Americans turn to cycling during the coronavirus pandemic

Rise of bike riders during pandemic
Rise of bike riders during pandemic 01:42

Last Updated May 20, 2020 7:22 PM EDT

You can see it all over the country. Streets and trails are filling up as Americans fall back in love with biking.

"It's amazing. I'm going to be riding around way more," said Maryna Matorina.

After weeks cooped up inside, Matorina and Maria Ng couldn't take it anymore and decided to pedal their way through the pandemic.

"You hadn't ridden in how many years?" CBS News asked.

"Eighteen?" Matorina replied, laughing.

"What is this doing for your — not only your physical health — but your mental health?" CBS News asked.

"Oh, it keeps me from going crazy," Ng said.

These women and millions of others across the country are back in their saddles again.

"Cycling is actually a pretty solid social distancing activity," said Eric Bjorling.

Bjorling is with bicycle giant Trek. A recent survey done by the company finds that 21% of adults with bicycles plan to ride more during the pandemic, and 50% say they'll keep riding after the pandemic ends. That's led to several record online sales in April.

Woody Smith owns Richardson Bike Mart in North Texas. Smith said he had to hire new staff to accommodate the spike in online sales, and his service and repair business is up 30%.

"The parents are going nuts," Smith said. "They're all at home, 'Let's get these kids out and burn some energy.'"

Parents like Priscilla Martinez.

"I think the last time I did something like this was when I was, like, my daughter's age," said Martinez.

For Mackenzie Kirkpatrick, who was on a family ride with her daughter, Merritt, in tow, riding gives her a chance to relax. 

"I'm still with her, but I'm not having to entertain her," Kirkpatrick explained. "It's just a mental mom break."

A way to keep the body — and the brain — healthy.

  • Omar Villafranca
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    Omar Villafranca is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas.