EDMONTON -- The bike business is good business at United Sport & Cycle.

“The demand is exceeding the supply,” store general manager Kelly Hodgson told CTV News.

Perhaps a silver lining as the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 passes. With travel restrictions in place, more and more people are staying put… which means the activity of cycling is picking up speed.

“More people are using cycling as a form of transportation or to tour around our beautiful river valley,” said Hodgson. “I think the mountain parks reported all-time highs for the amount of Albertans that were actually going to the Alberta parks and we see that trend happening again this year.”

Hodgson says the fact that cycling is an individual sport has a lot to do with the increase in bike sales and servicing, especially during the pandemic.

“We went through the entire winter season with no offseason for bikes,” explained Hodgson, “so we were getting bikes come in through the winter season and they were selling like it was the middle of summer and so that’s carried forward to today where we have a ton of bikes for people to buy.”

“I’m looking at an e-bike,” said United Cycle customer Kevin Earl. “They have the pedal assist and a throttle system so it’s something I think I can do at this age that will allow me to get back into biking.” 

“We talk to a ton of people who come in and say, ‘My wife and I have bikes and we haven’t been on them in 15 years,’” laughed Hodgson.

Hodgson says there is also a growing interest in other activities like disc golf and rollerblading… but nothing compared to the renewed interest in cycling. “For instance, we had those seven pallets come in and over 50 per cent of them were sold online the same day."

“Everything to do with the outdoors,” said Earl. “Everything where you can get out by yourself or with the family is just selling like hotcakes.”