Janée Matteson is a little wary of technology. The more ubiquitous it becomes, she finds, it has more potential to keep kids indoors (a trend she has dubbed “acute nature deficit disorder”). Janée, whose family’s roots have been growing in Morris for nearly 200 years, basically spent her entire childhood outside, learning fur trapping and duck hunting with her father on the banks of the Illinois River. So in addition to her deep passion for the outdoors, founding Kayak Morris was largely inspired by doing whatever she could to help kids, their families, and domesticated teddy bears spend more time in nature.
Kayak Morris offers kayak and canoe lessons, and in addition, patrons can borrow their largely new fleet for leisurely trips along the Illinois River, Mazon River, or Illinois and Michigan Canal, which are home to wildlife such as great-blue herons, bald eagles, coyotes and red-tailed hawks. The staff also lead guided ecotours, which teach kids and adults about natural resources and what they can do to preserve and protect them for future generations. Family-focused private campgrounds is adjacent to the State Park along the rivers’ sandy shores invite groups to stay for monthly Glampouts (glamorous campouts) and spend their days taking advantage of potluck dinners, hiking, fishing, bike rentals, or guided kayak tours and to spend their nights watching a movie on Morris’ outdoor projection screen as campfires crackle nearby.
Dan's Bike Shop's expert spokesmen have been restoring sickly cycles back to health since opening in 1940. A complete bike tune-up inspects and thoroughly cleans bikes from handlebars to brakes, ensuring smooth sailing on rides across town or attempts to sneak into a regatta. Cranks, derailleurs, and brake calipers are removed and degreased in a relaxing hot tub of solvent while troublemaking brakes and gears undergo an attitude adjustment. Complimentary minor wheel truing helps settle bumpy rides, though new cables and a bike horn that plays John Phillip Sousa marches are not included.
Open since 1946, Art’s Cycling restores creaky velocipedes of any make or model into road-ready transporters. During a tune-up (an $85 value), the shop's team of bike geniuses makes a rust-riddled beater ride as smoothly as a hoverboard. Services start with a straightening of the front and back wheels to ensure fast, fluid steering, followed by gear and brake adjustments. A final safety check precedes a thorough cleaning that leaves wheeled chariots sparkling, and a new water bottle (a $10 value) ensures riders stay hydrated while conquering asphalt.
Spokes is a massive two-wheeler retailer and service and repair shop. The repair people are experts in many makes and models, including Campagnolo, Shimano, Sram, Mavic, and bikes whittled out of a block of cement, and they crank out quality work in days, instead of weeks, months, or the amount of time spent working on Avatar. The standard tune-up is a full bucket of tweaks and twimbles, including a general cleaning; a check of parts for wear; brake, bearing, and gear adjustment; and more. The bike fitting consists of a cleat adjustment; seat and handlebar adjustment; fitting for hip, knee, and foot alignment; and a limp handshake.
Authorized Schwinn retailer Marty’s Bike Shop, nestled behind the same Park Ridge storefront since 1954, packs its space with bikes from Schwinn, GT, and Haro, along with a complete line of parts and accessories. Cycles available for test riding run the gamut from road bikes to trikes, ensuring that riders and bikes merge seamlessly into one, just as jockeys and horses merge seamlessly into centaurs. Alternatively, cyclists can shop road necessities such as helmets, tire pumps, road lights, and durable water bottles. Comprehensive repair and maintenance services administered onsite complement the shop’s sales arm and rejuvenate over-loved cycles.
Since becoming a pro instructor in 1988, PGA teaching professional Michael Camastro has fine-tuned the swings of aspiring aces in more than 25,000 lessons. When Michael encounters a new swing, he looks for subtle adjustments he can make to improve it without disrupting the natural style of the students' form. To help reveal problematic swing habits or the translucent souls of any loitering poltergeists, Michael uses slow-motion video swing analysis in all private lessons, one of many technological teaching aids he calls upon to enhance his diagnostic powers. With a staff that consists of two head instructors and three assistant aces, Michael Camastro Golf Academy spreads score-shaving tactics and techniques in private, group, and imaginary golf lessons.