True to its name, Empire Bikes is all about expanding the civilization of cycling. Its inventory spans everything from beach cruisers to race-ready road bikes, and its handy staff helps keep existing bicycles in tiptop shape. They also foster a sense of cycling community with weekly rides and bike-centric events that benefit charities and other causes.
A triathlete since 2004, Brandon Hament knows cycling's physical rigors and benefits firsthand. At The Cycle Annex - the indoor cycling facility Brandon has run since 2007 - his crew of instructors imbue beginners with pedal-pumping confidence at introductory sessions during which pupils first familiarize themselves with their bike before hopping on and burning calories. For cycling students of all levels, Brandon's team lead more intensive workouts such as the Ultimate 90, a combination of core and strength training that segues into an hour of riding. An abdominal workout on yoga mats follows cycling during AB 20 sessions, while interval cycling gives way to running and stretching during brick workouts. In between exercises, guests can hydrate with complementary gulps of The Cycle Annex's oxygenated, filtered water.
One way to get an exceptionally close look at picturesque Alamitos Bay is to ride atop its churning surf on one of Long Beach Hydrobikes's stable, pedal-powered water cycles. The company ensures that renters catch the bay's most noteworthy sights, providing them with a map detailing the location of a bird sanctuary as well as a cove where jellyfish delicately billow in certain months. Avid pedalers generally cruise at speeds of up to 7 miles per hour, exercising bodies with a workout that takes advantage of water resistance to jettison excess calories out to sea. As there is virtually no risk of capsizing, riders may wear anything from a bathing suit to a water-soluble prom dress. The hydrobikes come equipped with storage compartments, drink holders, and a wealth of extra space to invite pets along for the ride, free of charge.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Like that time you rode your older brother's Schwinn into the pool, a triathlon requires you to bike, swim, and run. Tri-Pacific sports outfits athletes for all three aspects, filling its Naples storefront with competition-grade equipment. Racks of bike frames and wheels populate the walls, alongside slick jerseys and aerodynamic helmets. Runners plop onto comfortable couches as they slip on a rainbow of running shoes, searching for the perfect fit. Wet suits and swimwear aid swimmers in slipping through the water with the least resistance. The shop also augments the competitor's most important piece of equipment, their body, with nutritional supplements and energy bars.
Anyone who has ever been kicked out of a nightclub for trying to ride in on their bike didn?t really do anything wrong, they just went to the wrong place. The instructors at bike2thebeat are as versed in DJ'ing as they are in leading stationary-cycling classes, hosting their workouts within a mirrored studio that emanates a nightclub-style ambiance. Once students are comfortably situated atop their stationary velocipede of choice, they dim the can lights and raise the black lights to bring T-shirts, towels, and linen-clad ghosts to glowing fruition. Then they start spinning thumping tunes, swirling multicolored beams around the room and shouting out exercises and dance-like moves to create an intense, high-energy cycling routine. Routines vary according to each instructor's unique style, but they all deliver a calorie-burning cardiovascular workout. Guests have access to changing rooms, showers, and complimentary towels before and after every workout.