June 3 is World Bicycle Day and with the boom in imports and sales, the cycling industry is calling on governments at all levels to invest accordingly in bicycle infrastructure to support the approximately four million Australians choosing to ride for fun, fitness and transport every week.
Australia will hit a new all-time record of 1.75 million bicycles imported into the country in a single 12 month period, according to General Manager Bicycle industries Australia, Peter Bourke.
Mr Bourke said that based on historical trends and ABS import data, the new record will enter our ports by 30 June 2021 to be sold in bicycle shops and retailers.
Unprecedented numbers of cyclists
Mr Bourke predicts the ‘COVID dividend’ for bike sales as Australians chose to ride in unprecedented numbers has resulted in a 50 per cent increase in sales across the board. ‘Bicycle sales throughout COVID were fantastic, emptying shops and warehouses alike and we expect that demand to drive this new 2020/21 Financial Year import record of 1.75 million units.
‘It seems Australians voted for bike riding during COVID and visited bike shops with the entire family, leaving with new bikes for everyone or getting their old bikes from the shed repaired and ready for riding.
‘Those supply chain issues in 2020 that caused significant shortages of stock across the board are still being felt with very low floor stock available nationally and long waitlists, something that will take many months to resolve but makes this new record all the more remarkable,’ Mr Bourke said.
Stored bikes need repairs
Mr Bourke said it is not just bikes flying out the doors. ‘Sales of spare parts such as tyres and tubes, lights, frames and forks have all increased by 50 per cent while repair shops had waitlists of several weeks as people realised their stored bikes needed some repairs to get them going again.’
Mr Bourke said many bikes were used near home during the lockdown restrictions but are now being used to provide genuine transport solutions as people have headed back the office and looked for healthy, convenient and COVID-safe commuting options.
‘With 3 months still to go for this financial year, the numbers have already equalled any full year on record, and with many un-fulfilled orders still in the system, the number will continue to be unprecedented’.