Since 1971, Freewheeling Bicycles has furnished cyclists with bikes from such notable names as Gary Fisher, Trek, and Electra as well as complementary parts and accessories. Before hopping on their two-wheeled transport and riding off into the sunset or silhouetting against the moon, riders can take advantage of a free tune-up offered with every purchase of a new bike and slide into apparel such as jerseys, shorts, and outerwear. The staff also lets customers test-ride bikes in their sizable parking lot.
Since its founding in 2008, SUP ATX has helped shift the status of stand-up paddleboarding from "something surfers do en route to huge, far-off waves" to "sport unto itself." Though their online store and showrooms stock plenty of paddles and board accessories, the crown jewel of their stores has always been the boards themselves. Here's how they're made at SUP ATX's factory.
Phase One: The Foam. Belt saws cut giant hunks of EPS, or high-grade foam, into planks.
Phase Two: The Spine. Workers install a balsa wood rocker down the middle of each plank. This adds rigidity to the board, much the same way a solid pepperoni core adds rigidity to pizza.
Phase Three: The Shape. Workers hand-shape the board into a symmetrical, gently oval shape suited for paddling through ocean waves, river waters, and everything in between.
Phase Four: The Color. After applying SUP ATX logos and a coat of color, the team protects the paint with epoxy resin, fiberglass fabric, and another coat of resin. The resin has to set for a full day.
Phase Five: The Final Touches. Workers install add-ons like leash plugs and handles, and sand each board down to its final, dolphin-smooth finish. A final coat of resin gives the board extra shine.