With the simultaneous rise in both the Covid-19 cases as well as petrol-diesel prices – are you considering to buy a bicycle as it might help lessen the burden on your pockets and keep you socially distant at the same time? If not, give it a thought as so many already are!
People across the globe, including India, now prefer to ride a bicycle instead of taking public transport or private vehicles for short distances. With increasing fuel prices, health concerns due to the pandemic and a little effort on their part to reduce pollution, people prefer riding bicycles.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, bicycle stores said queries and sales have gone up in the recent months.
“Since mid-February, there have been at least six-nine inquiries a week about cycling to work. Around 75% of these have translated into sales. Rising fuel prices are definitely the reason. But at the same time, people just want to get from A to B without hassle. Also, people want to boost fitness by cycling to work. We usually recommend hybrid bikes because the riding position is upright and it has medium-thick tyres,” Rakshith Ravichandran of Bengaluru’s Decathlon was quoted in the report.
This trend was observed in many parts of Europe, America, and Australia. After the relaxation Covid-19 related protocols last year, the business of bicycle companies saw a significant boom.
Pankaj Munjal of Hero Cycles recently responded to the boom and said the government’s support at this point can help India dominate the bicycle industry.
“The post-Covid period was an eye-opener for me and the company. The world responded to it very nicely. Cycling lanes have come up. Cities are being decongested. Urban mobility is changing permanently,” Munjal was quoted in a Business Standard report.
The demand for Hero Cycles almost doubled in recent times. Last year, the company sold 2.7 lakh bicycles.
On April 13, also celebrated as Baisakhi, International Cycle Valley will be inaugurated in Punjab with a target to produce 1 crore bicycles every year. This will be about 10% of the total bicycle production in the whole world.
India is the second-largest manufacturer of bicycles. According to data from the All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA), about 2.2 crore bicycles are sold here every year.
As soon as gyms closed due to the pandemic, the demand and popularity of bicycles rose even further as fitness enthusiasts couldn’t find other ways to burn those extra calories gained during the lockdown.
AICMA believes the annual growth rate of bicycles will increase from an average 5-7% to 15-20% this year. A growth of 55-60% can be expected in the bicycle range for children too while its geared range will also grow by 45%.
While several businesses tasted bad blood during the pandemic, it is the bicycle industry that took the lion’s share of profits from the global shutdown. Riding a bicycle has multiple benefits and people have now started spotting it in good light.
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