Cycling On In 2021 & Beyond
As we move ahead from a year of terrible lockdowns and health scares, the one wonderful thing that we have embraced is our rediscovered love for cycling. As with other things like hand washing and using caution in social interactions, cycling has become an ingrained habit.
According to BBC, the current demand is so huge that manufacturers are struggling to meet it. Not only have people bought new bicycles, they have fixed up their old ones leading to a big surge in demand for spare parts as well. Indian Express stated in June 2020 that bicycle sales over April and May 2020 saw their biggest spike in the US since the oil crisis of the 1970s, as stated by Jay Townley who analyses cycling industry trends at Human Powered Solutions. With the gyms closed, many people who had never previously considered cycling also took it up. The trend also had cities like Manila and Rome build cycling lanes to cater to enthusiasm.
Children have had ample screen time and are seeking ways to engage themselves in a fun way. So, an entire generation that no one thought would be interested in outdoorsy activities has turned to bicycles. This has meant that sales and demand for cycle manufacturers has gone up two, three or even more times.
Industry experts have forecasted that cycle demand is bound to stay up in 2021 and beyond. With improved awareness about needs of cyclists and its benefits to the economy, governments around the world are creating better cycle-friendly infrastructure. It is this enhanced support that assures a continued hike in cycling. Rohit Jain, a fitness enthusiast, says, “Cycling after the pandemic lockdown lifted was a blessing. It felt wonderful to be out again and in fact, I enjoyed it more than my gym exercises. Being outdoors has driven me to an affinity for fitness that I am not going to give up any time soon.”
Cycling has become a popular way of reconnecting with nature, and it also enables us to spend time outdoors that we have now come to crave so much. Our increased focus on our wellbeing is indulged by cycling while enjoying a socially distanced activity. No longer is cycling a hobby, it is a lifestyle choice now. “I cycle to my office everyday. Earlier, I would honk my way to the office in my car and reach mentally exhausted. Cycling gives me the opportunity to unwind while I commute to office.”
Those who understand the industry well concur that the growth rate for cycle industry went from 5-7% to 15-20%. The surge has come mainly from urban regions and sale of high end cycles has shot up. It is expected that the sales will continue to rise and the market will flourish. That the cycling trend is here to stay is excellent news, both for the industry and also for the users who are aiming for a fitter, greener lifestyle.