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Bicycles, Outdoor Toys & Fitness Equipment Sales Skyrocketing As People Shop To Entertain Themselves Amid Shutdown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As people look for ways to pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic, many are finding certain products are suddenly impossible to get your hands on, including bicycles.

"I had a bike for 10 years and I sold it 18 months ago feeling I would never need it again, and who knew?" Michael Goldstein said.

The pandemic had Goldstein looking to get out and pedal again, so he bought another -- the last one available.

Most people these days can't get their hands on a bike due to high demand and a supply shortage out of Asia due to shutdowns.

"I've been looking to get a bike, but haven't been able to get one," one man said.

Many shops won't have new inventory for another month or so.


At Trek Hell's Kitchen, high-end bikes are in stock, but sales associate Jillian Bliss says they're not what most customers want.

"A lot of people are kind of just looking for something cheaper and for the city, and we really, we have one extra small left," she told CBS2's Alice Gainer.

Her advice?

"Fix up old bikes. We definitely have parts, we can fix up your old bike," she said.

About a block away at Al's Bicycles, you can buy or rent a bike.

"Yesterday, I had all my rentals go out. Today, I had maybe like four or five. It varies from day to day," employee Juan Cisnero said.

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It's not just bicycles that are in high demand.

"Definitely can't find any weights," one man said.

"They're back-ordered for like 6 to 8 weeks," said Graig Linn, of Hell's Kitchen.

"Things like swing sets, trampolines ... Things like bread makers, you have frothers that make fancy coffee ... inflatable pools," said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the market research firm NPD Group.

The Port Washington, New York, firm reports at 51% increase in sales of outdoor and sports toys compared to this time last year.

Pool sales were up 161%, fitness equipment up 130% and adult bikes were up 121%.

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But with many of these items sold out or on back-order, what can you do?

"Don't be so loyal to a site. There are lots of different abilities to be able to get product. It may be sold out on one site but it isn't necessarily sold out on another," Cohen said. "Just because you're buying online, it doesn't mean you can't buy from a retailer. I'm amazed at how many consumers tell me that they didn't think of actually going to the store site to buy the product."

He says even with unknown delivery dates and signs of reopening in some places, people are still buying to entertain themselves at home.

If you do have a bike, remember to lock it up. The NYPD says bike thefts in the city are up. There's been about 300 more compared to this time last year.

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