Sales of bicycles, bike equipment & services increased 81% to $1.11 billion in May 2020 compared to May 2019, according to PeopleForBikes data. Simply put, there has been a COVID-19 bike sales boom. According to reporting from Axios, however, all those new bikes have not translated to more people out riding. In fact, it would appear people are riding less.
Cities where commuting by bike is most common, like New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, are also the ones that saw the sharpest declines in bike travel in May compared to last year, according to research from Streetlight Data, a transportation analytics firm.
“The commuting slice that falls out of cities like New York and San Francisco where that mileage on bikes is just not there because bike commuting isn’t there,” said Martin Morzynski, Streetlight’s vice president of marketing. “And recreational activity isn’t necessarily enough to offset the difference.”
The data shows, though, that cycling dropped less than driving. In Portland, Ore., for example, bike miles traveled fell by 10%, but vehicular miles traveled dropped by 35%.
I suppose this is a sad reality of such a consumer driven society, just because people buy something doesn’t mean they’ll actually use it.