Bicycle craze sweeps India during COVID-19
To their dismay, the sisters needed to look forward to over two months to seize their favorite bicycles to benefit from the ‘devoted cycle tracks’ in Chandigarh – the most important in city India – to enterprise out and break the monotony of their home-stuck existence. And in a whole shock for the Takhar sisters, they weren’t the one ones who needed to wait this lengthy to seize their new-age health cum mobility machines.
It is a actual story. It appears the whole nation, after greater than two months of full lockdown and the troublesome restrictions throughout states, is discovering solace in bicycles and E-bikes, their versatile electrical variants.
The restricted public transport choices after the novel Corona virus, restricted scope for train, and lengthy working hours from dwelling have led folks to go for bicycles. It has led to a spurt in cyclists the world over.~
The producers additionally say that they’ve by no means skilled and witnessed this type of demand for bicycles. And most of them are merely unprepared with the pandemic-induced manufacturing hiccups and labour shortages.
Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director of Hero Cycles, informed ETAuto, “It’s not solely in India, however our complete world market has seen a spurt within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the US and throughout Europe bicycle sales are surging whilst metropolis after metropolis is reconfiguring city transport by reallocating better street area to bicycles.”
Bicycles are the brand new cell telephones
“I purchased my cycle simply because it was getting tremendous monotonous sitting at dwelling. Quarantine obtained to me, bodily and mentally. I actually wanted one thing to make me really feel extra energetic in ‘each methods,’ and biking was the very first thing that got here to my thoughts. It provides me a motive to maneuver out of the home, and this manner, I get a little bit of train and a breather for my thoughts. It not solely improves my skilled assignments but in addition permits me to discover new terrains,” Zara informed ETAuto.
Zara’s sentiments are frequent amongst different customers additionally.
Bicycle gross sales are surging the world over markets, together with India, the world’s largest market and producer. “Gross sales have elevated for each the normal and electrical cycle classes. In India, demand for bicycles has witnessed a big spurt in latest months. At Hero Cycles, we had a 50% leap in demand for conventional bicycles and 100% progress in electrical cycles within the post-lockdown interval. The order circulation for July has been alongside related strains,” Munjal mentioned.
Whereas a part of this surge will be attributed to pent-up demand as gross sales had been negligible for about two months, it’s also a results of folks shopping for bicycles to keep away from crowded public transport. With public transport each unsafe and never functioning to their full capability, folks want different modes of transportation and never everybody should purchase vehicles. The restricted public transport choices after the novel Corona virus, restricted scope for train, and lengthy working hours from dwelling have led folks to go for bicycles. It has led to a spurt in cyclists the world over.
In accordance with market veterans, it’s the premium class sale that has jumped as extra persons are taking to biking for recreation and train within the absence of gyms and group exercises.
Nevertheless, it’s not simply the premium class that has witnessed a leap. There was a rise in gross sales within the mass phase as effectively. Whereas Metros have seen a big spurt in premium cycles, total progress has been seen in Tier-II and beneath cities.
Producers say that some cities which have seen important progress starting from 20% to as excessive as 200%. “For us, now we have witnessed unprecedented demand from cities like Jalandhar, Bareilly, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Srinagar, Patna, Coimbatore, Gwalior, Lucknow, to call just a few,” Munjal mentioned.
Health and atmosphere tango
Electrical cycles provide a big alternative for folks to undertake the eco-friendly two-wheeler.One other noticeable pattern has been a shift in folks’s consciousness of the atmosphere in latest occasions. Extra persons are in search of methods to cut back the usage of vehicles and improve their dependence on bicycles.
Nevertheless, the dearth of adequately secure biking infrastructure and the dominance of motorised automobiles on the roads are main deterrents for folks to take-up biking. At this level, a small coverage push from the federal government to advertise biking by way of the creation of devoted bicycle lanes can convey out a significant change and encourage extra folks to cycle to work. There must be better democratisation of street area for all sections of travellers, together with cyclists and pedestrians.
In simply twenty years two-wheelers from 4 million in 2000 have grown many folds, whereas bicycles have added solely 4 million to the 12 million.~
Electrical cycles provide a big alternative for folks to undertake the eco-friendly two-wheeler. It supplies extra velocity with much less effort than conventional bicycles. Folks travelling even as much as 20km a day can effortlessly use electrical bicycles. Aside from growing street area allocation for bicycles, the federal government should additionally take into account providing incentives for folks to cycle to work.
The present pattern is mirrored across the globe. All the key cities throughout Europe and within the US, identified for car-clogged streets, are taking a look at creating bike lanes to accommodate surging curiosity in biking as public transport.
Indians purchase extra two-wheelers than bicycles
Because the COVID-19 circumstances surge previous the two-million mark, the absence of normal public transport has made Indians take to the normal mode of mobility: biking.
In accordance with market veterans, it’s the premium class sale that has jumped as extra persons are taking to biking for recreation and train within the absence of gyms and group exercises. Regardless of this surge, the bicycle market is smaller than two-wheelers comprising bikes and scooters. India produces round 25 million two-wheelers a yr however solely 16 million bicycles. In simply twenty years two-wheelers from 4 million in 2000 have grown many folds, whereas bicycles have added solely 4 million to the 12 million.
“It’s fairly a paradox that the standard cycle has not obtained its due,” says Jagdish Khattar, chairman of the Working Group to advertise the usage of bicycles in India and former MD of Maruti Suzuki. “However the rising curiosity of individuals in cycles is unquestionably a constructive pattern and can change the mindset and utilization. It improves the picture of the business that’s calling for rightful consideration in a rustic like India, which wants cleaner and environment-friendly mobility,” he mentioned.
The underside line
India largely stays on the entry-level bicycles additionally known as the black color cycles. They kind greater than 50% of the mass market phase whereas the brand new rising premium bicycles have solely a 5% share, albeit rising quick on the latest craze.
The present manufacturing and gross sales numbers of bicycles are usually not encouraging. Nevertheless, plans are underway to vary the weather of this uncared for and unorganised sector and take some large leaps.
India has set an bold goal to supply and promote 50 million bicycles by 2025 as the federal government desires to empower the folks with this important means of unpolluted mobility. However the momentary hiccups just like the closure of main producer like Atlas Cycles on the household points, India plans to maneuver forward with the goal to grow to be one of many world’s largest gamers in bicycle enterprise and emerge as a worldwide hub of producing and provides.
Whole Bicycle Gross sales FY’2019:
* Supply All India Cycle Producer Affiliation
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