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Bicycle riding, sales and overall interest on the rise in Madison

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As summer continues to heat up, so does bicycling riding across Madison. Several bike shops has seen steady to increasing business all season despite the pandemic.

Budget Bicycle Center on Regent Street hasn't slow pumped the breaks all summer. Bike repairs, overall bike sales and equipment has been flying off the shelves.

"May and June have both been very busy months that came close to breaking records," said Roger Charly, owner of Budget Bicycle Center.

Many people are looking for ways to get some fresh air this summer while socially distancing. Bicycle riding might have grown in popularity because of that.

"We're seeing people we haven't seen. You can tell by the trade ins," said Charly. " There's bikes from 20 years ago where as constant customers are trading bikes that may be 10 years old. It's bringing people out of the woodwork from different bike booms. There's been a lot of different booms over the years."

One of those booms that has gained popularity is the electric bike, or e-bike.

"Eight or nine years ago when I started this business I said this is the way of the future," Len Mattioli, owner of Crazy Lenny's E-Bikes on Odana Road in Madison. "I know it's counterintuitive, but e-bikes are way more fun to ride."

In many cases the e-bike is more expensive, but that hasn't stopped people from jumping on the craze and purchasing the new trendy e-bike.

"There was like this step level increase in e-bike sales and not just at Crazy Lenny's but across the United States," said Mattioli. "E-bikes are selling like mad."

Alec Ausmus

Sports reporter

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