Gotta Ride Bikes expresses its passion for cycling through a glittering arsenal of gear and bikes, and a knowledgeable staff well-tuned to the finer points of their beloved sport and pastime. Expert bike mechanics keep two-wheeled transports in smooth-running shape, nutrition and training experts fashion personalized body-boosting routines, and shoe fitters fix common problems such as using ill-matched footwear and biking with stiletto heels. Throughout the well-stocked store, rows and racks of bicycles from brands such as Scott, Felt, and Look rear up their mechanical haunches, ready to take to the asphalt with aerodynamic speed and lightweight agility. Frame racks, pumps, helmets, and replacement parts keep cyclists of all stripes pedaling safely and efficiently, and jerseys, supplements, and training gear help professional wheel riders shave seconds from race times.
The low-hanging branches of southern live oak trees stretch out over the house and pavilion areas at Don Strange Ranch, dappling parties, weddings, and corporate team gatherings with splashes of sunlight. Since 1952, the 125-acre longhorn ranch in the Texas Hill Country has hosted myriad events, including scenes from the PBS music documentary series Live from the Artists Den and the wedding of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
More than just a picturesque backdrop, the ranch’s rugged natural surroundings host outdoor activities such as ropes courses and kayak trips down the Guadalupe River. And the friendly staffers who man 350- to 400-foot ziplines work to ease guests out of their comfort zones, like a mother bird pushing her young out of the nest for their first extreme base-jumping lesson. :m]]
Sculpted into a 14-acre spread of lush zoysia grass, The Range at Leon Springs provides golfers with an array of short- and long-range training areas to perfect orb-smashing techniques. Armed with a day-pass punch card, visitors whack a bottomless reservoir of premium range balls while practicing out of reach of a roommate’s Burton Gilliam bobblehead collection and honing sand-trap play in greenside and fairway practice bunkers. Those looking to improve their ball control when hitting out of awkward lies can amble over to the sidehill practice area, and the 10,000-square-foot putting and chipping green familiarizes fairway lovers with testy breaking putts and wisecracking flagsticks. The range's 40,000-square-foot tee line ensures that clients won't have to wait behind sloth-paced players, and the lighted facility stays open until 9 p.m.
When 16-year-old Roger Soler crossed the finish line first at the Peruvian National Junior Championship, his victory marked the beginning of a love affair with running. At age 18, he set a Peruvian record in the 1500-meter and eventually brought his talents to the U.S., where he competed in the 5000-meter race at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Through it all, Roger nurtured a genuine fondness for running that blossomed into a full-fledged passion when he opened the first Soler's Sports more than two decades ago.
Today, Soler's Sports boasts four locations staffed by athletes with real-life experience in biking and running and was awarded a spot on Running Insight's Top 50 Running Stores of 2011. Staffers tend to customers on an individual basis, guaranteeing sneakers to accommodate gaits and bikes to fit bodies based on detailed analyses. Once employees have profiled the perfect shoe or bike, they help patrons find them, searching through the store’s stock, which includes brands such as Ridley Bikes, Vibram FiveFingers, Vitalsox, and Spibelt. Patrons can test-drive new kicks and wheels at the store's group runs and rides.
For United Gymnastics Academy's coaches, gymnastics isn't just about mastering a back handspring or having the flexibility to sink into the splits. In classes, they nurture kids to become more disciplined and confident as they strengthen their bodies and gain coordination. Parents accompany their little ones to toddler classes, which are held in a sectioned-off area with miniature, cushy equipment. Older kids advance through classes that develop tumbling and gymnastics prowess at age-appropriate levels, laying the foundations for a lifetime of physical activity.
The staff members also host birthday parties and summer camps that engage tykes with crafts and open-gym time, in which they will gain enough dexterity and flexibility to build s'mores with their feet.
Built on land rich in both beauty and history, Canyon Springs Golf Club snakes its award-winning championship course through gentle hills nestled within the original site of the Classen Homestead. Golfers armed with the Longhorn pass can play the 18-hole course any time of the day, bolstered by bonuses including 10-day advanced tee-time privileges and discounted green fees and cart rental ($39 Monday–Thursday and $49 Friday–Sunday). In addition to reduced fees, Groupon holders also swing their way through test runs during one free round of golf, navigating the course's challenging bunkers, rolling fairways, and pommel-horsing greens. During each round, pass holders are outfitted with a cart, range balls, and a GPS device that chirps out location in the voice of Arnold Palmer. Members keep an eye on handicaps with complimentary USGA tracking, rein in slices with discounted range balls, feast with 10 percent off of food and nonalcoholic drinks from the club house, and compete for heady bragging rights in members-only tournaments held throughout the year.
Touting 60 years of collective experience, the seasoned senseis at Saldivar Martial Arts have the prowess to mold pupils into impregnable self-defenders. Students with belt shades ranging from lily-white to blacker than the inside of an uncracked walnut can enroll in beginner through advanced classes and work on mastering Saldivar's fundamental principles of integrity, commitment, and discipline. Karate kids of all ages can fling foot and fist in tae kwon do courses, and those aged 16 and over can strike, block, and parry in all-levels kickboxing courses. Students will be garbed with karate uniforms to wear in future lessons or to disguise themselves as walking snow angels.