'The perfect storm': demand for e-bikes surges in Sydney amid pandemic

5/05/2020 1:01:00 PM

Electric bike rental companies are struggling to keep up with demand as Sydneysiders turn to food delivery as a form of employment amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Electric bike rental companies are struggling to keep up with demand as Sydneysiders turn to food delivery as a form of employment amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Electric bike rental companies are struggling to keep up with demand as Sydneysiders turn to food delivery as a form of employment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bolt BikesAdvertisementBolt Bikes"It is the perfect storm for bikes," said Mr Southall, who has stores in Pyrmont, Hornsby and Engadine. "Supply will be an issue going forward as some factories are still not fully operational but it’s been an exciting time in the bike industry - whoever would’ve thought COVID would have such an effect."

He fears when conditions ease, there will be too many bikes to keep up with demand.Dominic Lorrimer

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and 99.9% have no idea what they're doing, how to ride in traffic or where they're going.

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Bolt Bikes has reported an increase of 60 per cent in Sydney e-bike rentals from March to April as customers decide to rent rather than purchase an e-bike.Source:Supplied Just days after term 2 began, Warragamba Public School will be “non-operational for on-site learning” on Monday, with all students undertaking at home learning.Larger text size Very large text size For the first time in its 67-year history, the Sydney Film Festival will go virtual."The protocols are pretty tight, the 32 players and 18 staff, one entrance point, one exit," Burgess told Fox League.

Chief executive Mina Nada said the company has provided extra support to new customers as a result, including training and a noticeboard system to connect riders with local businesses. Bolt Bikes chief executive Mina Nada said the company has provided extra support to new clients as a result of the uptick in demand. “The school will be non-operational for the on-site attendance of staff and students while the school conducts contact tracing and is cleaned. Credit: Bolt Bikes Ridwan Anan, 23, is studying IT, working at Coles, and has rented an e-bike from Bolt Bikes, which operates across Sydney and Melbourne, for $69 a week to make deliveries for Uber Eats. But organisers hinted at a make-up version that would "celebrate film and filmmakers". He said many international students who recently lost their jobs have been hiring the bikes. RELATED: How are you coping during the pandemic? Take our survey Meanwhile, Anglicare’s Newmarch House aged care staff members will now be subject to daily COVID-19 tests in an attempt to manage the outbreak at the facility where 14 residents have died. "An e-bike can cost you around, like $1500 to $2000." Warriors hooker Nathaniel Roache was cleared of COVID-19 on Monday but that diagnosis came too late for him to join his teammates, who flew from Auckland to their quarantine base in Tamworth a day earlier.

Spending that much money at this time and being an international student, it's a gamble," he said. There are now 63 infections linked to the facility including 26 staff members and 37 residents. Sydney Film Festival chief executive Leigh Small said the virtual instalment would be a "tight, award-focused" version celebrating key programs that "define the Sydney Film Festival", including the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary and the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films. "I'm not sure whether I'm gonna do Uber Eats after six months or after two months or for the next week, so renting out was actually the best option." Advertisement Ridwan Anan rents an e-bike to make Uber Eats deliveries. NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said one of the new cases at the facility was a close contact of another case who had been in isolation for a period of time and subsequently developed symptoms. Credit: Bolt Bikes Bolt Bikes users are expected to return the bikes to the warehouse in the inner-city suburb of Alexandria every 2000 kilometres for maintenance, the cost of which is included in the rental. Compared to the usual SFF program of more than 300 films across 12 days, audience-voted prizes and filmmaker Q&As, the virtual instalment is a concession. Sydney Electric Bikes owner Jake Southall said his store had experienced the busiest month since opening 10 years ago. Anglicare announced on Sunday the Family Support Program, which will involve a scheduled daily call from a registered nurse to a resident’s dedicated contact.

"It is the perfect storm for bikes," said Mr Southall, who has stores in Pyrmont, Hornsby and Engadine. "Supply will be an issue going forward as some factories are still not fully operational but it’s been an exciting time in the bike industry - whoever would’ve thought COVID would have such an effect. “The Family Support Program is designed to respond to the feedback from our families, ensuring they feel engaged and are in close contact with their loved ones,” Mr Millard said in a statement on Sunday. " We Are One: A Global Film Festival , which is a great opportunity for audiences." Dylan Coyne is the co-founder of Spark Bikes, which rents out e-bikes to food delivery drivers. Mr Coyne said there was a slight dip in business ahead of borders shutting, but demand has since skyrocketed at his inner-city store in Chippendale. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the relaxing of restrictions was a sign of the ongoing success in limiting the spread of COVID-19, but warned it was no time for complacency. He fears when conditions ease, there will be too many bikes to keep up with demand..

Jake Southall, founder and owner of Sydney Electric Bikes. More than 2300 people have recovered from the virus in NSW. Credit: Dominic Lorrimer "We have arrangements with manufacturers so we have been ordering them in here and then assembling them," he said. It was "definitely a possibility" that his store would have too many bikes, but Mr Coyne said "as food delivery grows in general, we will eventually be able to utilise them all again". A statement from NSW Health on Sunday said 75 per cent of cases were in non- acute, out-of-hospital care. He said most of his new clientele have been let go from hospitality jobs. "It has been crazy," he said.

"Especially when we saw the dip to begin with, people were unsure where things would head. We definitely did have worst-case scenario planned." Customers are asked to return their bikes every two weeks to the warehouse for maintenance. "We've seen a rise in demand in the double digits, maybe 30 per cent," he said. "I think the key factor is the upfront cost .

.. people aren't able to front such a huge cost." Looking for some good news? We could all do with some good news right about now. That’s why we have launched The Good News Group, a Facebook group where we’ll share uplifting, inspiring and positive stories and invite members to do the same.

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