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.
Billy Blanks Ancient Arts Studio has an obvious ace in the hole, one that sets it apart from all its competition: Billy Blanks. The man has been the Thomas Edison of martial arts since the '90s, when he invented a new discipline: Tae Bo. He came up with the idea after working out to the Rocky soundtrack and discovering how easy exercising seemed when there was music to choreograph moves to?which is why air guitarists all double as professional bodybuilders. The full-body workout's punches and kicks torch calories and forge six packs, so much so that it's earned celebrity devotees, including Paula Abdul and Pamela Anderson. The success of TaeBo led to the development of the Billy Blanks LIVE! series?fitness DVDs that allow people to workout along to Billy Blanks from the comfort of their home.
Blanks isn't just an innovator, though. Before he created Tae Bo, he mastered the classic martial arts, earning an eighth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and five black belts in other fighting styles, including karate. In fact, he's a seven-time World Karate Champion, and a member of the Karate Hall of Fame ever since 1982, the year they stopped requiring inductees to change their names to "Karate." And his Billy Blanks Ancient Arts Studio builds on his legacy, teaching the two disciplines he knows best: Tae Bo and Tae Kwon Do.