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ESSENTIAL BUSINESS: Bike shops provide transportation and escape during uncertain times

Bikers at Myre-Big Island State Park in Albert Lea

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (FOX 47) - A bike shop is normally not the first thing that comes to mind when you think essential.

"Bikes are crucial for get around and get to where they need to go," said Dan Lestrud, owner of Broadway Bike Shop in Albert Lea.

Not only a ride to work, but these days it's one of the few available recreational options.

"It's a great option and there's a lot of different facets to it," Lestrud said. "There's a lot of styles of bikes. Usually you can find a bike that suits someone's needs."

"We're just trying to have some fun while we're stuck at home and there's not a lot to do," said one boy in Albert Lea.

Bike shops are normally busy this time of year, but demand has been even higher this week.

"We did have a lot of people in here. People were buying bikes like crazy," said Ryan Beard, service manager at Rydjor Bike Shop in Austin.

New policies had to be added, as well as shorter hours, but there is still plenty of work.

"We got a lot of bike orders to do. People are getting their bikes tuned up and ready for summer, Beard said. "There's only 10 people allowed in the store at once and everybody is required to use hand sanitizer upon entry,"

Both Austin and its Freeborn County neighbor have plenty of trails to ride.

"Albert Lea is very bike friendly city," said Broadway's owner. "We have Fountain Lake."

As well as county bike roads that are perfect for gravel biking.

"That has been a very popular type of riding," said Lestrud. "We have some very unique gravel roads around here to ride on so that has been picking up."

There's plenty of reasons to get out on two wheels.

"I just got a new bike and it's one of the nicest days of the week," said one girl riding with her family at Myre-Big Island State Park.

"A lot of times you can get in some areas where you don't drive your car and they're very scenic," concluded Lestrud.

Alex Tejada

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