Wharf St shop Coast Cyclery staff Darcy Harris, owner Brendan Brooks and Paul Woodger have noticed more families partaking in cycling during COVID. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Wharf St shop Coast Cyclery staff Darcy Harris, owner Brendan Brooks and Paul Woodger have noticed more families partaking in cycling during COVID. Photo: Jessica Lamb

Worldwide shortage of popular product at centre of pandemic

FOR many along the main street of Tweed Heads, the snaking lines of traffic backed up for kilometres was a daily sight in the height of the pandemic.

The bottleneck caused by the Griffith St checkpoint in Coolangatta to enter into Queensland continues to be the bane of once-thriving businesses either side of the twin-town communities straddling the state border.

Now the traffic jams have returned after a short hiatus from the start of August when the sunshine state tightened travel restrictions.

Marking the start of the border bubble expansion on Thursday, the all-too familiar traffic snarl returned with a vengeance.

Cars full of workers, families and tourists from the Byron Shire, Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley now included in the border bubble added to the essential workers and Tweed Shire residents who use the police-manned gateways to Queensland.

From their store opposite Tweed Mall Shopping Centre, Wharf St's Coast Cyclery shop has full view of the traffic mayhem.

Nestled among bikes, parts and accessories that cover the walls of the bike business, worker Paul Woodger explained the constant stream of vehicles had been a blessing and a curse.

Initially there was a spike in bike sales from families desperate to be outdoors in lockdown and professionals wanting a quicker way to work to weave in and out of traffic.

But there were also customers who needed bike repairs and were put off by the prospect of having to wait for up to two hours of traffic to reach Coast Cyclery.

For surfers facing hours of traffic between the famous Point Danger and Duranbah breaks, the store's surfboard bike attachments proved popular, selling out in the first week of the border closure.

Mr Woodger said as bicycles had become a popular hobby in COVID-19, there was now a worldwide shortage of bikes.

While there are still plenty of bikes available at the local business, for some, bike models suppliers cannot even give an estimate time of arrival for backlogged orders.

Mr Woodger said just like home gym equipment, the cycling industry had been luckier than some businesses during the pandemic.

It was even a popular trend for tourists stranded at the beginning of the coronavirus to hire bikes from the shop.

The store has been a staple of the Tweed for the better part of a decade and owner Brendan Brooks was ecstatic to see the community reverting back to the two-wheeled transportation.

"It's great to see families out and about using the parks and paths more during this time," he said.



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