Lexington bike shop owner thrives as more people pedal through the pandemic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While so many industries are struggling to make it through the pandemic, the biking industry is actually gaining traction.

Bicycle Face remained open for service and repairs when it had to shut its doors to in-person shopping.

"I think it's taken a lot of shops by surprise, as well as the whole industry," Bicycle Face Co-Owner Nate Cornelius said.

While everyone remains healthy at home, more and more people are finding social distancing in a bike lane.

Whether it's for physical exercise, mental health, or just a reason to get out of the house, a new survey by a bicycle company called Trek shows that nationwide people are pedaling through the pandemic, finding 21 percent of adults with bikes will ride more often during the pandemic and 50 percent will continue riding after the pandemic ends.

It's not a trend that Cornelius saw coming but one he's grateful to be navigating.

"We didn't really know what to expect, whether or not we were going to be open, let alone getting busier," Cornelius said.

Bicycle Face did have to close to in-person shopping during the shutdown, but their service and repair were deemed essential for travel, and they continued online sales and curbside pickup.

"We've had all our mechanics working full throttle just from the volume," Cornelius said.

And now that he's been able to reopen his doors to customers, he hopes those that have been strapping on their helmets continue to stay the course.

"I'm hoping people kind of rediscover that love for cycling, how fun it can be, and how well Lexington's infrastructure has grown for cycling," Cornelius said. "I hope they stick with it, especially all the kids and the young people that are getting into it, it's a whole new generation."