The Pedaler Bike Shop spruces up street steeds and their doting owners with an enormous cache of cycle-centric equipment, apparel, and accessories. Though the store prides itself on its expertise regarding road and mountain bikes, it supplies tubes, tires, wheels, seats, and footy-pajamas for two-wheelers of every breed. Outfit rigs with the 2010 Planet Bike Superflash/Blaze combo set ($59.99), which employs forward- and backward-beaming, superbright LEDs to, increase the bike's visibility for up to one mile. The 2011 Specialized Henge expert saddle ($99.99) coddles nether regions with a sleek shape and sturdy-yet-cozy Micromatrix top, and the 2010 Bell Faction helmet ($40) provides the resilience and protection of Sylvester Stallone's biceps. An array of clothing and shoes is also available, ensuring rider and ride are outfitted to a tarmac-pounding tee.
Peruse and sample the flavors of five chocolatiers, five breweries, and two bands. Chocolatiers include Bittersweet: the Chocolate Café, Galaxy Desserts, , TCHO, Vice Chocolates, and Teeny Cake. Brewers include Trumer Pils, Drake's Brewing, Triple Rock Brewery, Napa Smith, and Linden Street. Bands such as The Beehive Spirit and Tornado Rider will entertain during the festivities. Also featured at the event will be a booth accepting charitable donations for Saffron Strand Inc., a non-profit dedicated to finding employment solutions for the local homeless.
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A chalky hand swings over the top of the wall, grasping onto the red hold embedded in its surface. After a tense moment, a second hand swings up, pulling the rest of the climber's body up with it. Having successfully scaled 18-foot top-out boulder, the climber scurries back down the wall she has just conquered, swapping places with her spotter below.
This cycle repeats throughout the day at Bridges Rock Gym, spurred on by a crew of climbing enthusiasts and instructors who initiate people into the low-altitude sport of bouldering. That form of climbing emphasizes solving climbing problems and chasing archaeologists through ancient caves. The gym unleashes visitors' inner mountain goats with their well-maintained climbing facilities, including an overhanging indoor-climbing cave that thoroughly punishes muscles into growth and top-rope climbing walls that help beginners get the hang of scaling the crag.
While specializing in the art of ascents, Bridges also bolsters patron fitness. Yoga and fitness classes, as well as a fleet of cardio equipment, facilitate heart-strengthening workouts. Waves of free WiFi allow mountaineers uninterrupted access to videos of their pet rocks, best enjoyed with a fresh house-made juice or sandwich in the gym's lounge.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
The Berkeley Bikes & Skateboards team keeps skate and bike wheels steady with a comprehensive offering of components, accessories, and maintenance services. Specialists are on hand to adjust brakes, derailleurs, hubs, and bearings in professional tune-ups, and they keep riders safely equipped with a supply of Continental tires, Kryptonite U-locks, and Kali helmets to prevent injury from unexpected downpours of cats or dogs. In addition, the shop carries a full line of custom West Art skateboards hand painted by artists Ian and Adahn Stewart. The colorful decks showcase rhythmic, surreal, and chaotic scenes ideal for displaying on walls or boastful refrigerators.