Support your local guy! That something I've been trying to do the past few years. You hear the "buy American" slogan which is a good thing and I try to when I can. I typically try to buy my bikes and bike parts from the local bike shops versus online dealers. I may not always get the best deal but I feel the customer service is better and after shipping prices I usually come pretty close. I hate to hear people talk about buying bike parts online in front of shop owners. You know they're biting their tongues wishing they could toss the offender right out the door. We have a pretty good selection of bike shops in our area with a wide selection of bikes, while they may not offer some of the perks and customer service that some of the big city shops they do have a good personal feel to them. Alot of our shops have that hangout feel to them. I sometimes stop by my local shops just to shoot the bull or catch up on the latest news even if I don't plan on spending any $$$. It's when you develop these types of personal relationships with shop owners that you start to see better deals and service. Don't get me wrong I would never befriend someone to get a better deal. I just enjoy having friends with like minded hobbies. I enjoy hanging out with people who I can talk bikes with.
Bike shops aren't the only things I like to keep local. I'm a big fan of our local restaurants and breweries. We have several great restaurants mixed in and holding their own in a town crowded with big chain franchises. Cheddars, Chili's, O'Charley's, Applebees they're all the same to me. Hamburgers, chicken fingers and a lousy beer selection. I would rather go to my local guys like the Kingsport Grocery or Cootie Browns who offer a little bit different menu and a great selection of beer.
I was really disappointed last year when our Cootie Browns here in Kingsport was ran out by their landlord in favor of an Olive Garden (that was the rumor anyway). The new rumor is that Olive Garden backed out of the deal and now that landlord is stuck with a funny looking empty building. If the rumors are true then it serves them right. Although Cootie Browns has yet to reopen their restaurant in Kingsport they did open a new joint in JC called Jack's City Grill with some new menu items and a great beer selection with Depot Street (our local brewery) right up front and center. I always tend to pick Depot Street over the other guys. Depot Street has been putting out some good quality beer for a couple of years now and I'm starting to see alot of the local restaurants pick them up.
I'm not sure what prompted me to write about this subject but it's something that has been on my mind for some time now.
My mother in law is in town this weekend and she can be alot of fun. She has alot of quirky traits some that I can see in Melinda and she hates it when I point them out but I think it's pretty cool. Anyway I can already see a new post forming in my head about the weekend and what will go down the next couple of days while she is in town. We didn't get to see her over Christmas so we did kinda of a gift exchange last night and all I can say is it was interesting. More to come on that later.
On the bike related front I did score a new set of shoes for the Mamasita. I've never ran Bontrager components but I ran across a deal on a set of tubeless tires that just couldn't be beat (my local guy of course). I won't say how much or who but I was impressed with the tread pattern and I decided to give them a shot. Not sure if I will run them tubeless right off the bat but they should save me a few grams on weight. If I like them I may just have a good set of Kenda Nevegals on sale for cheap cheap cheap.