CLIVE, Iowa — The pandemic seems to be fueling a cycling boom as more people desire to be outdoors.
“Exercise is always good for the soul and body,” Clive Resident Jackie Seymour said.
Seeing people biking around Iowa this time of year is not unusual, especially because RAGBRAI would normally be right around the corner. But this year, the annual bike ride across Iowa has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think that’s a reason for the pickup, too, is people are looking for a chance. At least this happened at a time where we can get outside. It makes a huge difference,” Seymour said.
Not only has there been a pickup in riders, there has also been an increase in calls for bike repairs.
“I’m seeing a lot more people taking bikes that have been up in the rafters for a few years, kind of getting them down, dusting them off, and those bikes are the ones that need a lot of love and care to get back to a safe state,” Anywhere Bike Repair Owner Scott Willcox said.
With some bike shops closed, and many people worried about staying socially distant, one local bike repair shop brings the shop to you.
“I think once people see that we take proper steps to ensure social distancing and that our environment is sort of unique in that it is just me, it’s just one workspace and there’s not any real cross-contamination between us and other patrons,” Willcox said.
Willcox transformed an old U-Haul into his mobile bike shop, Anywhere Bike Repair, five and a half years ago
“Cables can rust and become seized and the cables housings breaks might not work as well. You might have an issue with brake pads where they just kind of develop a hardening over time,” Willcox said.
Because of these issues, Willcox recommends people get their bike checked regularly before something happens while out on a ride.
“Anything from just having a frustration of having to get back home and walk home to worst case scenario of taking a spill and letting gravity get you down,” Willcox said.
With each bike repair, Willcox feels like he’s giving his customers a gift.
“Being able to give somebody something that I enjoy, and that’s going for a bike ride. It’s a chance to escape, to forget about what’s going on in your world, to exercise, get those endorphins flowing and to just kind of have that mental escape,” Willcox said.
It’s also a physical escape from just sitting at home.
“You can get to so many parts of the town on the trails here. We’ve got such a great trail system that’s connected. You can go a really long ways if you want, and that’s been really nice,” Seymour said.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, go to anywherebikerepair.com