FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans taking advantage of the outdoors during this COVID-19 pandemic and a local bike shop is seeing an increase in customers.

“We can’t go to restaurants, go to the movies or anything fun so the outdoors is the only way to take advantage of the nice weather,” said Brad Lynch a biker.

“There’s been a lot of people who want to get outside. You know everybody is out of school and off of work and they are needing to break that cabin fever.” Phat Tire Bike Shop, Director of Operations Nickel Potter said more people have visited its NWA shops in recent days and he is working to meet the demand but also practice social distancing. He admits it hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve instructed all of our store managers if we have to… we will lock the door and ask people to wait until one of our customers’ leaves,” said Potter.

He has implemented extra cleaning procedures, staff dealing with bikes are wearing gloves and he suspended services like bike fitting to reduce face to face contact.

“There are people who cycle for transportation. There are times when you might not want to get on public transportation and riding your bike to the store is the only way you’re going to get there so we are trying to facilitate those needs.”

The shop has also extended its curbside services and home deliveries. Lynch, who is working from home, said he is just glad to have an outlet.

“I think that getting outside and keeping your space safely is a way to keep us sane through all of this madness.”  

The ADH does encourage people to take walks or go hiking, it can be a stress reliever for many. If you’re going to be outdoors, just make sure to maintain the 6 feet of separation. In addition, starting Friday congregating in groups of 10 or more has been banned across the state.