Breaking News
More () »

Bikes, boats, and bounce in short supply during pandemic

Bicycles, kayaks, and trampolines are some of the items in high demand as people cooped up at home search for safe outdoor fun.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Spending so much time at home has people spending a lot of money on items to have fun outdoors.  That includes a surge in demand for bicycles, kayaks, swing sets, and trampolines.

Almost all the outdoor products sell in seasonal cycles at River Sports Outfitters.  Right now, the cycles really sell.

"The kids' bikes, pretty well every bike vendor is sold out. We got in 30 more bikes today, luckily. So we'll have some back online here in a couple of days," said Ed Mcalister, president of River Sports Outfitters.  "The phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to get out, either buying bikes or renting them."

Credit: WBIR
Bike Bicycle Shop at River Sports Outfitters in Knoxville

Mcalister said the shortage isn't necessarily because cooped-up people have bought more bikes than usual.  Some of the issue is simply a lack of supply.

"The ports were shut down," said Mcalister. "A lot of bicycles do come from overseas."

If you find a good deal on a trampoline online, you might want to jump on it. The bouncy backyard items are sold out at many sporting goods sites.

Another item that is helping River Sports stay afloat is sales of kayaks and canoes.

Credit: WBIR
Kayaks and canoes at the entrance to River Sports Outfitters in Knoxville.

"The boat business exploded for canoes and kayaks. Some of the boat manufacturers are backed up six to eight weeks," said Mcalister.

For Mcalister, the resurgence of families biking and boating is a silver lining in what has otherwise been an incredibly difficult business cycle.

"To see families getting canoes and going to the lake and spending time together, that's what paddling is all about. It's a family activity. The weather is pretty. Just be careful, keep your distance, and enjoy what East Tennessee really has to offer. You can do it in a safe manner," said Mcalister.

RELATED: May 1, 2020 - As people return to a new normal, UT professors study how scooter & bike shares are affected

RELATED: Feb. 2020 - Someone kayaked over Ozone Falls, but that doesn't mean you should, too