Bicycle sales soar in St. Petersburg as residents look to exercise, social distance during pandemic

St. Petersburg residents are finding ways to relax and take a break from the stress of the coronavirus pandemic by running, walking and bicycling. 

Mark Yeager, owner of St. Pete Bicycle and Fitness Company, loves to see all of the activity right now. He can barely keep up with business because so many people are calling to have their old bicycles fixed. 

“The calls for repairs are basically astronomical,” Yeager explained. “The first question is, “Are you open?’ The second question is, ‘I have this old bike that hasn’t been used in a long time and do you guys have time to fix it?’”

Yeager said most families are coming in buying new bikes for everyone just to find a way to get out.  He has 700 bikes coming in tomorrow that have already been pre-ordered.

Ricardo Robinson-Shinall brought his bike into the shop today to get a tire fixed and a new saddle.

“Now that I have all this free time at home I figured it would be the perfect time to get back out and get more exercise,” Robinson-Shinall said.  “I’m just doing it now because I’m going stir crazy in my house and I feel like a bike ride would be the perfect thing to break up my day.”

Yeager agrees with Robinson-Shinall that bicycling is not only great exercise, it’s a good way to keep self-distancing from others.

Robinson-Shinall said, “Even though we can’t necessarily be together bike riding is one of those things that you can do that allows you to be socially distanced from other people, but still get some exercise and excitement for yourself.”