I live in the five cities area of San Luis Obispo county CA. There are 2 or 3 local bike shops in this area. The two that I have dealt with recently reported the following:
"The last few months have been the busiest I've ever seen."
(explaining why there aren't many bikes on display) "I've been so busy I haven't had time to assemble the new bikes piling up in the back."
(a different LBS) "My suppliers are so backed up they can't get me bikes fast enough. I would have 75 bikes sold if they were here."
"You want a tune-up? Okay, it will be ready by Friday." (it's Monday)
One of the most troubling reports I've heard is that at least one brand (DiamondBack) is replacing Shimano components on more entry-level bikes with other components just to meet demand (although its literature claims specific Shimano parts for each bike model). Apparently even almighty Shimano is not able to keep up with its mainstream demand.
Around here at least it appears that the interest in cycling has nearly tripled since the beginning of this year. Is anyone else observing this trend in his/her area? Do you think this is just a knee-jerk reaction to gas prices and that the interest will level-off as drivers re-adjust to the new gas price standards? Or is this just the tip of the iceberg and we're on the cusp of some cycling revolution (so to speak)?
Regardless, there appears to be some good opportunities for new LBS' at least around here...