With the tall pine trees of Hales Mills Country Club stretching out in every direction, Jonathan Hines has chosen a picturesque setting in which to teach the game of golf. Each day he sets up shop at Hales Mills Country Club, taking advantage of the ample facilities at his disposal. When students have mastered the nuances of the golf swing with the help of V1 video analysis software, they can try their hand at the 18-hole championship course.
Like the bicycle cogs they frequently fine-tune, Plaine and Son’s highly trained staff works together to keep the business running smoothly. Plaine and Son has been expertly stocking and servicing bikes, skis, and snowboards since the 1960s. With cycles from brands such as Specialized and Trek and boards and skis from Atomic and Salomon, employees have a huge cache from which they help outdoor adventurers select the right gear based on riding styles or how many jet skis they plan to haul behind their bikes. Staffers also enlist the Specialized BG Fit Program and other fitting tools to pair riders with the right-size bikes. Once fitted, bikers can join in on Plaine and Son’s weekly group rides or enjoy free workshops in the store, which focus on biking basics such as how to mend a flat or jump the public pool blindfolded.
Founded in 1905 by the store's eponymous "CK"—Charles Klarsfeld—the shop has seen many bikes roll through its doors over ten-and-a-half decades. Today, the current owners continue to scuff up the floor with the tire tracks with the latest and greatest velocipedes, stocking more than 500 bicycles from brands such as Schwinn, Raleigh, and Trek in its subterranean storeroom. In the upstairs show room, cycles from everyday commuters to specialty BMX and mountain bikes flaunt their shiny frames amid cycling apparel from brands such as Garneau and Massimo. Meanwhile, trained techs in CK Cycles' onsite service shop perform a range of services, from doing yearly tune-ups to rectifying the faulty, albeit supercharged modifications made by sitcom tool-show hosts.
Rivers Northeast Adventures offers a deluge of summer activities along tranquil and feisty rivers in the picturesque Vermont countryside. The three-hour self-guided kayak trip lets riders glide along the currents of the Connecticut River or paddle around a nearby lake while gazing at the area's dense foliage and vast number of barges that carry sacks of rice. Adventurers are shuttled to and from their watery destinations and supplied with single or tandem kayaks, gear, and a quick intro to kayak navigation. Half-day whitewater-rafting trips on Sumners Falls or in the White River afford family-friendly or adrenaline-surging swells that entertain more effectively than watching a child tickle a horse. The Sumners Falls run sprints over Class III rapids and ends in a stomach-twisting drop, and the White River bounces between Class II rapids and stretches of flat water perfect for swimming. During the summer, bring along a friend or Mediterranean oarsman for a half-day float, captained by a seasoned, friendly guide.
Signature service: Bicycle retailer and service
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Campagnolo, Shimano, SRAM, Topeak, Axiom, Fuji, Raleigh,Trek
Pro Tip: We have tons of accessories and parts, largest collection that is open to the public in the area.
Bike World USA's staff all boast some level of expertise in bicycles, but the store's most incredible asset, according to the manager, is its deep shelves. "Our warehouses grant access to just about any replacement part on the spot," he says, "cutting wait time drastically." Whether someone brings in a bike for repair, tune-up, or soup-up, the team readily tackles the task, drawing upon thousands of brand-name components and accessories already in stock. They're also perfectly willing to follow instructions from experienced cyclists or make comprehensive recommendations to new ones, such as which helmet is a good fit or which set of training wheels is most invisible. In fact, the manager has only one piece of advice everyone needs to know before they come visit: "Drive up Sarnowski Drive. The next road over is riddled with potholes."
The cycling experts at Broadway Bicycle Co. pair riders with mountain, road, triathlon, and hybrid bikes from top industry brands such as Redline and Specialized. In-house cycling savants offer fittings in a private room to ensure that a bike and its potential owner both enjoy long rides on the beach and passive-aggressive air-horn blasts. While their bikes are being adjusted or outfitted with new tires, cyclists can browse air pumps, helmets, and accessories to enhance bike performance. Parents dropping in to service their bikes or to try on cycling gear can send their wee ones to draw on the chalkboard walls of the children’s room.