Gas Prices Impacting Bike Sales

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

July 26, 2006

The rise in gas prices may be driving down the number of cars on the roads, but it's pushing up the number of bikes moving across town. With more bikes in motion, the bike repair industry is spinning with extra business.

"My bike, I ride it every day, and it constantly things need to get repaired," said Professional Cyclist Ian Ayers.

Ian Ayers is like many others who choose to ride a bike instead of driving a car. Some are motivated by pleasure, and others by high gas prices.

"Gas prices are definitely playing a role with more people riding bikes," added Ayers.

Ayers is a professional cyclist who travels the country competing in all types of bike races. The travel may spin him into circles, but it does even more on his bike.

"If my chain, or my gears need adjustments I'll bring it in. If I need to put on new tires, I'll bring it in. You know if anything is not working top-notch, this is the place to bring it," added Ayers.

Ayers takes his bike to 'The Blue Wheel' bike shop for his repairs. Apparently, a lot of others do as well.

"Our sales this year are up about 15 percent from the same time last year, and we're into a definite growth curve," said co-owner of the Blue Wheel Scott Paisley."

The Blue Wheel says the spike in sales is from the combination of high gas prices and the desire to stay fit.

"The bikes are a great way to get out, and get back into shape again. The same thing, with the gas prices going up, a lot of people are pulling their bikes out, and getting back out," added Paisley.

Blue collar workers are hopping on bikes for their ride into work.

"You ride, you lock up, and you're there with no searching for parking. Gas prices are part of it, and most of my work is right here in Charlottesville. I am a construction manager, and I find it way to get to any site in town," said construction worker Tim Breitenbach.

Just not as easy as paying at the pump for gas.

Cyclists in Charlottesville say the demand for bike repairs have delayed their work requests by one, or two days.

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