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Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Shops Cannot Capitalize On Increased Demand For Bicycles

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Allen Kinkead knows a thing or two about bicycles.

"My grandfather started selling bikes in East Liberty in 1912," Kinkead said.

For three generations, the Immel Bicycle Center has kept Pittsburgh riding.

"The repairs we seem to be getting are a lot more old bikes coming in," says Kinkead. "I think some haven't been ridden in years and are coming out to be refurbished."

He has also been seeing a lot more young riders on the road.

Cycling among American kids has steadily declined over the past two decades.

It's a trend that has been spreading all across the United States as shops have been jumping to keep up with the demand as people scramble to find things to do.

"People are walking. They are running," said J.V. Peacock, the owner of Outpost Bikes in Mishawaka, Indiana. "They are riding their bikes. I've never seen so many people on our trails, on the street."

Yet in Pennsylvania, Kinkead says you aren't allowed to buy a new bike at his Gibsonia shop during the state's stay-at-home order.

"It's sort of stupid that somebody can come in and buy an innertube, but they're not allowed to leave with a bicycle," Kinkead says.

That's not the case everywhere. Bicycle sales are allowed in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

Drew Albright is the owner of Albright Bike & Fitness in Mishawaka. He says his state determined bike shops need to stay open.

"Bikes are a great form of transportation. That's what kind of kept us essential so that's why we were able to stay open," Albright said.

In Texas, the bike business is booming, too.

"I thought, 'Wow, this could go either way,'" said Ray Atayde, the owner of Ray Jay's Bike Shop in Dallas. "I was very concerned. And it's just been going like gangbusters around here."

Wholesalers are telling bicycle dealers that they may not have any new inventory until the 2021 models arrive in the middle of July. That could be bad news for shops around Pittsburgh when they are allowed to resume bike sales.

"When I start to sell some of my some of my stuff, the question is gonna be, can I replace it and when?" says Kinkead.

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