If you turned off the music in the spinning room of Go Legs Cycle Studio, you'd think you were in the middle of a raging windstorm. An instructor sits at the head of the dimly lit room, encouraging students up mountains and navigating them down winding paths as the two 92-inch video screens play music videos. Students control their own resistance and speed, enabling cyclists of all levels to pump away on the pedals together.
Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.
Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to seven locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company’s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company’s exotic diving excursions around the globe.
Yamaha VX110 Deluxe waverunners zip through the glittering waves of Sarasota Bay, Anna Maria Sound, and the intracoastal waterways. The speedy and maneuverable vessels are ideal for adventurous types, although the expansive rental fleet at H2O Watersportz accommodates boaters who prefer all different paces. Compact CraigCat catamarans allow pairs to recline as they coast over ripples, and pontoon boats that seat up to 14 come equipped with gear such as radios and nautical maps that identify where to find the bay of Kool Aid. For more structured journeys, clients can opt for chartered fishing trips helmed by expert guides or tours of the local waterways, with stops at landmarks such as Egmont Key and dolphin and manatee gathering places.
An avid bike-racer since age 12, Rick Fidanzato became skipper of ABC Bicycles at the young age of 23. In the 10 years since, Rick has opened another store and once helped a patron craft an ultra-high bike that put the rider’s seat well above the rooftops of passing cars. During the rare free moment, Rick tinkers with his '60 Cadillac and keeps plenty of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Rolling Stones mixed into his stores' eclectic playlist.
From outposts fashioned inside three different locations, Charlie's Pro Shop at Liberty Lanes upgrades the games of beginner bowlers and seasoned veterans alike. The shops cover their walls with a colorful array of balls, bags, shoes, and accessories–everything necessary to improve scores on the lanes or convince strangers you're a famous bowler named Strikes MacKenzie. Children's equipment readies pint-size pin crushers for battle, and custom drilling ensures digits of all shapes jive comfortably with their finger holes.
Staffed by a team of experienced and spirited cyclists, Outspokin Bicycles houses a sweeping selection of bicycles, helmets, apparel, and supplies needed for well-balanced bikers. Cuddle fast-moving craniums with a lightweight and durable Giro Prolight helmet ($199.99), or put this deal toward a sharp new mountain-carving contraption such as the Giant's Revel 1 bicycle ($479.99), featuring a competition-inspired aluminum frame and wheels perfect for off-road racing, crag-hopping, and cutthroat newspaper delivery races. Conquer any tacks, glass, or crushed cars blocking your way to monster truck–style tricks with Genuine Innovations' Tire Repair and Inflation Seatbag ($34.95). Outspokin's gear gurus are informed and approachable, ready to answer questions and recommend components for the ideal conveyance combination.