how to stay safe as UK cycle sales soar

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<span>Photograph: DWD-photo/Alamy</span>
Photograph: DWD-photo/Alamy

The coronavirus crisis has resulted in Britons buying bikes in huge numbers, but in tandem with increased sales has come an epidemic of theft. Insurers are warning that claims have leapt by 46% in the past seven weeks compared with last year.

In April, at the height of lockdown, the number of bikes sold rose by 60%. The biggest change was in those valued at £400 to £1,000, sales of which doubled.

So what can you do to protect your bike?

Buy a good lock

The industry’s rule of thumb is to buy a lock for a price equal to 10% to 20% of the bike’s cost. Thieves are lazy and mostly target cheap locks.

In its guide to protecting your bike, the insurer Admiral cites the Kryptonite New York M18 U-lock as being good quality. It costs £82.99 at Wiggle.co.uk. Add a cable for another tenner, so

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Sales of canoes, kayaks, other outdoor gear rebound during the coronavirus pandemic

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MILWAUKEE – On a Thursday morning in mid-March, Darren Bush was poised to open Canoecopia, the largest event of its kind in the world. Bush, the owner of Rutabaga Paddlesports in Monona, Wisconsin, was nervous about the emerging threat of COVID-19, but safer-at-home had not been implemented. 

Vendors from across North America were setting up 250,000 square feet of canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and other outdoor gear for the three-day trade show scheduled to begin the next day, Friday the 13th, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.  

Months of work had gone into the planning. About 20,000 people were expected to attend.

Then, Bush got word that Gov. Tony Evers was having a news conference where he declared a public health emergency. 

Bush went home.

On that Thursday, he needed to step away from the pressure of organizing Canoecopia, where scores of small-business owners and salespeople counted on his decisions.

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Car dealerships are reopening but the pivot to online sales has begun

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Car dealerships are among the next establishments to reopen in England from June 1. It’s welcome news to an industry that suffered an enormous drop in sales following the nationwide lockdown that started on March 30. New car registrations in Britain were down 97% in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Coronavirus hit at an already tough time for the car industry. Competition from disruptors like car sharing companies had seen new UK car registrations drop by 5.8% in January and February 2020, with diesel sales especially hard hit.

One company that’s particularly well placed to meet the challenge ahead of reviving sales is Volkswagen. The dieselgate emissions scandal cast a long shadow over VW, but the German car maker is going to great lengths to reposition itself at the front of the electric vehicle market.

To make this process more smooth, it recently announced that all its dealerships have

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COVID-19 is changing how we buy cars with online sales, home delivery and more transparent pricing

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At some point, we’ve all felt like a chump in a car dealership showroom, waiting for the salesperson to emerge from a shrouded back office where they presumably spent the last 20 minutes pushing a hard-nosed manager to chip another $100 off the price of that car you’re haggling over.

After hours at the dealership, it feels like an endless game that you’re destined to lose.

But that exhausting and enigmatic car-buying process at bricks-and-mortar stores will be a relic of the past in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts predict. Mandated stay-home orders have forced car buyers and dealers to adopt a new ‘bricks and clicks’ model instead.

“I can order my groceries to my door, I can order new running shoes to my door … every part of our life right now is delivered,” said Jessica Stafford, general manager of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. “Our

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