BOISE, IDAHO — The state of Idaho was already known as an outdoor state with its beautiful mountains and lakes and other natural wonders. But since the COVID-19 pandemic started, many more people are finding out just how beautiful it really is by trying new outdoor activities for the first time.
And like so many other businesses around the world, Western Power Sports in Boise braced for the worst-case scenario when the lockdown hit.
”For all of us, we’re going, oh boy everybody’s going to be on the couch. Nobody will be able to go play. This is scary, we have a lot of mouths to feed. Families that count on that here," said Baisley.
But not even a week in, they realized that an airborne virus might affect their business a little differently.
"We said well, I think people might get out and play more and sure enough, within a week or two, it was like our shelves were getting cleaned and people were pulling their dirt bikes out and, oh my gosh, things changed a lot," said Baisley.
Suddenly, dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs and other power sports gear became hard to find as product was flying off the shelves and people were headed to the great outdoors to keep themselves entertained while staying safe.
“We’re getting a lot of people they’re breaking out their dirt bike from the garage that’s been out there for eight years, you know because life got in the way," said Baisley.
Treasure Valley resident Alan Nunnally is the perfect example, as he grew up riding dirt bikes.
“When the family happened, I have four children, time, life got in the way and I gave it up for safety, and for their sake of course," said dirt bike rider Allen Nunnally.
But with his kids now grown and looking for a way to safely get out of the house, it was the right time to lace them up again.
“What better way to get out and have fun with my son, teach him some tricks, we can see nature, have lunch together. We’ve had a ton of fun," said Allen.
His son Scott had never been on a dirt bike and was interested in trying it out, but one night they both realized that they were fully on the same page.
“One night we were both looking for bikes for me and he was on the Facebook market and I was on Craigslist we were just looking, and he runs in the room and says this is the bike you need and I said no way I’m looking at the same bike. Yeah, he had it on there, yeah, crazy. So that was it," said Allen's son Scott Nunnally.
And now for three months, the father-son pair have been tearing up the mountains, trails, and track of Idaho; a rare positive to come out of something that has been so bad to so many.
“ I don’t know it kind of sparked with boredom I mean we ski together and snowboard so this was another avenue so that we can go spend some time together, but I don’t think we would have. It’s sparked from it for sure, yeah," said Allen and Scott.
The Idaho power sports industry has been a rare and fortunate success story during the pandemic, helping riders safely make new friends.
"More than 10 or 11 different guys, now we're all doing group texts, you know, it's weird. And they're all great and we're all having a ton of fun," laughed Allen.