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High demand affects availability of outdoor recreation equipment

Families stuck at home during pandemic are looking to purchase new equipment but the demand has outpaced supply.

As families look to stay busy during the pandemic, some are hoping to purchase new equipment but finding empty shelves and out of stock signs.

“It’s like nothing we haven’t seen in years,” says Kevin Madzia with Century Cycles.

Families are hunkering down at home and turning to their backyards, nearby parks, and any other outdoor activities to stay entertained. They’re also trying to add to the list of options as they do so.

“People are looking for things they can do, but not spend a lot of money. They want to stay close to home and stay active,” says Madzia.

According to the NPD Group, a marketing research company, outdoor toys, pools and playground equipment sales is up 51 percent year to year. Locally, a quick browse online for things like inflatable pools show most are out of stock and Century Cycles says there’s now a waiting list for bikes.

“A lot of the manufactures had issues a month or two ago when the whole pandemic started, because a lot of their factories were shut down. So that put them behind, which in turn is putting us behind,” says Madzia.

Century Cycles says the average wait for a new bike is about a month, going up to 2 months. If you can’t wait that long, you may want to look around your garage, shed or basement for an old bike. They’re still doing tune ups and repairs, which may get you pedaling a little sooner.

“We are still open for full service, but keep in mind that is pretty backed up too. Most of our stores are at least 2 or 3 weeks backed up on repairs, in some cases possibly even more,” says Madzia.

If you don’t have an old bike to fix up, you can try resale sites or even rent a few to get your fix. When it comes to beating the heat with water, a hose maybe your best bet until shelves are restocked.