Bike boom keeps rolling – Winnipeg Free Press


St. Boniface

<p>Philip Roadley is the owner of Bikes & Beyond (227 Henderson Hwy.).</p>

Philip Roadley is the owner of Bikes & Beyond (227 Henderson Hwy.).

With spring weather all but inevitable and gas prices at an all-time high, the bicycle boom looks primed to continue.

“There’s been a definite shift,” said Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg. “It looks like about a 50 per cent increase over previous years. Anecdotally, bike lanes are packed full.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Manitoba in March 2020, many people dug out their old bikes or bought new ones as a means of getting exercise, with gyms and recreational sports facilities closed.

<p>Philip Roadley is the owner of Bikes & Beyond (227 Henderson Hwy.).</p>

Philip Roadley is the owner of Bikes & Beyond (227 Henderson Hwy.).

“It’s fantastic to see, though I wish it was a more organic growth rather than COVID-growth,” Cohoe added. “People have been biking a lot more as part of their everyday lives. I really hope that in doing that they’ve introduced themselves to trails, pathways, and routes.”

Local bike shops have seen demand for bikes, parts, and service surge over the past two years.

“Between people wanting to be outdoors, the cost of gas, people wanting to be healthy, we’ve seen a steadiness in bike sales,” said Brian Burke, owner of Olympia Cycle & Ski (326 St. Mary’s Rd.). “Demand is still high.”

While supply has begun to catch up with demand, consumers can still expect delays or shortages, depending on what they’re looking for.

“Mountain bikes, those sort of things, are still in short supply,” said Philip Roadley, owner of Bikes & Beyond (227 Henderson Hwy.). “Kids bikes, commuter bikes, the inventory is better.”

“All of a sudden there will be a run on certain models,” Burke said. “The availability of parts is still slim.”

Electric, or eBikes, are also in high demand lately.

“It’s a growing trend,” Roadley confirmed. “We have a big collection of those, they start around $2,500 to $5-6,000.”

Burke added that the cost of shipping bikes and parts from China has increased dramatically over the past few years, so consumers may also expect to spend more for a product than they would have a year or two ago.

As the weather warms, both Roadley and Burke expect to see more demand for bike tune-ups and servicing as well.

“We’re booking about six weeks out,” Roadley said. “Some university staff are still out, COVID is taking out staff, so every day we average about one staff down. I book appointments based on being short. If we’re full-staffed, then we can play catch-up.”

“We’re (booking) just a couple weeks out, but we’ll be a month out soon,” Burke said. “But between building new bikes, building floor bikes, and repairs, it’s swamped.”

For those looking to get out and ride, Cohoe urged a cautious approach.

“There will be a lot of melt, fenders are a good idea,” he said. “That will make a big difference in your life. If you have studded tires, don’t be too tempted to take those off early. Steer clear of puddles. Lurking down there can be some nasty potholes, too.”

Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
Community Journalist

Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time.
Email him at
Call him at 204-697-7112

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