What's the deal with mom and pop sports shops? My experience, over the last couple of years, is that, not only do chains offer a better selection, but they also provide a much better service. I have had bad experiences with a couple of bay area bike boutiques. Not bad enough to mention them here by name, but quite disappointing nevertheless.
On the other hand, whenever I visit Sports Basement in Sunnyvale, or Performance Bike in Mountain View, I am getting an A+ service from passionate, knowledgeable and courteous employees. They provide good advice, they fix my bikes, they fit Emma with the optimal wetsuit, and they treat me well.
Go big business!