The Tennis Zone keeps players smashing aces and ripping forehand winners in style with name-brand equipment, apparel, and racquet restringing services. Stop in for a new tube of tennis balls on the way to a match, or consult the knowledgeable staff for advice on selecting a new pair of shoes or shorts capable of concealing second and third racquets. While tennis is the primary focus, the shop also caters to other racquet sports such as squash, badminton, and racquetball.
As the the Tennis Zone's network for recreational play, Smart Tennis puts tennis lovers in contact with like-minded players of similar age and ability, and then lets them set up matches at mutually agreeable times and places. Newcomers simply enter their age and skill level?recreational or advanced?into the website and then contact other users with similar court credentials. After finishing off their sets and shaking hands, the winner then logs back on to report scores and earn points that can be exchanged for prizes?which are just the icing on the cake and second to the true prizes of friendship, camaraderie, and the aroma of brand new tennis balls.
It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.
Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle—and should one be so inclined, the bustle—cyclists can explore one of the city’s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company’s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
When Denise D'Amour and Laurie Morin opened Capitol Hill Bikes on 8th Street almost 15 years ago, they had a vision not only of a bustling store, but also a thriving cycling community. Today, they continue to support their fellow riders by stocking a top-tier selection of new bikes and gear, with an especial emphasis on equipment designed for women. Expert tune-ups and repairs keep cycles cycling, and weekly community rides promote love of the sport while participants tour the city's monuments, breweries, and discarded Ben Franklin inventions.
Just a tiny repair shop at its inception, Rollin? Cycles has since blossomed into a full-service store offering quality bikes and maintenance services. From Fuji road bikes and hybrids to Breezer and SE cycles, their inventory contains fits for all riders. In addition, technicians keep bikes in tiptop shape by providing regular tune-ups, performing cleanings, and playing lullabies with brass bike bells.
The Florida Running Company, a store completely staffed by runners, finds people the fittingest shoes using a process similar to the one speed daters use to find future mates—taking measurements, assessing stance, and playing back video of them running on a treadmill. The shop carries top running-shoe brands such as Asics Gel Kayano ($140) and Nike Air Pegasus ($85). Runners can complement their kicks with Nike Tempo track shorts ($28) or swaddle their feet in a pair of Balega socks ($10), as soft and comforting as group hug from every grandmother on the block.