High interest in bikes seen amid pandemic

A BICYCLE shop in Cebu has observed an increase in the number of consumer inquiries as the coronavirus pandemic halted public transportation.

“Based on the inquiries that we receive every day, there’s definitely a huge interest in bicycles now given that public transportation is limited,” said Dharlen Arnejo, marketing officer of Eco Hub Cebu.

She said Eco Hub Cebu is now busy taking pre-orders of its three-wheeled bicycle.

She, however, clarified that they just launched the product, and that they can’t claim yet to have seen a spike in bike demand.

Eco Hub Cebu launched its three-wheeled bicycle on June 9.

But Arnejo said they created a survey through their Facebook page to determine the pulse of the market.

“It was through that survey that we verified their needs (of the bicycle), the price point that they’re comfortable at, and even the mode of payment that they prefer. We’re very thankful to our eco-advocates for the feedback,” she said.

Eco Hub Cebu’s three-wheeled bicycle is priced from P8,000 to P9,000.

The parts of the bicycles, according to Arnejo, are sourced overseas through their partner manufacturer.

“We do the assembly here,” she said.

The lack of transportation has led hundreds of Cebuanos to look for other modes of transportation, such as bicycles as the lockdowns caused by the pandemic paralyze public transit. Some Cebuanos ride a bicycle going to work or when buying essential goods in the market.

Trend globally

According to a report, the coronavirus pandemic has created a boom in bicycle sales unseen in decades. In the United States, for instance, there has been a spike in bicycle sales in the past two months.

The trend is also seen in other countries like the Philippines, where public transportation remains curtailed.

Bike shop owners in Manila said the demand is stronger than at Christmas.

Bicycle lanes

Installation of bicycle lanes around Cebu has been pushed by the commuters for their safety.

On June 7, 2020, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella posted on his Facebook page that a dedicated bicycle lane will soon be established in the city. Labella previously formed an ad hoc committee to conduct a study on the city streets where bicycle lanes can be established.

In Mandaue City, the local government has set up bike lanes in most of the city’s streets. It has also set guidelines for bicycle users, describing the “cycling culture as new in their community.”

The guidelines include that a permanent and regular seat should be attached to every bicycle, all bicyclists must use helmets while riding bikes, while traveling at night, cyclists must at least use rear reflectors and reflective material on the front and rear of each pedal or simply use front lamps.

Cyclists are also prohibited from carrying more than what is allowed for the bicycle.

Talisay City also wants to put up bicycle lanes.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said he is proposing to put bike lanes in four routes in the city. This includes putting bike lanes within the Brgy. Pooc area, from Brgy. Poblacion to Linao, from Brgy. Linao to Bulacao via the national highway and from Brgy. Tabunok to the mountain barangays via the Talisay-Uling access road. (JOB)