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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Following the Covid-induced lockdown, beginning in the last week of March this year, the sale of bicycles has reportedly almost doubled in Bhubaneswar. Social distancing norms, coupled with the fear of contamination and the desire to keep fit during the present health crisis are said to be the reasons behind the new craze for bicycles, say experts.

Nevertheless, the old and trustworthy mode of transport has come handy when it comes to commuting short distances while avoiding chances of Covid-19 contamination, a possibility in public transport.

For fitness enthusiasts, cycles offer the best option to keep fit while avoiding gyms and fitness clubs in the times of pandemic.

Reports obtained from bicycle retail chains like, Decathlon, Hero Cycles, reveal that bicycles of all types- geared, non-geared, sports and fancy-- are in demand since the Covid-19 lockdown in March this year which witnessed further growth post lockdown.

"The Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown came as a blessing in disguise for the cycle industry. The sales have almost doubled. Earlier, we used to sell 50 units in a month, and now it has increased to around 100 units. Although gyms are opening gradually, people are still buying cycles to stay fit and healthy," said one of the employees at a leading cycle store in Bhubaneswar.

[caption id="attachment_487464" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Customers buying bicycles at Decathlon in Bhubaneswar Customers buying bicycles at Decathlon in Bhubaneswar[/caption]

While some denizens of Bhubaneswar opined that people are buying bicycles to stay fit amid Coronavirus pandemic, others believe the spike in sales could be a new fashion trend.

Anil Sahoo, a resident of smart city who recently bought a cycle, said, "I bought a cycle primarily to exercise and keep myself fit. My office is about 4 kilometres away from my residence. These days I prefer to cycle it to my office than taking a ride on my bike," Sahoo said.

"With the Covid-19 lockdown in place in the city, we were facing problems in visiting market even for grocery. Therefore, I bought a bicycle. It can be used by my child in future to go to school and tuitions. Besides, he can even practice cycling which will keep him fit" said a customer at a leading cycle store in the outskirts of the city.

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