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Why You Should Support Your Local Running / Bike / Performance Shops…

By on April 2, 2012

We all need shoes, swim gear, bike gear, tuneups, fuel, parts, etc,  right? So you jump in the car and head for the national big box store so you can get everything in one shot, get the cheapest, and get it right now, right? I used to do this all the time and that’s what we are supposed to do, right? WRONG!!! Here is what I have learned… When you get to the big box store and start sifting through 8 million different shoes, bikes, parts, etc, and then you grab one of the employees (yeah you know.. the one with the skinny jeans, he is 16, he has never ridden a bike, ran more than a mile, or been in a pool other than his good friends pool party last weekend)

You ask him which thing you should get… He says, “um, yeah.. hmm.. Well, that ones pretty good.. I like this one too.. That’s what everybody else gets.. umm.. yeah.. that one looks good”

So you sit there and say, “Ok, that was a complete waste of time”

You then buy it and leave because you don’t know what else to do…

What most people don’t know is that there are tons of little mom and pop shops that have been “home grown” all over the country. These people didn’t open their shops because they wanted to make millions (and most of them don’t) but rather to LOVE their job, to LIVE their own passions, and to fill a need. They have ran marathons (lots of them, and 1 milers, 5k’s, 10k’s, 13.1’s and insane ultras ), ridden tons of centuries (and further), swam the oceans, pools, lakes, and rivers, and they have climbed mountains, jumped out of airplanes, hiked through snow fields, and spiked up frozen waterfalls. They have won, lost, failed, and met every injury possible.. They have learned… They have more knowledge in their brains then any Google database or supercomputer because they know what the ocean tastes like, how the salt burns your eyes, how it feels to lose control of a bike at 23 mph, what “THE WALL” feels like (and what it doesn’t feel like). They are the wise, the seasoned veterans, and they have did things we still only think about doing during our “race/adventure todo list” day dreams.

So when you walk into their shop and ask them a question “um yeah” will not be one of their answers… They will blast you with questions, they will dig into your little brain, and then they will come up with a solution, solve your problem, give you advice, and a lot of the time they will NOT sell you anything… WHAT? But they are a business DUSTIN!!! THEY MUST SELL!! Yes, this is true.. But you will find a certain respect, character, and integrity with these shops. They didn’t get this way shoving stuff down peoples throats just to meet sales goals. So what am I saying? Don’t buy anything from a big box chain if you have a choice to get it from a local store… These people need our support and WE need their support. A little shout out to my favorite local store Varstiy Sports. If you are in the New Orleans, Mandeville, or Baton Rouge area please support them.