburra said business had tripled in the last six weeks.
“People are coming in left, right and centre who I’ve never seen before,” he said.
“If there were a million cyclists in Australia, there are now two million.”
Mr Kennedy said he has sold a lot of new bikes, but mainly people are bringing in their old bikes to have them serviced.
“The bikes are being brought out of the sheds where they have been sitting there for the last five, ten years,” he said.
Rust, chains, tyres, tubes, spokes and cogs are all the bike parts that are being fixed.
However, he is worried that wholesalers are quickly running out of stock and that bike repairers could be waiting a long time for parts and equipment in the next few months.
“Australia depends on China and we don’t do any manufacturing here thanks to 40 years of neglect from the federal government, there is going to be a problem in the next couple of months where there’s going to be no stock and then we’ll be waiting,” Mr Kennedy said.
When we put a call-out on Facebook, Megan Hawking from Inverloch said she had shared many bike rides with family recently.
Her young daughter had recently ditched the training wheels.
And Bianca Hellmuth-Pask from Ventnor had also been on many more bike rides than usual with sons Oliver and Ashton.
The increase in cyclists on our roads has prompted a warning for all users to take extra care.
Road injuries lawyer Katie Minogue, from Maurice Blackburn, said seven cyclists had been killed on Victorian roads this year, as of April 27.
“Many people who are getting back on their bikes for the first time in years, as well as children who might be just learning how to ride, are not going to be experienced in traffic or certain weather conditions, so motorists need to be careful around them,” Ms Minogue said.
“It is vital that all road users slow down, obey road rules and avoid taking risks so that no more lives are lost.”