Bike shops still open during coronavirus pandemic

Bike Etc. in Bossier City is still open and serving customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bike Etc. in Bossier City is still open and serving customers during the coronavirus pandemic.(Maranda Whittington)
Updated: Apr. 1, 2020 at 6:57 AM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) -Essential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic might be doctor’s offices and grocery stores — but bike shops also fall into that category.

Craton Cochran owns Bike Etc. in Bossier City and says over the last few weeks they’ve seen an increase in customers.

“We do have a lot of people that use their bikes for transportation,” he said. "We have people that work for the Air Force that are on base that ride from off base to base. Being here on Highway 80 I get to see that every day. I get to live it, experience it.”

Cochran says people are calling for bike repairs and he’s even traveled to customers’ homes to pick up their bikes.

“I’ll grab the bicycle, (and) we’ll come here and do the repairs and probably two or three days later I’m going to take the bike,” he said. “We’re doing that, (and) if it’s close enough we don’t charge a fee. If it’s Shreveport or surrounding areas I might charge a small fee.”

While he is seeing customers, the pandemic has unfortunately forced him to try to keep them at bay.

“I had to turn down a family the other day,” he said. "I felt really bad because (it was a )mom, dad and four kids and they all wanted to come in here and they all wanted to shop as normal. We’re a small town business. I can’t do like the big box stores and just open the doors.”

He’s added signs asking customers who do stop by to knock, and he’s kept his small staff in the back of the store to keep them and customers safe.

“We’re trying to find the fine balance of continuing a good service, providing for our customers, and still keeping it safe for not only our employees but for those out there as well."

For parents who have children with bikes, if they need minor repairs Cochran says he’ll do it for free.

“If all you need is some air or your chain oiled up bring it in, knock on the door, I’ll come to the door,” he said. “I’ll grab your bike. I’ll go put air in it, I’ll oil your chain, I’ll make sure everything is good and oiled tight and then I’ll just bring it right back out to you.”

While he is still uncertain about the future of his business — he’s still encouraging those who don’t have to be out to stay home.

“I hope that everybody just plays smart,” he said. “Be a little safer, wash up yourself a little bit better, and keep everybody at distance. If you don’t have to go out, just don’t go out.”

If you have questions about services you can call the shop at (318)-746-0174.

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