In business since 1981, Pedal Power boasts a team of bike geniuses that can make a customer's rust-riddled beater ride as smoothly as a hoverboard. Services start with a front- and back-wheel truing to ensure fast, fluid motion, followed by a gear and brake adjustment that replaces the need for bike-rider counseling sessions to work on communication skills. Mechanics straighten the bottom bracket, headset, and wheel hubs as necessary, and grease the chain to facilitate smooth, speedy shifts. Finally, tires inhale fresh air to balance freshly cleaned frames.
Over its 30 year history, The Dive Shop has trained over 10,000 new scuba divers and earned the honor of being a five-star PADI Instructor Development Center, without ever switching owners. The same teachers who helped the first class of students discover the underwater world now aid their children and grandchildren in making the same discovery through Open Water Certification diving courses and introductory lessons. They start beginners off in the safety of local pools, before plumbing the depths of Lake Rawlings during certification dives.
In the front windows of Balance Bike Shop, the mechanics have put a slick collection of bikes on display—bicycles that are positioned in a way one might expect to see sculptures in a gallery. And its this type of love—or, this type of care—for bikes that rings true throughout the shop and workshop area, where mechanics perform all manner of services, from tune-ups and flat repairs to frame preparation and complete builds. For all services, the shop guarantees that every bike leaves the shop in better shape than when it was brought in through or crashed into the front door. To accomplish such a task, the crew uses and stocks various cycling components, accessories, and tools from top industry manufacturers.
Riverside Outfitters works to get Richmond-ers out on the water, up into the trees, and out on the trails with a variety of natural outdoor excursions. The staff helps locals and visitors engage with the area's rich landscape, guiding fleets of rafts, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and innertubes down the James River, which the Daily Press described as having "the only urban whitewater rafting experience available in the country." High ropes courses and climbing seminars teach first-timers how to nimbly break from gravity's embrace, while outdoor summer camps teach kids to engage wildlife without the scratchy fingers that come from texting with tree bark.
Randy and Jill Pryor took their first segway tour in 2010 and didn't want it to end. The experience inspired them to travel to the Segway, Inc. headquarters, where they became certified Segway Level II technicians. They founded Patriot Tours & Provisions in order to share the experience with others, which is exactly what they do during guided jaunts through Yorktown. There's the historical tour, which winds through sites linked to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and the breeze tour, which explores the York River and surrounding historical neighborhood. They also offer off-road nature rides through New Quarter Park and tours of the Kingsmill Resort.
Sponsors of the Charlottesville Racing Club, the MS Tour de Vine, and the Boys & Girls Club Challenge Ride, C’ville Bike & Tri’s cycle-whisperers repair thousands of bikes each year. In a service that itself takes about one hour, a standard tune-up tackles the many facets and invisible chains forged from cat's breath that hold beloved velocipedes together. An experienced mechanic will employ his or her eagle eye and nimble fingers to true both wheels, clean up grimy brake pads, and clean, lubricate, and adjust the derailleurs, brakes, and cables for an optimum ride. Bike doctors also do a complete inspection of the bicycle, contacting temporary pedestrians to authorize the work if anything important needs replacing, such as the wheels, the seat, or the Honus Wagner 1909–1911 T206 baseball card stuck in the back spokes.