I have read all kinds of advice here, from mechanical to racing, with interest and concern. I have read answers that are clueless, dangerous, but also really good sound advice. My caution to those that seek advice is to tread slowly, and get a second or third opinion. I am usually skeptical of references on here, as they could be from a customer looking for a discount! And slags about shops from people who don't use their real name aren't worth used oil. The best non-partisan advice to give is educate yourself as best you can. It's great to get a feel about things on the net, but people in person give the best impression.
If you have racing questions, go visit some racers! The Westwood meetings are free, open to the public, and the room is all racers or ex-racers. Their website has lots of info, and links to all the other clubs as well. Yes, I am a member, I believe in supporting the local club, and think anyone who doesn't is retarded, just so you know the truth! I don't work at a shop, and don't need to pucker up to anyone in the biz. If someone plugs a shop, or you like the type of response that person gives, drop by some Saturday and say hello. The shop and the owner or manager will give you a better feel than the yellow pages or a website can. I don't know everyone in the bike biz, but I know a lot. I was reading one of Human's questions (Farhad, you need to win the loto and hire a full time wrench!), and read an answer from a shop owner that wasn't trying to sell something. Honesty is always a good sign!! If I was a regular rider in need of a shop, I would at least driop by and investigate.
Educate yourself. Read the damn book under the seat. Read Cycle Canada. Develope a good relationship with a good shop. Maintain the bike, spend wisely, and then put some miles on the beast.
Just some thoughts to consider.
A few more;
More people died on the Sea-To-Sky this year than all the years of roadracing on tracks.
Racing is cheaper than losing your licence for speeding or stunting
Armourall is the enemy of tires
They give you a chain slack for a reason
Better to spend your money on gas and hotels than busted parts
Okay, that's it, have fun.
p.s. no, I wasn't trying to offend anyone !!!! smile..........