IT'S not all bad for small businesses in this time of the coronavirus.
With public transportation still barred under the enhanced community quarantine enforced in Metro Manila and the whole of Luzon, bicycles - a time-tested mode of mobility - is once again peaking in popularity.
So much so that two-time national cycling champion and former Southeast Asian Games gold medalist John Mark Galedo told Spin.ph that his bikeshop in Mandaluyong has already ran out of stock.
“Naubos yung paninda po namin. Actually, nakasara na po kami since three weeks ago, pero ang dami pa kumakatok, nanghihingi ng tulong kung pwede raw makabili,” said Galedo.
Most of the new customers of Galedo Bikeshop are health workers, who, he said, find bikes the most convenient form of transportation amid fears of discrimination.
“Mahirap daw kasi sumakay tapos may iba natatakot na ma-discriminate sa daan, kaya nabili sila ng bisikleta," he said. "Ayaw nga po sana namin magbenta kaso ang dami nakikiusap na sana daw pagbentahan na sila, minsan kahit gabing-gabi nakatok sila.”
“Kaya eto, ubos stock namin. Pati yung mga commuter bikes namin like sidecar, naubos rin,” added the 2012 Ronda Pilipinas champion.
The soft-spoken pride of Caloocan City bared he has already sold around 50 units of bicycles and has already sold even his allotted supplies for April and May.
“Dapat po pangbenta ko na ng April at May 'yun. Grabe ang bilis ng bentahan ng bike ngayon. Pati yung mga hindi ko naibenta nung Pasko na mga units, ubos din,” he said.
"Yung mga display naming sa labas, ubos. Yung mga nakasampay dito na bikes, ubos din,” added the national rider.
Galedo revealed that it will take some time before he can replenish his stock as orders normally take quite a long time to be delivered these days because of port restrictions.
With a lot of people turning to bikes anew, Galedo bared that they were also forced to open their shop for repairs and spare parts.
"Binuksan na rin po namin yung shop kasi ang dami nasisiraan lately. May iba naman ginamit na yung lumang bikes nila para may masakyan papunta palengke o saan man," said Galedo, who is still careful to practice social distancing in his shop.
"Ang ginawa namin, may barikada. Hindi pwede lumapit sa tauhan namin yung mga nagpapagawa.”
Galedo, however, had to close his 711 franchise in Mandaluyong since last March 17.
“Pero yung 711 store namin. Isinara muna namin kasi yun po mahirap dun mag spread 'yung virus. Kawawa naman po mga staff namin if mahawa at makahawa,” he said.
Galedo aired the hope that bicycles will remain a big part of the Filipinos' new lifestyle once the pandemic is over.
"Sana nga po mag bike na lang yung karamihan sa atin. Kasi iwas traffic tapos iwas polusyon and at the same time, maganda po siya sa katawan,” said the 34-year old cycling great.