Changes needed to COVID bike servicing rules

An anomaly in Victoria’s rules surround bike servicing and repairs is beginning to grate like a badly adjusted derailleur.

You can go down to the bike shop to get your gears adjusted if you ride to work, or to shops or the doctor, but not if you are riding for recreation. Weird.

And as we know, right now most people are riding for recreation, and many of them are new to riding, and are unlikely to be advanced level bike mechanics.

It is often the best hour of their day, and they don’t want it spoiled by a mechanical kilometres away from home.

According to bike shops and riders, some people are at the point of ceasing their daily ride for exercise because their bikes are unserviceable, and in some cases unsafe.

Bike Industries Australia, which represents many of Australia’s bike shops and bike business, has written to Premier Andrews asking for changes to be made.

"Under stage 4 lockdown measures, bicycle shops have been permitted to provide repair and emergency maintenance on bicycles required for transport for essential workers,” BIA writes.

"The restrictions have prohibited the service of bicycles utilised for exercise and recreation by adults or children.

"The initial lockdown period was for an initial timeframe of 6 weeks, which as outlined has now been extended for a number of weeks through the staged roadmap to recovery

"You have acknowledged the benefit of exercise by immediately extending the permissible time from one hour to two hours, allowing for improved mental and physical health.”

The BIA says that those who rely on their bicycles for exercise are currently at a disadvantage as they are not permitted to have their bicycles repaired by a bicycle retail store.

"Bicycle retailers have already implemented significant COVID-safe plans to allow repair of bicycles for transport, and we are requesting that we are allowed to support those choosing to undertake cycling for their health and fitness.

"We are seeking for the allowable activities of a bicycle service centre to be extended from repair of bicycles used for transport to include bicycles utilised for exercise.

"Bicycle sales to new riders have increased dramatically since COVID lockdowns have been implemented, without correct service of these bikes, there is risk that novice riders may be put at risk.”

Bicycle Network suggests that riders drop a note to the Premier or their local MP asking for this anomaly to be corrected.

Click here for tips and information about getting your bike used for transport serviced during lockdown.

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