[ti:Coronavirus Leads to Bicycle Boom, Shortage, Around World] [by:pzw8555.cn] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问pzw8555.cn [00:00.04]As the coronavirus outbreak continues, [00:03.72]many Americans are fearful of using public transportation. [00:09.12]They also are looking for ways to get exercise [00:14.00]without having to go to a gym, as well as ways to enjoy the outdoors. [00:21.60]So, it may not be surprising that the pandemic has led to a major increase in bicycle sales. [00:31.52]In the United States, bicycles at big stores like Walmart have sold out. [00:39.16]And small bicycle stores cannot keep up with demand [00:43.76]for "family-style" bicycles: the low-cost, easy-to-ride models. [00:51.84]The bicycle industry is seeing its biggest sales increase [00:56.88]since the oil crisis of the 1970s, said Jay Townley, an industry expert. [01:06.52]"People... have panicked," Townley said. [01:09.56]He compared the sale of bicycles to the rush [01:13.40]to buy products like toilet paper at the start of the pandemic. [01:19.40]The rise in bicycle sales is not happening just in the United States. [01:26.64]Cities like Manila in the Philippines and Rome, Italy have created bicycle paths [01:33.24]for the growing number of people who want to avoid public transportation. [01:39.36]In London, city officials plan to bar cars from some central roads. [01:47.12]Bike shop owners in Manila say demand is even stronger [01:51.64]than what they see at Christmas time. [01:55.60]In Italy, the government's economic support plan [01:59.52]included a 500-euro payment to help with the cost of a bicycle. [02:06.76]Of course, you can only buy a bicycle if you can find a bicycle. [02:11.84]In the U.S., the shortages now mean it may take many months to get one. [02:19.60]High demand is not the only reason for the shortage. [02:24.04]The U.S. buys 90 percent of its bicycles from China. [02:29.72]Bicycle factories there were shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19. [02:38.28]The increase in bicycle demand began in March as countries began to close down. [02:45.40]In April, the sale of bicycles for adults increased 200 percent in the United States. [02:54.44]All bicycle sales, including those for children, are up 100 percent [02:59.84]from the year before, says NPD Group. [03:04.76]The research company follows the sales of bicycles. [03:10.36]Before the pandemic, bicycle sales in the United States were a $6 billion industry [03:17.56]that was expecting lower sales in 2020. [03:22.32]That expectation came in part because of a decision by the administration of [03:27.80]President Donald Trump to place high tariffs on many Chinese imported goods. [03:34.96]In Bar Harbor, Maine, Brian Smith bought a new bicycle for one of his daughters. [03:41.40]She is a competitive swimmer who could not get to the pool to practice. [03:48.04]His family now goes for rides several times a day. [03:53.56]Bicycling helps them all get exercise and enjoy the fresh air. [03:59.92]But the biggest reason they go on rides? [04:03.24]"It's fun. Maybe that's the bottom line. It's really fun to ride bikes," Smith said. [04:12.08]Joe Minutolo is the co-owner of Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop in Maine. [04:18.56]He said he hopes the increased sales [04:21.80]mean a change in the way people think about transportation. [04:27.32]"People are having a chance to rethink things," he said. [04:31.28]"Maybe we'll all learn something out of this, [04:34.68]and something really good will happen," he said. [04:38.80]I'm Susan Shand. [04:41.12]更多听力请访问pzw8555.cn