How urban biking has developed after the pandemic
We have all been biking for quite some time, but nothing has proved cycling is a way of life like this damn pandemic period. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020 established biking as one of the finest mobility ideas worldwide.
We want to highlight that you should stick to spinning your legs or vote during the next elections for more cycling-orientated people - all proved by scientific data! Let's take a sip and dig into the bicycle-related reactions of municipalities in urban planning to address the change pandemic brought.
From the rider's point of view, it was all about staying sane during the lockdown. We still didn't know how dangerous the virus was, yet we wanted to go out and ride.
Overall, there was a decrease in general mobility due to travel restrictions, school closures, or people working from home. As a result, mobility behaviour developed very differently during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to be separated from others but kept on travelling. Solution? Bikes!
Cycling was a reliable and resilient option during pandemic times as it enabled social distancing and a low risk of contagiousness. Additionally, it combined further advantages like being outside, staying physically active, and strengthening the immune system. After all, who doesn't like a good stroll on your bike?
Figure 2 (c) Unsplashed - Jared Lisack
Bicycle sales had already been rising before the pandemic. The surge in demand caused them to increase at an even higher rate. The more considerable demand understandably led to supply bottlenecks, resulting in some would-be cyclists needing help accessing bicycles.
When people realised they could stay safe on two wheels, it just switched. Following an article from Angela Francke:
"The increase in cycling is also reflected in the higher demand for bicycles and its sales figures. According to the NPD Group, bicycle sales in the United States between April 2020 and April 2021 were up by 57% (Sorenson, 2021). In France, the number of bikes sold increased by 1.7% to 2.68 million in 2020, and e-bike sales increased by 31% (Beckendorff, 2021). In the United Kingdom, a report sales in the cycling market grew by up to 60% at the start of the pandemic, and e-bike sales more than doubled (Bicycle Association (2020). Data from the first half of 2021 show that sales increased (+ 52%) compared to pre-pandemic levels (Bicycle Association, 2021). The report also suggests that the demand for bikes could not be fully satisfied because of a lack of bike availability. In Germany, bike sales (including e-bikes) increased by 17%. E-bikes sales alone increased even more (44%). Total revenue from bike sales was 6.44 billion euros, an increase of 61% (Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), 2021)."
Figure 3 (c) Unsplashed - Venrick Azcueta
Result? Skyrocketing bike prices in every sector and lack of equipment on bike shop shelves. As the Asian market stopped its massive cogs with production, producing bike-related stuff became a nightmare for brands worldwide. The bottleneck of transportation (remember the big ship issue?) Made it even harder, but here we are in 2022, riding and waiting for the next bike order delayed since 2021. As Crow Bicycles, we hope to keep the promise of delivering our packages on time, but if anything happens, feel free to get in touch!
Yet, during the most intense times of the pandemic, biking had a far more significant impact on our lives than just pushing the dollar through the companies. The whole scene has changed. Cities started to recognise biking as a way to decrease pandemic numbers. It was time to support a shift to cycling-based movements in cities. Those urban planning measures, like the famous pop-up bike lanes, street closures, or tactical urbanism interventions, were often temporarily and quickly installed.
Many cities used actions of tactical urbanism to react to the urgency of the pandemic. In contrast to long-term, strategic urban planning, tactical urbanism is seen as a quick, low-cost approach to tackle problems in the urban environment
to improve life quality and sustainability. The further expansion of bike-sharing systems can be a solution here. Further, it is attractive for municipalities to encourage first-time cyclists to continue to use the bicycle post-pandemic.
What is the best way to encourage explorers to get on bikes? Show them their neighbourhood from a different perspective. It is amazing how many gems are hidden around the corner if you are eager to take them. Making more places accessible for bikes is a solution to bring more people on them. YouTube and any other social media with a local outreach were a great success in promoting local endeavours.
With a post-pandemic reality, we can keep making people stoked about the process. After years in the saddle for us, having a trusted friend spend a day with us, just fooling around on a bike with perfect weather, hits the nail. If you don't have any, go for a group ride by your local bike shop or look up bike communities online, or just hit us on our social media channels @crowbicycles and join any of our test rides we are organizing, we are willing to introduce you to electric cycling and show you how fun it is!
At Crow Bicycles, we embrace Agenda 2030, meaning we do our best to become much more conscious of our resources and how we use them. Our planet needs it as soon as possible! We genuinely believe bikes are the future of micro-mobility. Make breathing easier for the rest of us, and choose cycling!
To sum it up, the different stages of the pandemic revealed how changeable mobility and cities are. Bicycles are an ideal mode of transportation to enable a resilient mobility system in a city. Yet making friends through biking could be a life goal we are definitely pursuing!
Cycling during and after the COVID-19 pandemic by Angela Francke https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9188448/