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In the Pandemic, Hanoi's Newfound Cycling Love Sends Bike Sales Zooming

Thanks to COVID-19, gyms, yoga studios, and parks have closed, but the need for physical exercise remains.

On any day of the week, Hanoi’s West Lake is crowded with cyclists. In the capital, demand for bicycles has seen a steep rise, reported VietnamNetCycling is currently a favorite activity among friend groups and families; many parents use this as an opportunity to help their children stay away from technological devices.

Trần Tú told the news source that his bicycle shop in Cau Giay used to sell 10 bikes a week, but since the pandemic, some days sales have reached up to a few dozen units.

There are thousands of bicycle models on the market across a huge range of prices for customers to choose from. For instance, a classic model that comes with a basket would be around VND1.8–2.2 million per bike; off-road models, however, fetch around VND2.6–6 million each.

Aside from bike shops, rental services are also enjoying an astounding increase in demand. On lakeside roads like Trich Sai and Nguyen Dinh Thi, many bike rental shops have popped up. For only VND40,000 for a three-hour rental, people can pedal to exercise while exploring Hanoi in a novel way. A shop owner on Trich Sai revealed that on peak days, usually weekends, there can be as many as 200 rentals per day.

Large corporations like AEON Vietnam also reported a 200–300% surge in bike sales last year. An AEON spokesperson explained the significant number: "The emergence of COVID-19 has made people pay more attention to health. Cycling has become a fitness trend in Vietnam."

Similarly, Peter Nguyen, CEO of Blue Circle Company, a large distributor of imported bicycles in Vietnam, credited the surge to the need to exercise while maintaining social distancing. At the same time, he believes that the bicycle market has high potential in the long run due to growing affluence, the establishment of bike lanes in cities, and the development of public transport.

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