Long waiting lists in Paris cycle shops as city gets on its bike

Long waiting lists in Paris cycle shops as city gets on its bike
Cyclists on the newly car free Rue de Rivoli. Photo: AFP
Cycling is booming across the globe as people seek to avoid crowded buses and trains on their commute in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic - or get back into shape after long months of lockdown.

But with bicycle sales exploding in many countries, the craze has left manufacturers and retailers out-pedalled by demand.

In Paris, where mayor Anne Hidalgo has been working hard to put cycling on the map, vastly increasing the number of bike lanes in recent years, would-be buyers often have to wait weeks for a brand new ride.

READ ALSO Is Paris close to achieving its dream of becoming a 'world cycling capital'?

 

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has been working hard to make the city more bike friendly. Photo: AFP

“For three or four weeks now, I've had a dozen or so clients waiting.

“And I've had to return money to a few because I simply have no idea when I'll have bikes for them,” independent Paris retailer Federico Mosca told AFP.

One customer, 31-year-old Nicolas, said he had visited eight different shops before getting lucky.

Even then, he was forced to bust his budget and buy a more expensive model because the cheaper bike he wanted was sold out.

“I was looking for a specific bike and had given myself a month to buy one, but it's not available anywhere,” he said.

Leading retail chain Decathlon said it also has waiting lists, but can refurbish second-hand bikes for impatient customers.

French bicycle sales doubled in May and June compared to the same months last year, according to the sporting and cycling federation.

Sales are booming in most countries around the world.

Decathlon calculated that in Europe overall, sales “have increased two- and even threefold”.

In China, demand has increased fivefold since lockdowns were eased.

And in the US, sales of bikes have exploded, with online purchases alone skyrocketing in May by 5,000 percent over the figure for the same month last year.


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