Bicycle sales, repairs on the rise since outbreak of coronavirus


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Jim Twigg, the co-owner of Revolutions Cyclery in Suntree, repairs a bicycle in his store. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Twigg said the store is repairing 10 to 12 bikes a day.

Ernest Arico

Gyms across the county, state and country have gone dark. Teleworkers sweat to the instructions of online fitness experts in their own homes. Sports and social exercise, as we know them, are over. And recent instructions from federal, state and local governments for containing the coronavirus include avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, which would include many outdoor amateur sports and activities.

What should you do?

Many residents, especially in the Suntree, Viera and Rockledge areas, have turned to bicycle riding for outdoor fun, exercise and for passing the time while waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to end. As a result, there has been a big demand for bicycle repairs and sales.

Ginger and Jim Twigg, owners of Revolutions Cyclery at 6300 N. Wickham Road in Suntree since 2004, have been “swamped” with work.

“Ever since the coronavirus outbreak we’ve been repairing 10, 12 bicycles a day,” said Jim Twigg, while repairing a bicycle for a customer who rode it to the store. “It’s kind of a blessing for us to be so busy, but I would prefer people to be safe.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ginger Twigg said they have outlined temporary limitations for visiting their store. She said customers can order online for curbside pickup and can reach out for a personalized virtual consultation regarding any planned purchases. Curbside service is available by calling 321-751-5457 once you arrive.

In addition, store hours have been cut from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, a limit of two customers at a time in the store, maintaining a six-foot personal space whenever possible while in the store and enhanced cleaning procedures.

 “We come in at 7 a.m. to start repairs to bikes,” Jim Twigg said. “We don’t have time to count. We’re trying to get them out as fast as we can.”

Repairs vary from replacing inner tubes and tires, to fixing brakes and gears. Jim Twigg recommends when a customer brings in a bike to order a tune-up.

“If a customer wants a tune-up we do everything and anything to a bicycle,” he explained. “It’s the best deal for the customer and it costs only $90.”

One of the issues facing the store is that customers are bringing in multiple bikes to repair.

“A lot of people are bringing in bikes that they’ve kept in garages for 20 or more years,” said Bob Shy, one of the shop's repairmen. “They (the bikes) have been hanging in the garage, and now people want to start using them.”

Despite the demand for bike repairs and sales, Jim Twigg also is concerned about the spread of the coronavirus while bicycling.

In an article posted on the store’s Facebook page by Anne Hyman, president of Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, she recommends cyclists maintain six bike lengths of distance to avoid passing through the “respiratory signature” of the rider ahead of them.

Hyman, who holds a doctorate degree in biomedical science, said a respiratory signature is the footprint we leave in the air every time we expel air from our lungs through our nose and mouth. This can be anything from simply exhaling, to laughing, talking, and yes, coughing and sneezing.

“Each person out there has their own unique — or signature — sphere,” she continued. “This is why it’s constantly being drummed into our brain spaces right now to maintain at least a six-foot distance away from another person, especially a person of unknown health status, because that’s typically the radius of our respiratory signature.”

For more information about Revolutions Cyclery, go to the store’s website at revolutionscyclery.com or call 321-751-5457.