The Pandemic Has Created an Explosion in Outdoor and Indoor Bike-Riding in the South and Throughout the U.S.
If you're anything like us, you've picked up a new hobby or two during quarantine, from knitting to, you know, binge-watching Virgin River on Netflix. But there's one pastime that millions of Americans have taken to amid the pandemic, and it's showing no sign of slowing down: Biking. Whether indoor cycling or hitting the road on a conventional bike, many people have discovered a newfound appreciation of the sport, or rekindled a childhood love for it.
"The pandemic has definitely impacted the cycling industry in many ways. Lockdowns and social distancing have motivated people to look for healthy activities while practicing safe social distancing," said Kris Parlett, Marketing Director, United Wheels, Inc. of the recent bicycle boom, adding that the pandemic has also been a catalyst for public officials to legislate and enforce more safety measures to help protect cyclists. "Certain segments of cycling, like electric bikes, experienced growth prior to the pandemic, and that accelerated growth is likely here to stay as people look for alternative modes of transportation. There are also several indicators that the growth and renewed interest we've seen in cycling is [more permanent], with state and local policies promoting safety, alternative transportation needs, and people genuinely enjoying the rediscovered or newly found joy of riding," he continued. Last year, Royce Union, one of United Wheels' brands reported that 27% of Royce Union's sales nationwide occurred in the U.S. South, clearly indicating that people in our neck of the woods are getting to pedaling. P.S. If you're looking for a great bike that won't break the bank, check out the 700 Royce Union 21-Speed Hybrid Comfort Bike (Buy It: $331.52; Amazon.com.)
On the resale front, people are antsing to get their hands on used bikes, too, whether to pursue the activity personally or to give a bike to a loved one. "As retail stores were quickly selling out of inventory, people flocked to Facebook Marketplace to search for bikes and secondhand shopping became more vital than ever during the pandemic," said Deb Liu, Facebook Marketplace founder. "As a mom of three kids, I've bought and sold bikes on the platform and found great deals."
But it's not only the wide open road people are taking to when it comes to spinning wheels. Indoor cycling has seen a similar explosion as gym closures have led many to invest in quality stationary bikes for sweat sessions in the comfort of their own homes. "We've seen unprecedented demand for all of our products, at all price points, and across all product categories — cycles, treadmills, rowers, ellipticals, and strength machines," said Colleen Logan, VP of Marketing of ICON Health & Fitness. "Cycles have been especially appealing to consumers who are looking for well-rounded workout equipment with a compact footprint. The NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle (Buy It: $1,999.00; Amazon.com) has been a huge seller because our iFit technology is the only option on the market that automatically adjusts the bike's resistance, incline and decline based on the terrain of the trail or the trainers cues, so beginners don't have to spend time making manual adjustments," she elaborated, noting that they've also seen an increase in demand for their NordicTrack recumbent bikes, which is especially popular amongst consumers who want a great all-around workout with added comfort.
We love NordicTrack's collection of recumbent bikes in particular for those who are new to working out, older, or have knee, hip, and/or back weaknesses or injuries. Both the recumbent bikes and the S22i Studio cycle are powered by the iFit platform, which in addition to the aforementioned automatic bike adjustment features, also features a large library of workouts, including stunning videos filmed around the world, studio classes, yoga, HIIT, mediation, and body weight sessions. You can bet your bottom dollar we'll be checking out iFit's New Orleans ghost walking tour and active adventures in the Smoky Mountains and Florida. Check out the Haunted Bayou and Carolina Blue Ridge Adventure series workout previews below.
Regardless of if you choose to head outdoors or get your cycling fix with mountain vistas from your "closet gym" it's always a good idea to get active to protect your heart health, beat back stress, and maybe even start a friendly competition with friends on Google Sheets.