When the whole crisis began to sink in, people weren’t sure if they were going to be able to bike around town. And if they were allowed to cycle about, who would fix and tune their bikes when they needed servicing? After all, riding around on a broken bike is not exactly safe.
It turns out that the original essential business proclamation issued by Governor Cuomo did not include bike repair facilities. Then bike advocates came out of the woodwork, pushing for bikes to be considered essential forms of transportation during a time of crisis, for the same reasons that people would be allowed to drive their cars.
“During this crisis, more and more people are using their bicycles for transport and exercise,” said Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who was an advocate for bike inclusion early on. “Bicycle repair shops provide a valuable service that will allow people across New York State to be able to travel for essential purposes. Thank you to everyone who is continuing to perform repairs during this time. You are providing an extremely important service to your community.”
“Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many people in our region and, as such, the continued operation of bicycle repair shops is vital for meeting critical transportation needs,” said Justin Booth, executive director of GObike, after the inclusion of bikes was granted. “People have a right to travel to meet their basic needs, such as buying groceries, getting to work, or going to the doctor. For those without access to a motor vehicle, exercising this right means continued access to bicycle repair shops.”
“Many essential workers are using bicycles for transportation. Bicycles are a way for individuals and families to safely exercise and transport themselves at a safe social distance,” said Ethan Johnson, owner of Campus Wheelworks Elmwood. “Bicycle repair shops make sure our communities may continue to have safe, functional bicycles.”
When asked about how the crew at Campus Wheelworks was handling the work during such a trying time, the team replied, “We are lucky to have the opportunity to keep our community rolling and (some of) our staff employed in this interesting time. We are currently booked out about a week, so yes there has been a demand for bike service both for folks using their bikes for transportation and recreation. People have been very supportive of our need for work, bringing us anything that they had planned on getting fixed at a later date. Folks have also been buying gift cards from our website for future purchases to help us get through. Last week we sold several bikes to people that are looking for something to fill the hole in their life left by gyms and spin studios being closed until further notice. There is suddenly room in almost everyone’s life for cycling. People, myself included, are using cycling as a great way to get out blow off some steam get a little exercise in a way that is a safe distance from others. We are here to help 10am to 6pm every day but Sunday & Wednesday (currently).”
In an interesting twist, Campus Wheelworks has added another free and friendly service to their business roster. All bike rentals are now free! Customers can book their free rentals currently. This new free service was implemented to get more people out on the road, out of their houses, where they have been pent up. It’s important that everyone stays as healthy and sane as possible during a time when most everyone is staying at home.
In order to take advantage of the free rentals*, customers can use discount code “essential” at check out.
*Offer good for hourly and daily rentals only, availability limited, and will continue until the self imposed quarantine is over
Campus Wheelworks: Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm; closed Sunday and Wednesday. Only one customer is allowed in the shop at a time. Visit their website for up-to-date information.
GObike Community Workshop: Shop will remain closed to the public; however, customers may drop-off and pick-up bicycles for repair on an appointment basis. Make an appointment by calling the GObike workshop at 716-320-0193. Visit the GObike website for up-to-date information.