The first of KZN’s truly “mega” races for 2005, the Mr Price Tour Durban on April 24, also presents a great opportunity for the local bicycle retail trade to boost sales and increase their turn-over.

Dave Wiseman’s established shop, Dave Wiseman Cycles, in Durban’s city centre is a good example of how the race affects the trade.

“We find that it generates a strong interest, not so much in terms of buying new bikes, but we see our customers coming in mainly for a lot of bicycle up-grade maintenance and more servicing to increase reliability,” says Wiseman.

“Other areas in which we see increased turn-over are helmet and tyre sales, and also nutritional supplements,” he continued.

“The heavy demand for quality tyres is perhaps the major area of sales for us,” Wiseman added.

Just up the hill out of Durban at the plush Pavilion shopping centre, Leigh Durham at Leigh’s Cycle Centre was also enthusiastic about the commercial advantages of the race.

“The race always has an impact on our business,” he commented. Echoing Wiseman’s views, he agreed that , “the effect is seen very clearly in the much increased demand for servicing, not so much the sales of new bikes.”

However, Durham pointed to the out-of province riders as the real source of increased revenue “because they feel they’re on holiday they don’t mind spending money, particularly the Gautengers, so we find that they buy lots of helmets, clothing and tyres.”

“Most people have bought their new bikes before the Argus, so what they want is to keep them well-maintained and enjoy riding them at the Mr Price Tour Durban; after all it’s such a nice time of the year to ride in Durban, it’s not as humid, and the course is a little easier than it has been in the past,” he went on.

“The Mr Price Tour Durban also gives them the perfect justification for riding on into the winter, and not just hanging the bike up until September,” Durham finished.

On-line entries are taken at until Monday, 11 April.

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