Around the world sales and usage of bikes for transport and exercise are exploding. It’s the perfect storm of solutions to congested cities and climate change as well as socially-distancing transport and exercise during the Covid crisis. With public transport options curtained or discouraged during lockdown, many have hopped on bikes to do their essential errands or provide assistance to loved ones self-isolating. Many more began, or continued, cycling as a healthy daily exercise form. Bike shops have reported increases in sales along with rising demand for repair services as customers who retrieved their trusty cycles out of dark shed and cellars attempt to make them roadworthy again.
In mid-May in London, the mayor Sadiq Khan presented on the most far-reaching walking and cycling schemes of any city in the world, which involved closing off large parts of central London to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely. These measures, in conjunction with the easing of lockdown restrictions, also saw the creation of new pop-up bike paths along Park Lane and Euston Road and the widening of pavements in other areas. The ideas was to encourage people to avoid public transit by making the alternatives safer and more accessible. The challenges created by the lockdown along with increasing pressure to act on climate and environmental concerns, have come together to spark an urgency to improve the infrastructure for cyclists. This represents a true win-win that will aid the economy recovery while curbing climate change, reducing air pollution and protecting human health.