Saturday, July 25, 2020

Tried Buying a Bike Lately?

After several trips to my bike repair shop the past few weeks - and shredded gear shift cable - on a nearly 15 year old, cheap, Huffy mountain bike, I’ve decided to shop for another.

Except there’s a problem - new bikes are in very short supply. Very. Short. Supply.

I went online. “Not Available” was affixed to every bike I looked at.

I went to two local bike shops. Each has less than 10 new bikes, all over $1,000 (most over $2,000). I’m not Lance Armstrong, looking to cheat in the next Tour de France. Gettting any attention from either shop when I was eager to buy was difficult, and weird.

My local bike shop (which is excellent) says that since The Great Hunkering, they’ve sold over 800 bikes. And their suppliers/manufacturers, due to COVID, are unable to keep up with demand. I would love to buy from them, but they were keenly uninterested in selling me anything, even their expensive bikes.

I have noticed an explosion of bikers on my local trails (the Chester Valley Trail and Schuykill Trail, here in the Philly suburbs), especially on weekends.  We have more traffic jams now on bike trails than with cars/trucks on streets and interstates. No complaints, since that’s great exercise, but what a frustration when you just want to buy a new bike. Clearly, this is one the unreported stories of our pandemic. I guess the media is too busy promoting panic porn.

So guess where I have found my new bike, sight unseen. You guessed it. . . Amazon. It will be here in a week, for a price less than half what I would pay at a local shop, which again, I would have preferred. Sign of the times.

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