My beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my 2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Team bike
Stop by the Southeast Regional subforum and say hello to the locals in the Atlanta/Decatur thread. A couple of our members live near you. tbdean lives in Lawrenceville (I think??). Maybe he's your neighbor.
Why are you looking at buying the Novara from REI (I'm guessing the Mall of Georgia store)? There are dozens of good bike shops near you. Some I've purchased from, some I'm acquainted with the owner, like Cycleworks and The Bicycle Wheel to name a few. And they aren't the only ones. There are also some great shops in Athens.
Where will you be commuting to/from? I commuted from Decatur to Norcross from 2001 to 2003 -- 14+ miles each way. Great way to stay in shape and get in some training miles.
Why are you looking at buying the Novara from REI (I'm guessing the Mall of Georgia store)? There are dozens of good bike shops near you.
I was planning on buying from REI for the service but before I end up buying (should have enough $$$ in December) I do plan on checking out all the local stores. My brother (a die hard road cyclist) really loves Mommas Board and Bikes and I'm actually planning a stop tomorrow to check out another local shop.
And I'm very close to Lawrenceville! Maybe we've passed on the roads a few times