A short back story about me first. I had been riding on and off for years. Had an old Cannondale from the 80's. February of last year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was only 40. So I had surgery in June, had a rough recovery, doc wouldn't let me ride for 3 months. When he finally told me I could ride I went to my garage oly to find that someone stole my bike. I assumed it was one of the contractors that had been working on my house but had no idea when it was stolen.
So for the remainder of the year I didn't ride and decided to wait until spring to buy a bike.
In March I searched a few LBS, all BTW more than 80 miles from my house. Not really local by any means. However, I noticed that it seemed unless I was willing to spend $2000 or more they really didn't want to put in a lot of effort to size me right etc.
So for the time being I decided to spend a little money now and buy a better bike later and bought the Gary Fischer Tiburon.
I was ok with the bike, went from 5 miles to 50 mile rides within a few months. I was riding almost 4 times a week. My minimum ride is at least 20 miles now.
Then I ran into the local bicycle club. They talked to me for a little while. They told me that maybe someday if I got a "Real" bike I could ride with the "Big Boys" club. Now, these guys weren't in the best of shape but they were decked out in the gear riding their carbon fiber treks. They told me they averaged a 14mph pace and went 20 miles or so, mainly on weekends.. I never bothered to tell them I average a 18mph pace, ride more per week, and go further on average.
At first it didn't bother me, but the more I thought about it, the more it kind of took the fun out of biking for me.
Then I decided to do away with the seat post due to the fact that it was a heavy suspension post and had multiple failures. So I go to a new bike shop 100 miles away and tell them I need a new seat post. I end up getting a blackwell research aluminum seatpost and a Terry crmoly saddle. Then I told them about my bike and again I heard, "Well, if you ever get a real bike" line.
And of course I've been lurking here and reading all the anti internet bike posts from people, pretty much anything from bikesdirect. I'm not sure I understand that if most of the components are on par with some of the top of the line bikes. And it's almost always followed by "support your LBS"
I've been disappointed in how I was treated at all my "LBS", and the quotes are because local isn't 80 miles away.
I've been disappointed in how other cyclist have treated me.
It really took away a lot of the joy I was experiencing with my rides.
Is this common everywhere?
First post, sorry it's so long.