But a new local business is looking to help: CycloMend. You go to their website and enter your info, and a mechanic will come to you where and when you choose -- home, office, whatever. This week they have a special deal, they'll fix a flat from 5-8 pm, as long as you tell a friend or three (just click the orange button on their site.)
It was started by a former bike mechanic and rates are similar to a bike store, the idea being that it's more convenient for you and there's no pretension. They go from a la carte small fixes if you know what you need (installing a light, adjusting brakes or shifters, etc.) to more complete packages to make sure everything on your ride is in good shape. They also offer to assemble new bikes, get a bike ready for shipping, and make sure the bike fits your body properly.
Their service area includes all of Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan and Petworth, plus other areas (roughly between about H Street NE to Foggy Bottom, and Brightwood to part of SW DC -- there's a map on the site.) Mechanics will bring tools and parts with them and may call ahead to talk through the fix and make sure they know all the parts and tools they need to bring.
Cyclomend is also looking for mechanics, so if you're a friendly one and would like occasional extra business, sign up on their site and they'll get in touch for an interview (the link is on the bottom.) The idea is similar to Lyft or those other direct services -- you get a service from a (pre-screened) mechanic who joins the network.
Here's more from their press release:
CycloMend brings bicycle mechanics to you. We maintain a network of local, independent, mobile mechanics that work on your bike where you want, when you want. Not only do we help you find the right mechanic, we also streamline the scheduling process, handle payments, source parts and make sure you pay a fair price...all for about the same prices as a bike shop. Our intuitive, streamlined web and mobile sites take the pain out of bike fixes to get you rolling again. You get added convenience at no extra cost, local mechanics get business.
(Full disclosure: A friend runs this business, but I still think it's an awesome idea.)