I know that sounds deliberately provocative. It used to be that every town had a local bicycle shop. A fairly small, usually single proprietor operation, where one guy wrenched, sold and repaired Schwinns, usually Ralieghs or Rosses and an occasional exotic.
But now, my closest bike repair operations are multi sport outlets like Sun, Ski and Sky and REI. Do they even count? There is a high end shop over by Gwinnett place mall that sells $80 jerseys and 2 lb bicycle frames, and another shop in Swanee that has never been open when I have driven by.
Now, I know that I do live in the far Atlanta suburbs and there are some excellent full service bike shops inside the Perimeter. But does that make them my local bike shop? Especially if it takes over an hour to get there?
Fortunately, I am reasonably handy with wrench myself. I can true a wheel, repack bearings, replace components and adjust deraillers and brakes.
I ride a 20 year old Japanese Lotus, a Wally World MTB, and a Dahon folder. Of course, I really can't ride either the el cheapo MTB and the Dahon much more than 20 miles at a crack. The fit and quirks of each bike just doesn't allow it, but they do have specific utilities that they fill for me.
The Lotus is fairly comfortable, for a 20 year old steel frame and a hodge podge of upgraded components. But where do I really go for parts? What is most convenient? What takes the least amount of time and money?
I really don't have a local bike shop.
In some ways, I know that it is my own fault.