Just in time for the launch of Upstate Cycle Link — and just in time for holiday shopping — the Southeast’s popular Singletracks.com highlights this post on five big advantages to buying from your Local Bike Shop, or LBS.

Singletracks.com is mountain-bike focused, but the points they make apply to all kinds of cycling: when you shop at a LBS you help your local economy; you get to “try before you buy;” you can find mechanical service and product support; and you get that incomparable human connection that draws so many of us to the cycling community in the first place. The author’s last point is the best one, and is my favorite quote from the article:

“Without a doubt the best reason to spend your money locally is because the LBS gives back to your riding scene. When was the last time an online shop hosted a charity ride or a race in your town? Do they put on any regular rides during the week? What about your local advocacy group, has any online store donated money to them? Have you ever done trail work alongside an online store employee?”

This holiday season, thank you for supporting your community by buying local!