Local Motion relaunching e-bike program after boost in COVID-19 bike business

Published: Jun. 7, 2020 at 9:41 AM EDT
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Bicycle sales and repair shops have seen a boost in business nationwide during the pandemic.

Market research company, the NPD Group, says in March 2020 compared to a year ago, adult recreational bike sales are up 121 percent.

Children's and BMX bikes up 56%. Repair service sales jumped 20 percent.

"People are looking for ways to get out and be healthy and biking sort of is that nice confluence of being able to be out and be healthy and also see other people and wave and say hello," says Jonathon Weber, a manager at Local Motion in Burlington.

The business' mission is to make walking and biking a way of life all over Vermont.

Weber says Local Motion has re-launched its E-bike lending library programs with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place.

Borrowers take home an e-bike with an electric assist for a week, to try and see how the bike can fit into their lives.

"It's a time for change, and I think more folks starting to bike is a great change to make. I think folks are going to realize that they may just be biking for fitness right now, but they could replace those trips to work in the car with trips by bike and that means they're getting their exercise and getting where they need to go," says Weber.

Weber adds Local Motion is asking towns to implement better bike infrastructure to make the streets safe for all those who are riding.

Putting cones on Pine Street in Burlington to expand the riding area is an example.

Here are some safety tips for new riders out there:

For adults, it's safest to ride in the road, but if you are on the sidewalk, yield to people walking.

Wear a helmet.

Always have working front and rear lights.

Always Ride in the same direction as traffic.