Professional cycling is one of the popular global community-based sports. But lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the cycling community across the globe. Coronavirus first hit the cycling world in late January when the Tour of Hainan was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The outbreak of COVID-19 has made a significant impact on the cycling calendar, with races suspended until, at least August, pending developments to the global situation.
With the nationwide lockdown still in place in various countries, government authorities have been working tirelessly to stop or slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Butirrespective of any measure being enforced by the authorities, it all comes down to the people to ensure proper social distancing norms are strictly being followed to avoid unnecessary contacts.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, cyclists all around the world are confined to short, solo rides and in the case of countries with full lockdown, they are turning to bike trainers to ride and also take part in various virtual racing events without leaving their houses.
As the cycling industry is now gaining significant traction all across the globe, many cycling experts across have voiced their concerns and requested the government authorities to install emergency infrastructure to make cyclists safer and publish evidence-based guidance for people to reduce the risk when cycling during the pandemic.
The bicycle industry which has been facing slow growth rates from the past few years is now expected to witness a turnaround as the market is now witnessing a demand for various bicycles and its products.
On the production level, the COVID-19 impact differs a lot per country. Many factories that have cut down their production drastically or have even halted completely are soon expected to start their production. Countries like the UK who have not enforced a complete lockdown are witnessing a surge in the sale of bicycles. “I think sales in the UK across the industry are probably up around 15%,” said Brompton CEO to the BBC.
Some companies have also reported a rise in sales of exercise bikes, as the company stated that: “People who are not able to get out still want to exercise indoors.”
Hero Cycles, India’s largest manufacturer of cycles also reported that bicycle demand is expected to increase in the coming months.
An article published by The Financial Express reported a statement from Mr. Pankaj M Munjal, chairman, and managing director, Hero Cycles, who said “Globally automobile manufacturers have slowed down production amid dimming sales due to the coronavirus threat. As far as the cycling industry is concerned, several people across the world are looking at bicycles as a potential alternative mode of transport to people who were previously using crowd public transport systems”.
The current COVID-19 pandemic calls for an action from the traditional cycle manufacturers to adapt to the changing situations and to invest more in indoor cycling as a part of their business continuity planning to maintain their clientele during the crisis and to ensure holistic growth as a brand in the times to come…
How do you think cycling will contribute to implementing social distancing measures? What do you think of the upcoming opportunities in the cycling industry? Let us know in the comments.