Maple Grove Bike Shop Says Business is Booming
People are spending more time biking and walking during Governor Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order, which allows for people to get outside near their homes. This past weekend, Victory Memorial Parkway and Crystal Lake in Robbinsdale were popular spots. People walked and biked the tree-lined trail.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation counters shows walking and bicycling up 72 percent statewide since mid-March. The state agency posted the information on Twitter, April 17.
“I think it is showing people are using the exemption from the stay-at-home order to get some activity,” said Dorian Grilley, executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. “If you are riding on a crowded trail, we recommend wearing a mask, and staying at least 6 feet.”
Bike Shop Sales and Repairs Up
Local bike shops like Erik’s Bike Board Ski in Maple Grove is reporting an increase in sales.
“We’re probably 80 percent up from last year this time,” said service manager David Markman.
Bike shops are considered essential businesses under the governor’s executive order, and Erik’s Bike Shop has been extremely busy for several weeks. On Saturday, customers lined up outside the front door.
“We went from two days of a lead time to four weeks for certain repairs because everybody brought their bikes in,” explained Markman.
He says while the demand for bike repairs is up, so are new sales.
People Who Haven’t Biked In Years Hit Trails
“This is the first time I’ve bought a bike since, probably since 1995,” said Tracy Liimatta “We’ve been thinking about buying a bike for the last couple of years, but this is the perfect time because we’re not distracted by a bunch of other things.”
Erik’s implemented some changes to keep customers and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The store is offering curbside drop off and pick up for repairs.
“If you don’t feel comfortable coming into the store to pick up your repair, we can grab your information and payment information, and we can meet you at the door,” said the repair manager at Erik’s.
The bike shop also limits how many customers can be inside the store at one time.
“Our shop in Maple Grove is one of the smaller shops that Erik’s has, and we’re such a high-touch environment, we can’t have a lot of people milling around,” explained Markman.
Markman says people can also order new bikes online if they don’t want to wait in line, or are hesitant about coming inside the store.