WASHINGTON — With a pandemic forcing the close of many retailers and public venues, locals have had no other option for a reprieve than to get outside. Randy Stogdill, owner of Rider’s Sales in Washington, has benefited from that urgency to get outdoors.
“We’ve had a lot of repairs come in to the point where we are almost overwhelmed,” he said.
Catching up with repairs is only have the battle, he said, as he still is trying to sell new bikes as well as repair existing ones. Stogdill said his store has been open the entire time and has been busy for the last few months, seeing a big sales increase.
Parts have been a little tricky to come by, he said. The biggest demand is for a larger seat but those have often been out of stock from the supplier.
Stogdill said he uses suppliers all over the United States but some factories in China supply the parts to the suppliers. Some of factories have been shut down due to COVID19, he said, making parts a little harder to find.
Most shoppers are from the local area, including the surrounding towns in the county, but shoppers have come from as far as North Liberty to purchase a new bike, he said. Whether parts or new bikes, the mix has been healthy, he said, and businesses is increasing.
A demand for used bikes has surfaced, he said, which can be a tricky request to fulfill.
“Those are usually pretty limited as to what we might have,” he said. “It seems like everybody is wanting something fairly economical.”
Generally, Stogdill sees an increase in sales this time of year but says the pandemic has definitely helped.
“The increase we have seen is basically an increase due to COVID19,” he said.
People are traditionally getting ready for RAGBRAI at this time but due to the pandemic, the ride has been canceled. Stogdill said he felt this was a good idea as the vent is far too crowded to be deemed safe.
“It just can’t happen when you have those kinds of crowds,” he said.
Some customers have put together their own routes and create their own events, he said. Riding safely and having fun are the two most important aspects to riding, he said.