With gas prices being what they are - getting around on four wheels these days is usually a poor cost-value proposition.

But what about a bicycle? Two wheels don't burn any guys and you'll surely burn some calories while doing it.

But, you may have to think again, because, right about now, bike prices are through the roof.

I found out why today when I hit up a few of the city's bike shops to talk to the experts behind two wheel transport. Here's that story.

What's the average cost of the basic beach cruiser right now, You might think it's $250.00, or maybe $350.00. But, nope the average market price of today's beach cruiser is $480.00

But when did that happen, when did the poor man and woman's only mode of transportation get priced out of the range of affordability?

To find out, we went to the place that all bike riders will have to visit at least once, Ordonez's bike shop or its more apt name, the bicycle hospital.

Owner and mechanic Andrew Ordonez says pricy bikes are just another side effect of the world's current woes.

Andrew Ordonez, Bike Mechanic
"It's a reality I mean the global, the global, I mean all over the world, everything has skyrocketed watch the war that's going on the high cost of fuel and so even production. The Covid has a big effect on it though because what happened Covid had shut down the plants that produce these stuff and so you had a gap where nothing was being reduced and so as soon as the economy re-opened the rush for the thing caused the demand to drive up because people need and it's tough. I mean the reality is that it's global, it's everybody in the world suffering from these tough times here."

And over at Bruce's Bike shop, we learned that the problem could lie with the scarcity of new bicycles.

Adrian Sanchez, Manager, Bruce Bike Shop
"One is supply and demand of course because we are just coming out of Covid and um you know people are trying to be more health-conscious and because of that people are riding more bikes worldwide not only in Belize and of course the dealers and makers of these bikes knows that pretty much. So that is driving up the prices of the bikes along with inflation and of course the shipping. Worldwide shipping has gone up and there are other factors too and of course availability."

Cherisse Halsall
"You think it's fair to poor people that the bike has to be this high."

Adrian Sanchez, Manager, Bruce Bike Shop
"Everybody needs to make a living and I don't mean to say it like that but it happens sadly and there is nothing we could do about that but yeah it's kinda unfair nonetheless that the poor people are the ones that have to suffer at the end of the day but I think everybody in general not only the poor people."

What's interesting is that back in the nineties, bicycles had a 0% duty rating and according to Customs broker Delroy Fairweather that only changed in the early 200's to a 20% rating after a series of crimes were committed while riding bicycles.

That rating remains the same today but what's hurting prices now is the provenance of most bikes.

Delroy Fairweather, Customs Broker
"If they're sourcing these unassembled bicycles from China, that freight cost has still not subsided as yet, we are still at between $15,000 and $20,000US dollars per container to bring in any container, especially from China. So, it may have been that these prices were already up and now that people are feeling the pinch with the fuel and now that they would want to ride bicycles then now, we start paying attention to, oh wow i didn't realize that the price of a bicycle was so expensive. Honestly, I am thinking that this has not really with the duty rate perse it's actually the acquisition cost so I think the question would need to lie, where are they sourcing these bicycle parts from."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Is there any move that government or the private sector could make in your view, that would bring back down the price of the poor man's transportation?"

Delroy Fairweather, Customs Broker
"Um well they could take a page out of the artist's book and everyone should maybe get together and um maybe meet with the legislators and see if there is anything they could do in terms of maybe looking at the rate of duties."

And at this point, given the high price of fuel, Belizeans may really have to lean on a bit of advice that Prime Minister gave us back in March.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"We have to be a bit more careful how we drive around and how we move around and walk. I know its hot, but walking in some short distances is good. I know some people would want to say oh you have a vehicle, but I do walk. I walk here in Orange Walk a lot of times, unless when I am in a hurry, then you drive. But the point is we just need to try to do as best as we can, what we have."

Channel 7