Pandemic causes bike shortage in Central Illinois

Local News

PEORIA, Ill (WMBD) — The pandemic is bringing more people out on the trails and pedaling down bike paths.

They say once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget. Now, it seems the pandemic is having many dust off their helmets and pick up the activity again. That includes right here in Peoria.

“I think the pandemic has opened up a lot of people to exercising differently, gives them time to go out and enjoy the weather, go out and enjoy the trail that we do have here in the Peoria area,” said Bill Smith, avid cyclist.

Bill Smith bought multiple bikes from Bushwacker in Junction City. Now, he’s hoping to get on the waiting list for repairs.

“I did drop off a bike for service, I’m getting a major tune up on my mountain bike. So, went to ride it the other day and had some issues with it, so I brought it into the guys to make sure that it gets fixed so I’m very safe on the trail moving forward,” said Smith.

Rich Pestine owns Bushwacker and says bikes are rolling off the shelf everyday. In fact, it’s a trend that many stores are seeing across the country.

“I’ve always been telling people that bikes are the new toilet paper, and extremely hot commodity,” said Rich Pestine, owner of Bushwacker.

Pestine says if you are waiting on a certain type of bike, be patient.

“We are telling people that we will give them a call when they get here, and of course the question is, well when will that be, and unfortunately we can’t say,” said Pestine.

And as far as repairs go, the owner says it’s all hands on deck in the shop.

“We’ve got everybody that can work on a bike, working on bikes. We’ve got our top guys and we’ve got other people learning the ropes,” said Pestine.

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