‘You are hoping that people will make permanent life changes when this is over’

By Ian Marland at

Local bike shops are keeping key workers on the move during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cycle shops have been classed as ‘essential businesses’ by the UK and Scottish governments.

Gear Bikes on Gibson Street is open seven days a week, with a steady stream of repairs, services and sales.

Gear Bikes

Signs are keeping customers at a safe ‘social distance’

Iain McIntosh at the store said a number of recent customers had been NHS staff or emergency workers.

He said: “We are prioritising the NHS and the police, and there has been a fair bit of business that way.

“Obviously no one wants to get on a bus, and there are fewer buses around.

“Folk are turning to the bike, and they have maybe not used it for a few years.

‘Exercise’

“The bikes are coming out of the shed.”

Iain says there has been an upturn in the number of people cycling.

With gyms shut and people social distancing, more people than ever are wanting to exercise, he said.

“They need to get some exercise for their own sanity as well.”

Gear Bikes

Gear Bikes is open seven days a week to deal with demand. Photo: Google

What has it meant for business?

“You just have to cope the best you can – there’s more work than usual, and it’s taking us longer to get through.

“People are having to wait slightly longer for repairs or servicing.

“But it hasn’t really affected us that way.

“We have a wee system at the door – and people have to wait to get served and we are doing the social distancing thing to keep everybody safe.

“But it is just business as usual for us, if I’m honest.”

What help can you provide to key workers?

“We have on the occasion set aside (complementary) bikes for emergency staff if they are waiting for a repair or service.

“If people are really needing a bike, we will help that way.

“We can maybe give them a hire bike for the duration that their bike is in, just to get it done and to keep things moving.

“It’s the right thing to do.”

What are your hours?

“We have kept our hours just to keep up with the level of work.

“We are open seven days a week – 10am till 6pm, Monday to Saturday, and Sundays are 12 till 5.

“We have got three staff during the week, sometimes four on a weekend.”

What will be the impact of coronavirus on cycling?

“You are hoping that people will make permanent life changes when this is over.

“People are being forced to change – and maybe they will like it.”

  • For more on Gear Bikes visit here.