The name itself is a fusion of two soul-feeding concepts: "Gaia," the Greek goddess of the earth, and "I am." This fusion is represented in Gaiam's logo, the Flower of Life, symbolizing the planet's connection with the people who call it home. Founded more than a quarter-century ago, Gaiam's goal is to provide students of wellness with everything they need to achieve mental and physical fulfillment, from premium yoga mats and fitness gear to eco-friendly workout clothing and inspirational DVDs. Of course, there's also a full range of casual clothing and sustainable home goods such as organic cotton bedding and towels. Gaiam also features a selection of fair-trade jewelry and décor for everyday green living.
The experts at West Chester Cyclery have been selling, maintaining, and unbreaking bikes since 1982, the year that enjoyed a short-lived fad of children flying their bikes across the surface of the moon. The cyclery's bike surgeons are well trained, friendly, and bike buffs themselves, so you can be sure that your trusty two-wheeled steed will be in good hands when it goes under the knife. The basic tune-up includes brake and gear adjustments, wheel truing, and a safety check to guarantee that most riders will be able to glide smoothly through downhill mountainside switchbacks and unriskily ramp over boiling tarpits. Most repairs can be completed within two or three days.
The Benchmark Outfitter equips customers with element-tested adventure gear, packing caravans with accessories ranging from sleeping bags to outdoor attire. Ladies surmount Mother Nature’s challenges enrobed in a cotton North Face logo tee ($20) and Patagonia lightweight bottoms ($45) with fast-drying, moisture-attacking polyester fabric. A men's multifunctional friction belt ($20) keeps pants in place and doubles as a lash strap during climbs or lasso during duels with wild cowboys. To lug all your gear with ease, fasten on a Burton Treble Yell pack ($34.95), which has room for a laptop, water, or drums full of trail mix. Adventures also find seasonal paraphernalia tucked within the shop’s confines, with skis for winter’s snows, tents for summer’s sun, and nets for spring’s leprechaun hunts.
Flushed from his position, a player dashes from behind a tree and toward a bridge. Just as he reaches the opposite side, he hears "Dead man!" as an opponent pops up from underneath. Paintball Country's outdoor fields?which include an air ball field, six speedball fields, and five woods fields?present combatants with loads of such tactic-testing terrain. As referees maintain house rules to keep players safe, teams navigate obstacles such as two-story tower buildings, upturned cable spools, and corrugated tubing. Between firefights, Paintball Country's staff serves refreshments such as pizza, nachos, and victory-flavored energy drinks. An onsite pro shop also caters to guests with advice and equipment sales.
Bishop's Bicycles has becycled Cincinnatians for more than a century, offering two-wheeled steeds suitable for both slow, lazy glides and high-velocity speed trials. Whether using a soothingly saddled comfort bike with cruiser-style handlebars or a road bike built for rapid rides, daylong rentals include a helmet as well as a bike trail map upon request, ensuring renters can do more with their cycles than just watch game shows together.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.