(June 19, 2020) Local bike shop owners are struggling to maintain inventory as more people are turning to cycling as a way to exercise while practice social distancing and to get a solid workout when indoor facilities aren’t available.
“The bike industry’s booming right now, so just inventory-wise, I think a lot of stores just can’t get their hands on bikes,” said Danielle Mulvey, co-owner of Pedego Electric Bikes on Route 50 in West Ocean City.
Continental Cycles manager Nicholas Dillon agreed: “People are looking for things to do, not just for Boardwalk riding, but riding around the neighborhood.”
Nationwide, the bicycle shortage has left small businesses as well as chain retailers with a limited supply of products, Dillon said.
Continental Cycles, in midtown Ocean City on Coastal Highway, may not regain a good stock of inventory until mid-summer or fall, Dillon said. Even so, he said the shop restarted rentals on May 15 and has seen a steady flow of customers for its beach cruisers, mountain bikes and kid bikes.
In the meantime, the staff at Continental Cycles must go through a daily routine of disinfecting bikes, counters and equipment that could aid the transmission of covid-19.
“We wear face masks and we’re wiping down all the bikes as we’re handing them to people, said Dillon. “We’re also keeping … only two people in the showroom at any time.”
Similarly, Pedego Electric Bikes has had a high volume of customers since opening on May 22.
“We’ve done quite a bit of rentals,” Mulvey said. “We’ve had some large groups come in to rent the bikes.”
Additionally, customers can purchase a variety of electric bikes such as the City Commuter, the Interceptor, the Stretch and the Latch.
Pedego also sells accessories including helmets, colorful lights for wheels and cell phone holders.
Co-owners Mulvey and Kurt Dawson also have followed social distancing guidelines and wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
All bikes and helmets are sanitized, and rentals have signs to notify customers if the products have been properly disinfected, Mulvey said.
The owners are enforcing a 10-person occupancy and require customers to be six feet apart.
Additionally, at the entrance of Pedego is a sign to inform customers that masks are mandatory, and the doors are left open to create a breeze within the store.
Likewise, employees at Dandy Don’s Bike Rentals & Service wear masks, sanitize rental bikes between uses and provide hand sanitizer to its customers.
Since reopening on May 17 for rentals, Dandy Don’s located at the Boardwalk and 11th Street has been serving many families.
Owner Don Enste said having the supply to meet the demand has been difficult.
“Bicycles were next to impossible to get,” Enste said.
Obtaining parts such as baskets, tires and inner tubes to repair the bikes he does have isn’t easy either, because factories are not manufacturing products at this time, Enste added.
Ocean City government limits bicycle riding on the Boardwalk to between 2-11 a.m. between the Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day.
John Barrett, who owns Bike World, Wobbly Wheel and Atlantic Bike on the Boardwalk, would like to see those restrictions relaxed during the coronavirus recovery.
“Since we have opened, the public has been very welcome to us,” Barrett said.
Barrett said he and his employees are doing their part to reduce the risk of spreading covid-19 by wiping down bikes between rentals and spacing customers six feet apart in line to rent products.
Continental Cycles, 7203 Coastal Highway, open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rental rates: Bikes are $8 an hour, $25 a day or $45 for up to three days.
For more information, visit continentalcycles.com or call 410-524-1313
Pedego Electric Bikes, 12911 Ocean Gateway Unit 204, open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rental rates: Electric bikes are available to rent for $40 for two hours, $70 for four hours and $100 for the day.
Electric tandem bikes are $60 for two hours, $90 for four hours and $120 for the day.
Adult pedal bikes are $15 for two hours or $30 for the day.
For more information, visit pedegoelectricbikes.com or call 443-664-2457.
Dandy Don’s Bike Rentals & Service, 1109 Atlantic Avenue, open daily, 6:30-11 a.m.
Rental Rates: A single bike is $7, a banana bike is $9, a front rider is $14. Rent a small surrey for $22, a large surrey for $28 and a boardwalk car for $30 per hour.
For more information about Dandy Don’s, visit ocmdbikerentals.com or call 410-289-2289.
Bike World, 6 Caroline Street, open daily, 7-11 a.m.
Rental Rates: Vary. For more information, visit bikeworldoc.com or call 410-289-2587.
WOBBLY WHEEL, FIRST STREET, OPEN DAILY, 7-11 A.M.
RENTAL RATES: Vary. For more information, call 410-289-2453.
ATLANTIC BIKE, EIGHTH STREET AND BOARDWALK, OPEN daily, 7-11 A.M.
RENTAL RATES: Vary. For more information, visit oceancitybikerentals.com or call 410-289-3305.