Al Herrera is no stranger to cycling. Before founding EA Bicycles, he not only established several bike shops in Colombia, but also raced for the Colombian BMX cycling team and trained with the Colombian road bike team. His enthusiasm for the sport is almost palpable, with many of his clients stopping by the shop just for some friendly advice. They also show up to purchase bikes by brands such as Pinarello, Raleigh, and Lynskey, and drop off their current rides for one of three tune-up packages.
Mark Toomey once helmed his own recruitment firm in Nottingham, England, on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest, but a disdain for damp winters led him to the sun-drenched beaches of Siesta Key. Since opening Robin Hood Rentals in 2009, Mark has persevered through what he calls "Florida's harshest winter in 30 years," during which temperatures teetered near the freezing mark. He equips visitors with rental land-based and aquatic craft that let them explore the area without having to saddle a horse or propose to a dolphin.
From its perch near the Jim Neville Marine Preserve, the company fits cyclists with a range of beach, mountain, and tandem bicycles; matches riders to a fleet of two-seat 49cc automatic scooters; and trains visitors to venture off on newer-model i2 LeanSteer Segways. They also let kayakers explore the local waterways from sunrise into the nighttime.
At Wheel Fun Rentals, visitors can traverse surrounding areas in fun paddle- and pedal-propelled vessels while soaking in oft-overlooked scenery. Established in 1999, Wheel Fun Rentals has since provided locals and tourists with an engaging way to sightsee while promoting a healthy lifestyle. With their $27 credit, customers are able to rent a wide range of vehicles for up to two hours, including a pedal boat, surrey, hydro bike, or double kayak. Because rental fees apply toward the entire land or sea vessel and are not per person, Groupon holders can grab some friends and rent three single kayaks for one hour, or multiple single bikes for one hour.
Aiming to make family travel safer and stress-free, A to Z Baby, Beach & Bike Rentals offers a wide selection of clean and well-maintained island hopping necessities. Escape territorial sand crabs at a leisurely pace on a stylish beach cruiser. Stupendously handy merchandise is available for beach and baby needs, including Boogie Boards ($2 per day), strollers (starting at $2 per day), family beach cabanas ($4 day), and umbrellas designed to block sun, rain, and annoying laser pointers (starting at $3 per day). Multiple locations are spread over various islands to make pick-up and drop-off a cinch.
While stationary bikes implicitly imply immobility, ON1 Cycle’s RealRyder bikes are anything but immobile. Designed to engage core muscles in addition to legs, the stationary cycles tilt, lean, and gallop when kicked just like real bikes do. Certified instructors lead six different types of sessions that range from the music-infused Happy Power Hour to the intense High Octane course, which incorporates high-intensity interval training. Students can tinker with their own bike settings and choose how hard they wish to pedal during the adaptable classes.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, 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.