NORTH CANTON Stop in one of the local parks, walking trails and bike trails to quickly realize how much busier they are all this spring. With the Stay at Home order issued in March and renewed by the Ohio Department of Health and Gov. Mike DeWine through the month of April, people are getting outdoors more this spring.


Walking is highly popular but so is bike riding. Chris Willems manages the North Canton Ernie’s Bike Shop and said he has seen at least a 20 percent uptick in bike repairs this spring.


“Business is booming right now, spring is always busy for all three stores with people getting their bikes out and getting them repaired but his spring has been extra busy because people really want to get out and do something,” Willems said.


In addition to bike repairs, the stores are selling new bikes by appointment only. Willem said he recommends people call into the store where a representative will talk to customers about the kind of bike they are looking for and then they can setup an appointment for the customer to test ride the bike.


The procedure is the same with bike repairs. Customers call in to make an appointment and then park in front of the store and someone will come out to take the bike or other bike related items into the store for repair.


“We sanitize everything we bring into the shop including the bikes when people drop them off for repair. We evaluate the bikes and the repair and then call the customer to see what they want to do and then when it is fixed, the customer picks it up curbside,” Willem said.


Willem mentioned that new bikes are hard to get because so many of them are manufactured in China and Taiwan.


“Bike manufacturers have been shutdown in those countries because of the virus so they are behind on new bikes. Because new bikes are tougher to get right now, many people are trying to get their old bikes fixed up to ride. We expect the new bike inventory to increase by June,” Willem said.


All three shops sanitize new bikes as well before giving them to the customer by wiping down the top of the bikes, the seat and the grips. Willem said they use a bleach mix to sanitize the new bikes.


Ernie’s Bike Shops are also offering free pickup and delivery for purchases $50 and over within a 20-mile radius of one of the shops.


For complete details about new bikes or bike repairs, visit the website at www.erniesbikeshop.com/.