Lynn Li and Abi Liu know a thing or two about swimming; between the two of them, they have earned four Olympic medals, set several world and Chinese national records, and won awards for their coaching skills. Together, they oversee and train each of the coaches that become part of Saratoga Star Aquatics’ staff at the 12,500-square-foot indoor facility. Two swimming pools and a comprehensive training studio are climate controlled, so their students can take lessons and practice with the elite swim team year-round.
Whether meant to scale mountains or drift down street shoulders, the mounts and cycling gear at Summit Bicycles ease any odyssey atop two wheels. The extensive selection ranges from Trek bikes for road and mountain to hybrid and commuter bikes that trump getting to work by hiding overnight in a coworker's trunk. Well aware of the importance of finding the ideal frame, the store lends out high-end bikes for test runs via its demo program, allowing riders to get a feel for the saddle's political bent before taking it home to meet their parents. For current owners, Summit's technicians repair and tune up already-owned bikes and help browsers find accessories such as tire-patching kits, electronic heart-rate monitors, and apparel from Bontrager and Pearl Izumi.
Runner’s Factory stockpiles a wide range of footwear, gear, and clothing for runners of all types, from sprinters to marathoners and joggers. Regardless of the distance being covered, shoppers can browse footwear from revered brands such as New Balance, Nike, Saucony, and Asics, focusing on cushioning, stretch, and which shoe’s tongue will give them the most kisses. They can also augment running apparel with compression socks, jackets, Dri-Fit T-shirts, and iPhone armbands.
From T-ballers to the big leagues, All Out Baseball has armed ballplayers with the necessary tools for diamond dominance since swinging open its doors in 1999. Inside two Bay-area locations, top brands including Rawlings, Wilson, and Nike anchor all-star lineups of gear dedicated solely to baseball and fast-pitch softball. Wooden and aluminum bats lie neatly across wall hooks, MLB apparel sways from team-organized racks, and, nestled within individual display cases, the latest gloves pine for approval, like puppies or adoptable umpires in a pet-shop window. As visitors scurry across each shop's grass-green floors, knowledgeable staff members stand by to toss advice and tips into the strike zones of open ears.
A bicycle is like any metallic organism whose parts come loose and whose chains decay under the stress of the outside world. Calmar Bicycles is staffed by friendly and highly knowledgeable cycle pros who are certified when it comes to massaging a peddler to a state of road-ready confidence. A standard tune-up entails a complete inspection and adjustment of a bike’s derailleurs, a brake adjustment for quicker and easier stopping, and a scrutinous look at all critical fasteners. Then a bike’s bearing assemblies go under the knife to crispen crucial connections before wheels are removed for a true truing, cables are lubricated to achieve minimal resistance, and a light cleaning makes the curious creature blue-ribbon ready.
Pruneridge Golf Club equips its patrons with the physical skills and mental edge to succeed at the game of golf, and then nudges them toward the first tee of its 9-hole course. Beginners and scratch golfers alike can benefit from the establishment's game-improvement measures, whether treating themselves to range balls at the two-tier driving range or hitting up a Class A PGA Pro for lessons on driving, putting, and even course management. They can also benefit from some computer-aided assistance with Visual Golf, which employs video technology to let players see their own bad habits, chart a course for improvement, and demonstrate stoicism in the face of difficult lies.
When players are ready to unveil their retooled swings, they can tee up on the nine-hole course, which consists entirely of par 3s and 4s. The club also offers a twist on the game as a home for FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf that involves kicking a regulation soccer ball into oversized holes on a shortened course.