AUSTIN, Texas -- If you've been itching for fresh air and physical activity, you're not alone. A lot of people are hitting the streets and trails on their bikes - some for the first time in years.
If you’re one of the many people dusting off your bike right now, chances are it needs some TLC. Lucky for you, bikes shops are open. Cycleast owner Russell Pickavance has seen a ton of people come in for tune-ups and to get flat tires fixed. Spring is usually busy for them but with more people looking to keep busy during the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been an even higher demand for their services.
A bicycle is repaired at Cycleast in Austin, Texas, in this image from May 2020. (LeAnn Wallace/Spectrum News)
Pickavance says flat tires are pretty much inevitable if you ride your bike enough. His advice to new cyclists? Good, quality tires. He also adds that staying hydrated and knowing your route before venturing out can also help ensure a smooth ride.
Cycleast set up a makeshift repair station outside the shop to make helping customers as safe and as contactless as possible. They also sell bikes; although if you’ve done a Google search recently, you’ll know that bikes are hard to come by these days.
“There is an absolute shortage of bicycles,” said Pickavance.
There's not, however, a shortage of bike parts. They have plenty of things like tires and tubes to keep you moving forward. Another draw for cyclists? Fewer cars on the road right now.
“Look at all these empty roads, look at all these empty roads” said Pickavance. “It's been great.”
The entrance to Cycleast in Austin, Texas, appears in this image from May 2020. (LeAnn Wallace/Spectrum News)