As I write this we are seeing life in the UK as in the rest of the world, changing on a daily basis. By social distancing, staying at home and only going out for essential stuff, we are fighting, somewhat surreally, an invisible enemy.
In these challenging times though we have seen our priorities float to the top of what is usually a very busy and possible overloaded life.
Since news was announced on Monday regarding a so-called lockdown on the UK, it had been good to see that one of these priorities highlighted as an essential in life is the humble bicycle and bike shops.
On Tuesday, our family exercise was to take the ‘family limo’ out for a bike ride to give all four of us a break from the boat and to get us moving. We headed along the Thames Towpath.
During the trip, we had a need to pop to a bike shop when one of our bikes developed a high pitch squeal and we needed some bike cleaning kit and lube to sort it out. It was great that as the government had declared bicycle shops essential that many of them were still open. We headed to Walton Street Cycles in Jericho who were only too happy to help.
The boom in bike sales and fixing
This past couple of weeks there has seen a measurable increase in new bike sales and repairs by bike shops to bikes which have been seeing the light of day for the first time in ages. It is believed that the main drive for this is the Covdi-19 pandemic and people looking for a safer, more socially distanced, mode of transport.
And with much less traffic on the road, this week compared to the norm, who can blame them?
The future for this bicycle boom
Here in Oxford we are not only seeing fewer cars on the road causing less pollution, but we are also seeing more deliveries by bike too. Check out these tweets by Pedal & Post who are expanding there business to help get vital goods to those who need it.
It is heartening to see these new relationships forming and seeing bike deliveries in Oxford being taken to a whole new level. My hope is that this is something which continues to grow and that parcels and veg by bike, not just here in Oxford, but around the country, becomes the norm.
It is also heartening to see so many out getting exercise or just getting from A to B on their bicycles. In the current low-traffic environment which we have been experiencing, cycling is a joy. My hope for the thousands of commuters now cycling is that this new way of life will stick long after any restrictions on movement are lifted. We know for a number of them it will, as when the cycling bug bites, it bites good and proper. But for the others, I hope that when the cars come back that the logicalness of the bicycle will be glaringly obvious.
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