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We're getting on our bikes like never before in Australia, and experts say we have to seize this opportunity to reshape our cities.
Cycling is having an unprecedented surge in popularity in Australia brought on by the COVID-19 lockdown.
In 45 years of riding, the former Tour de France cyclist, Stephen Hodge, has never seen anything like it.
"The boom in walking and cycling as motor vehicle traffic has crashed during the COVID-19 lockdown has been nothing short of amazing," said Mr Hodge, who works for the cycling advocacy group, We Ride.
Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap.Bicycles in the $500 to $1,500 range are rolling out of bike shops as fast as the mechanics can build them, adds the General Manager of Bicycle Industries Australia, Peter Bourke.
"March and April have had amazingly good sales," he said.
"Many shops are reporting double their average sales.
"We've seen a lot of shops sell out of women's bikes and the children's range."
Mr Bourke said it wasn't unusual for a customer to walk into a shop and come out with four bikes, one for each parent and each of the kids.
So why the big take-up?
People have jumped on bikes because it allows them to exercise without getting close to others.(Unsplash: Alvin Balemesa)Well, gyms have been closed — and cycling allows people to exercise without leaving their neighbourhood and without having to come in close contact with others.
It's also become safer with fewer cars on the roads.
"All of these things have come together and just created a fantastic environment for getting out and walking or riding around our local communities," Mr Hodge said.
Around Australia, bike paths are full of families. Some are cycling for the first time, while others are pulling out their old bikes sometimes after decades of inactivity.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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