HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A new shop in Huntsville is seeing an increase in customers following the weekend’s U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open.
Neal Gladden, owner of Rocket City Trikes, said his shop is one of very few locations in the state that sells recumbent tricycles. While the trikes he sells aren’t the same ones the Paralympic athletes use, Gladden said having the competition here brought recognition to all types of cycling. He also said people staying home during the pandemic was a boost to business.
“It’s something different,” Gladden said. “A lot of people started dusting off their bicycles in their garage and a lot of people said I want something different and that’s the trike.”
Although many businesses were hit hard Gladden said so many people were looking at ways to spend time outdoors sales in his type of business spiked.
“There was a huge demand for any outdoor product and that made it a challenge to get inventory. It made it a challenge to get dealership with some of the manufacturers but once they saw we were serious they have been tremendous in helping us get inventory,” Gladden said.
Gladden said his wife and him have been riding recumbent tricycles for years now, and in November of last year they wanted to share their experience of the hobby with others. So they opened up the shop right in the middle of the pandemic. The owner of Rocket City Trikes said he feels this boost in business is here to stay.
“In all things business related there are cycles, but I do believe this is going to hang around because you are talking about people re-discovering things and finding things they enjoy,” Gladden said. “To enjoy the outdoors that they have not been doing, and I don’t think they will go back to sitting on the couch. Most of the industry projections show this will last for quite a while now.”
Gladden said new orders on trikes take between 16-30 weeks on average to fill. When he has inventory in stock, customers do not have to wait that length of time to get the new bike they are looking to purchase.