Knowledgeable staff tap into wisdom accrued over more than 60 years in business to pamper battered velocipedes. Cycle-cleaning masters greet each two-wheeled chariot with a thorough tune-up that begins with a wipe down and an astrological assessment. Headsets, cranks, hubs, and brakes benefit from an adjustment, and the front and rear derailleurs’ shifting abilities are inspected for safety and racetrack worthiness. The dexterous technician then straightens the bike’s wheels and lubricates the chain, brakes, and derailleurs before tightening all nuts and bolts. Proper tire pressure keeps bikes moving as quickly as a stock-car racer fleeing bath time, and a safety inspection protects the health of proud riders.
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.
More than 40 years ago, Daniel Boone Cycles began as a backyard operation as Joy and Dan Boone and their seven children started refurbishing used bikes to augment their income. Over the years, their little shop grew and evolved, becoming known throughout the cycling community as the place to go for rare, high-end bicycles and parts. Now, their inventory includes Specialized and Bianchi bikes, as well as tandems, recumbents, and special-order brands from Strida to Kestrel, all still located in the family’s backyard. The mechanics can custom-build frames to any specifications, short of attaching an E.T. to them, and perform bike fittings for riders to ensure their chosen steed is suited to their body for comfort.
Local artists and well-known personalities also influenced the shop: the flying-wheel logo was drawn by Adventure Cycling Association cofounder Greg Siple, and the ironwork at the shop’s entrance was constructed by artist and former bike-shop owner Lee Benner. In continuing with the family’s involvement with the bicycle community, Joy is in the process of raising money for a bicycle museum that she plans to construct on a parcel of her own land.
Les Callaway is no stranger to the tennis court; he won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship in his freshman year of college. Though he employed some top-notch training techniques to achieve his athletic goals, he never lost sight of the importance of loving the game. Today, as the head instructor at Cypress Tennis Academy, Les combines both his passion and his acumen to create group and private lessons for students of all ability levels. “We care not just about your tennis game, but your enjoyment of a life-long tennis adventure,” he says before excitedly listing off the kids’ summer camps, tournaments, and adult classes he teaches. The air at his facility is as invigorating as his attitude, the newly resurfaced courts sitting adjacent to a big fishing lake, a source of both fresh breezes and excellent midgame sushi.
Houston Archery Lessons & Indoor Range is but the latest feather in James Loesch's cap. The USAA Level III instructor has been a competitive archer since 1982, and he has 13 national championships?two NCAA National Championships among them?to show for his decades of commitment to the sport.
At the range, he heads up a decorated team of instructors who have experience teaching everyone from kids as young as 6 to world-class marksmen. Their students learn how to properly handle bows inside a 20-lane indoor range that is fitted with 20-yard Spyderweb Pro 48 targets, as well as some 10-yard targets for youngsters and archers who need more practice with hitting their bull's-eye.
Like many great inventions, the first ElliptiGO sprang from necessity. When co-inventor and former Ironman triathlete Bryan Pate could no longer run due to sports injuries, he turned to his friend and future business partner, Brent Teal, to help devise a low-impact exercise apparatus that he could use outdoors. The resulting machine, the ElliptiGO, combines the motion of an elliptical with the road-ready nature of a bicycle into one easy-to-use exercise device that’s been featured in The New York Times and Self.