Get out and ride


Karley Garcia

Enjoying the warmer weather that we’ve been getting, senior student Sarah Augustine sits on a bench located right outside the doors of BicycleWise & Sports Fitness.

Kali Anditon, Assistant Business and Technology Editor

A full year passed since COVID-19 hit America and forced students into virtual learning and businesses into closing. It’s no secret that outdoor and at-home exercising increased at the initial stages of lockdown. For some, getting a bicycle was a way to earn some freedom during such strict guidelines. Businesses, both small and large alike, continue to have low inventory to offer customers. Alongside the impending vaccine rollout, many activity-based businesses are still seeing the effects of the lockdowns with an increase of demand. 

BicycleWise & Sports Fitness, a local bicycle and sports business in Whitewater, continues to eagerly push their tagline “we’re serious, get outside and play” for this summer. As the year-long pandemic seemingly draws nearer to an end, exercise remains imperative.  

“I’ve been cycling my whole life,” says avid cyclist and Whitewater resident Pete Murphy. “I lived outside of town and my bike was my freedom. The pandemic put families together for long periods of time. Whether cycling together or alone, it is easy and familiar to many. Add to that the stimulus money, why not buy a new bike?” 

With backorders predicted for at least another year, BicycleWise continues to help serve customers in the best way they can, helping them with both their physical and mental health. Having been open since 2001, the company caters to both children and adults. Both John and Liz Sotherland work together to help customers find the perfect bike. 

“What I love most about my job is helping people reengage or continue their love of bicycling and helping them find the perfect bike for them, one that they just can’t wait to ride over and over again,” says co-owner Liz Sotherland. “It’s really heartbreaking that during a time when we could sell more bikes than ever before, we can’t meet the demands of our customers. Inventory is still very low throughout the world in regard to bicycles, bicycle parts and bicycle accessories. We do have some used bikes for sale and a pretty good stock of the very popular E-bikes.” 

Having been diagnosed with a lesser-known syndrome called Ehler’s Danlos, Sotherland continues to be an advocate for all bike users, even those who live with a disability.  

“My syndrome has helped us help others with disabilities.  Many people with disabilities can still ride bicycles with modifications of a bicycle and help with fitting the bike to work safely for the individual. John also fabricates custom bicycles and he can make some modifications with the frame,” says Sotherland.  

BicycleWise offers repairs for all bicycle brands and estimates are completely free, alongside the air for your tires. Finding a bike this summer may just help time roll by until the end of the pandemic. 

“I wanted a bike so I could ride around the deserted roads around my house,” says Whitewater alumna Dana Truckenbrod. “I decided to buy a bike around May 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. I had a hard time actually finding a decent one. Like other outdoor equipment like kayaks, bikes were selling out within a couple days of stores receiving shipments. I’m really looking forward to riding my bike this summer, and encourage anyone who wants a bike to get one.” 

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