MARIETTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Several small businesses are being forced to close their doors due to the coronavirus.
But local cycling studio co-owners got a little creative to keep their business afloat – and give their customers an outlet while they’re stuck at home.
“We said, you know what, we’ve got 48 bikes sitting in our studio, collecting dust, and there are people out there who need it,” Kirsten Rickers said.
Kirsten Rickers and Lee Oesterling, the co-owners of Cyclebar East Cobb, allowed customers to take stationary bikes home during the downtime caused by the temporary closure.
“In like two days, we rented a truck and delivered them all,” added Oesterling.
Instead of coming into the studio, they’re offering online classes — knowing many people are stuck indoors due to the coronavirus.
“It’s not just the physical activity that keeps us connected, it’s great therapy, and I think in times like this, we need it,” Rickers said.
They charge a small rental fee per month, which will help pay operating expenses the business needs to pay in the interim.
“We’ve had a lot of our riders say, you know what, we support you, we want to keep paying, even if they don’t have a bike, and when we do reopen, we’ll add rides to their account,” Rickers added.
“This is way for us to get the bikes to them, and if they keep their membership with us, they can have access to our livestream classes,” said Oesterling.
The response from the community was overwhelming, all 48 bikes were reserved within hours, and people are offering to also buy gift cards for future rides to ensure the business stays afloat.
“Even more, our riders are so thankful, too, because they’re cooped up in their houses, they need to stay active, they’re used to being in here almost every day,” Oesterling said. “We can’t wait to open our doors again and see everybody face to face.”